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July 12, 2019

The new roadmap for held Kashmir


July 12, 2019

Is there a new roadmap for held Kashmir devised by the newly-elected Modi Sarkar? Yes, there may be one and it is the old wine in a new bottle. The contours of the old policy are beginning to appear for everyone to see.

First, the Indian military will continue to kill innocent Kashmiris in the name of operation against militants, kidnap them and torture them. For all the resistance that is indigenous, the blame will still be put on outsiders i.e. Pakistan.

Second, the presence of the Indian military and paramilitary will not be reduced in the Valley, which is in the grip of violence that the Indian forces have failed to tackle. In fact, one may find the presence of more forces in the Valley to crush the independence movement.

Third, the human rights organisations that talk about the brutalities and crimes of the Indian forces will be covered up as usual. “The organisations are known to present a malicious and biased view, while ignoring facts and ground realities in the state.” This is how the Indian Lok Sabha was told recently by the Indian home minister about the damning HR reports on the conditions being faced by the dispossessed people of the Valley.

Fourth, the screws on the Hurriyat Conference, with most of its prominent leaders either in jail or under house arrest or under the probe of the National Investigation Agency and J&K Police, will be further tightened.

Fifth, the local leadership of the people i.e. Hurriyat and other parties will be sidelined in all important visits by BJP leaders from New Delhi, who will talk to irrelevant people.

Sixth, the visitors from New Delhi and other political leaders will not face the press and media men so as to avoid awkward questions.

Seventh, the people of Kashmir will be denied political space, which will not be created and offered to local people.

Eighth, the media will be told that the development package offered by the Modi Sarkar is helping calm down held Kashmir with decline in the number of protests and incidents of stone-pelting.

Meanwhile, Indian home minister Amit Shah said in a recent combative speech in Indian parliament, “The government will go ahead with ‘Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat’ motto in Jammu and Kashmir but will not tolerate terrorism.” He piloted the resolution for extension of president’s rule and the amendment bill for extending reservation to communities living on the Line of Control. He alleged that the late prime minister Nehru prevented the border state from becoming a part of India unlike other 630 princely states. He blamed Nehru for one-third of Kashmir remaining under Pakistan as he “did not take Sardar Patel into confidence before ordering a ceasefire” in 1948. Shah alleged that Nehru had treated Kashmir as a special case which led to Article 370.

So Amit Shah aside, one may again deduce the more things change, the more they remain the same.

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