Kashmir, a shopping complex with stakeholders in competition to merchandise death and destruction


Kashmir has become a big shopping complex in the subcontinent where countries bordering it are in tough competition to merchandise death and destruction for its people.

India and Pakistan who claim ownership of Kashmir, are again engaged in the war of words. The recent escalation, instigated by jingoistic media, can lead these countries into a full fledged nuclear war, thus endangering people, peace and prosperity of the whole region.

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The belligerent attitude of India is compatible with Pakistan’s policy of re-activating its foreign missions to lobby for “new Kashmir policy.”

It has indeed given impetus to mass uprising across the valley, which is already in flames after the killing of Burhan Wani, the commander of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

The mass uprising is undeniably indigenous in Kashmir and has gained momentum since the controversial statements regarding art 370, sainik colony, safe enclaves for pundits and beef issue have become routine matters of concern in the Muslim majority state.

It is also a fact that Burhan’s killing has given another lease of life to separatist leadership that until recently was ridiculed for its Hartal calendar. At the same time Pakistan has got one more opportunity to return to its earlier stand of UN resolution on Kashmir that has placed Gen. Musharraf’s four point formula into a dustbin.

Kashmir today is considered altogether different from 2008 and 2010 in a sense that those leading uprising have vowed to take this struggle to conclusion. They have given ultimatum to people “now or never.”

So these “invisible forces” won’t let people to give up or express fatigue or let anybody sabotage the ongoing protests as was done in 2010. The blame of sabotaging earlier uprisings falls on some separatist leaders.

The hard posturing of the central government is a bit worrying for many, though strong reaction to this can never be ruled out. And then, tiranga march by BJP in Jammu or new strategy of rekindling religious fervour of RSS can bring back BJP into limelight that has gone down as being in alliance with so called “soft separatist party.”

Though, the PDP itself is so much dented in Kashmir that it has become difficult to retain its backyard. The BJP posturing can prolong protests and unrest in Kashmir resulting into more bloodshed, alienation and uncertainty.

Kashmir problem is a very complex but more complex is the BJP government that seems to have no idea or plan of resolving it peacefully. On the contrary, it has raised issue of human rights in Baluchistan, thus making people more vulnerable because nobody can ignore the fact that if India can buy a few Talibans against Pakistan, that country has huge reserve assets of militants ready to strike anywhere in the world.

How unfortunate it is that both countries are hell-bent to bleed each other. They are using Kashmir as the cannon fodder. And, to the utter dismay of Kashmir, international community is watching it with criminal silence.

The author is a former BBC journalist and Chairperson of State Commission for Women (SCW) in Jammu and Kashmir. Views expressed here are her own.


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