Back to top

Kashmir's Forsaken Hope

With every leaf drifting off trees, making them look deserted and despondent, like the atmosphere that surrounds our land, the winter’s cold is unfolding every new day; with this season’s change there is no apparent change in the situation regarding the political solution. Encounters and killings continue, so does blocking the internet in the area where an encounter takes place; and now prolonged power cuts. People here are used to living like this.

Prior to the second visit of Mr Dineshwar Sharma, a new interlocutor appointed by the Centre “to understand the legitimate aspirations” of the individuals of the state, so many things are unfolding: like what can be the outcome of his meetings? Will he meet the Separatist leaders too? Or will he only consider talking to the ‘legitimate’ representations of the state? And after he’s done, will his report be just like the previous ones, with no action?  Or could it bear some fruit?

But, ironically, the people of Kashmir were more excited for the prestigious Rafto award for human rights activism awarded to Kashmir’s own Parvez Imroz and Parveena Ahangar for their “long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir” - and they don’t seem hopeful about this new interlocutor because they haven’t seen any results since the previous reports.  

With all this in the background, local political leaders are opposing the ideas about the future of Kashmir. The statement of Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi claims that an independent Jammu & Kashmir is not an option, triggering former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, a senior leader of opposition party National Conference, to call an end to this problem by controversially remarking: Let Pakistan occupied Kashmir belong to Pakistan and this part to India. An FIR was lodged for him though Delhi High Court refused to pass any order on a PIL seeking action against him. He was backed by his party leaders and his views were endorsed by renowned Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor on twitter, who urged an end to this war between two countries, so that he can visit his lost home in Pakistan.

There was a war of words between pro-resistance leaders and the leaders of National Conference about the statement, calling each other hypocrites and highlighting each other’s culpabilities, the ripples of which, naturally, were found on the people. Aren’t these leaders, the ones who represent people, actually dividing people?! When it comes to the political scene the ideological battles sometimes turn violent, and there are the people who are identified by their support for a particular party. Watching this one wonders if we have any really good leaders, who represents the divisible aspirations of the people. No doubt we have a few outstanding figureheads but maybe they seem good only when we compare them with the others who are worse. One thing that we need to consider is that if our leaders, the leaders of Jammu &Kashmir, have little common understanding between each other how is it possible that they can find a political solution to this dispute? There must be a consensus between local leadership first.

Besides this, a local rebel is coming home, after his parents urged him to return. This has become a source for the Government to soften the surrender policy for rebels from the state. While some people demand that there are so many children waiting for their fathers to return home from the prisons.

With all this happening around, let’s hope for better days, even if this hope seems forsaken.

Muddasir Ramzan studied English Literature. He was born in 1990 in Kashmir, India, where he resides. He can be reached at muddasirramzan[at]gmail[dot]com