Published On: Mon, Sep 21st, 2009

Unconditional Dialogue

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When enough homework and wider consultation does not remain part of any political process, the wisdom of the leader is misdirected. Dialogue in Kashmir dispute with India and Pakistan is the only civilized way to seek the resolution of the Kashmir case. More so it is unavoidable because both countries have respective claims on the issue and control people and territories on both sides of LOC. India and Pakistan have a dispute between themselves and the third party, the people of Kashmir do not have a dispute but a title to self determination.

Chairman Hurriyat (M) on Friday gave an unconditional offer of dialogue to New Delhi. Is it a U turn or a wise revision in politics, would be clear in days ahead. However, if it is to nail Hurriyat G, which appends otherwise avoidable, conditions for any dialogue with Delhi, then it is another piece of self serving, opportunistic  politics and very unfortunate. In fact Mirwaiz faction of Hurriyat has been meeting Delhi and it should have continued to force Delhi for a continued dialogue. Hurriyat (M) does not bother to expand the circle of wisdom beyond its team of four or five. It has recycled the same wisdom in its previous dialogues with Delhi. Therefore, Indian wisdom across the table does not feel troubled and challenged.

Our leaders have to represent the people. They have conducted their political agenda at the cost of the death of a generation and unprecedented loss of dignity of the common man and woman in the history of Kashmir. Mirwaiz and his people have a list of grievances against India and Pakistan. The nature and content may vary in each case. Kashmiri leader should address himself in equity and with care. It makes no sense that Mirwaiz has “urged the Government of India to initiate talks with Pakistan over Kashmir.” Our leaders have dwarfed their case from the international stature to a bilateral interest of India and Pakistan.

Unless Mirwaiz has spare time after representing the Rights Movement of Kashmiri people and carries extra clout as a common friend of India and Pakistan, only then he may be considered the right person to urge upon India in regard to her interaction with Pakistan. India would not wait for any Kashmiri leader in making her decisions to secure her interests. The Government of Pakistan too would not wait for any Friday call from Kashmiri leaders and start a dialogue with India. She is in communication with India and the sovereign countries never stop talking. Urging India to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan is no more than a Lilliput trying to sit on the shoulders of a Gulliver and shout for attention. Kashmiri leadership has to cross over and above the shoulders of India and Pakistan and go universal on the question of Kashmir.

India has no choice and could not shy away from the obligation of resolving the pending question of Rights Movement of the people of Kashmir. India has a Bilateral Agreement with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and has committed itself at the UN as a party, that it would execute the UN mechanism on Kashmir. Mirwaiz and Hurriyat G don’t seem to fairly accept the basic need of defending the geographical integrity and the spread of four Kashmiris, namely the three living under three administrations and fourth the Kashmiri Diaspora. They have carved an irritant for India and as such have made their political philosophy suspect in the eyes of Indian people and the world community. It has helped the Government of India to agitate concerns of world community and stall any progress on Kashmir. It resulted into a suicidal lull and Pakistan did not agitate the Kashmir case at the UN for 30 years and 9 months from November 1965 to August 1996.

The claim of Mirwaiz that “the dispute of Kashmir is there in the same shape and shade as it was there in 1947” is not true. From January 1948 to August 1996 it featured at the UN SC agenda as a regular item. In August 1996 it fell under rule 11 of the provisional rules of procedure of UN SC and was deleted as a regular item. It is there on the basis of an annual reminder by Pakistan or a member nation of UN. A material change in its agenda status at the UN has occurred since 1996. The other material change is that the Right of Self Determination died with the death of a generation. The numericals needed in the self determination have suffered a serious deficit. We have killed self determination and it has to be kept alive as a principle. It is not realizable for some time to come. The third material change has been that Kashmiri youth which decided to fight the Indian army in Kashmir in 1990 and as a tradition had kept away from joining the Indian army all along from 1948, surfaced to queue in thousands in 2008/2009 to join the Indian army. The fourth material change has been the decision of the common man and woman to say ‘no’ to Hurriyat election boycott call and participate in the State assembly elections.

Mirwaiz is after all a respectable Kashmiri political leader and has a religious title as well. The first role has to stand on democratic principles at least and the latter remains strapped to a tradition, which after all, is not democratic. His statement that “I want to tell the people of Kashmir that I’ll discharge all duties which have been entrusted upon me by my people”, need a democratic examination. It is not clear which ‘duties’ he is referring to? He and his colleagues have in fact given a unilateral constitution to the people of Kashmir on 31 July 1993. He has taken upon the duties in a written format. The principal duty among all these duties is to make a peaceful struggle to secure for the people their right of self determination. Unfortunately, this leadership has failed to live up to this pledge and on the contrary remains responsible for accrediting a violent component of politics and for the death of self determination.

There is no point in reminding India or Pakistan to fulfill their promises, unless the present leadership proves that it has fulfilled any one of the many promises made in its Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993.


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