Ref: – ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’ is the reality.
The first-ever Indo-Pak poll sponsored by Indian Express, Dawn News and CNN-IBN published on August 12, 2007 along with survey carried out by CSDS and Jammu University in 2002 should be enough for the Kashmiris to wake them up from their slumber and gird up for the arduous diplomatic fight and tough periods ahead.
Without going into the details of the entire findings of these surveys what is presently relevant is that: –
(1)- The people in Kashmir valley want ‘Azadi’ in the sense of becoming an independent country. As many as 87 per cent of the respondents in Kashmir chose this option over other options like maintaining status quo or merging both parts of Kashmir either with India or with Pakistan.
(This is an unmistakable sign of ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’).
(2)- This ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’ is the inexorable fact of the hour which has come into existence simply because about 80,000 Kashmiris (as per EU report) have lost their lives for Kashmir solution (i.e. unified Kashmir) and these martyrs were mostly Muslims.
(This number of martyrs is much more than the combined total number of martyrs who lost their lives for the independence of India and Pakistan)
(3)- This ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’ does not involve Hindus & Buddhists of J&K (including Kashmiri Pundits) simply due to the fact that they did not lay down their lives for Kashmir solution.
(4)- This ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’ will not rest until it achieves a sovereign Status like any other country such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.
(In any likely federation also, for example evolved SAARC, it will be a naiveté to now expect Kashmir to join it as a province of either India or Pakistan).
(5)- The following observation of the latest survey (that almost half of Pakistanis do not mind Kashmir out of Pakistan) does not emanate from some altruistic or secular thought. But is simply another variant of communalism, which would like another Muslim country, the third carved out of Hindu majority India: –
“Urban Pakistanis do not insist on Kashmir joining Pakistan; those who desire so are matched by as many who are willing to accept an independent status for Kashmir. A majority of urban Pakistanis are also willing to let Kashmiris decide their own fate”.
[Hence no body should be surprised if in addition to unanimous resolution by Indian Parliament, India which is still not reconciled to its 1947 partition, veto any attempt to carve out independent Kashmir as it will tantamount to emasculating India further by way of diluting its sovereignty on and territorial integrity of entire J&K, including Pakistan administered Kashmir].
(6)- Here it is note worthy that both India and Pakistan raised their claim on other side of J&K. But Pakistan at least made several attempts (in 1947 through tribal intrusion, 1965 full fledged war, jihadi uprising in Kashmir valley during last almost two decades, Kargil conflict 1999, even if 1971 war is attributed to Bangladesh problem and not an attempt to take J&K) to retrieve other side of J&K. But despite it becoming clear within two years of its passing that 1948 UN resolution for plebiscite is not worth the paper it is written on, Hindu majority India never made any worthwhile attempt to retrieve its Muslim majority territory form other side of LOC and never kept any contact worth the name with the people of this lost territory.
(India ought to know that in law, the acquiescence & delays are sufficient grounds against claim on title).
(7)- It is hardly surprising that as per this latest survey, increasingly more numbers of people (rather majority) in India & Pakistan do not see Kashmir as a pre-condition for improving Indo – Pak relations (given the fact that realizing the impossibility of Kashmir solution either through dialogue or through military force, both India and Pakistan have started considering Kashmir problem almost as a nuisance for both India and Pakistan).
(8)- Even before this latest survey, various Kashmiri leaders have been saying in media that independent J&K is not politically tenable because it will be a land locked country surrounded by India, Pakistan and China and moreover it will not be possible for such a small county to survive economically.
But now with ‘Kashmiri Nationalism’ becoming a glaring reality how much an independent Kashmir (and not an independent J&K) will be politically and economically tenable, – to find out / explore / achieve this, is going to be the really tough task and a formidable challenge to Kashmiris.
Hem Raj Jain
208, Supriya, Plot # 20, Sector – 10, Dwarka,
New Delhi -110075, INDIA.
Ph: – +91 11 32940177, Mob: 09871194983