Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Unfortunate Partition of Kashmir-Part B (UN Scope)

The IK Group

At University of Oxford ,the perception of a conflict resolution is defined as "Nothing is resolvable & Nothing is irresolvable".In contrary, whenever at UN ,a model on Kashmir conflict with a concept of independent homeland is presented ,it gets diluted by competing claims of New Delhi and Islamabad .Therefore only a distinction of dependable visionaries and sound decision makers will make a difference.The net result of a resolution so far has been irrelevant flexibility by both countries.Indian state has not given sound measures while Pakistan has given denotations of what could be acceptable.The yard stick for success in the Indian and Pakistani bureaucratic and political institutions still seems to be the capability to impede resolution rather than to facilitate resolution.The remorseful history of Kashmiri partition and of developed leaders on both sides has not facilitated a resolution in the past and is unlikely going to facilitate a resolution in the future unless and until realistic approaches are not followed.India and Pakistan both have enjoyed frequent proposals in the past but have always ended up with an anti climax.The anti climax seems to be the preferred pleasure for both countries.

The recent bus services and limited trade spaces are hijacked by local realities because these concepts were implemented at a wrong time and from wrong hands.Utilized electronic media has inturn marketed demonic and inhuman versions of each other and unfortunately this continued propaganda will crusade an accomplishable resolution into a hapless failure.The timeless mutual distrust of India and Pakistan is not allowing an internationally recognized dispute of Kashmir to resolve.The country actors of both states are watchdogs regarding interests of people from both countries and thereby regard Kashmir dispute as a secondary priority.Political machinery of both India and Pakistan have given a strange leniency to Kashmiri society so that people can freely drift away to means of extremism which is not accepted in any political world order.If basic societal parameters have been compromised and transformed into an irreversible state in the process, political objectives are accomplished according to the Charter of United Nations.This linear and liberal perspective of The United Nations Council needs to be implemented accordingly without caring about the perspectives of India and Pakistan.

Timing in any conflict resolution is very important which unfortunately is already passed for the people of Kashmir.Parties to a dispute try to negotiate only when they have a bargaining advantage .The bargaining advantage was higher in early nineties than at present.Unlike India and Pakistan,the time factor is not an advantage to the people of Kashmir.This needs to be understood by the council.The institutional involvement of the council can help in achieving desired level of expectations with a round of dialogue ,if tuned with reality.The result of involvement of the UN Council whether failure or success, could help in understanding the dynamics of the conflict and can provide scope for identifying areas of emulation and avoidance because there is a sense of pessimism about the success of the peace process among the leaders of India and Pakistan which has resulted as an ill fortune for the people of Kashmir.Start of a negotiation process is not the start of a solution or resolution.Civilized behavior as depicted by summits and meetings between the two countries ,is actually nowhere close to any civilized behavior in reality.

The fatalities of non combatant civilians continue to be a daily occurrence and a way of life for leaders in Kashmir.Arbitrary arrests, draconian laws, life-threatening emergency powers of disturbed area act ,vicious special armed forces protection act in Indian occupied Kashmir and all versions of torture continue as natural laws. Installation of Truth Commissions by UN council recognized by an international mandate would allow victims, their relatives and perpetrators to give evidence to prevent re occurrence of such savage abuses. Truth Commissions would exist for a designated period of time on both sides and can exhibit a variety of organizational analysis of processes and procedures, with a goal of producing and disseminating a final report, including conclusions.The objectives would produce accounts of past history of abuse and would promote reconciliation.The establishment of a Truth commission in Kashmir is essential to restore the social and political equilibrium and can help in healing the damaged fabric.This will transform the objectives of the peace talks into short term process rather than a long term process of resolution.

There is an urgent need to evolve a rehabilitation and reintegration plan for thousands of ex militants and victims of violence. The sincerity in proposals for peace lies partly in exhibiting the desired will to facilitate a dignified transformation to non violence as opposed to a transformation that is eternally rooted in humiliation.People who died in the conflict mostly belonged to low income groups and left behind families,most of whom struggle to survive in the most undignified and impoverished conditions.

Youth has been spent either fighting for the nation or in jail.Thousands who were coerced to work in pursuit of a wage for the military apparatus were killed by ex comrades. State of India defines victims of violence as those people killed by the armed groups, while state of Pakistan formally recognizes all the people killed as victims of violence but aid is informally sourced to victims killed by the Indian security forces.UN council should devise a long-term policy which should include special quotas for jobs in public sectors and admissions in colleges and universities.

There is no evidence that the two countries have decided to utilize their state media to evolve a consensus among the people. Neither of the two governments would want to go against the popular mood in the respective countries right now. The mood being created is wicked portrayal of hostility.Respective state media of both countries are acting like they have been given roles for flaming a serious armed war.They are keen to confuse the conflict of Kashmir even further for a longer term.State media has miserably failed in creating an awareness among the masses.They have a temptation of making violence a convenient excuse in the peace process by making it a hostage to violence.UN council is an international witness to this and proper efforts should be adopted to change the mindset of people in both countries. An average Indian and Pakistani is as always obsessed with hostile sentiments and this is creating serious hindrances for Kashmiris in accomplishing political salvation.It is important to understand that the success of the solution lies not only in solution reflecting the majority sentiment of Kashmiris but also how explicitly the solution is perceived by the majority sentiment of Indians and Pakistanis.It is imperative to create an environment wherein pressures for solution are felt internally.

Last year has seen a strange ideological rethinking in the pro Indian mainstream parties like in the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party.They seem to have gone into a sudden ideological drift and have postured themselves somewhat close to the postures of the separatists .This is mainly viewed as a free fall in their ideology by the world and its causes are traced to failure in delivering promises as there are attempts by the mainstream parties to occupy- what would have been the bargaining space of the separatists. .The mainstream parties of Pakistan occupied Kashmir are inturn ruined in rigidity ,religious fanaticism and uncivilized pattern of wild swinging between talks and boisterous shows of belligerence.This losing streak in both parts of Kashmir is one of the main reasons for the perceived failure.The ideological meandering by the mainstream parties is likely to impede rather than facilitate the resolution process.Parties which contest elections as fierce rivals somehow join hands together after the results and form the next embezzled government.This fractured leadership is a serious problem but somehow this has been received in a hearty manner by both countries.India and Pakistan are only two nations of its kind which encourage a perplexing school of thought by smacking democracy.

The UN council should make positive attempts to start a process of accommodation by making plebiscite and demilitarization as a reference point.The reference point would assume importance like in any process of accommodation leading to a solution.In pursuit of the cause,the people of Kashmir have given exemplary sacrifices in using political and non political methods and have been witness to an armed conflict which consumed thousands of lives.The Council should realize the sacrifices rendered because ignoring sacrifices would be tantamount to facilitating failure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ominous Partition of Kashmir

[Also published on Muslim Institute London]

[Also published on Kashmir Watch]

[Also published on Counter Currents]

The IK Group

Our ambitions were hijacked by the most bizarre shortcut: Chowdary Abbas and Muslim Conference to Pakistan. National Conference and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to India. There was no erosion on this because there was no room for erosion in an advantageous centralized power sharing structure as both countries had an appetite to gobble up Kashmir ever since the British flee the sub-continent. Kashmir was neither a part of Pakistan nor India before 1947. It was part of an independent princely state by default under a hereditary Monarch ruler through a bilateral agreement with the British Empire.
The conceptual partition of Kashmir was only applicable until British rule. Today, the perspectives of both India & Pakistan are far less liable in the context of struggle and sacrifices rendered by the people of Kashmir. This act of partition eroded the role of Kashmiris pertaining to future ambitions through territorial occupations, and by continual  tussles in keeping the dispute alive. The prevailing political sentiment of majority Kashmiris has been against the prevailing political arrangement with both countries.
When the partition happened, leaders in Kashmir were assigned roles in exchange for loyalties to both respective countries which meant division of leadership into pro India & pro Pakistan. There were different classes of leaders in Kashmir: 'popular and unpopular,' 'educated and uneducated,' 'opportunists' -all united for an advantageous common cause : a role in the new emerging state of affairs. This grabby tradition started developing leaders rather than identifying leaders which sadly persists till date. Sheikh Abdullah and Chowdary Abbas were two former friends, fellow political comrades and their political differences helped both countries in formation of an individual power structure. Both leaders were exploited and they ensured that no secondary democratic institutions were developed on either side. Efforts were made to weaken pro Kashmir camps in both countries by isolating people and transforming Kashmir into a zone of artificial political institutionalization. Even after decades, both parts of Kashmir are subject to a serious dispute, as their is no kinship between two parts since 1947, which is supplemented by deceptive political nomenclature.
The Indian side of argument of accession argues that Kashmir is an integral part but their claims cannot be justified historically, morally or legally. Indian political machinery has to realize that the ongoing political and social resistance movements,continual loss of life and property is an indicator and reminder that ignorantly holding on to the land by armed aggression, hijacking freedom of choice and keeping the dispute unresolved totally violates accepted principles of liberty under international law structures. Delay tactics may favor India but it is not an advantageous asset to the people of Kashmir by any means. Historically, Indians can be held guilty to flee Maharaja forcibly from Kashmir and for massacre of Muslims. The Deed of Accession, whether valid or invalid, is inculcated with sovereign rights and establishes a loose linkage with India .The Indian state’s attitude on plebiscite has not been worthy of reliance from time to time. Kashmiri psyche has somehow firmly refused to be a part of Indian integration. This is a coarse, yet a truthful political reality.
The harsh reality remains that India never had a majority sentiment among the major sections of Kashmiri society. Every common Kashmiri citizen can articulate tales of agonies, arrest or embarrassment and frustrations of frisking at a military check point. India has miserably failed in binding together the people of Kashmir because attitude of India has left negative imprints on resolution process. People in Kashmir do not expect the state of India to constitute a resolution. The conclusions drawn by the people suggest that the Indian state has not delivered in the past and will not deliver at present or in the coming future. This is an uncanny dilemma which can be resolved only by the state of India, which can also contribute to its political image building, both at national and international levels.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan has also failed to fulfill obligations of an honest and helpful neighbor which unfortunately persists till today. Historically, mostly everyone believes in a theory that the North-West Frontier tribesmen assailed Kashmir as armed brigands, who were seeking to plunder and win booties, and seemed less as freedom pundits for Kashmiris. At that time, Pakistani army didn't bother to use aggressive means which would had curbed a controlled invasion. For decades, Pakistan has failed in controlling its intelligence units which has used aggression and conspiracies as a successful dispatch against India. The complete extermination of Jehadi camps in Pakistan still remains a distant reality. Religious fundamentalism, civil strife and minority intolerance looms large in Pakistani politics. The discredited politicians of Pakistan are busy amassing wealth and are cohorts of vendetta politics. Military junta is always looking to seize political power. 
Pakistan has institutionalized its relationship with Azad Kashmir through a council headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Azad Kashmir, as the name suggests, has it own Prime Minister, President, Supreme Court, magistrates, and enjoys considerable autonomy under the Pakistani dominion - a less disputed arrangement if we talk of Indian arrangement with Kashmir in comparison. However, there have been similar stories of rigged elections and leadership biases. Many political commentators have accused Pakistan in empowering these titles to their ideological allies in Azad Kashmir.
There has been no genuine civilized interaction between the two countries.Wars have been fought, negotiations have been attempted, pacts have been signed, an armed movement is still on and yet a decisive outcome is still elusive. Even till now the outlook of a common Indian and Pakistani hasn't changed. Both commit hate and nurture visions of destruction for each other. Both are still obsessed with the competing versions of history through state media. The domestic politicians of Kashmir inturn want to whip each other through hostile sentiments. Both countries are ruined with a fatal overdose of bilateralism and want to pursue a resolution by giving riddances to the masses of Kashmir. This has set the stage for a historic battle of arrogates, wars, countless counter attacks on media, which has resulted in daunting hope for the people of Kashmir. The resolution process of Kashmir is vested in Indian and Pakistani interests and not according to the ambitions of Kashmiris.The most unfortunate part is the delusory propaganda carried on the TV media. There is a feeling of betrayal among the mindset of Kashmiris, on both sides, resulting in a social obsession to change the piteous destiny of Kashmir.
Nevertheless, the new generation of Kashmir is already showing signs of a distinct mindset and have the spirit to change the destiny of troubled Kashmir .The new era in the region is increasingly being defined by high literacy rates, easy accessibility to media, internet, and more exposure in a global world. Well-informed, economically prosperous, globally conscious members of the coming generations of Kashmir are likely to translate into emancipated and articulate minds of the future. The youth at present are better placed to resolve the dispute than previous generations.