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Kashmir: hard choices only

Updated May 20, 2017 08:04am


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I RECENTLY received an extraordinary email from a troubled young Kashmiri in Srinagar. Days before the Indian authorities turned off the internet, Saif (not his real name) had watched on YouTube the 45-minute video documentary Crossing the Lines — Kashmir, Pakistan, India that I had helped make in 2004 and mostly agreed with its non-partisan narrative. A nationalist boy turned stone thrower, Saif is outraged by the brutality of Indian occupation. He is fortunate, he says. His 14-year-old second cousin lost his left eye to pellets.

Read: What pellet guns have done to protesters in Kashmir

Saif continues to fight India but is worried. Protesters of his father’s generation were largely nationalist, but today’s are a mixed bunch. IS and Pakistani flags are often unfurled after Friday prayers, azadi demonstrations resound with calls for an Islamic state in Kashmir, and Nasim Hijazi’s cartoon history of Muslim rule in India Aur Talwar Toot Gayee is serialised by local Urdu papers. Significantly, Burhan Wani was laid in the grave by a crowd of thousands, wrapped in a Pakistani flag, and celebrated as a martyr rather than Kashmiri freedom fighter.

Why this change? The present government — Narendra Modi’s — surely stands guilty. By reducing space for democratic discourse, it promotes radicalisation. Unlike Vajpayee’s accommodative politics, India offers little beyond the iron fist and draconian laws such as AFSPA. The BJP-PDP alliance — shaky to start with — is almost over as each blames the other for the two per cent voter turnout in last month’s by-elections. Hindutva’s religiosity is displacing Nehru’s secularism all across India, and Indian democracy is yielding to Hindu majoritarian rule.

Kashmiri nationalists must realise the grave dangers of giving more space to religious extremists.

But blaming Modi is half an explanation, perhaps even less. In Palestine, after decades of struggle against Israeli occupation, the secular PLO lost out to the religious radicalism of Hamas. In Arab countries, young Muslims dream of fighting infidels and dying as martyrs. In Pakistan, the celebrated army operations Raddul Fasaad and Zarb-i-Azb target armed militants fighting for a Sharia state. Last week, the Higher Education Commission showed its concern by convening a meeting of 60 university vice chancellors in Islamabad on rising extremism in Pakistani campuses.

Extremism has further complicated an already complicated Kashmir situation. What now? For long, Kashmiris, Pakistanis, and Indians have wagged fingers at the other for the 100,000 lives lost over three decades. Where lies the future? Does any solution exist?

Read: Diary of a Kashmir curfew

A short retreat into mathematics: some equations indeed have solutions even if they need much effort. But other equations can logically be shown to have no solution – nothing will ever work for them. There is still a third type: that where solutions are possible but only under very specific conditions.

Kashmir is not of the first category. Everything has been tried. Delhi and Islamabad have created clients among the Valley’s leaders and political parties, and subversion is a widely used instrument. But they too have turned out to be useless. Elections and inducements have also failed to produce a decisive outcome, as have three Pakistan-India wars. A fourth war would likely be nuclear.

All parties stand guilty. India, under various Congress governments, had once projected itself as a secularist democracy distinct from an Islamic, military-dominated Pakistan. It appeared for that reason to be preferable, but in practice its unconscionable manipulation of Kashmiri politics led to the 1989 popular uprising, sparking an insurgency lasting into the early 2000s. When it ended 90,000 civilians, militants, police, and soldiers had been killed. Remembered by Kashmiri Muslims for his role in the 1990 Gawkadal bridge massacre, Governor Jagmohan received the Padma Vibhushan last year.

Pakistan tried to translate India’s losses into its gains but failed. It soon hijacked the indigenous uprising but the excesses committed by Pakistan-based mujahideen eclipsed those of Indian security forces. The massacres of Kashmiri Pandits, targeting of civilians accused of collaborating with India, destruction of cinema houses and liquor shops, forcing of women into the veil, and revival of Shia-Sunni disputes, severely undermined the legitimacy of the Kashmiri freedom movement.

Pakistan’s ‘bleed India with a thousand cuts’ policy is in a shambles today and jihad is an ugly word in the world’s political lexicon. Say what you will about ‘Dawn Leaks’, but Pakistani diplomats who represent Pakistan’s position in the world’s capitals know the world doesn’t care about Kashmir. How else to explain Prime Minister Modi receiving Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian award from King Salman bin Abdul Aziz?

If Kashmir is ever to have a solution — ie belong to the third type of math problem — then all three contenders will need to rethink their present positions.

Thoughtful Indians must understand that cooling Kashmir lies in India’s hands, not Pakistan’s. By formally acknowledging Kashmir as a problem that needs a political solution, using humane methods of crowd control, and releasing political prisoners from Kashmiri jails, India could move sensibly towards a lessening of internal tensions. Surely, if India considers Kashmiris to be its citizens then it must treat them as such, not as traitors deserving bullets. Else it should hand Kashmir over to Kashmiris — or Pakistan.

Thoughtful Pakistanis must realise that their country’s Kashmir-first policy has brought nothing but misery all around. Using proxies has proven disastrous. A partial realisation has led to detaining of LeT and JeM leaders, but Pakistan’s army must crack down upon all Kashmir-oriented militant groups that still have a presence on Pakistani soil. Such groups are a menace to Pakistan’s society and armed forces, apart from taking legitimacy away from those fighting Indian rule.

Thoughtful Kashmiri nationalists — like Saif — must recognise the grave dangers of giving more space to religious extremists. Their struggle should be for some form of pluralistic entity – whether independent or under nominal Indian or Pakistani control. That entity must assure personal and religious freedoms. An ISIS type state with its cruel practices makes mockery of the very idea of azadi and would pave the way for Kashmir’s descent into hell.

Such rethinking would clear the road to peace through negotiations which, though narrowed, still remains open. Every conflict in history, no matter how bitter, has ultimately been resolved. In Kashmir’s case whether this happens peacefully, or after some apocalypse, cannot be predicted.

The author teaches mathematics and physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (210) Closed

abhi May 20, 2017 03:58am

Very fairly written......

RAHUL May 20, 2017 03:59am


Looking at the present situation it is hard the believe that the "thoughtful" Modi has not made up his mind. The kind of space given to stone pelters by the government smacks of something very sinister underway. It is impossible that the Modi government will be a simple fence sitter while the daily disturbance is on. They have something up their sleeves. May be they use the law and order thing to abrogate the special status of jammu and Kashmir

Vinay May 20, 2017 04:09am

A sober assessment but like the voice of many other level headed people in the Sub-continent, his voice too has been and will be again overlooked/ignored!

PK May 20, 2017 04:22am

Sir, this problem has many ifs and buts and have no solution. Even some body solve it ,others will not belueve in the solution.

Fazal Karim May 20, 2017 05:00am

Solution of Kashmir and Afghanistan lies in confederation .

Saturn May 20, 2017 05:40am


You are one of the few voices on either side that I consider to be objective, logical and without bias and your current article justified my belief in you. That being said every time attempts are made to come to the table to find a semblance of a solution events like Kargil, 26/11, Pathankot are the result. There's only so much political capital a leader can expend at the cost of their citizens' lives before they are forced to go the other way. There's a reason India wants the dismantling of terror groups as a precondition.

NARADA MUNI May 20, 2017 05:47am

Simply awesome analysis as always. Excellent professor.

Shahid May 20, 2017 05:52am

Sir, I still don't understand why and how congress and Hindu leaders agreed on partition of India. I also don't understand having agreed to that principle why they don't accept it for Kashmir. India should understand that Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state forcefully annexed by India. Pakistan never talks about Hyderabad or junagadh also annexed by Indi because they have Hindumajority. Pakistan made a. If mist take by not accepting or negotiate if a better deal in 1963 when then Indian foreign minister offered another 1500 sq miles of Kashmir. To Pakistan. India has to settle Kashmir dispute anyway because human rights violations can not give them the respect India desires for. There is one other important solution as well. Aconfedeeration of Saarc countries which can solve lot of smaller problems. India can give Kashmir independence but still keep it under influence as Bhutan or Tibet which can also be a saarc member.

Amin May 20, 2017 05:58am

Yes Pervez, the Indian narrative is very interesting but fortunately, you all are fighting a losing battle.

Anil May 20, 2017 06:07am

Author seems to be only sensible political analyst in Pakistan.

Khem May 20, 2017 06:07am

Very well written, all stakeholders must sit together for the sake of Kashmiri people. Almost more than 1 lac people has already died and there is no stoping.

Krishna May 20, 2017 06:08am

Pervez Sir, Thanks for a thoughtful article.

Sure, India considers humanity and tolerance as first & foremost, and will not raise even an eyebrow when someone is beating us. A para-military officer was kicked several times by the protesters in Kashmir, but did nothing though he had an entire force with him to give back. The problem is when people use stones & acid bottles with deadly effect.

Even a single academic year wasted makes a lot of negative impact in the careers of people. Here, the youth has unfortunately wasted decades. Youth of Kashmir, the sooner you come out of this the better.

India will not let go Kashmir, and all of us know this. Why waste time in anti-India activities? Reap the benefits of modern India.

Yes, from Pakistan side, please follow what you are suggesting. Have good relations with neighbours for peace & prosperity.

I end with what the Chinese President said recently - there is no space for negativity. Let us all work towards a better world.

ROHIT PANDEY May 20, 2017 06:10am

That is one nice article. I think I agree about 90% of it.

As Narendra Modi said, the future of Kashmir is on tourism and not terrorism.

Once Kashmiri protestors started waving ISIS flags, many young Indians lost any sympathy they had for the Kashmiris.

If the population of the Kashmir valley feels that it worth to shed blood to create an Islamic state, the population in the rest of India feels that it is worth to hold on to it for survival of pluralism in the rest of India.

India, for centuries, has been a cradle of pluralism and syncretic thought and it will continue to be so for centuries to come. The BJP or Narendra Modi are NOT going to erase pluralism, for at the centre of the Indian civilisation lies the ethos framed by one sentence " Out of one, many" ( Vasudeva kutumbakam) perhaps the exact opposite of the US's "Out of many, one"( E pluribus enum).

The "world is one family" worksfor Indians of ALL faiths.:) It should work for Kashmiris?:)

Siva d May 20, 2017 06:11am

Well said, sir!

ROHIT PANDEY May 20, 2017 06:12am

But blaming Modi is half an explanation, perhaps even less.

I agree, professor.:)

Sashi Nair May 20, 2017 06:17am

Kudos for the article written by one of the few saner voices in the subcontinent.

U May 20, 2017 06:17am

Very nice article but as a thottful Indians, I can only say India is a diverse country , when we can accommodate all ppl with different identities then what's the problem in accomodating kashmiris. What more political solution u want, an ordinary Indian cannot buy land in Kashmir, many taxes of Indian union is not imposed, many more these are all done to facilitate our Kashmiri brethren to feel that they are part of our country. Have we ever restricted any kasmiris to travel any part of India, they can and that's their right but to vilify the Indian state nd to term it as occupier is grave injustice. Afspa rule began from 1989, it's a precautionary measure to counter Pakistani supported terrorism but to say India is an aggressor , prima facie it may appear but when u scratch the surface it's more of a saviour otherwise Kashmir and Kashmiris fate would had been like Afghans, as common sense dictates.

Anusri Tripathi May 20, 2017 06:20am

What you have suggested is like dream.... that will never become true, as these three parties will never come to one platform due to ego problem and interest of super powers.

ALIEN1 May 20, 2017 06:33am

Mr.Parvez hoodboy is right, he is one of the very few pakisanis who are wise enough to understand that kashmir cannot to taken by force or by proxy.

Praveen May 20, 2017 06:37am

Best articulation of the situation... hats off sir. Only if rulers would take a step back and introspect...

aga Khan May 20, 2017 06:45am

Great logical solution to the complex human math - just noted your back ground- no wonder you have a logical and scientist brain. Makes perfect sense to me. I pray that sane minds on both sides of the aisle, do read this article.

REDEMPTION May 20, 2017 06:46am

What an honest analysis sir ! No doubt Kashmir has been mishandled and needs rethinking from all stakeholders.

sunny May 20, 2017 06:51am

congratulations on thoughtful article.

Gurpreet Singh May 20, 2017 07:07am

Very fair assessment by Sir Hoodbhoy as always. I hope Indians, Pakistanis & Kashmiris take his advice.

Another view May 20, 2017 07:08am

Great respect for Mr.Pervez. Watched some of your discussions on YouTube. Sir, my view (from India), is Modi did not yet even pay his attention to Kashmir, I think, so far he left it to PDP government. Also sir, I think, word hindutva from Pakistan point of view is kind of right wing ideology ( RSS, Shiv Sena, etc). My view also is Modi did not get elected with the right wing support, these were supporting the traditional BJP folks Advani, Joshi, etc. I think Modi checked them a bit and put them in their place. I also think Modi vote base is not just religion based, only Hindus can not give any single party such a win, especially in UP. I think only Modi's mandate gives him a very distinct advantage to do something on Kashmir. One request sir: as a journalist and knowledgeable person, can you please take a fresh look at Modi and his history as leader (specifically leaving out allegations).

arjun May 20, 2017 07:14am

Well always..the prof is spot on..cooler heads always offer better solution s.

Impressed May 20, 2017 07:16am

Wow. A masterpiece of an article. Mr Hoodbhoy, the subcontinent needs more people like you

Raina Aaqib (Kashmir) May 20, 2017 07:18am

To some extent i agree with your analysis... in Kashmir shia sunni conflict never happened... infact shia population in Kashmir in on rise... this is because shias are migrating from kargil to kashmir... if there would have shia sunni as you said then they wouldn't have migrated to kashmir...

now regarding to kashmiri Pandits, they were evacuated by Jagmohan so that he can crush muslims, but it didn't happen... it was obviously sad for every kashmiri muslim.... but if u will ask locals u will find 99% people want Kashmiri pandits back in Kashmir...

Our freedom is indigenous... its no way like ISIS or TTP... if some extremistic factions are gaining foothold its only due to bad policies of india... one more thing some people supported them because they think its a good way to counter rising hindutva...

kaliraja thangamani May 20, 2017 07:20am

This teacher is really teaching politics and peace to the people of Indian sub continent. Great works. Thanks.

Vijay Halgeri May 20, 2017 07:22am

Very balanced, realistic and thoughtful sir.

Raaz May 20, 2017 07:28am

Bravo Sir! Excellent analysis and all the parties involved should tread carefully and conscientiously to bring peace to the subcontinent. However, hawkishness on all the sides is growing exponentially

Rajendra Tiwari May 20, 2017 07:28am

Well said! I hope the world, specially Kashmir, India and Pakistan, will take the advice from a professor who is not a politician and act upon it.

Dhakkan May 20, 2017 07:29am

Good write up. Well balanced!!

Isakhelvi May 20, 2017 07:29am

just two words sir,GREAT ANALYSES , though i have right to differ with you when you say India should handover Kashmir to Kashmiris or Pakistan,you know it can not happen sir

SHAAN mooyottu May 20, 2017 07:37am

This is how one should approach a problem for finding a radical solution...! Rightly said, Sir..!

Keith Dsouza, Goa May 20, 2017 07:38am

Good article. The observation-- "Say what you will about ‘Dawn Leaks’, but Pakistani diplomats who represent Pakistan’s position in the world’s capitals know the world doesn’t care about Kashmir. ", summarizes all. Kashmiris should stop embracing terrorists as their leaders & should turn to their age old Sufi culture. Kashmiri muslims and pundits, both are like siblings and should sit together to find the future course and solution.

NORISK May 20, 2017 07:42am

As always, sensible article from Pervez saab. Kashmir as a society is slipping into anarchy. Started with Religious intolerance in 1980s, now demand for Sharia-rule (which even Pakistan rejects), support to global terror outfits are worrying. Importantly, separatist Hurriyat has lost its standing among youth, giving rise to wide spread violence and stone pelting. Stone throwing is being celebrated. Never understood how can parents send 14-year old kid (Saif's cousin) to pelt stones ? Pakistan is fishing in the troubled waters, but failed to realize that its Kashmir obsession has brought it down to its knees.

The quicker Pakistan accepts status quo as the solution, the better it is.Kashmir as Independent country looks ideal solution, but it wouldn't be long before another 'Syria' is created at the cross roads of India, Pakistan and China.

Rajeev Nidumolu May 20, 2017 07:43am

Kashmiri Muslims have to decide for themselves whether they need to live in peace with all the communities or they want to practice extreme version of religion.

Vinit May 20, 2017 07:55am

I have always been admirer of the author and dawn for such neutral and practical writeups. I request to my fellow brethren of all three parties to give up hate and charter a road of common peace

sangram May 20, 2017 08:03am

Well drafted Sir..Kashmiri people must understand that their growth and prosperity lies with the fact that they remains with India only..They can not expect Indian proples to keep their mouth shut when they are raising slogan of ISIS and Pakistan in Kashmir which is named after Rishi Kashyap ...It must be clear to Pakistan and its followers in Kashmir that no power at this juncture in world has capacity to interfere in kashmir affair or will intervene in kashmir affair,

Raj May 20, 2017 08:04am

Well written. Kashmir is a place ,where India, Pakistan and Kashmiris are wrong.

Red october May 20, 2017 08:06am

Very sensible and balanced article. Great writing sir!

citizen May 20, 2017 08:07am

Salute to the author for an excellent article with practical facts and current situations. He is among very few saner voices in the country, but who listens to him? Real tragedy...

Karan May 20, 2017 08:11am

Hope there are more people like you on both sides

TAmilselvan May 20, 2017 08:12am

Agree with your assessment. Let India remove Articke 320 and just see the development which would take place in Kashmir

wellwisher May 20, 2017 08:14am

the line of control should be converted into international border. Nothing else will work. Kashmir people must accept pluralism and secularism, something which is anathema to Pakistan. Killers and rapists of Pundits must be punished same way, Kashmiris expect Indian forces to be. OR ELSE KEEP FIGHTING, NO ONE CARES.

Feroz May 20, 2017 08:17am

Valuable suggestions but no one is listening.

Arvind Mishra May 20, 2017 08:27am

Very well written...

Zaffar kashmiri May 20, 2017 08:30am

Its good to see people like you write articles about Kashmir with a balanced view. Thank you Dawn. Your media keeps our genuine rights alive. We Kashmiris under Indian occupation are grateful to this effort. Thanks.

Zeeshan May 20, 2017 08:32am

Spot on. Kashmirie nationalist movement is heavily hijacked by religious fanatics.

Pavan May 20, 2017 08:38am

Sir . A very nice article with practical approach. Kashmir witb plurity is very much needed

M.Raina May 20, 2017 08:38am

A thoughtful and humane analysis.But will anyone in India or Pakistan heed it?

Pnpuri May 20, 2017 08:48am

I agree with you sir but Who will understand you Mr. Hoodbhoy. Status quo for few years with no disturbance from across LOC may help.

Shailendra Sapra May 20, 2017 08:54am

Kashmir belongs to the second class of problem, which does not have a solution, and not third!

Jawaid kamal May 20, 2017 08:55am

Masterpiece.God bless you,

Hadi May 20, 2017 08:55am

"Every conflict in history, no matter how bitter, has ultimately been resolved. In Kashmir’s case whether this happens peacefully, or after some apocalypse, cannot be predicted."

This truth needs to shine in the 'shining India', stop pretending there is no issue or only of Pakistan's creation

Dadeejee May 20, 2017 08:57am

Spot on Prof Hoodbhoy. Extremely incisively analyzed. I greatly admire the tenor of your argument.

Syed F. Hussaini May 20, 2017 08:59am

Our passion for problems renders all solutions unwanted.

Rana May 20, 2017 09:01am

That's why India or world does not care about Kashmir.

Mohit(US) May 20, 2017 09:10am

First time i heard kashmiri pandit from a pakistani.. who other than prof could have done it..

RK May 20, 2017 09:11am

For the first time , after I started reading Dawn about 10 years ago, I feel like agreeing with someone, about Kashmir situation and its possible solution. Very sensible and realistic approach to the issue by a learned Pakistani scientist.

There is no doubt that Indian governments over the years, irrespective of the ruling party, have only added to the problem. There was never a solution oriented approach. Friendly people of Kashmir have been turned to rebels by our approach. BJP is trying to please PDP , and visaversa, both having fallen short of any solution. I request Indian govt to wakeup and do something before we see Kashmir turning into Palestine.

Dawn kindly publish this. Thank you.

Hemant May 20, 2017 09:12am

Who can disagree with an article that describes fault within each party and provide idealized solutions that may not get excepted by anyone! In general you may get nobel price for peace but no resolution for Kashmir! It's a fire that provide grocery to cook for to many homes!

Babu May 20, 2017 09:14am

Pakistan and Muslims need to understand that India never allow no more division of India along the religious line.

VINEETH May 20, 2017 09:14am

I agree completely with the author. He talks nothing but plain sense. Past and present Indian govts have erred on many counts in Kashmir - vote-rigging in the past, jailing popular Kashmiri nationalists and attempting force a solution on the Kashmiri population through sheer military might. The govt needs to figure out a political solution to the crisis Kashmir valley. Of course, this would apply only to the Kashmir valley, and not the rest of J&K like Jammu and Ladakh divisions which have a very different politucal outlook and culture and has never experienced problems of this kind.

rajendra May 20, 2017 09:17am

Very good article and workable solutions offered to Kashmiri issue.

But is anyone listening ?

Santosh May 20, 2017 09:17am

Whether in India or Pakistan,many writer painting themselves as if they know everything, patriots, can solve Kashmir problem if they get political power but you honorable Mr pervez hoodbhoy wrote Kashmir problem in sensible and rational manner. I appreciate your article.

Shiv Gautam May 20, 2017 09:22am

This article covers all the dimensions of the K issue, but at the end it all comes down to compromise. Although I am not happy with modi the way he has handled k issue but if one expects India to compromise from the position which it enjoys today then one is very naive

M.N.Murching May 20, 2017 09:23am

Very cogent and balanced article. Suggestions need to be pursued by all the parties concerned.

hAK May 20, 2017 09:24am

super analysis..

Satyameva Jayate May 20, 2017 09:24am

The only possible solutions are: 1. Put Indo-Pak dispute on back burner. Treat LOC as an International Border. Pak and Indian forces MUST shoot all those trying to illegally cross LOC. 2. APHC MUST understand that the ONLY way to get in to ruling power is to contest and win elections. Violence and Guns did not work in Palestine or elsewhere, will not work in Kashmir too.

Zul May 20, 2017 09:24am

@Anil at east one!! None in India.

RAJA CHILL May 20, 2017 09:31am

World is also reluctant to pitch into kashmir becuase they fear with any intervention that current situation may brust the region into syria type crisis.

Govind May 20, 2017 09:32am

Very Balanced and logical article. Agreed word by word

PAMNANI - INDIA May 20, 2017 09:36am

Fantastic Article. Kashmir can live happily if Pakistan does not interfere. Creating Problems for the peace of Kashmiris.

kp May 20, 2017 09:37am

the perception of common Indian masses is that Kashmiris enjoys huge subsidised healthcare, Education, Lowest cost of electricity, Special economic packages(not to mention paid by taxpayer) & yet they bring religion in politics? NO SYMPATHY TO SUCH PEOPLE.

Srinath May 20, 2017 09:38am

Sane and humane. All parties to the dispute should take a deep breath and step back from the edge of the precipice. And reflect on how to scale down the human misery on the streets of the valley.

zubeen May 20, 2017 09:46am

though very nycly written, however few things missing, kashmir has a one major problem which they are suffering form since 1947 that is sense of divide among people, like one community in kashmir never support AZADI they have different thought of mind which is also a grave issues of kashmiris which author fails to comments. Regarding kashmiri pandit masscare it never happened yes offcoues exodus was created by Jagmohan who got award from modi sarkar.

TQ May 20, 2017 09:49am

Excellent article. Visionary leaders needed who have cool heads and a humane heart.

Munir Ahmad kakar May 20, 2017 09:51am

Excellent analysis of a complicated problem which unfortunately is simmering for the last seven decades which has burst out occasionally but has the potential of bursting into nuclear war. Given the catastrophic consequences associated with such conflict it is in the interest of humanity- let alone sub-continent- that the issue needs to be resolved. Whatever the configuration of resolution everyone will turn out to be a winner except the hate-mongers.

FRANK May 20, 2017 10:04am

"..Indians must understand that cooling Kashmir lies in India’s hands, not Pakistan’s.." And you don't cool using pellet guns, abductions and rapes. Hence the unprecedented and uncontrollable momentum this time around. The question is not WHETHER Kashmir would be free. It is WHEN.

Vijay May 20, 2017 10:14am

Professor, good analysis & shows clear defeat of religious based states.

MANOJ KAUL May 20, 2017 10:17am

One rarely gets to read such an honest and objective analysis of the Kashmir problem. Congratulations to Prof.Hoodbhoy and Dawn.

mushtaq May 20, 2017 10:24am

Yes , nice sketch of kashmir problem.

Nikhil R May 20, 2017 10:34am

Wow, a fairly unbiased political piece from a Pakistani journalist? Pinch me, I must be dreaming. As an Indian, I must say, I completely agree with the author. Let us all disregard the rhetoric from both (or, should I say, all three) sides and push for fresh talks so as to resolve this problem once and for all. Kashmir will continue to be one of the most restive, volatile regions in the world until 1) India realises that Kashmir needs a solution, 2) Pakistan realises that India will never give up on Kashmir ever and 3) The voices of all the SANE Kashmiris are heard( the normal Kashmiris, not the hate spewing, Islamic state demanding Jihadis) and their opinions taken into consideration. Kashmir and the Kashmiris are too beautiful to let the prevailing situation continue. Forget about India and Pakistan. The Kashmiris need to be looked at as human beings first.

KRIS May 20, 2017 10:36am

Couldn't agree more with the Professor. Time has come for all parties to put their head together and try to solve this problem in a peaceful fashion. Radicalism should not be allowed to raise its ugly head in Kashmir. That will be very unfortunate and will lead to lot of bloodshed.

Zafar May 20, 2017 10:44am

Fair analysis. Journalists on both sides of the border should jointly consider this issue and come up with a peace proposal. We have to admit Pakistan can not win Kashmir and India can not afford to lose it. We have to find a solution within present borders. Kashmiris also should accept a solution short of independence or accession with Pakistan. How many lives are they going to lose? Under Simla Agreement Kashmir became bilateral issue. Therefore, no country or the UN is prepared to get involved in it. I belive an agreement on this issue will reduce pressure on our Western borders.

shankar May 20, 2017 10:45am

@Syed F. Hussaini Well said.

Ravi May 20, 2017 10:46am

Can't agree more..

Siva d May 20, 2017 10:51am

Prof. Hoodbhoy is a subcontinental treasure. Immature politicians can't do better than to listen to this very wise, often the only grown up we have.

Ali May 20, 2017 10:51am

A very insightful article by a remarkable man :)

Zak May 20, 2017 10:53am

Why this change? The present government — Narendra Modi’s — surely stands guilty.

Looks like you speaking from the Indian perspective while living in pakistan.

himanshu chajravarty lucknow May 20, 2017 10:56am

only five districts of valley in south kashmir is in problem. china solved the problem in entire tibet and eighty percent problem in xinziang.we must remove article 370, valley will develop and will become normal tourist place as present day tibet has become.

Hunzai May 20, 2017 10:58am

One and only solution. Ask the Kashmiris what they want. Pakistan and India must quit and handover the region to the United Nations for a Plebiscite.

Ashok Saigal May 20, 2017 10:59am

Good analysis and suggestions. I agree both with the comment to release "political" prisoners, and the proposed crack down on "militants". Unfortunately one side's "militant" is often projected by the other side as a "Political Prisoner". This is just another version of the "good taliban/ bad taliban" definition. Best if ALL militants, whether fighting for Aazadi or Religion, are recognised as militants if they use militant (read :violent means) and treated as militants who have brought it upon themselves, rather than allowing them to take refuge under the "political protester" label.

Zak May 20, 2017 10:59am

The solution is there on the table for last 70 years. A fair plebiscite under UN supervision. Let those whose country it is and those who are dieing decide their own future and peace. They have suffered enough. But india is the obstacle. Democracy and secularism is a fasade.

trying to be sane May 20, 2017 11:08am

Whosoever talks of KASHMIR ISSUE forgets that at least two more entities/ regions/ ethnicities are also linked to the ISSUE, and, these are LADDAKH and JAMMU. No one ever discusses their aspirations, their needs, their requirements. WHY ?

Piyu May 20, 2017 11:10am

The problem with Indian government is that it is not doing enough to stop the Kashmir problem. The Indian government need to understand that "if you don't think violence is not the solution then you are not using enough of it". Then can be peace in Kashmir only when Indian government understand and implement this.

Nilesh May 20, 2017 11:19am

What is probable solution...??

PKS May 20, 2017 11:21am

Just because Kashmir is a Muslim majority region it does not mean it should be part of Pakistan union. Kashmir never wanted to be with Pakistan during partition.

Nepal is a Hindu region but it did not join India.

Bhutan is a Buddhist region it did not join Myanmar.

G.UPADHYAY May 20, 2017 11:22am

@TAmilselvan - it is Article 370 and not 320 dude

singh May 20, 2017 11:22am

@Nikhil R ...Kashmiris need self determination.. and nothing more...

RAM CHAUHAN May 20, 2017 11:22am

it is good and sensibly analysed article as is expected from a person of a stature of Sir Pervez Hoodbhoy. It is a very honest assessment indeed. I think solution cannot be found if all three parties would stick to their stand. Concessions will have be made by all parties. Complete independence will not be acceptable to neither India nor Pakistan. All J&K will not be acceptable to neither India nor Pakistan. Solution are (a)let Kashmir as a whole merge with Pakistan and Jammu & Laddakh be given to India or (b) Let both sides of Kashmir be given autonomy except on Foreign Policy and some other important subject.Otherwise it will continue to happen what is going on now.

Sarwar, USA. May 20, 2017 11:24am

@Siva d ... Kashmir need solution thats the message.. India try to understand this...

MBD May 20, 2017 11:31am

Sir,I just love your critical thinking skills!

Najma Hisham May 20, 2017 11:31am

@singh , Sardarjee what about East Punjab?

Mrityunjay Tripathi May 20, 2017 11:32am

Excellent article, thanks Sir and Dawn!!!

Sunny May 20, 2017 11:33am

As usual excellent article by him..

Syed F. Hussaini May 20, 2017 11:34am


Thank you, Sir!

MHS May 20, 2017 11:35am

Sorry but Kaashmir belongs to the category of equations with no solutions. All good words and thoughts only represent a bleak minority on both sides. Regarding one of the statements that extremism is increasing on campuses, I actually see to the contrary. Campuses in Pakistan have never been so liberal atleast in last 20 -30 years.

PURUSHOTTAM SINGI May 20, 2017 11:36am

The article is sensible in the sense recognizing soft underbelly of all stake holders in Kashmir. But he conviniently ignores genesis of the problem. Indian government has been more democratic and mindful of sensivities Kashmir population, and but for outside interference in affairs of Kashmir, this could have sorted out much earlier.

Asad May 20, 2017 12:06pm

why are you all censoring my topical posts?

Parvez May 20, 2017 12:12pm

Nicely said.....when politicians fail in delivering for the people, a vacuum forms and its the laws of science / nature that every vacuum gets filled and in this part of the world its the religious right that stands ready to fill it.

buddy May 20, 2017 12:13pm

@Raina Aaqib (Kashmir) blame every thing bad happened in Kashmir on India thats why people like you are also part of this problem. Has India says to violence lover kashmri(Not all but few of them) to kidnaps and brutally murder the brave and patriot Kashmiri Muslim Ummer fayaz serving as a army officer in Indian army.

MS May 20, 2017 12:14pm

Nice article from a man whose opinion I respect. Overall the unrest in the valley is not something Indians are happy with and everyone would prefer a peaceful Kashmir. In fact the image that some people might have that rest of India doesn't care of Kashmir unrest is untrue since it finds itself in headlines and a very sympathetic coverage in most Indian newspapers and TV channels. But India naturally wants this to be solved in the framework of Indian constitution as might Pakistan. These are basic unexplainable logic of nation states. Both India and Pakistan seem to think they have legitimate stake there. India has the many years of historical possession as its argument while Pakistan has the present religious demographic argument.

In this context, pitying that this movement is now becoming religious is slightly strange since Pakistan has always drawn attention to the common religion angle and had used what it calls Jihadis to "liberate" Kashmir. Expected results

Jehangir May 20, 2017 12:15pm

Very sensible article.

N.Sid May 20, 2017 12:19pm

Quote from the article..."Remembered by Kashmiri Muslims for his role in the 1990 Gawkadal bridge massacre, Governor Jagmohan received the Padma Vibhushan last year."

This is utterly, humanly barbaric and inhuman from the India side. India seems to be unyielding, adamant and not looking at it as a 'humanitarian issue'...

Aks May 20, 2017 12:21pm

Sensible, sane voice.

Shailesh May 20, 2017 12:25pm

Who introduced Kashmiris to their imaginary lover "Azadi" ? Who benefited from it? This core issue is deliberately ignored. The fact is that as per Indian Independence Act the choice was India or Pakistan. British never gave the right of self determination to anyone in British India other wise there would have been 560 countries. Needless to say those who themselves never had the right cannot give it to others. Unlikely that my comment would be published by dawn. However salute Dawn for publishing such a neutral article

N.S May 20, 2017 12:28pm

Kashmiris want a separate nation, and not necessarily merger with Pakistan. India need to read history of Kashmir, Kashmir was never a part of India geographically, culturally, linguistically...there is nothing in common between India and Kashmir.

Kashmir want a separate identity, the don't want to be called Pakistanis, nor Indians. As for the Pakistani flags in Indian Kashmir, many Kashmir youths has said they wave it to make Indian forces and India angry, Pakistani flag symbolizes freedom more than the country...

Signs of times...

trying to be sane May 20, 2017 12:38pm

Kashmiris talk of AZADI and use flags of Pakistan. They do not use 'their own' Flag. How many instances have we seen in history where people have fought for their AZADI and used flags of another nation? If you talk of AZADI use your own flag. If you use flag of another nation, do not call it a struggle for AZADI.

Hareesh May 20, 2017 12:39pm

@Shahid There is one more State, the State of Hyderabad which was Forcefully annexed by India (in which I reside). But where the matters went right for Hyderabad is that 1. They did not get into perpetual stand off with India. 2. They were mostly moderates and did not gravitate to wards extreme religion. Now you can see the development of Hyderabad it has far surpassed even the rest of India. The infrastructure, the quality of life, healthcare and education is phenomenal and on par with Developed Nations.There has never been a suppression in the name of religion. Infact there are reservations for the muslims in educational institutions. What I wanted to convey is the pragmatic approach is to accept the situation and look forward.

venu May 20, 2017 12:59pm

People to make decision on Kashmir - are the muslims living in India, outside Kashmir. They are the real stakeholders in this tragic developments , and unfortunately they are not raising their voice - for one reason or the other.

NP May 20, 2017 01:00pm

My deep founded respect to the Author for his sane advice to the Partys which have stakes in Kashmir!!!

KH May 20, 2017 01:12pm

Solution to K-problem lies in the passage of time till Indian economy progresses to the level Kashmiris to become proud Indians. India is on its way and the solution is not a mirage any more.

m m amin (old ravian ) May 20, 2017 01:58pm

India ,Kashmirs and Pakistan know there is no military solution here .Is this not lesson of last decades , since Independence ? Hon.Prof .has depicted the realities ,harsh realities ,very well .It needs to be remembered all parties shall have to settle for less than their respective expectations, great expectations . The human cost and geo-economic may some day force a solution .

naya raipur May 20, 2017 02:10pm

@Fazal Karim Rightly said

abid Mahmood May 20, 2017 02:16pm

I wish the people could trust your words and think about it. Unfortunately, nowadays people listen to the politicians more and to the sane scholars and writers very less. When this situation changes, the matter of Kashmir will be settled.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN May 20, 2017 02:19pm

Drop the ego over land and religion problem solved. We are one people, from one land, from one mother.

IndoPak Blood Brother 4 Life!

Naveen May 20, 2017 02:23pm

As always a thought provoking article

gurdev singh May 20, 2017 02:34pm

logic found .

PPC May 20, 2017 02:40pm

Pervez Sir, I have a great respect on You as a Scientist , a rational man and Your visit to India had created lots of goodwill from common Indian masses. However, I humbly differ from you on your certain comments and expect response in it. In late 80s, when Kashmiri Hindus were evicted from Kashmir valley, there were hardly few percentage of Indians who knew about BJP forget about support to BJP and Communalisation of Kashmir started in late 80 by evicting Kashmiri Hindus then long before even Babri Mosque demolition.Many Indian blame Kashmir episode as one of the major reasons for the acceptance of hardline Hindutva in many part of India though not the sole reason.Finally what will be the solution? War is no option for both the Nation, I feel. But neither India nor Pakistan can take over other part of Kashmir without War, is a bitter truth.We may seat upteen number of discussions too but stalemate will remain.UN , Simla whatever comes, final objective is not to loose Kashmir .

Black Indian May 20, 2017 02:42pm

Congratulation to Dawn for such a brave article.

I admire professor saab for his straight and to the point thinking. Actually, he should be awarded highest civilian award from both India and Pakistan for a true analysis of the 7 decade old issue where our politicians and thinkers have failed miserably.

Let's admit that we are in 21st Century. We all wanted to look forward. Also accept that no country can afford to loose its land for whatever reason. Humanity always first. No one should be interested in turning Kashmir as Palestine , Syria or Bosnia. We all be looser.

Taking base of above things, India and Pakistan can easily resolve the issue and transfer the benefits of the huge saving on their respective armed forces to actual beneficiaries i.e. common people.

There is no point to fingering by all concerned. It has been always tit for tat approach which actually costs precious human life.

AKKS May 20, 2017 02:55pm

This man is full of wisdom and sense! Wish the clueless Pakistanis absorb half of what he is preaching! Great article!

Mukesh Devrari May 20, 2017 03:03pm

It is not difficult to understand. Changing the status quo is not possible. India and Pakistan must learn to respect the reality. Pakistan has been trying for last 70 years. Even if same methods will be tried for next 700 years. Result will be same - Nothing. It is better to stop fighting and covert war and convert LOC as international. Kashmir issue will be resolved with a handshake. India will manage his side, Pakistan will manage theirs. Then we may have loose borders where it does not matter much where you live, study and work. It is not far fetched dream. India my accept LOC as international border, for Pakistan, cannot say it.

MUMBAI MAN May 20, 2017 03:09pm

Absolutely correct! Has to be most objective comment on current Kashmir affairs, hope all take note of this sanest voice!

Ramesh Kumar Marya May 20, 2017 03:14pm

It is rare to find such a thoughtful and balanced assessment. The Dawn deserves to be congratulated.

Misfar Hassan May 20, 2017 03:17pm

Excellent analysis it highlights the need for empowering Kashmiris through a strategy put forward by Mr KH Khurshid in 1962

Misfar Hassan May 20, 2017 03:18pm

@Anusri Tripathi this is a reality that will prevail

alok May 20, 2017 03:22pm

Pakistani diplomats who represent Pakistan’s position in the world’s capitals know the world doesn’t care about Kashmir. : Well Said by author on this point

splash May 20, 2017 03:28pm

there is absolute religious freedom in kashmir for muslims.

Akhil May 20, 2017 03:42pm

Pakistan also has responsibility rather than complaining.

nitin May 20, 2017 03:42pm

As usual excellent analysis ,

Vijay B. May 20, 2017 03:43pm

@splash there is absolute religious freedom in all of India for Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhiststs, and even Atheists

Sindhu May 20, 2017 03:50pm

Greetings Professor! I want to comment on an issue, which you mentioned in your article- “Hindutva’s religiosity is displacing Nehru’s secularism”. I believe this is true in real sense. Like its diversity, idea of India is not one- at least there are two major ideas. If one is Nehuvian secularism (based on Neheru’s own definition of secularism) and the other major idea has been Savarkar’s “Hindutva”-which derived it’s inspiration from ancient glorious India. This idea of India was hibernated in people’s mind and ignored for longtime and now you have to give it it’s due share.

JadED_MONK May 20, 2017 03:58pm

Hoodbhoy never fails to impress me. Such simple yet straight to the heart analysis. It could have only emerged from the mind of a theoretical physicist. Pakistan is incredibly lucky to have him, now they need to pay attention to what he says. In fact, all three parties to this silly dispute need to heed what he recommends.

Yeh kya ho gaya May 20, 2017 04:00pm

This fighting....who is it helping actually?

Subhasish Bhattacharjee May 20, 2017 04:18pm

Fully agree with you sir.

RAJENDRA NARAIN May 20, 2017 04:25pm

@ROHIT PANDEY Just a correction. It should have been " Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam ", meaning Vasudha or earth is a kutumb or family.

guy_de_bong May 20, 2017 04:29pm

Kudos to you, Professor; in Pakistan,

Vinay May 20, 2017 04:33pm

V well written article. i like this statement in particular "India, under various Congress governments, had once projected itself as a secularist democracy distinct from an Islamic, military-dominated Pakistan." Sir its only 3 years that Modi is in Power and India may well revert to older ways over next 10 years!!

Turrum Khan May 20, 2017 04:37pm

A nice article to read. I'd like to give some facts which are often ignored. Kashmir is not just a piece of land its an integral part of India. Indian government cant afford to loose it just because of some people are asking separate land for themselves. Infect govt is investing billions of Indian tax payer money to build railways, all time weather tunnel & roads, hydro-power projects, international airport to name a few. I don't think people will mistaken for Govt intentions. Kashmiries are free to travel around in India, study, get jobs, settle anywhere. There is no discrimination or oppression of them as long as they are law abiding individual. There are 100s of engineering students from Kashmir in my city. On the other hands, we indians feel unsafe to travel to Kashmir or even our annual pilgrimage to Sri Amarnath yatra which is just for 2 months period. We have more than 200 million muslims & mostly live in harmony with us than why can't Kasmiries? Think about

Raj KUMAR May 20, 2017 04:52pm

@zubeen are you studying in class 5,do your college and than may be comment here after reading some "independent history".

geear May 20, 2017 04:54pm

Excellent article. No surprises though. Prof.Hoodbhoy is an eminent physicist and writes in a rational, logical way in a manner befitting a man of science.

For all jingoists on both sides of the border, India and Pakistan are both very poor nations (with a lot of rich people, of course). In every survey, we rank near the bottom. The latest UNDP HDI list shows India at 131 and Pakistan at 147. The only people who want to prolong this are politicians and international arms dealers.

As a non-expert in this field, my belief is that the only possible solution is to turn the LoC into an International border under UN supervision and try to improve the quality of our people's lives.

John May 20, 2017 05:19pm

@Zak - "Looks like you speaking from the Indian perspective while living in pakistan."

Ask Pakistanis whose opinions matters more to them - Prof Hoodbhoy or Zak? And at least he is living in Pakistan, unlike you sitting safe and comfortable in US and lecturing other Pakistanis to fight.

rs May 20, 2017 05:29pm

No politician worth his salt will preside over handing over of the land in possession to others, whatever may be the circumstances. Same with Kashmir. Modi will be the last person to hand it over. This will remain for our life span and continue there after also. Only solution is to keep it in back burner and proceed on other matters.

ukumar May 20, 2017 05:40pm

As usual a very thoughtful article. Surprisingly, author did not consider converting LOC to international border as a viable solution and it will become like border between US and Canada in long run.

Vijay B. May 20, 2017 05:42pm

@Turrum Khan very well said.

ROHIT PANDEY May 20, 2017 05:58pm

@RAJENDRA NARAIN My mistake.:) I should have checked. You are right and Sanskrit is not exactly my strong point.:) Thank you!:)

B r chawla May 20, 2017 05:59pm

Simple solution of this problem is to encourage status quo and by rendering the man made barriers redundant by opening trade and travel routes vouching at the same time not to use force and encourage terrorism. Just try it for ten years without prejudice to national stands at either side. The gains of peace translated into prosperity on both the sides shall never allow confrontation even on most vexed issues such as Kashmir

Masood Hussain May 20, 2017 06:04pm

A balanced writing..

Aleem May 20, 2017 06:07pm

@Zak agree 100%

Sachin May 20, 2017 06:09pm

Very good article

prof_aftab May 20, 2017 06:09pm

As good as it may sound, this article is an eye opener. It a nut shell, it says there is no solution and to Saif it says that if there is no solution then trying for an extremist strategy is no help and makes it worse. It is interesting that the article notes that all problems in history have been solved. I would like to add that not always with the price they deserved. Modi seems to have a history of good relation with Pakistani leaders, Gen Musharraf and NS have both claimed that between them and Modi they had solved the Kashmir problem. I would like to see an article on the solution they discussed. I must say that Muslim extremism has led to Hindu fundamentalism and Kashmir issue has not got any help from that. Pakistan's wish to get mediation gives a kind of clue that Pakistan's 'legal' position is stronger. It is a shame that the two countries can't solve this problem and poor Kashmiris have to pay the price. God bless!

majid malik May 20, 2017 06:32pm

Kashmir can be like California of the USA if there is enough desire in that direction. California has best of almost everything! superior Agriculture, Manufacturing and High Tech

Kashmir can be like switzerland in addition to the above.

But that goal needs culmination of armed struggle to separate from India and go nowhere

krishnan May 20, 2017 07:06pm

no other way but pervez way hope both nations agree on this.

Anshuman Verma May 20, 2017 07:07pm

Sir, I feel myself thoughtful Indian, an Indian who believe in pluralism. I also feel pain when see the Kashmiri Brother & sisters having problems with Indian state. What they claim I never see in other part of India. I always having question in my mind if Kashmir is having religious movement then Why should I support, Even if there is religious movement from Hindus also I will not support. And if The Kashmir movement is not religious movement then why there is movement. Regards

jahanzaib Dhudhi May 20, 2017 07:36pm

It is the sloe prerogative of Kashmiri people to decide for themselves.A transparent plebiscite under non-partisan authorities should be held. jammu &kashimir's struggle for Azaadi is purely indeginous. As the world's largest democracy ,India should somehow arrange this deciding round for Kashmiris ,instead of pelleting them. With hunderds already killed ,oppression is not an option.I, too ,hope that sanity prevail.

Siddhartha May 20, 2017 08:24pm

I always enjoy reading your article. Fair and balance with a sharp logic.

JP Singh May 20, 2017 08:37pm

A very balanced view by Mr Pervez Hoodbhoy.

Shadi Katyal May 20, 2017 08:46pm

The article written by Prof. Hoodbhoy touches the core problem of Kashmir and like Palestine, it will never end unless all parties sit down and try to make some sense. Ther3e is no question that Kashmir is moving more toward fanaticism and thus people are being exploited and since Modi took over , intolerance has become a rule of the day. KKASHMIRAYAT, as was known for centuries, have died and it is misled youngester who are suffering and will continue with this kind of attitude.I fear that there will be more bloodshed before any peace is called. India has spent crores of rupees to bring Rail and better infrastructure and it isto Kashmiri's to take advantage of such improvements but burning schools and throwing stones will not bring peace. The valley will suffer more since tourists will stay away and bring more hardships. Are there no leaders left who can lead the parties to some resonable solution and not strife

boo ali May 20, 2017 08:51pm

The most wise voice of the time.

AB, US May 20, 2017 09:13pm

Dr. HOODBHOY, my hats off to you. You are the first Pakistani national who recognized the plight of Kashmiri Pundits. Your logical analysis as good as it can gets. However, there is a solution may exist if there a commission of level minded thinkers like you, Mr. Husain, Mr. Kuldeep Nair and so forth get together approach the both the govts. and the masses may bring some fruits...who knows anything can happen.

N.S May 20, 2017 09:17pm

Comments from Indians are full of praise for the clear headed pragmatic reasons and solutions given by the writer of Kashmir "Their struggle should be for some form of pluralistic entity – whether independent or under nominal Indian or Pakistani control."

But there is no one agreeing to the reality with the solutions and the main point of giving some semblance of freedom to Kashmiri's, clear dichotomy and paradox from neighbors.

Raj May 20, 2017 09:20pm

The most sensible article on Kashmir problem ever written by anyone - Indian or Pakistani! If only people who decide the destinies of the two countries that came into existence from British-sponsored partition could understand ....

BJK May 20, 2017 09:46pm

There is a fourth option: Kashmiris living under Indian and Pakistani administrations should each realize that no country is perfect, only citizens can be. They should try to become model citizensof each country and in the process bring down the temperature and conflict, instead of acting as instigators and harming themselves most of all. Without this, Kashmir will be in the same situation (or even wors) even after another 50 years from now!

p c tripathy May 20, 2017 09:59pm

@Raina Aaqib (Kashmir) - we are all fools waiting for you to explain things to us. Grow up sir.

p c tripathy May 20, 2017 10:04pm

@FRANK - oh really?

p c tripathy May 20, 2017 10:07pm

@Zak - you are very learned man. great wisdom.

Rashid May 20, 2017 10:43pm

Hoodbhoy one of the very few sane voice on each side of the border; but I guess the sad fact is that human race only learns from apocalypse instead of logic and reasoning.

S.KOUL May 20, 2017 10:59pm

Excellent article and an eye opener for all.Only one thing it has not mentioned is about Indian media which is totally biased and projects only one side of the picture and wrongly projects a mass uprising as something sponsored and also doesn't show the hatred that Kashmiris have against the oppression by Indian forces in uniform over the last three decades under AFSPA

Abraham haque May 20, 2017 11:19pm

@IMTIAZ ALI KHAN please tell that to power mongers on both sides

iqbal hussain May 20, 2017 11:37pm

Very Balanced and logical article.

Sameer May 21, 2017 12:04am

Conveniently, Pervaz has skipped UNs willingness for intervention, Turkey's and OICs Arab representative's moral support...alongwith Trump's special interest in the Palestine issue.

Bahadur May 21, 2017 02:17am

Very well written article. The situation is so complex no matter what the solution is, at least one of the three parties would be unhappy and cry foul.

abbas Syed May 21, 2017 02:29am

Solution of Kashmir problem is to it from the hands of the armed forces. As long as the it is in the hands of the armed forces the problem will not solved as it is raison detre of its existence.

S. Tanwir Hasan May 21, 2017 02:51am

I always pray for your safety and long life as such minds are rare in Pakistan

Aftab Islam May 21, 2017 03:40am

There is only one solution. Instead of trying to alter borders we have to make borders irrelevant. Achieved by creating similar entity as a European Union. Then getting Kashmir maximum autonomy with India responsible only for defense and foreign affairs. This is possible as Kashmir has special status in Indian constitution. Also can have either a Jon aggression pact or a NATO type arrangement between India and Pakistan. Free movement of goods, people and capital will bring us all closer together

suresh mishra May 21, 2017 04:15am

First-time I have seen a Pakistani author being so fare. Very well written...

Chicken Changezi May 21, 2017 05:25am

India cannot separate a state just because it have a majority of population from different religion, language, culture or belief. If that happens than Punjab could be Khalistan, all southern states well ask different country for themselves. North east states were also ask for independence. But beauty of India is unity in diversity, that makes our country unique and true secular. So the argument by Kashmiri people for independence is invalid just because they are from different faith and ideology. I hope Pakistanis will understand that Muslims got a own country in 1947. Like many Muslims migrated from India to pakistan similarly millions Hindus migrated to India. Kashmiri if they wanted to live in Islamic country they could also migrate to pakistan in 1947 but not now. No more division of India on ethnic basis

Anil May 21, 2017 06:25am

The author is a scholar in true sense and a level headed,well informed political analyst sans fanatical moorings. So I agree with most,though not all,of his views. Rehorical outburst of most political analysts is worthless.For most Kashmir remains just like dogbone.If this obsession is not got over ,it has potential to seriously dent integrity of the nation concerned.

MADHU May 21, 2017 09:07am

Extremely logical and well written article. Feasible and sustainable solution for kashmir is to remain in the union as an ordinary state, just like all other 28 states in India. There would be chaos and bloodshed for sometime coz of 370 abrogation. But things will cool off once ppl, investments and other resources come across from other states and kashmiris starts accepting others as one among them.I don't see pampering a spoilt child till eternity as a way to make a gentleman out of him.

Paban KUMAR May 21, 2017 09:52am

we need a urgent solution to prevent the loss of life .

Pradeep valsangkar May 21, 2017 10:44am

Great Article. We need thinking people like you to solve this problem.

asif ali May 21, 2017 01:13pm

@Hunzai , after that who will rule the kashmir ?

almu May 21, 2017 04:12pm

Oh my God! Absolutely nailed the topic.Love this guy!!!

Krishnan May 21, 2017 05:03pm

@John He has cliamed in one of the post that he has quit US due to Trump effect and migrated to Canada. May be extremely highly qualified.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB May 22, 2017 12:40am

it is very complicated , pakistanies should stay away if they involve they will spoil more . look how they are running their own country.

pathanoo May 22, 2017 01:58am

Excellent article. Well substantiated. There are other mathematical equations that can solve this Kashmir problem and a lot of people including you, I am sure, know them. It's a question of spine and willingness to do it. In the end it requires every one to get off theri high horse, compromise and do the right thing for ALL the people.

Narinder Dogra May 22, 2017 06:34am

@singh Present situation is what it is. That is the final solution with minor adjustments like access to India in Afghanistan.

the real issue May 22, 2017 09:49am

Religion is not the only basis for a state, there are other commonalities like history, values, culture, language, arts, food, etc which are equally important. Bangladesh did not want to be part of Pakistan in spite of sharing the same religion. It is the manipulation of religion by clerics, politicians, which is one of the major reasons of turmoil, extremism in the sub-continent. If this exploitation of religion to cause differences, hate, extremism, did not happen, the Sub-Continent would have been peaceful, and partition would never ever have happened. Governments, States, the world over are learning this lesson, from what is going on in Pakistan, India, the Middle-East and therefore are taking precautions like China and many other countries, to make sure religion remains confined to the individual, does not become a competitor to the State. Pervez has a wonderful mind, and we are fortunate that he with Dawn share his thoughts .

MADHU SUDAN May 22, 2017 11:46am

Well documented Prof. Saab in words. But the referred documentary filim is for sure one sided. Indian Kashmir has been ethnically cleansed. Very unfortunate though. Both the countreis have their own problems. While India will one day reslove its problems, my biggest worry is Pakistan which by the day is being consumed by blasts, violence, religious extremity, terrorism & anything which reflects peace & progress.

As a fellow human being sans any imposed religious must dos. I feel sad for a common human across the border who is caught between the devel & the deep blue sea.

Salaam! Namaste!

Indian May 22, 2017 12:01pm

Very fairly written article

aafaq May 22, 2017 12:55pm

Great article as usual.... According to my opinion the big problem lies in Kashmir is leadership crisis ...

Anjali bangalore May 22, 2017 01:19pm

Very well written and made so many sensible thoughts with ease.... The author has really well articulated how most of the logical people in sub continent think about the Kashmir Issue and increasing radicalisation of the valley ...

shazia May 22, 2017 02:55pm

@Shailendra Sapra ....... Very pessimistic........ Solution is there, what is lacking is willingness on part of India and Pakistan. Kashmiris no doubt are more than willing for a solution.

universal May 22, 2017 07:57pm

no solution is possible without kashmiri pandits to be brought back to their original homes with respect and dignity....

Kian May 23, 2017 11:46am

@Shahid if you don't understand things try to learn about them it's very easy these days with the same internet you are using .The answers to all your questions are readily available unless you want to bury your head in the sand and don't want to see the light.

Kian May 23, 2017 12:00pm

@MS Agree with you completely! You summed it up really well!!

Par Kumar May 23, 2017 02:24pm

Sir, all are talking about Kashmir in isolation. It is a combined state with Jammu ,ladak,gilgit,udhampur and others. They all have to be included to find solutions. A great article and needs a practical and implementable solution with all the decision makers agreeing to it for the benefits for all.

Shakil May 23, 2017 08:39pm

Kashmir issue is considered as the parting kick the British colonials ha delivered to both India and Pakistan. It is apparently an insoluble problem with India as the big brother considering it as a national insult to let go of one of its integral part (atoot ang). The superpowers act hypocritically when they tell us to solve this problem bilaterally through negotiations, which is impossible due to the reason cited above. There are only two solutions that can yield any result, a mediation by some superpower, or the Kashmiri people themselves become so sensitive to their subservient lot that they make it impossible for India to keep its stranglehold on them. I thing with the rise of the new generation of Kashmiris and their full realization of their miserable lot under Indian bondage, they will be the ones to rise and force India to give hem their freedom.