Problem Kashmir

by Nathan Hamm on 9/26/2010 · 4 comments

The following is another guest post from Umair. — Nathan

With the recent meetings between Indian members of Parliament, All Parties Hurriyat Conference and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, it is only natural to ask if anything will really change. The simple answer is no. That being said, the fact that the government has sent a group of MPs to deliberate with Kashmiri representation, proves not only an intent to fix the current situation, but also the fact that Indian military’s participation has only escalated the situation.

If India truly wishes to come to a conclusion that will, in the long run, work out in their favour, they must take everything that the Kashmiri’s want seriously. A roadmap to peace has to be developed if Kashmir is to either become a viable part of India or a ‘nation within a nation’; autonomous powers that have been similarly given to some other states in India. Happymon Jacob, in his Op-ed in The Hindu, agrees that such a measure should only be a starting point since issues such as the military’s clamping of protesters must be put under scrutiny.

The Armed Forces Act (AFSPA) must be immediately reviewed, as it gives extensive leeway and power to arrest any Kashmiri without knowledge of family members. If such actions are taken, it will certainly ring in the military and civilian police force that have been brutal in the past 100 days (100 days of protests). The Public Safety Act and the Disturbed Areas Act should as well be brought under review, as these laws have the ability to completely protect Indian forces against any wrong doing. Police and military officers taking part in brutal measures against the youth, including forcing some to walk naked in the streets cannot be allowed to continue their role as an enforcer. Those responsible must be held accountable; such actions will certainly alienate the northern state from the Hindu majority nation.

Working on the Kashmir solution will not only help to ease tensions on India’s foreign policy, but also on domestic issues such as terrorism. Just recently, terrorists in New Delhi fired at two foreign journalists outside of Jama Masjid and also set off a bomb, which luckily failed to explode. A letter was later emailed to several news agencies stating that such actions were taken in response to the military’s use of force in dealing with Kashmiri protesters. With the Commonwealth games starting, this is a serious threat to India, one that cannot be taken lightly. India already has a Maoist insurgency they need to deal with, Kashmir can no longer be put on the backburner or it will certainly blow up in their face.


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 4 comments }

Grant September 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

You would think that India would have a better understanding of how to handle insurgencies and separatist movements given their long history on the matter.

Abrar September 26, 2010 at 10:36 pm

You talk of measures not of a solution.While lifting of AFSPA and other acts that give immunity to the indian forces would be a starting point .The result should be what kashmiris want .

India has a long history of dealing with insurgencies because it has been unfair in its dealings with its minoroties. From its north east to its western borders,it has used military means to suppress its minorities.

Kashmir is a unique case as it was never an indian state. Take the Indian forces out and the link will be gone.This is how much connection India has with kashmir.

Umair September 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

I truly agree with that point. These points that i have laid out are all viable solutions that India can take. Allowing Kashmir to separate is clearly not for their benefit. That being said it does seem like the eventual solution will be the independence of Kashmir. Whether that is a benefit to Kashmir is a question on its own.

Jakob September 27, 2010 at 6:33 am

In the recent Granta issue, the only Kashmir contribution was tellingly by Basharat Peer purely on the Indian side. Albeit compellingly written as always and of course most of the show is going on on the Indian side, why are there no Pakistani bloggers/journalists getting up from behind their screens in Karachi and Lahore and moving to AJK to cover the situation there a bit? It doesn’t need much digging to find compelling stories there as well (be it from Indian Kashmiris who live there in camps in a legal limbo or ex-JKLF staff gone sober). I am not expecting that from the mainstream media which may always give the excuse that they are presurized by army not to do so (although I doubt the army would really stop them). And of course there is coverage in the local Urdu media from Bagh and Muzaffarabad, but that is heardly read even in Islamabad and never makes it to the net because of language. Or do you think the Pakistan Kashmir side simply does not matter in the issue at all, and if yes why so?

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