Published On: Mon, Jul 27th, 2015

Peace Constituency and Blood on Hands

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

Peace activist, Kuldip Nayar is partly right that the blood of 600 JKLF militants killed after JKLF’s unilateral cease fire in 1994 is not on his hands. He admits that the security forces went after them and they were killed as sitting ducks. However, it is equally true that JKLF truce was not brokered in reference to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. So blood is on somebody’s hands and Kuldip Nayar may need to check his hands. Political leadership in Delhi and other forces who have been pushing a peace constituency in Kashmir, have the blood of these 600 JKLF militants and of around 100000 other killed on their hands.

Bloodletting continued to be an immediate interest of all and in particular those who had positions of responsibility in maintaining law and order in the Valley. These forces used the slogan of peace half-heartedly to manipulate the desire of a Kashmiri to contribute to peace and build peace in Kashmir. The other three cease fire announcements of Hizb, PM Vajpayee and Hurriyat were part of Delhi’s counter insurgency agenda, used as the instrument of deceit at home and to fool the international community.

Indian security forces have not given up their licence to kill under AFSPA even today after 21 years since JKLF announced its cease fire in 1994. The situation in early 1990s was different and every Kashmiri was concerned at the loss of life. Kashmiris were being killed by the Indian security forces and the loss of life caused due to infighting inducted in the ranks of militants was disturbing. All inputs and contributions to peace constituency were in good faith. No one had a clue that New Delhi would not turn up on the day to deliver on peace promise.

Serious mistakes have been made by all who were responsible for JKLF, Hizb, PM Vajpayee and Hurriyat cease fire announcements. Prime Minister Vajpayee may not have made any mistake because the Indian State was out to disarm the militants and discredit the politicians and the peace constituency. Delhi wants to keep the constituency of deceit enlarging through peace initiatives and ‘repression’ through the use of AFSPA. The peace manoeuvres by Kashmiris were not linked to the people and the jurisprudence of Kashmir case. It was a behind the door trust deed between various individuals. Kashmiris were genuinely concerned to secure peace and the non-Kashmiri partner was out to dupe them.

New Delhi ran for cover in early 1990s in the Valley and at the international forums. It decided to engage the Kashmiri Muslims into a long drawn peace chat at home and abroad. It could not defend its record of massive violations of human rights in the Valley and dispatched Kashmiri Pandits to UN in Geneva and at other places to placate the Muslim activists and the international community. Muslims made an error of judgment in lending their ears to many true and mostly fabricated stories of violence allegedly committed against them by the militants and other Kashmiri Muslims. Kashmiri Pandit did not turn up at the UN Human Rights Commission (now Council) in Geneva for reasons to defend the full regime of human rights in the Valley, but he had a subterranean anti Muslim agenda, to demonise the Kashmiri Muslim.

New Delhi does not seem to have grown out of its tainted history of trust deficit in the Valley. It has used dialogue and the slogan of peace to add to the misery and helplessness of Muslims in Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandit in particular and other non-Muslim communities in general have been its eyes and ears in Kashmir. It is not only Kuldip Nayar but peace constituency as a whole has blood of Kashmiris on its hands. All those who attended the two day International Symposium titled “Next Steps in Jammu and Kashmir: Give Peace A Chance” on 25-26 November 2000 in Gurgaon, India have not only blood of innocent Kashmiris on their hands but are responsible to help New Delhi to wash its hands clean of all blood.

These peace conferences and seminars have helped Delhi to short list people mostly non Valley to work for an Indian narrative that would take steam out of the sails of the merit of Kashmir case (Valley in particular) and help Delhi in its efforts to demean the question of self-determination in Kashmir. The “misfits” from the State who have never held a job or a career in their life (at home and abroad) and stranded in various countries have turned ready soldiers to push the Indian artillery on these roads and curse the Valley Muslim and the Pakistani Muslim for one or the other reason. New Delhi would not give up on this game of bluff and betray. Kashmiri would equally not run out of his conviction and faith in his just cause.

Kuldip Nayar has admitted to have mediated between IB and JKLF chief Yasin Malik at one point. We can’t punish Yasin Malik for placing his trust in a man who carries a semblance of trustworthiness. It is Nayar’s moral duty as a humanist to revisit the period from 1994 to date and find out whether or not he was used as an instrument by the State to the serious prejudice of the people of Kashmir. Nayar has to defend his good character and defend the image of all other Indians who appear on their own or are assigned to appear noble in their dialogue with a Kashmiri in Srinagar and Delhi.

It is an irony that Indian state apparatus is so elaborate and done in deceit that it used the offices of Prime Minister Rao to offer ‘Sky as limit’, Prime Minister Vajpayee to offer dialogue under the constitution of ‘Insaniyat’, Prime Minister Singh to set up ‘Working Groups’ and behind the scenes used inducement to make every militant and political leader a chief minister in the State. Delhi has succeeded to outwit the militancy, Hurriyat, Mainstream and the civil society in Kashmir.

We have lost a generation in Kashmir (Valley) and all are Muslim. In numerical sense there is a number deficit, should there be a referendum today. Kashmir gave up on its immigration control, requiring an Indian citizen a permit to enter Kashmir in April 1959. The Indian soldier admitted by the State Government under four terms of references as a sub ordinate and complementary force, has outgrown its size and power. He acts with no holds barred under AFSPA today.

It is right that Kuldip Nayar ‘didn’t promise to hand Kashmir to Yasin Malik’. It is however true that he encouraged Yasin Malik to trust him and lay down the arms in favour of a negotiated settlement. Yasin Malik rightly or wrongly has kept his part of the trust and it should not have been answered by the other side with a deceit. I am however not convinced that 1994 JKLF unilateral ceasefire had been brokered by the United States of America, United Kingdom and European Union.  I remain associated with the right of self-determination ever since my arrival in UK in August 1982 and in particular since I represented the Unrepresented Peoples and Nations of the World at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in June 1993. The claim is a serious claim and we need to have evidence so that we could find the ‘blood of Kashmiris’ on their hands as well.

If there is any evidence of such a broad involvement, we need evidence, so that the matter could be taken up with these countries. It is difficult to figure out and accept that United States of America, United Kingdom and European Union could ignore Hurriyat as a forum, other outfits of militancy, role of Pakistan and the diaspora and go all out to placate JKLF for a cease fire.  It would have encouraged a serious infighting among the militants and would never have seen any success. Yasin Malik is a decent, simple and honourable man. These are very good qualities but not enough to mediate on his own with Kuldip Nayar or any country on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In conclusion Kuldip Nayar is right to say that he does not have the blood of 600 JKLF militants on his hands. We are all responsible for shedding this and other blood in Kashmir. We may have innocent blood on our hands but New Delhi has blood on its ‘neck’ as well. It is time to revisit the good and bad of political and militant struggle since 1990. We need to find out how we have followed in the foot prints of New Delhi and used Kashmir politics and militants as a means to enhance our social status and strengthen financial interests inside and outside Kashmir. How many Kashmiris have used Kashmir as a side hobby and then betrayed them half way up the hill. Let us look for our Kashmiri Kuldip Nayars.

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