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Kashmir not India’s internal matter

India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in a statement asserted that Kashmir problem is an "internal issue" having a mechanism in place to address all issues and in furtherance of settling the issue argued that any third party meddling will not be required. He referred to Kashmir issue as a "family affair" and the government of India being quite aware of its responsibilities to fulfil aspirations of people of Kashmir. (Zee News June 28, 2013). Later taking a political somersault tried to create parity with various other problems of India faced with unemployment, women security issues, overall safety, dipping economy and health. The minister’s statement was rejected sharply in unison by Kashmir’s political leadership and termed it as stubborn and obstinate imperialist unwarranted assertion.

The Indian political dignitaries in timely and carefully organised trips; while in Kashmir speak a language that is toned down to give a feeling that India sincerely wants to keep its political commitments and ´democracy´ being the basis of Indian body politic; a political solution could always be worked out to fulfil the aspirations of Kashmiris. This is done to ward off the pressure received from quarters that matter on the international level. Once the pressure is eased off, India goes back to dwell persistently on the usual internal matter stratagem.

The burying of head in sand takes the course and record number of tourists visiting Kashmir, Indian filmmakers back in Kashmir and improving peaceful environment are taken as a credit extending favours to people of Kashmir to lead them on the path of peace and prosperity.

The general perception of Kashmiris is that with or without India Kashmir has been a tourist destination even before India got its independence, not Indian but mostly western international tourists who in a planned move are now diverted to other tourist destinations of India and in a skilful manner Indian masses are encouraged to visit Kashmir in greater numbers to create an economic dependence sending out signals that Kashmir without the help of India cannot survive. Tens of thousands of visitors throng to freshly discovered place on a high peak mountain known as Amarnath glacier are added to inflate the numbers making it look like a tourism bonanza.

Indian filmmakers doing no favours, on the contrary, use the opportunity to shoot films in picturesque scenic beauty free of any charge or expenses. The peaceful atmosphere is not any handout offered but as a good-natured strategy used by civilian population to give peace a chance to resolve the political issue as at times due to international pressure India shows some inclination to come to the negotiating table and when the situation calms down; it goes back to square one parroting ´internal matter´ poetic slogan.

Equating Kashmir with other political problems of India is a sinister conspiracy as Kashmir has international ramifications due to the involvement of various approved and passed United Nations Security Council Resolutions and acceptance of its unsettled disputed nature individually or collectively by member countries of European Union. The government of United States in the recent past called Kashmir as one of the most sensitive issues and Assistant Secretary of State for central and south Asia Robert Blake asserted that "obviously Kashmir is one of the most sensitive issues and we welcome a dialogue in that direction".

William Dalrymple, writer historian called Kashmir-issue a ‘gaping wound’ of the Indian subcontinent, and warned that unless India and Pakistan do not show seriousness in solving the vexed problem, there is bound to be instability in the region. "We are currently in a situation where the people of Kashmir feel that they are under a military occupation and frankly the recent reports coming out of the valley make for a very grim reading," Dalrymple said. The killing in cold blood, in the meantime, continues with two more youth falling to Indian army bullets in Bandipora Kashmir triggering furious protests. (Indian Express 30 June, 2013) The killing was termed as a very unfortunate incident. The investigations ordered in such deliberate killings never see the light of any justice and the perpetrators are never brought to the book.

Indian’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lok Sabha on June 26 and August 7, 1952 made a categorical statement saying:

"I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion... We have fought the good fight about Kashmir on the field of battle... (and) ...in many a chancellery of the world and in the United Nations, but, above all, we have fought this fight in the hearts and minds of men and women of that State of Jammu and Kashmir. Because, ultimately - I say this with all deference to this Parliament - the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else."


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