Kashmir Indepth

Join Heads, join hands and save Kashmir

Er Rasheed

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

The wedding between NC and PDP ended before honeymoon; it lasted for few hours and that too on TV channels and social media. The moment Governor dissolved the Assembly, NC and PDP started attacking each other again, indulging in an unending blame game. No one ever expected NC or PDP to get stars and moons for the ill-fated Kashmiris, but restoring their dignity to a certain respectable level could have been an achievable target for both the regional parties. Unfortunately by their non-seriousness both have given New Delhi an open field to take on Kashmiris. There is absolute consensus that J&K will get a hung assembly in the upcoming elections, if pre poll alliances between various parties do not take place. While NC and PDP had justified their forming a proposed collation by claiming that it is a move to stop Sang Parivar and its allies, may one ask NC and PDP leadership that has the dissolution of Assembly ensured that BJP and its allies will not come into power in near future. Answer is no, as in case of a hung assembly there is every possibility that things may become worse than they were after 2014 elections or when BJP withdrew support to PDP, and the disintegration of PDP started. The initiative taken by NC and PDP to form a joint coalition though was sabotaged by New Delhi, but the way NC and PDP didn’t resist Governor’s unconstitutional move, it looked eminent that the two parties were more interested in getting the assembly dissolved than forming the government. Their accusations against each other strengthen the argument that PDP and NC want to grab power by any means possible, and protecting rights of the state is never a priority. They may do any posturing to oppose New Delhi’s ill designs but a divided house not only weakens regional forces but also gives New Delhi a free hand to bulldoze rights of Kashmiris further. If Omer Abdullah in his private conversations confesses that NC cannot cross thirty seats and Mehbooba may be stuck at less than half what NC may get, a common man has every right to ask them what next when the ghost is out of bottle. It is obvious both will again beg before BJP and Congress and justify their begging by blaming that Kashmiris did not gave them a decisive mandate and thus will repeat entering into unholy alliances.

If NC and PDP are serious and truly believe in protecting the rights of the state, they have no option but to join hands. However, it is obvious that both these parties are so scared of New Delhi that they don’t want to annoy New Delhi over even petty issues. By not getting majority both NC and PDP get a good excuse to tolerate New Delhi’s utterances and atrocities on Kashmiris. The two parties have already diluted Kashmir cause by raising Autonomy and Self-rule slogans but their joining hands under changing circumstances would have helped Kashmiris to boost their morale. Let the two parties form a joint roadmap to restore confidence among Kashmiris and show New Delhi its place. Removal of AFSPA, abrogation of PSA, reducing IPS and IAS quota, making Mughal road as an alternative highway between Jammu and Kashmir regions, giving divisional status to Pir Panchal and Chinab regions, releasing Masrat Alam, Qasim Faktoo and other political prisoners, abolishing interference of central agencies in J&K, return of power projects, accepting UJC and pro-resistance leadership as main stakeholders and many other vital priorities can become basis for  a common plateform for all the regional forces; this to protect the self-respect of people of the state and ultimately force New Delhi and Islamabad to a peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute.

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