Friday, August 06, 2010

The only package Kashmir needs is justice


Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu/India, August 5, 2010


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SEEKING JUSTICE: Protesters set ablaze police vechile after two young men were killed in firing in Pampore on August 1, 2010. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
SEEKING JUSTICE: Protesters set ablaze police vechile after two young men were killed in firing in Pampore on August 1, 2010. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
If the Prime Minister [Dr Manmohan Singh] does not take bold steps to address the grievances of the Kashmiris, there’s no telling where the next eruption will take us.

Whatever his other failings, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah deserves praise for acknowledging that the protests which have rocked the Kashmir valley these past few weeks are ‘leaderless’ and not the product of manipulation by some hidden individual or group.

This admission has been difficult for the authorities to make because its implications are unpleasant, perhaps even frightening. In security terms, the absence of a central nervous system means the expanding body of protest cannot be controlled by arresting individual leaders. And in political terms, the spectre of leaderless revolt makes the offer of ‘dialogue’ or the naming of a ‘special envoy’ for Kashmir — proposals which might have made sense last year or even last month — seem completely and utterly pointless today.

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