Hurriyat and the ‘Doval Doctrine’

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There are some who have been ridiculing the Hurriyat for its inability to see or think of anything beyond hartals. However, with the Hurriyat (G) exposing New Delhi’s well conceived plans to foment trouble in Kashmir, Hurriyat’s detractors (that includes me) have ended up eating the humble pie. However, I’m still very happy because the Hurriyat has been able to expose New Delhi’s secret mission of using the ‘Doval Doctrine’ to promote unrest and violence in Kashmir. This is an extremely important development as having seen through its nefarious designs the Hurriyat will obviously take due care to ensure that the people of Kashmir don’t fall into New Delhi’s trap this time.

Though our leaders always call for peaceful protests, somehow violence invariably breaks out during every protest and the retaliatory action by law enforcement agencies often results in loss of lives and limbs. Till now it was largely believed that the highhandedness displayed by law enforcement agencies while dealing with protesters would invite the wrath of the international community which will work in our favour. However, this isn’t the case and that’s why the Hurriyat’s realisation that it is only New Delhi that is actually benefiting from unrest in Kashmir is something very significant as it can prove to be the ‘game-changer’!

In its statement, the Hurriyat (G) has stated that the administration is “is hell-bent to make situation explosive and for this purpose they are trying to create disturbances and uncertainty in the state.” While the Hurriyat’s claim that New Delhi is trying “to drag us in an arena of their choice” may sound farfetched to some, but there is substantial evidence in support of these claims.

The first indication that the summer of 2017 is not likely to be a peaceful one comes from outgoing DG of CRPF, K Durga Prasad who advised his force to prepare for “tough days” ahead. The next indication that the situation in Kashmir will remain explosive is Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s warning of stern action against those who obstruct anti-militancy operations of security forces by congregating at encounter sites. Thus, the Hurriyat’s claim that “New Delhi and its agencies are preparing a stage for one more bloodshed this year” cannot be dismissed as a figment of their imagination.

How does New Delhi gain from unrest in Kashmir? Firstly, prolonged unrests put immense pressure on the public as it denies people the opportunity to earn their livelihood. Driven by desperation, the public has no choice but to violate hartal calls and when they are prevented from doing so by vigilante groups, bad blood is created within our society and this leads to cracks in the movement. Secondly, ‘open-ended’ protests cause frustration amongst the people and they start disregarding our leaders’ calls for ensuring that the protests are peaceful. Consequently, stone pelting incidents and acts of arson become an everyday affair and this gives the authorities an excuse of using force in order to “restore normalcy.”

Though the Hurriyat has warned the public of New Delhi’s nefarious designs, it also needs to take into account the opportunist role being played by certain political parties. The opposition parties at the State and the Center may not be supporting the ‘Doval Doctrine’ in Kashmir. However, in their attempt to extract maximum political mileage from the developments in Kashmir, the Congress and the NC are only adding fuel to fire. On one hand, by openly questioning the State and Center’s inability to control militancy and separatism in Kashmir they are provoking the government to take harsher measures, while on the other hand they are instigating the Kashmiri youth to take law into their own hands as is evident from the inflammatory statements made by Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad as well as ‘our own’ Abdullahs!

Luckily, by telling the people that “it is the need of hour to remain cautious and understand their devilish game,” the Hurriyat has taken a proactive step. However, the real test for the separatist leadership will be its ability to make future protests more orderly so that New Delhi cannot deflect the core issue of Kashmir by telling the world that it is only a law and order problem aggravated by ‘cross border terrorism’. With all eyes on Pakistan after the Hafiz Saeed detention and US allegations that Islamabad is promoting terror in India and Afghanistan, the Hurriyat will have to work overtime to ensure that New Delhi doesn’t succeed in its efforts to divert international attention from Kashmir by playing the ‘terror card’.

Geelani sahib has rightly stated that the strength of the Kashmir struggle lies in the unity amongst the people and New Delhi is aware of this. However, unchecked emphasis on the ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ ideology may discourage those who are concerned about sectarianism in Pakistan that has reached dangerously high levels. There are people in Kashmir who have grave apprehensions in the minds that the idea of joining Pakistan would mean the destruction of the Sufi inspired tolerant religious culture in Kashmir. Even though these concerns may be misplaced, it is but natural for those in Kashmir who belong to sects and followings which are being targeted by fundamentalist terror groups in Pakistan to be apprehensive.

While the aims and objectives of mass movements remain constant, sagacity demands that the strategy being used to achieve these ends should keep changing so that it is not out of sync with the prevailing situation and ground realities. Our struggle is for the ‘right to self determination’ and so, let’s first only talk about plebiscite as pre-empting its outcome by coining slogans like ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ may please Islamabad but does the Kashmir struggle no good.

While the aims and objectives of mass movements remain constant, sagacity demands that the strategy being used to achieve these ends should keep changing so that it is not out of sync with the prevailing situation and ground realities. Our struggle is for the ‘right to self determination’ and so, let’s first only talk about plebiscite as pre-empting its outcome by coining slogans like ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ may please Islamabad but does the Kashmir struggle no good. In fact by such sloganeering we are only strengthening New Delhi’s allegations that it is Islamabad that is fomenting unrest in Kashmir for its ulterior motives. Since our leaders are confident that the people of Kashmir will definitely opt to go with Pakistan, where is the need to put the cart before the horse by pro-Pak sloganeering which could convey an impression to the international community that the Hurriyat is just championing Islamabad’s agenda in Kashmir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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