National

Unconditional Talks are Need of the hour in Kashmir

Nearly six months of unrest, killings and mayhem have passed while the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is yet to open the door for unconditional talks with all stakeholders to the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Such belligerence in approach and traumatising stand adopted by the government in power has dented the claim of the world’s largest democracy to uphold Humanity, Democracy and Kashmiriat. Moreover, the expressions of belligerence by people at the helm of affairs when only a balm of belongingness and love is required to be applied on the scars of people, added salt to the wounds.

Enough is enough. India must shun its unyielding attitude to dialogue. This diplomatic denialism is further pushing our youth towards militancy. We are losing our future to the bullets and guns. One must understand: war and violence are no solution to any problem. Violence only creates havoc, devastation and more violence. History has seen superpowers being dusted to ground as a result of unnecessary wars.

The BJP-led Indian government should realize the sensitivity of Kashmir issue and the intensity of unrest among people. Suppressing these voices merely on gunpoint cannot calm the Valley. This time it is altogether a different scenario. People of all ages are on roads, not for jobs or economic packages, but for the solution to a long-standing conflict between India, Pakistan and J&K.

Ironically, it is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been on the receiving end whether the situation is simply an outcome of political alienation of the state or the ongoing war-like situation between India and Pakistan. The reality is that our land continues to suffer on all sort of fronts, morally, ethically, culturally, politically, socially, economically, educationally and ecologically. During these past three decades, tens of thousands of people have been killed, thousands maimed, jailed or have disappeared, women gang-raped, molested and children orphaned. The nightmare doesn’t seem to end. Mourning streets, wailing women, and intimidated faces of children of Kashmir seek nothing but a solution to their lingering problem. They want freedom from fascist government policies, freedom from forceful occupation, slavery and oppression, freedom from violation of legitimate and fundamental human rights, freedom of movement, speech and expression.

A high percentage of people are suffering from psychiatric disorders because of the unabated turmoil in Kashmir since 1947. The incidence of diabetes, heartaches and cancer diseases are rampant. Hopes are shrinking. Our children, living under the shadow of guns, have lost their innocence. People talk more of death than life. This is perhaps the beginning of an end. Paradise is already lost and things like humanity and democracy have ceased to exist as character of government at least in Kashmir.

Beyond the terrains of violence there must emerge a pathway to peace. The need of the hour is not to restrict the movement of the masses by violent means but to address the issues that have caused this massive outrage. Although there have been lectures on humanity, democracy and Kashmiriat at the Centre and frequent utterance of ‘Goli Se Nahi, Boli Se Baat’ at the state, but on ground zero, no one appeared with any concrete policy of dialogue with the representatives of the people.

I am sure that at least Mehbooba Mufti, the chief minister, does not need to look for the representatives of the people as often government at Centre craves for. No doubt, talks have failed quite many a time in the past. There are numerous reports of committees and delegations visiting Kashmir but their reports and recommendations were never followed up. But this doesn’t mean that political discourse has no logical or practical importance.

This is a most apt time for talks. The ground has already been prepared. The only thing required is the faithful commitment of the political leadership both at the state as well as at the national level to the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

I personally believe that separatism can never take us to the ultimate solution but mainstream politics can, if conducted honestly. May Almighty bestow upon our leadership the sanity and wisdom to resolve our issues in the best possible interest of the people. Let there be peace now in our land after all these troubled decades.

The author is a student of Business and Financial Studies,  Aligarh Muslim University. He may be contacted at umer.amu25@gmail.com

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