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SENIOR BJP leader and former Indian foreign minister Yashwant Sinha is among those who prepared the report.
SENIOR BJP leader and former Indian foreign minister Yashwant Sinha is among those who prepared the report.

AS India turns its focus to a clutch of make-or-break state polls starting next month and while the world lives in suspense over the arriving Trump presidency in the United States, the trauma of the people in Jammu and Kashmir festers on.

A report from October and December visits to Jammu and Kashmir made available to Dawn on Saturday involves important individuals from different institutions and political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The group was facilitated by Rajmohan Gandhi’s Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation and has specifically hinted at what lies ahead if New Delhi doesn’t curb its callousness in Kashmir Valley. Young Kashmiris have lost their fear of Indian forces, and they are ever more eager to die resisting routine high-handedness than submit to a life of discrimination and humiliation, it points out.

The report supports resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Kashmiris, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. It suggests without stating it directly that talks between India and Pakistan, though part of a political solution, are predicated on “several other issues”. This appears to point to terrorism that India cites for stalling talks with Pakistan.

In its own way, as far as humanitarian gestures go, the report by the five-member group spells out a few stark facts even if it falls short of offering a clear path to a political solution, possibly as it would imply criticism of the Modi government’s current stance towards Pakistan.

In its description of the mood in the Valley, there is palpable transparency and some of the report’s observations about the humiliating lives the Kashmiris lead are invaluable as an eyewitness account.

The report was prepared by former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, former chairman of the National Minorities Commission, an old Kashmir hand Wajahat Habibullah, retired Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak who happens to be a Kashmiri Pandit, Bharat Bhushan (journalist) and Sushobha Barve, executive programme director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.

Its basic findings are that Kashmiris believe that there is a “crisis of acknowledgement” of the Kashmir problem with the Indian state. They feel that India refuses to recognise that Kashmir is a political problem and, therefore, requires a political solution.

Almost every Kashmiri the group met said that there was a need for a one-time political settlement and that unless the basic political issue was resolved, death and destruction would continue to visit the Valley with increasing frequency.

“Kashmiris claim that they have lost faith in India because India has failed them,” the report says. “Now the trust deficit is widening. Some Kashmiris believe that the Indian state looks at Kashmir only within the framework of national security.”

People interviewed all harked back to the Vajpayee proposal of resolving the Kashmir issue “within the ambit of humanity” as something that had offered a ray of hope. However, they do not believe that the present dispensation in New Delhi is interested in that approach.

Listing “the most important findings” from visiting the militancy-affected rural areas of Kashmir, the report speaks of anger against India.

“The anger in the rural areas is palpably greater than in Srinagar and raw. A persistent sense of discrimination against the Kashmiris pervades the minds of vocal sections of the population.”

People object to the language used to describe the situation in Kashmir — “unrest” they say is the wrong term to use as Kashmir has never been at rest since 1947. “Peace and normalcy” are the most abused words in the state as no one knows what they are meant to signify. And while the government talks of “anger and alienation” of the Kashmiris, those are not the issues that need to be addressed — the problem is political and cries out for a political solution. Or, so the Kashmiris insist.

Most Kashmiris claim that their protests are neither “sponsored” by anyone nor are their youngsters being paid to come out in the streets.

The policies of India to deal with sporadic bursts of protests and anger in Kashmir were described as “time-buying techniques” which have only worsened the situation.

There is anger against Rashtriya Swaymesevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat coming to Jammu and claiming that India was a Hindu Rashtra. “If Modi cannot protect or react to the killing of Akhlaq (accused of eating beef), an Indian Muslim, then what can Kashmiri Muslims expect from him,” asked a Kashmiri caustically.

An important revelation from the report is that “there is an increasing lack of fear in the youngsters” in confronting the security forces. Today, the youth claim, they take death in their stride. “The best thing for which we are thankful is that your use of weapons, including pellet guns has killed the fear in us. We now celebrate the martyrdom,” one youngster said.

Some amongst the youngsters say that they do not want to talk to India -- hatred towards India has grown. “Indian civil society remembers Kashmiris only after prolonged protests,” one of them quipped. Others said that those from Indian civil society organisations who come to Kashmir quickly get discredited as quite often despite their best intentions nothing good comes of their efforts.

“This time we picked up stones, the next time around it can be much worse,” one of them said.

The vocabulary of the youth has also changed, as has their psychological attitude towards India. They talk of curfew, hartals, martyrdom and Burhan (Wani).

Other youngsters, however, say that since 68 per cent of Kashmiris population comprises youth, India should talk to them. However, they suggest that before that, pellet victims and youngsters in jail should be released, or their anger will continue to grow, the report says.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2017


Comments (80) Closed



Saif Zulfiqar Jan 08, 2017 08:52am

Every report by Modi govetnment are pack of lies. Read the international papers about BJP government.

RAJIV Jan 08, 2017 10:34am

Article 370 is the root cause. As long as Article 370 exists, Kashmir will never be an integral part of India - Indians don't look at Kashmir as they look at any other state - part of India. No politician has the guts to nullify Article 370.

Truth Jan 08, 2017 11:25am

Human rights in Kashmir Muslims is better than human rights for Muslims in provinces of Xinjiang, China. Latest UNHRC report.

Jin Jan 08, 2017 11:58am

@Truth Care to give the link of your claim"Human rights in Kashmir Muslims is better than human rights for Muslims in provinces of Xinjiang, China. Latest UNHRC report."?

kashmiri Jan 08, 2017 11:53am

Yes we are not safe, we are not happy ,yes do not fear India , yes we want freedom to join Pakistan .

ijaz occupied kashmir Jan 08, 2017 11:57am

Hindus and Muslims are two nations and Pakistanis were right , Kashmir is a good example for that , we want to become part of Pakistan, that is the only aim of our freedom movement.

peter Jan 08, 2017 12:13pm

@Saif Zulfiqar All International papers were projecting Hilary clinton as the sure winner of US presidential election. Just to give you an idea on who is actually lying!

wake up bro. All what you think is real may not be..

LADAKH BUDDHIST Jan 08, 2017 12:18pm

we enjoy maximum freedom in Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. we want to remain part of India which is the rising star (among crumbling nations)

TBH Jan 08, 2017 12:18pm

@Truth yes agree.

TBH Jan 08, 2017 12:20pm

@Saif Zulfiqar "Read the international papers about BJP government."

Pakistan has no courage to raise issues in Xinjiang province which has worst human rights situation. Kashmir will be safer and peaceful if non state actors are kept away. It will be in benefit of people in region.

DELHIITE Jan 08, 2017 12:35pm

@RAJIV I don't think article 370 has much of an impact on the govt decisions. According to article 370, the policies made by the govt will be implemented in the state even if the state govt is against it. They have their own constitution, and I believe it's absolutely fine till the people of that state are happy with it.

If the article is not that huge an obstacle in the path of the govt, why does it even bother us? I believe, the only people who are losing to article 370 are the Kashmiris, by not giving right to education (out of many more rights) to their people, which in today's world is highly prioritised.

Ritesh naidu Jan 08, 2017 01:06pm

So what one should not have fear of india, it's a very soft n a liberal nation

Ahmed bin Babar Jan 08, 2017 01:09pm

It is better to peacefully resolve the Kashmir issue in time & in line with the wishes of the Vally's inhabitants or face one fierce armed struggle, as per International law, for the liberation of Kashmir...

Riz Jan 08, 2017 01:21pm

World's biggest democracy involved in ruthless and barbaric acts against people they claim as their own. Shame!

Mohammad S. Khalid Jan 08, 2017 01:30pm

@Truth

Two wrongs can not be added to make one correct.

Waseem Jan 08, 2017 02:00pm

@RAJIV Answer is simple Kashmir was never a part if India since 1947 It is an issue yet to be resolved....and article 370 is just an expression of this Root cause if the issue is ignorance of a common Indian and defiance of Indial political leadership

TBH Jan 08, 2017 02:02pm

@Jin last I know of China not allowing Uighurs to celebrate Ramadan, keep beard, fast. Compare this with Kashmir. For Uighurs Kashmir is a heaven. Please search internet

Waseem Jan 08, 2017 02:00pm

@TBH Xinjiang is not an issue of Pakistan Kashmir is !!!! It is Indians who are trying to make Kashmir a religious issues, for Pakistanis it is simply for Indians to fulfill the promises their founding fathers made to people if Kashmir in UNO and in Indian parliaments Is it too complex to understand?

human being Jan 08, 2017 02:23pm

@Mohammad S. Khalid - Which wrong since ages has been corrected? Who is ever bothered to correct a wrong with a right?

Alba Jan 08, 2017 02:29pm

They cannot possible be traumatized and have lost their fear at the same time. That is not logical.

Dr. SalariA, Aamir Ahmad Jan 08, 2017 02:34pm

When you don't have anything left to lose, then anything is possible.

Asif Jan 08, 2017 02:37pm

once a resident of Indian held Kashmir told me that Indian government isn't creating jobs in our area and are luring educated youngster to get their residency out of Kashmir, our neighbours always brag that Pakistan hasn't been able to justify its position on Kashmir since 1947, well I have a question for my dear neighbours if India is really a secular nation why they haven't been able to light a little spark of affection for their country? why we see people hoisting Pakistani flags? why 20% of prisoners constitute Muslims population and 22% Dalits in Indian jails?

Rah Jan 08, 2017 03:24pm

There is no fear in the Indian democracy which is biggest and oldest in the world. hope this is clear to all.

Akram Jan 08, 2017 03:40pm

@Truth "Human rights in Kashmir Muslims is better than human rights for Muslims in provinces of Xinjiang, China." But Kashmiris are not saying they want to join Xinjiang. They want to join Pakistan.

GHAJABIR Jan 08, 2017 04:25pm

Generally papers tend to take interview from fringe and place that to be the most authoritarian voice. Do I see the current Indian Administrative Service topper from Kashmir. Yes. We need those voices who make use of education and build nations, not those who want to grab political power

Rohit Singh Jan 08, 2017 04:43pm

come the next election and confidence in indian democratic system will again be for everyone to see.

MFM Jan 08, 2017 04:44pm

Article 370 does not give you the right to humiliate and kill Kashmiris. They are dignified human beings and deserve humane treatment article 370 or no article 370

Masoud Jan 08, 2017 05:00pm

"Kashmiris have lost their fear of India: report: TRUE, India can neithen frighten nor win Kashmiris. With passing day Kashmiris are becoming more adamant in their pursuit to get freedom from India, they will surely succeed.

Kashmiri Jan 08, 2017 05:08pm

This report speaks complete truth-- India is losing fast in Kashmir. The anger against India has risen astronomically high. If settlement to kashmir dispute is delayed further it will have catastrophic consequences on India, Kashmir and whole of south-asia.

Time has come for a negotiated settlement to this issue, and it must include Kashmiris, India and Pakistan. Solution must satisfy all the 3 parties of the dispute. At-least South-Asia will become a better place to live.

Ll Jan 08, 2017 05:14pm

Modi is the best thing ever happened to the Kashmiri movement. His ignorant policies rejuvenated the desire for freedom. Fact!

Aftab Hashmi Jan 08, 2017 05:27pm

"When a person is denied to live the life he wants to live, he has no other choice but to become an outlaw," his Highness Nelson Mandela said, once.

soj Jan 08, 2017 05:35pm

Protests in Kashmir reduced ടignificantly after Nov.8 demonetisation.

Karan-Mumbai Jan 08, 2017 05:50pm

Kashmiris need to start being accepting of Indian growth story and contributing towards it. It's no use becoming a stone Pelter for Rs 500 per day and next generation continues to do the same because of lack of education.

Fried Chillies Jan 08, 2017 07:21pm

@Alba Now you have unfortunately made a logical comment. Let's see how many hit recommend

ART KP Jan 08, 2017 08:37pm

@Truth advisory

You're absolutely wrong to even compare occupied Kashmir with Xingiang. Human rights reports are biased and written by countries like USA to target, great nations like China.

Riaz Jan 08, 2017 09:50pm

Indians need to wake up and move from living in denial. Creation of Pakistan is justified when you consider what is happening to Kashmir and Muslims in India generally. Look at Indias foreign policy pro Israel anti Arab and Muslim how can you the say we are democratic and represent all,commnities in the country!

Saad ul hassan khattak Jan 08, 2017 10:27pm

But keep it up sir you are doing a good job but need some changes.

Syed Daniyal ahmed Jan 08, 2017 10:47pm

If we can open our hearts and borders for the Afghan refugees then why not the Kashmiris. After all Kashmir is just a piece of land, the real spirit and essence of Kashmir are the people of Kashmir.

Logicaldude Jan 08, 2017 11:06pm

Kudos to the authors of the report.

khan Jan 09, 2017 01:10am

Indians will continue to delude themselves into thinking protests are motivated by anger at a lack of development. Oh, and of course they'll blame us and never their draconian laws. It will never occur to them that Kashmiris dislike India, and the AFSPA in particular. Why, after all, does India need to provide blanket immunity to their forces in Kashmir unless those forces are knowingly committing abuses?

panma Jan 09, 2017 02:31am

@LADAKH BUDDHIST Bhuddism originated in India. What caused the exodus?

Aussie Jan 09, 2017 04:30am

no one fear of india and thats a fact.

Masood Haider Jan 09, 2017 06:52am

The desire to be free cannot be suppressed by armies of occupation be those in India or Palestine. No matter how long it takes, freedom would reign eventually.

Fida Jan 09, 2017 07:49am

Free Kashmir, that is the only solution.

Faisal Jan 09, 2017 09:14am

Thats the true colors of fake democracy of India

Peace Lover Jan 09, 2017 09:32am

@Asif Your answer is who does indulge in violence will only get punishment. None other than an offender is liable to get into the clutches of law.

BNJ Jan 09, 2017 12:03pm

@DELHIITE & RAJIV, trust the current govt of India will abolish article 370. This Prime Minister has enough guts to abolish the same.

BNJ Jan 09, 2017 12:18pm

@panma There was never any exodus of Buddhists from India. If you have any documented history of the same,pls share the same.

Junaid ahmad Jan 09, 2017 03:23pm

India projects itself as a "secular state" but in fact it is a Hindu state where Barahmans have got different rights, Khashatris have got different rights and so the Shudars. India must realize that its stupid claim about Kashmir is baseless. You cannot ignore the issue by simply talking about non state actors. Kashmir issue has shattered the base of so called "DEMOCRATIC INDIA".

Guest Jan 09, 2017 03:38pm

@Junaid ahmad You have a superb understanding of India and you summed up everything about India in just a few lines.

Iftikhar Husain Jan 09, 2017 05:39pm

This article gives the correct picture of Kashmir problem. It seems enough has been discussed now the time of action has come.

Manish h Jan 09, 2017 06:00pm

@Saif Zulfiqar pl send link

yauqut khan Jan 09, 2017 06:40pm

there are 5 resolutions on kashmir issue.UN has formula for plebiscite according to those 5 resolutions.pakistan agrees with UN on that but india is hiding behind simla agreement.indians are highly misguided by their media regarding UN resolutions.

Khawar salem aSlam Jan 09, 2017 06:46pm

Death, destruction and misery can all be avoided if BJP comes out of its Hindu chauvinism. Message is clear, talk to Kashimiris and talk to Pakistan with the intention of resolving the issue.

Kanwarch Jan 09, 2017 07:27pm

@TBH If it is such a heaven for Kadmiris then why all the fuss by Kadmiris. The fact is that Kadmiris demand independence in their heaven and not subjugation by more than one million army. Not difficult to understand this.

Jawwad Jan 09, 2017 07:35pm

When the likes of Shahrukh Khan has to bend and beg before Shiv Sena to receive permissions to premier a movie that what to ask of Kashmir plight? The Indian Civil society has become impotent.

Ali Jan 09, 2017 07:39pm

PM Modi's government should stop massive torture, rape and killings in Kashmir and face the reality of UN sponsored plebiscite as promised by India's great Prime Minister Nehru. Reneging on this pledge is violation of human rights and crime against the people of Kashmir.

When Britain gave independence to India and Pakistan in 1947, people of 500 or so princely states were allowed to determine their future. Why were Kashmiri people denied that determination? The world can't ignore Kashmir crisis much longer as its become a nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan, threatening the world.

Sauron Jan 09, 2017 08:26pm

@Riaz "anti Arab"- Difficult to claim in light of India's warm relations with the Gulf states.

Mustafa R. Jan 09, 2017 08:37pm

@peter;

' All what you think is real may not be'

Only Peter the great knows the truth.

Mustafa R. Jan 09, 2017 08:55pm

@Sauron;

'Difficult to claim in light of India's warm relations with the Gulf states'

You have relations with them we are their relatives.

Chanakya Jan 09, 2017 10:08pm

Let's liberate these Kashmiris from their from their sufferings, their lives.

kum Jan 09, 2017 10:10pm

@Riz ok

kum Jan 09, 2017 10:11pm

@Asif good

Hopeful Jan 09, 2017 11:48pm

@TBH What about India's atrocities?

Zak Jan 10, 2017 12:14am

@Karan-Mumbai if india has growth story than why india has most poverty in the world. Looks like growth in destitution. And yes, kashmir don't want to be part of it.

Zack Jan 10, 2017 02:21am

@RAJIV Hi ..what's article 370? could you please enlighten us? Thanks

Sandeep Jan 10, 2017 05:09am

@Mustafa R. Ask them if they think the same too!

Dreamworld Jan 10, 2017 06:52am

@Riz yes biggest democracy and truly the greatest. Come to Kashmir and experience yourself.

Raj is raj Jan 10, 2017 09:38am

Kashmiri wants freedom.only freedom ,no Pakistan and no India.thats it.

Aamir Jan 10, 2017 09:59am

@RAJIV this is very innocent desire to nullify article 370 kr will not resolve Kashmir issue but this problem can be resolved if India fulfil its promise of self determination under supervision of UN

A Human Jan 10, 2017 12:00pm

@MFM People in Mubai were dignified people too. Never heard about them from any of your forums.

Leo Jan 10, 2017 01:23pm

@Zack : it's a blunder, that is enough info I guess.

alok Jan 10, 2017 01:30pm

@LADAKH BUDDHIST : well said.

alok Jan 10, 2017 01:26pm

@Jin :Human rights in Kashmir Muslims is better than human rights for Muslims in provinces of Xinjiang, China. Latest UNHRC report."?

Good point.

alok Jan 10, 2017 01:32pm

@Zak : Hello there ...please visit Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad.

South Asia Jan 10, 2017 02:23pm

I am going to Kashmir yay. Its peaceful there, people are good and hate saperatists. My friend was there in Dec end. He enjoyed and totally recommended ...Thumbs up:)

d.k.pamnanI Jan 10, 2017 03:32pm

@TBH

I agree with you 100%

Ali HAsan Jan 10, 2017 04:21pm

Its very simple India knows they are in a difficult situation with Kashmir. They have no other option but to do what they are doing (use of force) as losing Kashmir would be considered a humiliation for them and more importantly could also set a precedent for other states.

The so called educated Indian population is quit on the issue for similar reasons.

Annie Jan 10, 2017 10:01pm

@Dr. SalariA, Aamir Ahmad Yeah! Anything is possible!

MUSAVIR Magray Jan 10, 2017 10:00pm

Plz for GOD sake!!! Kashmiris are being suppressed,killed, looted, raped. Who will risk his life for mere 500 note it's all nonsense to say youth get paid for stone pelting. We have no other option to take stones in our hands against the 8lacs Indian security and occupied forces. WE WANT FREE J&K, nor India nor Pakistan. We are greatful to those who support our right to freedom.