Congress must own up its blunders in Kashmir

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As you are now heading a panel of Congress policy group and arrived here in Kashmir to have a “first hand assessment”, I have few points which I want to convey to you through this piece.

 

Right at the onset, the government of India should accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and should not see this as a law and order situation or through the prism of National Security. Because of New Delho’s misguided policies, armed rebellion began in Kashmir in 1989. But no stone has been left unturned by the government of India to crush the rebellion. By these wrong tactics, they pushed the youth of valley to the wall and forcing them to pick up arms.

 

Kashmir is a political issue and needs a political solution, by giving people a chance to choose their future through “right to self-determination”, on which 18 resolutions have been passed by United Nations.

 

Your Excellency knows it better, that because this conflict, both the people of India, Pakistan and people of J&K are suffering physically, psychologically, and economically. The Indo-Pak relations are going from bad to worse with nuclear catastrophe, threatening the peace in the sub-continent. Amid simmering indo-Pak tension the people of Jammu and Kashmir are living under the grip of fear. Particularly those who live in the vicinity of LOC remain under the fear of border skirmishes, which are no less than “nightmares” for them.

 

The government of India and your Congress panel must accept this fact that you have done lot of blunders in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir Valley. The incident of Kunan-Poshpora, Chattisinghpora, Shopian, and Machil are still fresh in the minds of people. Not only this, since 1989 we have 8,000-10,000 disappeared persons in Kashmir Valley. A majority of these people have no direct links with armed opposition groups operating in Kashmir.

The burden of pain is mostly borne by the women  whose husbands and sons have disappeared. The wives of these disappeared persons became “half-widows”. The mothers, wives and daughters of these disappeared persons crave for their kith and kin and live in abject poverty. Mothers are wailing for their sons, like they had never taken birth. Palms of brides reflects like they had never been colored with the ‘henna’.

Because of the NIA Crackdown on Hurriyat leadership, doctors, engineers, lawyers, journalists, and business community there is a lot of anger among the people.

The  Congress panel’s visit to valley is a small step towards winning the trust of Kashmiris. Twenty years of misinformation by Government and corporate media have ensured that this historic admission has had little impact on mainstream discourse in the rest of India. Most Indians have been kept ignorant about the trauma of fellow citizens in the valley of Kashmir.

 

 

 

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