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Nature Nudges Kashmir Policy
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

Imperial Britain colluding with leaders of the Congress and Muslim League partitioned India. Leaders and people of both India and Pakistan have accepted the logic of Partition. But people of Kashmir continue to suffer most acutely the consequences of partitioning their state. The proponents of Partition could not vanquish one remorseless and powerful adversary of Partition. That adversary is Nature.

In 2005 J&K was rocked by an earthquake. Nature sent its first clear message to the people of the subcontinent. That message was not heeded. Now Nature has repeated that message through devastating floods. Will politicians and people in India and Pakistan heed the message this time?

On November 2, 2005 in the wake of the Kashmir earthquake I wrote:

“The earthquake virtually demolished the Line of Control (LOC) dividing India from Pakistan. Bunkers on both sides of the LOC were destroyed killing soldiers of both armies… For over a decade people were fed with Jihadi tales of an imminent collapse of the Indian administration in Kashmir… Kashmiris overlooked the subversion of their Sufi tradition by the Wahabi fundamentalism… In a flash…Kashmiris want to reclaim their Sufi tradition. According to veteran Kashmir-based journalist Zafar Miraj a vast majority of approximately 3000 Kashmiri youth who went to POK to join militancy… want to return home… people in Srinagar got access to the reality of Muzzafarabad. They saw a dump inhabited by people living in misery. In contrast Srinagar… thanks… to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed…, markets are bustling… The role of the Indian army during quake relief was an eye-opener for the people. Kashmiris do want more self-rule. But they want neither Pakistan nor independence. They are beginning to see a future with India… Clearly the time is propitious for a Kashmir solution.”

Politicians failed to seize the opportunity offered by Nature. Dare one hope it will be different this time? Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s spontaneous reactions provide hope. Mr. Modi has urged all State governments to help the people of Kashmir with monetary and material aid. He has reached out to the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and offered all help Islamabad might need. This welcome start must follow to its logical conclusion. India must initiate a blunt dialogue with the Pakistan PM and Army. They should be unambiguously assured that nobody in India seeks to undo Pakistan. Today India has received global attention. If Pakistan were to cooperate the growth potential for both nations would more than double. For a start the intelligence and security agencies of both nations must jointly eliminate terror from the region. More innocents are killed by terrorists in Pakistan than in India. This can follow with an institutional framework for such cooperation. It would lay the foundation for co-opting all SAARC nations into the same arrangement.

The Musharraf formula provides a starting point. After the Kashmir earthquake one wrote that the time was propitious for a Kashmir solution. After the floods it bears repetition. Will Mr. Modi seize the moment?

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Comments on this Article

Comment Floods have come It is a golden opportunity to make binding connection . Tell Pakistan to join hands and work together for the floods. This will show the light if they are not blind. Work together with brotherly love till both are happy to live alone. Forget the past and follow the path Indian Government under leadership of Narendra Modi

pranlal sheth
09/11/2014 22:25 PM

Comment Problem in India is total and complete corruption from top to bottom 100%. I learned that A LONG TIME AGO, when as a young man I gave -DONATED - all my Gold to Morarji Desai ,THAT WAS THE BIGGEST GOLD COLLECTION SCAM IN THE WORLD EVER, -- supposedly to help India. All that gold went to Swiss Banks almost the next day. Swiss people have a field day with every catastrophe that happens any where in the third World specially so in India. All the bleeding heart donate aid money only to go to their banks,

We did donate again for the Last Flood in Kedarnath --nothing has been done there at all !! What a crying shame.

India will remain a laughing stock of the World regardless of Modi or Sonia --the corrupt Indian Bureaucracy, Army, Corrupt Bollywood, Religious Gurus, Professors, Doctors, Media, Business Men, will always remain a laughing stock of the World,

Three Billionaires Rajat Gupta et al are the stark proof that all Indians size on the opportunity to earn money in a corrupt way.

There is absolutely no hope for India --None whatsoever.

The only Olympic Gold Medal India is on Top of the World is CORRUPTION.

Omar Abdulla is ironically hiding in the Nehru Guest House

09/10/2014 22:19 PM

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