The Kashmir issue is an outcome of broken promises and deceptive policies. Though there could be worst examples of broken promises; none can match the miserable issue of Kashmir. Right from 1947 till this date, broken promises haunt Kashmir’s history and explain its tragedy.
Recently, the Indian External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, on a visit to the Kashmir valley, expressed remorse over the mass gang rape by the Indian army in Kunan Poshpora village of North Kashmir in 1991, saying:
“I am ashamed of Kunan Poshpora” he said, during an interaction with media persons in Srinagar. Significantly so, this statement added a new chapter in the history of Kashmir, thereby creating ripples in the political spheres of Kashmir. Whereas some mainstream parties welcomed it, the pro freedom block totally rejected it. The new generation of Kashmiris who use social networking services for voicing their anger, vehemently opposed this and even exposed the concealed motives behind this statement.
It must be noted that after 22 years of deadly silence, now the Indian government is faking justice for the unfortunate women of Kunan Poshpora, just for scoring concealed personal and political motives. Going through the previous records, it is more or less a time buying tactic; an ugly episode of sprinkling salt on the brazen wounds of those women who were gang raped the whole night by Indian soldiers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles on February 23, 1991. And this time, it was not an apology, but just a political motivation of gaining a vote bank, as India is going to hold general elections next year. For their vote bank politics, Indian political parties are used to stooping to the lowest levels, then why not a fake apology for the crime their military forces committed some 22 years ago? It is in itself a shame for the Indians that they are apologizing for a crime committed some 22 years ago.
The Indian government must bear it in mind that hollow promises won’t do any favour to these women; only concrete steps will, for which the Indian government was never sincere.
It is not the first case that the Indian government is making such hollow promises; they have their own history of deceiving the common Kashmiri folks and the international community. But they always get exposed in their own ways of promising.
The train of broken promises starts right from the partition.
The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) passed a resolution on January 5, 1949 wherein it was agreed that “the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.” The resolution was negotiated with both India and Pakistan and accepted by all five members of the Commission – Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Czechoslovakia and the United States. Professor Joseph Korbel, father of Dr. Madeleine Albright, was the Chairman of the Commission at the time. But till date, the promise of a free and impartial plebiscite is not fulfilled.
Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the Indian delegate, spoke thus during the 399th meeting of the Security Council on January 13, 1949, “On behalf of my Government, I can give the assurance that it will not only cooperate to the utmost with the Commission itself towards a settlement in Kashmir, but also with the United Nations in securing peace everywhere, because it believes that this organization offers the only hope for peace for future generations, on a secure basis.” And today, the whole world is watching how India is cooperating with Pakistan and Kashmir – the main parties of the conflict, for the settlement of the issue.
Sir Rau further said at the Security Council on March 1, 1951, “The people of Kashmir are not mere chattels to be disposed of according to a rigid formula; their future must be decided on their own interest and in accordance with their own desires.”
Mr. Setalwad, another Indian delegate, spoke during the 572nd meeting of the Security Council on January 31, 1952, “I was the first to declare that the people of Jammu and Kashmir should freely decide their own future.”
One of the most significant statements was made on November 2, 1947, by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. On this day, he reiterated, ”We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given and the Maharaja supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.”
But what happened to all those promises? Kashmir is still waiting for those promises to be fulfilled as soon as possible, not only for the betterment of Kashmir, but for all the parties involved in this issue.
One feels ashamed at seeing the attitude of the Indian government viz a viz Kashmir. Not only their earlier leaders/politicians, but also the new generation politicians go through the same rhetoric of “atoot ang”, besides terming Kashmir as their internal issue.
On September 5, 2005, Dr. Manmohan Singh promised Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman All Parties Hurriyet Conference, that India will have zero tolerance on the human rights violations in Kashmir. Then he responded while replying to a question during a press conference in New York that “The fact that there is so much of violence (in Kashmir), the fact that cross-border infiltration continues, the terrorists are active, does impose some burden on the ordinary citizens.”
Just after his statement of zero tolerance, Kashmir witnessed a wave of Indian terror – the gruesome human rights violations, torture, rape, plunder, abduction, arson, custodial disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and ruthless suppression of peaceful political dissent.
Every time any Indian delegate visits Kashmir, there comes some political statement for the sake of political motives and befooling the international community, thereby portraying Kashmir as their internal issue.
What happened after the 2008, 2010 mass uprisings when after hundreds got killed; the Indian government ordered probes which proved just a mere eyewash. What about the thousands of unnamed graves, what about the disappeared, what about fake encounters, what about gang rapes of Kashmiri women? Probes after probes, promises after promises, but to no avail. Just another day passes. Just another year goes by and Kashmir is made to survive on the heap of broken promises.
Today, they will promise that AFSPA and other draconian laws will be repealed, but once the elections are over, there will be a new language – the language of terror. There will be a new law, a new code of life; and a new bunch of broken promises will add to the already huge heap of broken promises. And Kashmir will go on and on, surviving to see that morning when all these broken promises will get fulfilled.