Kashmiri Leadership Must Build a Consensus

Suggestions and opinions are being made these days that Government of India must involve all stakeholders including ‘separatists’ for immediate deliberations on J&K in view of the environment in what Kashmir Valley has been pushed into particularly after 8 July 2016. But question here is do even the separatists have a common point of reference and what is the set framework even with the union government  for taking ‘mainstream’ local political groups in the ‘meeting room’ with Sh. Dineshwar Sharma  in place as special representative of GOI for nearly one year now?

It was on 9th July 2009 that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a special session chaired by the then party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and attended among others by party president Mehbooba Mufti and senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig expressed that PDP Self Rule flows through Article 370 and Instrument of Accession.

Introducing the Self Rule Muzaffar Hussain Baig had said (i) “Self rule was provided to the state in the Instrument of Accession but later on it was snatched and taken back from J&K by the Government of India, (ii) PDP now wants it to be  back, (iii) even the sovereignty of the state was maintained in Delhi Agreement between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and GOI (Jawahar Lal Nehru) and (iv) it was agreed by GOI  that the controversial Article 356 of Indian Constitution won’t be applicable to J&K by which New Delhi has the powers to dismiss an elected state government”. 

It is more than nine nine years now but neither Government of India nor the  national mainstream leadership has so far asked how could that fit in the PDP Self Rule 2008 framework without amendments in the constitution of India and the terms of 26th October 1947 Instrument of accession or without removing the clauses like that of joint control by India & Pakistan on some matters and policies pertaining to J&K as contained in some clauses like 58 to 60 of the PDP’s Self Rule Framework 2008’ ? Not only that it was on the floor of the J&K Assembly that on 2nd Feb 2018 Mehbooba Mufti Ji as Chief Minister of J&K had said that PDP Selfrule Doctrine fits in the Constitution of India without needing any (,) of (.) for adjustment. And  even that has remained unaddressed even after 19 June 2018 when BJP came out of alliance government in J&K. Such uncontested / unattended  claims are sure to create more and myths/ doubts/ confusions amongst the commoners in J&K ( Kashmir valley in particular that has always remained more in the immediate focus of the government of India and the indian leadership  as well as  prime media).

How far  some   constitutional roll backs demanded by PDP in the light of Self Rule Framework October 2008 { Article 356, present provisions in relation to  Art 248 and Article 249 of Indian Constitution (by which New-Delhi can legislate on JK ),  Clause-5 in  Article 368, Article 312  dealing with ‘All India Services’ , deletion of   word  ‘temporary’ from Article 370 and like are possible  without  raising  questions on the Accession 1947 and nationality of Kashmir (being India) should have been attended to by GOI. Similarly the  style in what references are made to 1947 Accession, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as Pak administered Kashmir, suggestions like use of both Indo Pak currencies in only J&K (not whole of India & whole Pakistan )and demands for dual Indo Pak control on some local matters  pertaining to J&K and Pak held part of J&K  nowhere qualify to be within the scope of 1947 Accession and article 370 of Constitution of India . Such like issues and concepts should have been taken up by BJP atleast after PDP became alliance partner of BJP on 1st March 2015 but that has not been done.  PDP has not made public any amendments, if at all made, in PDP SR Framework 2008. 

While talking to newsmen M. H Baig had also said on 9 July 2009 (quote) “Self Rule addresses the problem of JK in four different dimensions, which includes (i)New Delhi-State relations; (ii) relations between the two divided parts of JK, (iii) resource sharing including trade, transport and other issues; (iv)  relations between Pakistan & ‘PaK’ (POJK) and (v) Inter-regional and sub-regional issues”. Such statements  have remained live in the local environment of ‘Kashmir valley” and have in a way  polluted the environment from indian point of view where as no any efforts have been made by the ‘indian cadres’  to medicate the pollution by moving amongst the commoners except for making some statements from with in ‘secured’ compartments. What to talk of locals living under the threats of  separatists/ militants even the Kashmir valley voters  for whom polling booths are established in Jammu / Udhampur/ Delhi could not be motivated to come and vote in 2014 elections  by the  political leaders representing Kashmir valley .

No doubt it has also said at occasions that  in 1947 it was envisioned that the final decision regarding accession has to be reached by the State Constituent Assembly and  later on Constituent Assembly ratified Instrument of Accession but  still adds some fuel to the ‘fires’,  by saying that in view of ratification now there is no need to have the word ‘temporary’ along with Article 370 .
Delhi could ask PDP in case Accession is ratified even by Constituent Assembly (though it was not needed) then where is the need for Art-370 to even stay?

Accusations have been made by some analysts  that PDP leadership also wanted to remain at the international scene not much behind the separatists hence  occasionally also advocates  early  settlement of ‘Kashmir issue’ (dispute) and had been ‘wisely’ changing tracks to retain the goodwill of the common Kashmiri masses as well as those at New Delhi.

Is Mehbooba Mufti sure that with the present draft of Self Rule Famework 2008 the likes of Hurriyat and JKLF would settle for return of peace in Kashmir Valley and if not why has not PDP first made an exercise at local level  in Kashmir valley on the subject before suggesting GOI to talk to separatists?

Those suggesting taking all the ‘stake holders’ into confidence , holding all party meetings / dialogue with ‘ Kashmiries’ must also first understand and express the aspirations prevailing around in plain words and atleast work on ground to bring along all those who this day question India for her ‘conduct’ & intentions  regarding likely political solutions & convictions as regards even nationality. No doubt the impressions that could be, so far, gathered do indicate that NDA too has been holding to different policies  & ‘family’ of advisors on ‘Kashmir affairs’. Kashmir Valley political leadership must draft a common frame work for talks with Center and similarly GOI must set a clear  framework  atleast for taking ‘mainstream’ political groups in the ‘meeting room. If needed , the  separatists could be the next target groups

So, it is time for all to have clear expressions since the ‘subjects’ of J&K have already paid enough through loss of peace & inflicted ideological pollutions  for believing the word of  their ‘well-wishers’, both ‘ here & there’.



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