Interlocutor’s report on Jammu-Kashmir: A separatist document

A three-member committee was formed on 13 October 2010 by the Ministry of Home, Government of India, to study and find a solution to the long-pending problem of Jammu & Kashmir. The citizens of the country were optimistic that the committee would find an honest solution to the deadlock in Kashmir as it comprised of individuals who were completely apolitical. The committee comprised of a senior journalist in Dileep Padgaonkar, an educationist, Radha Kumar and a former high functionary of the government, M M Ansari. But, it was not long before the wolves in sheepskins were exposed. Once Radha Kumar and Dileep Padgaonkar’s links with the ISI agent, Ghulam Nabi Fai, were exposed, their intentions became only too apparent. These gentlemen were chosen by Ghulam Nabi Fai, only because of their anti-India views and it was only in the scheme of things that they would go to America to propound anti-India views. The ISI used to arrange for these visits of these haloed gentlemen. The views propounded by these people in their report of 12 October, 2011 should not then come as a surprise to anyone as the report only contains those views that the separatists of the country, the ISI and the anti-India lobby of the USA have been publicly advocating. According to them, they met more than 700 representative groups from 22 districts and only after conducting three round-table conferences could they prepare this report. The tax-payers’ money was spent on this exercise with intense profligacy. This committee only wasted the invaluable time of the people of Kashmir, the Kashmir government and the Union government, because the script of this report was already there in the minds of these people. This report will only aggravate the separatist tendencies in the state. Now, that the people of the valley after realising that the terrorists of the state have made their lives hell, and have been showing a wish to return to peace, this report can only become the means to propagate the violent means of the terrorists.

To advertise and propagate their personal agenda, these people first invited the terrorists and the separatists for a dialogue. Not only this, they also managed to create a halo around this meet with the gullible media. But the separatists declined this invitation after which the members of the committee shamelessly tried to cajole the separatists by going upto their doorsteps. It was the views of these separatists that this committee carried in the report, the views that are already known. The patriotic citizens of the Kashmir valley and Ladakh did not find any voice in this report. It seems that this is a report which espouses the violent cause of the terrorists and if accepted, will lead the people of Kashmir to more strife and uncertainty.

An insult on the spirit of the people of India, the Parliament and the Constitution
This committee has recommended that the title of the Article 370 of the Constitution be changed from ‘temporary’ to ‘special.’ This is a public insult to the makers of the Constitution, who had envisaged that this article will gradually vanish. This view was corroborated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who in 1960, had said in the Parliament that this article will wear out on its own. The progenitor of this article, Nehru, even he seems to have been aware of the separatist tendencies of this article. This article is not meant to integrate Kashmir into India, but to separate it from India. Now, even the people in the valley have woken upto the truth that it is because of this article that their region is devoid of development, that this article only helps the separatists to gain a better foothold in the valley. That the committee is trying to fool the people of the country is not at all in doubt, as they have tried to prove that article 370 is equivalent to the article 371. This conspiracy is not being played out in the open for the first time, even in the past, these people have been providing intellectual fodder to these separatists on which they can base their activities. Article 371 is not separatist in nature as article 370. This only provides some states of the country with special provisions keeping in mind the special circumstances prevalent in those parts of the country. For example, it is written in article 371 that despite the views enshrined in the Constitution, the Goa Assembly will not have fewer than 30 members. If we study the article with respect to other states, even there one can see that this article is in no way equivalent to article 370.

In 1994, the Parliament passed a resolution with consensus, that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of the country and even Ghulam Kashmir (POK) should be brought back to the Indian fold. This resolution had the support of all the parliamentarians from Kashmir. But, these interlocutors made recommendations that were in opposition to the spirit of that resolution. By terming Ghulam Kashmir as Pak Administered Kashmir, these people made Pakistan’s occupation of Ghulam Kashmir, legality. Only separatists, Pakistan and the anti-India lobby have used the word PAK in the past. It seems that these people have no respect for either the Constitution or the people of this country. Apart from this, these people have made no mention of the plight of the people in Ghulam Kashmir in their report. The people of Ghulam Kashmir have never been able to exercise their rights the way the citizens of India have been doing. These committee members, in trying to establish that Jammu & Kashmir is a bridge between South Asia and Central Asia, have ended up proving that Jammu and Kashmir is an independent state. Is this not an attack on the sovereignty of the country by its own people?
These committee members have expressed their desire to constitute a Constitution Committee to look into the legislation that have been passed after 1952. One does not need to be a genius to make out that this has been done to nullify the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Election Commission or any other constitutional bodies. After the Indira Shiekh Pact, all these points have become meaningless. It was only the separatists who used to make such demands, which was in any case, completely ignored by the Kashmiri society. Now, these great interlocutors have provided new ammunition to the separatists. If these people want to really go back in time and not move forward, then why take the clock back only to 1952, why not go back to 1947, then all of this talk will become completely worthless.

Presently, this fact is been well-established that Kashmir is an internal problem of India. Pakistan or the United Nations has absolutely no role to play in here. Pakistan, too has acknowledged this fact under the aegis of the Shimla agreement. Only some pro-Pakistan separatists would raise this demand from time to time. The view of the interlocutors that even Pakistan should be made a party to the discussions on Kashmir is completely anti-national. These people have ended up strengthening the claims of Pakistan on Kashmir. Add to this the fact that they have also recommended the ‘cutting down of the Indian Administrative Service strength in the valley, reducing the strength of the Indian Army, reduction in the special powers of the Indian army, which they have because of their special circumstances, dilution of the powers of the Parliament by reducing it to making laws only for the security and special economic circumstances’, all this can only lead Jammu & Kashmir to the edge of separatism. If these demands are accepted, then the cult of violence that had engulfed Kashmir will sure make a return.

To lessen the control of the Union Government, this great committee has recommended that the governor of the state be chosen only from the three names that have been sent by the state government. This means that if the Chief Minister of the state conspires against India in collusion with Pakistan, then the Indian government would not even get a whiff of it. It will not be able to do anything to save the state. This means that we will be reduced only to raising slogans on Indian sovereignty. Even the usage of Urdu equivalent words for the posts of Chief Minister and Governor is not in the best interests of the country. Words like, ‘sadr-e-riyasat’ and ‘wazir-e-azam’ will only lead to further separatism.

There is this one recommendation by the committee that no patriotic Indian can think of even in his dreams. They have said that a judicial commission be set up to look into the matter of unidentified graves. The separatists have been making this claim that the Indian Army has been slaughtering the youths of the valley and burying them in mass graves. This statement helps the separatists kill two birds with one stone. With this, the separatists have been trying to prove that the youth of the valley who crossed over to Pakistan or are now underground and cannot be traced have been killed and buried in these graves, this gives the army a bad name and the separatists’ cause for the quick ouster of the army from the valley also gains momentum. This is one demand that has been regularly made by the Hurriyat, so have these people been so blinded in their support to the Hurriyat that the country’s interests have taken a back seat?

Is it a sin to be patriotic in Jammu & Kashmir?
The committee members have been very naughty in using the word ‘stakeholders’ in the report. They have defined the word as one who has put everything at stake, however, they have been shy of specifying who they have put everything on stake for. However, on further reading, one can see that this word means none else, but the terrorists and the separatists only. That is why they are giving importance only to their views and beliefs. The ones who put at stake everything for the nation is of no concern to them. Are the people of Jammu and Ladakh, who have put everything at stake for the nation, not the stakeholders? Aren’t the 4 lakh refugees from Pakistan and the 10 lakh refugees from Ghulam Kashmir, who came to India for their love of India, not stakeholders? Aren’t those Kashmiri Pandits also stakeholders, who left their home and hearth to live in abominable conditions elsewhere to save their religion? Aren’t those Muslims of the country not stakeholders, who are still, even today fighting tooth and nail to foist the attempts of the terrorists? On the contrary, the separatists in their endeavour have ended up making a lot of money. The fact that this report only mentions the views of the separatists and seems to have absolutely no concern for the patriotic Kashmiri and his plight, is proof enough that the report always had the only goal, that to malign the patriotic and laud the separatist. According to them, patriotism is a sin and the patriots must be punished for the same.

The committee members have made a strong wish for the rehabilitation of the terrorists but not shed any tears for the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits. They seem to have fallen short of words to describe their plight. In the same vein their silence on the plight of the people in Jammu and Ladakh is nothing short of a criminal conspiracy. The State Finance Commission has talked of an equitable distribution of the revenues to these regions of the state, however, the committee report is again mum on it. The people of this area have been demanding the reorganisation of the assembly constituencies, however, the committee report is agonisingly mum on this too.

Despite the fact that the government has not accepted the report publicly, yet by uploading it on its website, it surely has put a halo around it. The government knows full well that the citizens of the country will never accept this biased report. In doing this, the government is only willing to appease the Muslim vote bank. These committee members have made the mistake of thinking that the separatists’ views are the views of the Kashmiri Muslims and also of all the Muslims of the country. The way this government has played with the sentiments of the people by this report, it can only be termed as a dastardly crime. This report will only show the seeds of separatism in other states of the country as well. Therefore, it is the duty of every citizen of the country to oppose this report so that the government is compelled to reject this report and can never have the temerity in the future to ever again play with the interests of the country.