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Deconstructing the Kashmir Issue: A path away from both the arch rival nations!

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BY: Zahid Sultan and Irshad Ahmad Bhat

The political turmoil of 2010 and 2016 in Kashmir has made the smokescreen that existed since 1947 to fade away slowly. The alienation of people of Kashmir with the rest of India is a reality now. The majority of the population wants an end to the day to day sufferings and atrocities committed against them in the garb of counter terrorism operations or cross border firings or infiltrating human bombs. They want a sustainable and feasible solution that satisfies their aspirations.

The irony is that most Indians are not aware of the ground realities. The politicians are feeding them with the wrong assertion that Kashmiris are tilted towards Pakistan and seek bad against their nation. The inclusion of Pakistan starts a new drama in the minds of Indians, who feel Pakistan will use Kashmir as launching pad to attack them.

I won’t blame Indians for such absurd and mythical imaginative thoughts. Our leaders never made an effort to convey the message of Kashmir properly and remained confused where to go, whether to rest our faith on democratic republic of India or Pakistan or create a new nation state on the world map. In the midst of this all, some Kashmiri protestors starting waving Pakistanis flags to show their frustration about the slow pace of reconciliation and resolution of Kashmir issue and constant dance of death and mayhem on the streets of the valley. Not only that, the arrival Chinese flags made Indian intelligence agencies to take a cautious look towards at the emerging scenario. The excessive use of pellet guns as well as firing on civilian protestors might be the manifestation of the irritation caused by such episodes as rising of flags of other countries.

If we analyze the chronology of the events, we can find a startling similarity in the political scenario of India and Pakistan and it seems that both the nations have signed a secret treaty to befool the people of their respective states by keeping the borders hot and turning them even hotter every time the government is at the verge of collapse. Did anybody notice that whenever Indian citizens start to question the failure of Modi’s BJP led government, all that is given as an answer is ‘Border, Solider, Pakistan, Kashmir, Pulwama’ etc  and the talk of development, bringing back the black money, florishing Indian economy jobs and farmer issues immediately take a back seat.

On the other side also, a similar drama is being orchestrated and wold notices that how the drama of surgical strikes was used to keep the patriotic nationalists under check? The escalated tensions at the border are just face saving exercises to divert the attention of people from the main issue.  In the decades old enmity between India and Pakistan , one place almost always suffers and that is Kashmir , the beautiful but cursed Himalayan valley that both the  nations claim to be theirs and people of the state rightfully claim it to be theirs.

It is imperative for Kashmir to choose a path away from both the arch rival nations –India and Pakistan. They are destined to create barrier in each other’s path at the behest of other nations and are like soldiers who are serving their masters without even being aware of the cost of their inglorious submissions.

The underlining fact is that most Indians may not even bother if Kashmir was an independent country since they have larger than life issues to address and successive governments had made them poorer than the poor. How does it matter to a farmer in some part of Maharashtra if Kashmir was a ‘heaven on earth’ and if were an independent country when that farmer has witnessed his children dying of hunger and he himself being at the brink of committing suicide?

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