Bullet for Bullet will always result in someone getting killed!

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By: Tahir Mushtaq

In 1987, rigged State elections gave rise to the insurgency which changed the state of Jammu and Kashmir forever and in the coming years and decades, people had to see and suffer as thousands of armed men died during violent fights between insurgents and the government forces while thousands of civilians also fell prey to the bullets and the mindless violence. The three decades long mindless war has devastated the people of Jammu and Kashmir; it is consuming more and more lives on a daily basis and has pitted political and social entities against one another.

There can be no better time to introspect and assess all our efforts and strategies and see where those might be leading us with the struggle having no international support, insurgency being labeled as terrorism and UN turning a blind eye towards Kashmir. The Kashmiri Muslims are frequently termed as vicious by India’s main stream media and hence never recognize the grave human losses that we have suffered.

There is no doubt about the fact that Kashmir is a very precarious issue and has been lingering on for several decades without any popular government trying to find out a solution that would ensure the wishes and aspirations of the masses in the state. The linking of this issue with religious connotations also serves us no good as we have seen that indigenous struggles tend to lose popular support the movement these are attached to a religion or an ideology. The grave Human Rights violations are often duped as fabrications.

We should learn from the Catalan freedom struggle and Scottish referendum. By answering bullet with bullet we are muzzling our own voices. A small population like ours cannot take guerrilla warfare for ever as it inflicts tremendous losses and takes one on a path of self-destruction.

Unfortunately we lack diplomatic efficiency and our leadership have shown no wisdom or sagacity when it comes to highlighting the issue and finding good contacts in the arena of international politic who can support Kashmir and subsequently impress upon India and Pakistan to initiate a process of dialogue for resolving the issue according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir, particularly the valley, has seen numerous uprisings and unfortunately all have yielded but nothing. The popular support for peace and resolution of Kashmir issue has either been wasted by the political leadership or ignored by them. Apart from a few news channels that have been highlighting the plight of the people of this godforsaken valley has never reached those International forums that could have contributed to its resolution. One must introspect as to why such a deafening silence prevails in the international political arena when it comes to Kashmir.

Young boys picking up arms, with little ammunition and no training, taking on to a mighty army is yet another aspect that might need a rethink. The conflict scenario and the prevailing violence functions as a catalyst but it can’t be justified that if young boys are humiliated and pushed against the wall, they should necessarily pick up arms. It can be a death trap as well since the conflict has already assumed tremendous magnitude and appears to be more like a conflict industry with various agencies having their stakes in it. The youth must ponder over it and think, for themselves, as to what really has been going wrong with us.

India’s policies towards Kashmir matter a lot and whether Kashmir erupts in a violent armed struggle or remains peaceful, much depends upon the Indian think-tank and their nuanced understanding of the ground realities. Given the current scenario and the proverbial ‘iron fist’ attitude peace might be too elusive a term for Kashmir. The international community too needs to wake up as its silence has already derailed the resolution of Kashmir issue by a few decades.

Diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan should get stronger as weak relations would carry a huge risk of tension between them and subsequently impact Kashmir scenario in a big way- haven’t we just avoided a nuclear war? The escalation between India and Pakistan is a threat to peace and stability in the entire world and in South Asian region specifically.

Leadership in Kashmir should formulate new ways to carry out peaceful struggle and restrict young folks from picking up gun; they need to play their part in stopping this war which has robbed us of thousands and thousands of people and young in particular.

Therefore, India and Pakistan should resume the dialogue process and engage the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the process intended at resolving the dispute. A peaceful, negotiated settlement according to the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir is the only way forward.

The writer is and Engineering Student. [email protected]

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