Kamal Morarka

Solution of Kashmir Lies in Simla Agreement

Posted by Kamal Morarka Blog
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kashmir-mapKashmir has been engaging the attention of the country for the past few weeks. Seventy-two people have died and the unrest is still there. The question everybody is asking is what is the solution to the Kashmir problem? Before that one should ask: What is the Kashmir problem? There are two problems in Kashmir. One, that Pakistan illegally and forcibly occupied a part of Kashmir in 1947 and there has been ceasefire since then. It is an issue to be resolved between India and Pakistan. On that suffice it to say that the UN resolutions asking for plebiscite and withdrawal of Pakistan forces etc. are now dead. They are like non est, because during three months Pakistan did not withdraw their forces and the plebiscite was to be taken of the population of that day. It cannot be done today. So it is not an idea. The second part was that after many years in Simla an accord was signed between Zulfeqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi of India called the Simla Agreement. Whereby we agreed to exchange the territories occupied in that war. There was a two paragraph agreement. If that agreement is strictly adhere to by the both countries there will be peace. The two paragraphs roughly say as follows: (1) all issues between India and Pakistan including Kashmir (stated specifically) will be resolved through negotiations between the countries without interference of a third party. This excludes the US and the UN from coming into Kashmir, specifically agreed by both the prime ministers. (2)Till such time that a negotiated solution comes through neither party shall try to change the situation on the ground by force which means war is also ruled out. Unfortunately this agreement which was done by two wise leaders does not suit the present people. They always talk of wars, skirmishes, sending people into the country illegally. It is totally against the Simla Agreement and just because it suits them, Pakistan keeps on talking of UN Resolutions which are dead and gone and officially buried by the 1972 Simla Agreement. Mr. Bhutto had agreed that henceforward we shall solve our problems through dialogue without interference of a third party. So now talking of UN and the US does not make sense.

Anyway that is issue. The present problem is not that; the present problem is that there is an unrest in the valley and it is alright for the Indian forces to say and the government to say that Pakistan is inciting it. It does not happen unless your own population is angry and unhappy, nobody can take advantage. And the fact is they are unhappy. Again you say they are unhappy because jobs are not there, schools are not being built that’s alright, that happens in whole country. The country is in a state of difficulties, they do not have enough jobs, but what is happening in Kashmir is different because one agreement in 1975 between Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah who was released from prison and the Congress handed over the government to him, though the Congress had a majority. It is called Sheikh-Indira Accord of Delhi. That accord laid down clearly that Kashmir will be governed by election and all laws which have been extended to Kashmir between 1953 when Sheikh Abdullah was arrested and 1975 when he again came back to power in the intervening 22 years all laws which were extended to Kashmir will be reviewed by the Kashmir government in Kashmir Assembly and suitable action will be taken in consultation with Delhi and Srinagar. It meant that wherever Delhi has unilaterally diluted Article 370, they are prepared to reverse. Unfortunately that did not happen because Sheikh made CM for only for seven years and then he died. All problems started after that. By 1982, Kashmir problem was over. Pakistan had no face to show because having divided India on religious basis their east wing parted company being of the same religion. So their basis got destroyed. Why did we make a mess after 1982, because in the Congress government of the day Indira Gandhi’s personal ego was so much that she could not tolerate Farooq Abdullah winning the defeating the Congress. So they engineered defection 1984 brought down Farooq Abdullah Government and put his brother in law, a puppet of the Congress as the Chief Minister, and let me make it clear that there was no communal riots in Kashmir ever. The first one took place when GM Shah (Sheikh Abdullah son-in-law) as the Chief Minister. Why? Because he was not the true representative of the Kashmiri people!

Now having said that what do you do from here? First you start to regain that. For laws extended to Kashmir between 1953 and 1975, you should allow the Kashmiris to have say in it. And unfortunately now this assembly has thrown up a very funny combination: four parties got seats. You made a number and made a government. How do know what people looking what their government is!   Do people approve of BJP-PDP government? The real answer is no, because Mufti Mohammad Sayeed funeral was attended by thousand people when Mehbooba used to claim that he is the tallest leader after Sheikh Abdullah whose funeral was attended by lakhs of people. It was the indication that people do not approve of this. What should you do in Kashmir? BJP must answer. At least give up your government, let Mehbooba rule, withdraw from government, support from the outside. You want to still be in Kashmir. Alright, at least assured the people that now we have changed our stand on article 370, and it will remain forever. Is the BJP prepare to that article 370 will remain forever or at least say what the Congress used to say that article 370 will remain so long as the people of Jammu and Kashmir want it to remain. Even if that change you make the average man will thing it is hoodwink, it is a hogwash. You have just make government to make money, some minister to make money. What are trying to achieve. When this government was made a BJP spokesman said now we will solve the problem of Jammu and Kashmir. If this government fails to solve it, we will resign. So the time has come to resign. What can be worst than this. Forget solving you have complicated the matter.

Today, if we have to start solving the problem two things you must tell the Kashmiri people: article 370 will remain permanently and whatever dilution have taken place between 1975 and 1982 will be reviewed. That should be the starting point, and maybe even then Kashmiri people want a fresh election. Give them a fresh election. Let them chose between Abdullah, Mufti and Geelani or whoever. What have the BJP or the Congress to do! If Tamil Nadu can be ruled alternatively between DMK and AIADMK, why cannot Kashmir be ruled alternately by the National Conference, PDP and the Hurriyat? After all they within the constitution of India you have got article 356. They cannot go out of India because Army is standing there. Army should be there in Kashmir in good quantity on the border not in the city of Srinagar where it is now. Guard your border ferociously and make it loud and clear that Pakistan has no locus standi on our children in Kashmir. Bring confidence back to our people. Negotiation with Pakistan you can have separately as per Simla Agreement. If this government will say that Simla Agreement is sacrosanct, Sheikh-Indira Agreement is sacrosanct. Just follow that religiously problem will be melt away. It will take time but it will surely melt away.

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