The problem of Kashmir is becoming more and more complicated by the day, by the intervention of various activists from different walks of life. The visit of all party delegation to Kashmir, seminar in Delhi mainly of separatists, appointment of interlocutors and some views expressed by them, have added more to the confusion, than evolving any worthwhile solutions to the Kashmir issue. Arundhati Rai, since she won the Booker Prize seems to have become an overly activist, in support of the Kashmir separatists, which seems to be keeping hardliner separatist Geelani quite happy.
Most of what is being said these days about referendum, plebiscite or the right of self determination, is irrelevant, because, frankly speaking, accession of Kashmir to India was complete when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Accession Instrument in 1947. There cannot be and should not be two opinions about this fact. Unfortunately, Indian Government under Nehru, Indira Gandhi and their illustrious followers, due to their weak diplomacy, at a time when there was a need to be tough and strong like Sardar Patel, created a hash of the Kashmir issue over the years, and has allowed to let the situation become, as it is now.
Pakistan has taken full advantage of the mess created by the Indian leadership, and through its clandestine and terrorist operations, by meticulously and cleverly helping certain separatist groups, has been able to motivate a fraction of Kashmiri population to raise anti India and pro Pakistan voices. Indian leaders’ sincerity in the recent past, in getting at an amicable solution, has invariably been snubbed by the deceptive and unreliable Pakistani leadership, which has given more and more courage to the separatist groups. This psychology has also influenced some pseudo patriotic Indian personalities to sing to Pakistan’s tune, as also to seek their intervention in solving Kashmir problem. I think their crime is more serious than, for what Jaswant Singh was punished and sidelined by BJP for quite some time.
Since, as on date Kashmir is an Integral part of India, irrespective of what anyone says, I feel the Indian government should file a case in Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to decide and confirm the status of Kashmir, in view of all round doubts amongst various sections of Indian and Kashmiri population. In keeping with the performance of Allahabad High Court in Babri Masjid case, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, can be expected to take 50 to 60 years or more to decide the case. Arundhati and Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, if not tried for sedition, may join Omar Abdullah, Dileep Padgaonkar, Ram Jethmalani and their likes to appear as witnesses. Thereafter the option of approaching the Apex Court would also be there. That should hopefully, see us all through till the 22nd Century.
It will prevent fruitless efforts and discussions from various quarters, and keep people quiet till the court gives its verdict. It would be in keeping with the Indian Government's usual stand of indecisiveness and delaying all matters indefinitely, till they become serious and beyond control. Late Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao had also once remarked, "that indecision is also a decision". Best of all, Pakistan and China would be compelled to wait for the outcome of the Court’s verdict. India can keep a Hawk's eye on their activities in and around POK, and plan its strategy during the intervening period.
Col LK Anand Retd
This article was published in Free Press on Monday, November 1, 2010