Kashmiri representatives must get serious

Tiring cliches

[Update: Thanks to Kumar for pointing out the errors I had made in the earlier version of this post. The corrected text is in italics.]

An organisation going by the name of the World Kashmir Freedom Movement convened a two-day conference in Birmingham, at the end of which the unelected representatives mainly from the Pakistani side refused to accept any conversion of the Line of Control in Kashmir into an international border. Any solution of the Kashmir issue must be according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people – so the cliche goes – but unless the self-appointed Kashmiri voices get more realistic, they risk being passed over.

Unsurprisingly the only reasonable view came from an elected member of India’s Jammu & Kashmir state legislature Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, who attended another conference in the UK that called for “a soft but safe border/LoC between India and Pakistan to facilitate trade between the two sides and also to encourage exchange of cultural groups”.

Oh (tub-thumping) Lord !

Lord Nazir Ahmed, a Labour peer used the opportunity to hold forth on why India has no right to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council because of its refusal to honour a UN resolution calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. Going by Lord Ahmed’s yardstick, Britain too will fail to qualify for a permanent seat on the Security Council, at least because of its failure to get UN authorisation before invading Iraq.

3 thoughts on “Kashmiri representatives must get serious”

  1. Aah but the “imperial” powers have never been known to apply the rules they expect others to follow, themselves.
    Animal Farm revisited:)

  2. Nitin:

    The futility of the Birmingham conference is self-evident. But you are mistaken in suggesting that Tarigami’s statement referred to its ‘deliberations’. This conference was a ‘Pakistani show’.

    Rather, Tarigami was a participant in an earlier, rival conference on Kashmir. That earlier conference included Farooq Abdullah, Benazir Bhutto among others: It was a reasonable affair, with Bhutto suggesting a soft LOC as an ‘interim’ measure, pending a final settlement.

    Finally, as a Kashmiri Pandit, I think it wise to distinguish the rather different interests of the (mostly) Urdu & Punjabi speaking residents of POK from the (mostly) Kashmiri speakers of the Valley.

    The former are very pro-Pakistan and so it’s not surprising that they are against the LOC as a border. But Kashmiris in the Valley may well be willing to settle for a soft border. Mirwaiz Farooq, for example, has suggested a soft border as an ‘interim’ measure. Let me add however that he backed away, once the ‘men w/ the guns’ made threatening noises.

    However, it’s not just the opinion of one man. Amitabh Matoo(once a JNU int’l relations prof., now a provost of Kashmir U.) writes in the (academic journal) “India Review” that an independent NGO found a majority of Valley residents willing to settle for such a solution, if it was combined with greater autonomy. Btw, the NGO insisted that Prof. Matoo not reveal any details about the poll or about its identity (out of concern for the security of its workers).


  3. I guess that Kashmiri Muslims have forgotten Pandits in talks with Indian PM.
    They not only forgot Pandits but they have forgotten their own roots ,that all of them have been converted from Hinduism to Islam either through fear ,force etc.
    Even all my Kashmiri Muslim Brothers also know this fact.

    I guess ManMohan Singh will not repeat any mistakes which Nehru did .I expect that better sense will prevail on ManMohan Singh and Sonia.

    If any one can help its only we Indians(including Kashimir Hindus) who can help out Kashmiri Muslims ,but not these Pakistanis.

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