SRINAGAR:Chief Justice of India Justice T S Thakur Monday said that the Kashmir issue seems beyond solution at the moment but opposed the idea of India seeking arbitration of Kashmir dispute with Pakistan at the international court of Justice (ICJ).
Speaking at the launch of book: Unraveling the Kashmir Knot, in New Delhi, Justice Thakur said the book explores the legal and constitutional backdrop of the Kashmir dispute and also concludes that India should go to the ICJ against Pakistan and China for reclaiming its territory.
The book has been written by Supreme Court advocate Aman Hingorani and posits a persuasive legal solution to the imbroglio.
In the Instrument of Accession signed by the then ruler of the state Hari Singh, says Hingorani, there was no provision for a ‘plebiscite’ or an appeal to the ‘wishes of the people’ to validate the state’s accession to India. Consequently, Hingorani says, India could appeal to the International Court of Justice for a resolution of the issue.
Had going to ICJ been a viable solution, Justice Thakur said, the government would have opted for it long ago, a Mumbai based newspaper reported.
Skeptical about a purely legal alternative, Justice Thakur said that the Kashmir issue was too complicated to allow such ‘readymade’ solutions.
The problem, was not also, entirely Pakistan’s support for militancy in the state, he admitted. “How many of us can vouchsafe that Kashmir was given the same kind of democratic freedom that was given to other parts of the country? In Kashmir, we’ve heard that mayors are elected, but there were deputy commissioners who would be the returning officers who would reject all the nomination papers and declare the candidate of a particular party as elected and therefore the government would be formed even before the vote being cast.”
Finding a solution, he said, appeared to be very difficult as “Jammu wants Article 370 to be abolished. Ladakh wants to be centrally governed, and Kashmir valley wants independence. And within that valley, the Hindus want a separate conclave for themselves”.
The only way out, Justice Thakur felt was to embrace inclusiveness. “When we rejected two nation theory we went for an inclusive society. We need to nurture it. It is only with love that we can hold Kashmir,” he said.
Justice Thakur, hails from Doda district of J&K State and was sworn-in as CJI in early 2016.
Speaking, he said, “not as the chief justice, but as an ordinary citizen who still has its roots there”, he added: “We have been living together for centuries. In my area, Muslim villages were slightly away but in Srinagar they lived next door, had common walls. They never faced any problems.”
Reminiscing about the Kashmir of his youth, he added, “Until 1989, Kashmir was peaceful. The women would go out decked in jewellery, and no one would touch them. There were no weapons. I remember in Jammu, they used to make fun of Kashmiris. These people are cowards the worst thing they can use as a weapon is a kangri, they would say.”
Speaking about Kashmiri Pandits, Justice Thakur said: “The generation of Kashmiri Pandits which had attachment with Kashmir, who lived there, are going. The future generation is happy outside and sees it only as a historical fact we belong to Kashmir. They are well-off, they are doing extremely well. Which Kashmiri Pandit is going to go back to Kashmiri?” said Chief Justice.
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