Time for decisive decision on Ghulam Kashmir

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in Pakistan These days there is a civil war like situation. No part of the government is working properly. The army, the bureaucracy and the judges are divided. Far from war, Pakistan does not even have the financial power to handle the internal crisis. It is surprising that Pakistan does not even realize the danger before its existence. Recently, a meeting of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in Goa. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, who came to India to attend it, said that Article 370 is an obstacle in the Indo-Pak talks. India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar gave a clear answer to him that he is the promoter and spokesperson of the Pakistani terrorist industry. Article 370 is now history and in the Kashmir issue, the only thing left for Pakistan to do is to vacate slave Kashmir. His answer said a lot.
This should have been our policy since the temporary ceasefire in the Kashmir war on January 1, 1949, but Nehru was determined to divide Kashmir like India. This means that the Kashmir issue is now over for India, belatedly. In this way, he pointed to the existential crisis of Pakistan, which is present before the Pakistan Army after the Kashmir issue has disappeared from the scene. In fact, since 1947, the Pakistan Army has survived only on the basis of assurances and talks on the Kashmir issue, India’s enmity and religious solution to the Kashmir dispute. The basis of Pakistan has not been Kashmir, but the Kashmir issue. The condition they have done to slave Kashmir is not even hidden from anyone. The people of Pakistan have started asking questions to their army that in 75 years you could not take Kashmir. Imran Khan is saying that you are the same army which surrendered 93 thousand soldiers in 1971. Coming out of the statements of common leaders of Pakistan, Kashmir as an issue has now gone to the margins there.

When our only declared policy is to evacuate slave Kashmir, then formal diplomatic statements in this matter should start from India’s side. China has made major investments in Pakistan, including building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from Karakoram to Gwadar at a cost of $46 billion. This highway also passes through this Indian territory. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned China not to use this Kashmiri Indian territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan, he paid no heed to these objections. Probably we were not able to block that route militarily, so China made a road in this CPEC scheme. Strategic equations are changing with Pakistan becoming weak. Military and civilian transport of enslaved Kashmir from Indian soil is a hostile act. This new language of ours will be a clear signal not only to China but to the world about our changed Kashmir policy. Therefore, now it becomes necessary for us to move forward in this direction. The question is, what will those steps be?
First of all, we have to see that since 1956, 24 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly have been reserved for the people’s representation of Ghulam Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan region. On this basis, new seats can be created for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also. This is possible through constitutional amendment. There will be no opposition.

Probably in this context private member bills have also been presented in the Parliament. An alternative arrangement for nomination of people’s representatives dedicated to the development of Kashmir by the President to Parliament and Vidhansabha can also be added to this bill. With this acceptance, the dispute related to Kashmir will automatically go to the background. This will be the second major revolutionary step after the abolition of Article 370. Similarly, the western Kashmiri region of Gujar-Bakarwals, which includes the hilly regions of Kupwara, Handwara, Uri, Poonch and Rajouri, can be taken along with them to form a new union territory separate from the Kashmir Valley. It is a vast sector which is waiting to join the national mainstream of development. He is not a hanger-on of the Kashmir Valley. This will open up new dimensions of development in that backward area and Gojri, Pahari and Dogri speaking Gujars, Bakarwals will get a new opportunity to participate in development through their public representatives. This class is far from divisive thinking. Due to dynastic dominance in the Kashmir Valley, they have not been able to get equitable political representation. This potential union territory will be close to Jammu in terms of nature and language, which will play an important role in securing the Kashmir Valley from the ill effects of Pakistan.

It is a fact that Pakistan is on the threshold of internal division. With its defeat, we will get freedom from the strategic pressure of double front. Then we will also see the changed form of the Chinese dragon. Now when the goal is the return of slave Kashmir, then we must move forward in these directions. Foreign Minister Jaishankar had said in response to a question in the press conference after the SCO meeting, ‘You smell the coffee, Article 370 is history.’ It was an amazingly confident answer. Kashmir is no longer on the negotiating table, but is moving towards becoming a model state of India. There is no religious crisis in front of the Kashmiri people regarding their future. If we can move forward in this direction regarding slave Kashmir, then it will not take much time when Pakistan will also become a history that Pakistan used to be a country.
(The author is an ex-serviceman and former administrator)
Captain R. Vikram Singh

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