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Many opponents to any Kashmir solution


Many propositions to resolve the Kashmir problem have come from time to time, independence with certain guarantees to both India and Pakistan, accession to Pakistan possibly involving a division of J&K along sectarian lines, and autonomy within Indian sovereignty as recentlyproposed by the Chief Minister Mr. Farooq Abdullah. However, a solution is meaningful only within the context of ground realities, which cannot change overnight. Since the present Bhartiya Janata party (BJ)-led National democratic Alliance (NDA) government is unwilling to approve the Autonomy Resolution, obviously no solution of Kashmir even remotely in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmir people is possible until and unless India is ruled by a new political formation, with a political will to do so. Since the two communist parties are committed to the integrity and indivisibility of India like the catholic church is to the insolubility of marriage, they can hardly be expected to offer a democratic solution to the Kashmir problem.

The Autonomy Resolution passed by the J&K assembly this June calls for the restoration of the status of the state as it existed prior to the dismissal of the then Chief Minister of Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah in 1953 by the Congress government headed by Nehru. Until 1953, India had jurisdiction only over defense, foreign affairs and communication. In short, the Autonomy Resolution asks for nothing more than what once existed and what was tentatively promised by the Congress government and later by the United Front government.

Despite the rather innocuous nature of the Autonomy Resolution , it was quickly and soundly rejected by the NDA cabinet before any debate in the Parliament. No political formation of significance has come out to support it. The main argument of the Indian government is that the situation has changed since 1953 and therefore the demand for autonomy cannot be accepted. This is true that the situation in relations between Kashmir and India have changed but the change is the consequence of the successive actions by the Indian governments; the people of Kashmir merely responded to the repression let loose by India. The Indian government also feels stronger in rejecting the Autonomy Resolution because of encouraging gestures from the U.S. government, increase in its military arsenal and the boost in its ego after the much-publicized victory in Kargil.

The Autonomy Resolution is a demand in the right direction. It asks for nothing more than what Indian government had once agreed to. The autonomy Resolution might have taken away the initiative out of Hurriyat's hand but it places no condition on them to abandon their struggle for independence or accession to Pakistan. Moreover, if the Indian government is unwilling to accept the Autonomy Resolution, it is in no way going to concede to any demands of the Hurriyat, which already stands divided and confused. As well the Autonomy Resolution does not prevent attainment of a more just and permanent solution at a more suitable time. Finally, Kashmir is not the cause of the tension between India and Pakistan; rather it is the result of the historic hostile relations between these two countries based on irrational ground.

The violation of democratic norms, custodian killings and killings in fake encounters is controlled by the Indian government. Killings by militants, terrorists and criminals is controlled by no one. Likewise, no body controls militancy in Kashmir including the Hizbul Mujahideen; the latest massacre of 102 innocent workers by mindless and heartless criminals, the Kashmir equivalent of Ranvir Sena of Bihar, clearly shows that much more is needed to restore normalcy in Kashmir than dialogoe with Hizbul Mujahideen leaders.

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