…want some very different things
Two years ago, then Prime Minister Vajpayee announced a US$1.24 billion economic development package. Now, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced the allocation of US$5.3 billion for the economic development of Kashmir, creating 24,000 jobs in the government-sector alone.
Students in Kashmir told him that they felt that they were being denied a share in India’s economic boom.
Singh came face-to-face with Kashmir’s future when Kashmiri youths asked him some pointed questions at a closed-door function in Kashmir University.
The youngsters said their frustration was not over the issue of “azadi” (freedom) but lack of job opportunities.
The Prime Minister experienced first hand the fundamental changes in Kashmir when he met various community leaders and businessmen.
Manmohan Singh must have been pleasantly surprised when a delegation asked him to help put Kashmir on the information technology map of India. The delegates said that Kashmir had skilled manpower and wanted BPO sector and call centres in the Valley.
Arjun Amla, a Congressman and a businessman, voiced the collective demand of Kashmiris when he said, “Kashmiris want to move on like other parts of India. They have seen the world. They want change in their own state.”[Rediff]
Those who have arrogated to themselves the enormous responsibily of freeing the Kashmiri people from Indian oppression see no reason why they should be freed from economic depression first.
“Instead of conceding Kashmiris their internationally acknowledged right to self-determination, Dr Singh has attempted to prolong their subjugation by offering a so-called economic package. But let it be clear that our struggle is not aimed at getting any fiscal gains but for the freedom from Indian yoke,” said Syed Salahuddin, United Jihad Council Chairman.
“Every single man, woman and child of Kashmir has full realization of freedom and none could withdraw from it even if offered fortunes of the whole world,” he said. [Dawn]
Quite obviously, ‘freedom fighters’ do not see economic development of the Kashmiri people in their interests, which explains their targeting schools, development projects and the tourism industry. Destroying hope for a better future, conveniently, is not considered a human rights violation by its many advocates.
Poverty does not drive people into jihad, but jihad certainly has vested interests in keeping people in poverty.