Why Delhi Must Announce A 3-Month Ceasefire?

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by Engineer Rasheed

Let me start by saying with a responsibility that India has not only lost the moral right to call J&K its crown and Kashmiris its own people but has also miserably failed in Kashmir. Delhi has been celebrating the unabated killings in Kashmir and the indigenous leadership of J&K has been left with no options but to respond with giving frequent strike calls.

It seems that there is no one to advise New Delhi against celebrating shameless killings in Kashmir, if not for the sake of Kashmiris but at least for Delhi’s own interest. From Burhan Wani to Saddam Paddar dozens of militant commanders have been killed and security forces, after every such killing, have been claiming it a great success and set back to militancy.

But the facts and figures negate the claims. Security agencies themselves confess that during last few months more than fifty youth have joined militancy, so every killing yields nothing except creating more scope for youth to join the armed struggle.

The basic fact which New Delhi, Indian media, and the security agencies have been intentionally trying to ignore is calling the armed militants terrorists and forgetting that even the nominal population in Kashmir doesn’t believe them to be terrorists. They see them as freedom fighters. People don’t risk their lives to save terrorists nor do they turn in thousands to offer their funerals.

It is high time for New Delhi to accept that militants are enjoying a popular support and even those who help security agencies in eliminating the militants don’t often tell their families about being the informers, mainly because militants have got a social sanctity and acceptability.

No doubt everyone is showing great concern about the unabated killings and stresses for the restoration of peace and dialogue. However, no one is ready to move beyond traditional politics.

Separatists, who are representing the sentiments and sacrifices, have a genuine reason to doubt New Delhi’s sincerity and designs. The mainstream parties could have played a bigger role by asking Delhi louder and clear what Kashmiris deserve or what they stand for. By stressing for dialogue and doing nothing to persuade Delhi for the same, mainstream parties have made a joke of themselves. Both regional parties NC and PDP know better than anybody that New Delhi lacks sincerity but have no courage to bell the cat and tell spade a spade.

Reiterating, time and again, that killings to be stopped and restoring peace can be good slogans but it makes no sense as the politicians have nothing to offer to their nation. After 30 years of militancy, the leaders are empty-handed and doing nothing innovative to change the status-quo. This has created a situation that, right now, not only the mainstream parties but Hurriyat also feels the heat while addressing the youth.

Calling youth “alienated”, leaders are passing the buck and also trying to distort the Himalayan fact that not only the youth but every Kashmiris including the voters and workers of mainstream parties have been feeling alienated, much more they were before the start of militancy.

The reason is simple, there is a dispute recognized by the international community through UN resolutions and it doesn’t need one to feel alienated to talk about the resolution of Kashmir dispute. Let us confess that shortcut methods to resolve Kashmir issue have miserably failed, more for the reason that Indian has never ever been sincere to offer something matching the sacrifices and the historical facts.

NC and PDP have lost the right to talk about autonomy and self-rule because there are no takers of these out-dated formulas. These formulas have helped India to get the basic issue diluted and confused. When Parvez Musharaf had offered an honourable exit to all in the form of his four-point formula, New Delhi thought that Pakistan has given up. When NC and PDP go on talking autonomy and self-rule it strengthens New Delhi’s designs to delay a peaceful resolution.

While it is debatable that what other ways Hurriyat should use to force New Delhi for fruitful talks, the mainstream parties can still make a history by asking New Delhi loud and clear that it has to stop misleading Indians and people across the world. If Omer Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti fail to convenience New Delhi for a meaningful dialogue with UN resolutions as the main way out, they can straight away catch the bull by the horn. They should make an open declaration that no one would contest elections unless New Delhi stops doing rhetoric and theatrics. Obviously smaller forces will follow.

Engineer Rashid (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

However, it is only possible if Hurriyat leadership will not only offer their full support to any such move but take an initiative to break the ice and start an intra-Kashmiri dialogue. The least New Delhi can do is to offer militants an unconditional cease-fire at least for three months, so as to give all stakeholders some time to revisit and introspect their stand and it may ultimately yield to a possible meaningful dialogue between all stakeholders. Unless something concrete doesn’t take place, it will make no difference to cry over killings and give sermons of convenience.

(Engineer Rasheed is the second time lawmaker from Langate assembly constituency from north Kashmir. He also heads Awami Itehad Party. Ideas expressed in this article are his own.)

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