People of the Kashmir have always been betrayed. We as a society have lost trust in political parties and other institutions. The promises by the parties have never been kept. The slogans of Autonomy, Self-rule, Self-determination look like a mirage. The lack of trust on the political parties from decades is the outcome of their politics of deception before and after they come to power. The institutions which were supposed to work for the welfare of the masses turn like torture cells time and again. Trust on bureaucracy, on police, on media are lost.
All ills stem from the basic problem of non-acceptance of Kashmir as a political problem which needs resolution. At a certain point if ever centre accepted Kashmir as a problem that needs focused attention and sagacity things will improve. Cosmetic measures wont help close the trust deficit. Economic packages cant be a substitute for the rights of people to decide about their destiny.
Development only cannot bring peace as Prof. Amartya Sen, Noble Laureate in Economics once said, We have mishandled it (Kashmir) for a number of decades. Right now, we are mishandling it very badly indeed,” (Sens interview with Karan Thapar on his show To The Point). Kashmir is not an economic issue. The election commission, judiciary, military and judiciary have disappointed people at many occasions. Elections in the nineties, hanging Afzal Gurus to satisfy the collective conscience of the nation, mass blinding and wanton killing of youth are reasons enough for the people to lose trust if at all there was any left on these institutions.
Now fiddling with Article 35A and other related constitutional guarantees accorded to Kashmiris at the time of controversial accession and later on shows utter disregard for the sensitivities involved.
I think its time for powers that may be to come to senses and engage people of foresight to find ways to settle this festering wound in the Indian Sub Continent or else a spark can destroy all that glitters now, so carefully built over the decades by India and Pakistan.
Let good sense prevail.
Javid Ahmad Khan
Faculty of Economics
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