14 October, 2010

as in Kashmr Times

Dear All,

Well, Omar Abdullah seems to have invoked the wrath of UPA-II. However, I agree with Omar on few issues. The present stream of stone-pelting is not just an outburst against unemployment; but is decades long suppressed emotion. India needs to factor in a number of parameters with regard to Kashmir. The gradual merger of J&K and dilution of Art 370 are some of the major causes of the present fiasco.

In this light, let me share my detailed thoughts on Kashmir. This has been published in "Kashmir Times" in two instalments on 04-05 October [with some alterations] (it was originally published in Newsline this August). In fact, the older version also got published in Mainstream on 09 October 2010.



I am presenting here the new prologue to the piece in Kashmir Times

On September 25, the Union Home Minister made an announcement about a ‘8-point solution’ to deal with the Kashmir crisis. Apart from the usual ‘packages’ on offer after any refractory uprising; the ‘solution’ reportedly factored in the aspect of talking to a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the region.

In order to give effect to the deal, the Union government is presently busy arranging for interlocutors. The scheduled talks are to take place “very early”. Nevertheless, the Home Ministry has refused to declare any deadline for the same.

In fact, these events are a fallout of the ‘much-hyped’ visit of the All-Party Delegation to the province on September 21 and 22.

On the other hand, hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani vowed to disrupt normalcy (if any) in the valley by declaring a general ‘strike’. It was, as expectedly, retaliated by a curfew.

And as usual, on October 01, five persons were injured during clashes with security forces at two places in the Kashmir Valley. Curfew was extended to Pulwama and Shopian district headquarters.

Probably, the story has traversed a full circle. It requires no photographic memory to recollect that the recent cycle of unrest commenced from ‘Shopian’ itself. However, there is no guarantee that it would subside after a circular displacement. Even the 8-point package, the “very-soon to be held” talks and incorporation of the disgruntled youth into the mainstream job market may not assuage matters.

Predicting, leave apart ‘attempting’ the solutions to the sub-continent’s most high-profile and intractable security calculus: the Kashmir imbroglio; is a dangerous game.

Rest in Kashmir Times

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