Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kashmiris Right to Determine Their Future Is the Only Solution to the Kashmir Conflict

Nasir Khan, July 16, 2016

Today Professor Raj Bhat, himself a Kashmiri, raised a few questions and asked for my response. I am repoducing his comment followed by my reply. Our readers will see that we two have different views on the Kashmir issue:

Raj Bhat: Nasir Khan Sahab: I have raised human issues which deserve your attention. Otherwise, it becomes supportive of frenzy and genocide. As a kid in Poonch, do you remember the condition of people who were displaced/ uprooted from Bhimbar and Muzzafarabad? The survivors of the ethnic cleansing from these regions are stateless in 2016 too! The frightened, terrorized. traumatized non-muslims of the Indian Kashmir valley are called ‘migrants’! This ethnic cleansing took place in 1990. Please relate the issues and go ahead.
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Nasir Khan: Raj Bhat Sahib, here I am not going to enter into any lengthy discussion about the issues you have mentioned as questions of human rights. Yes, in 1947/8 I had seen how the Hindus in our areas in Poonch were treated, some cruelly killed, their houses burnt. But as a young boy, I had no means of seeing things in Muzaffarabad and Bhimbar because they were far away from our district. Much atrocities were committed against the Hindus and their properties burnt or plundered. But I also saw the destitute refugees in our village and adjoining areas who had come from the Indian administered Kashmir to our areas in Poonch and their stories of deaths at the hands of non-Muslims. I can never forget the conditions I saw them in and their miserable existence as refugees.

As I understand you are only concerned about Hindus, not Muslims of Kashmir. About 100, 000 Kashmiris have died as a result of Indian military violence and the lives of millions of innocent people destroyed. Kashmiri Pandits have also suffered much. Yet, despite all the bloodshed, the Kashmir conflict has not gone away and it will never go away as long as Indian government does not find a political solution. The only way forward is to let the people of Kashmir decide their future by plebiscite.

The tragedy of Kashmir has seen much blood shedding and destruction. Without any political solution to this conflict, the future generations of Kashmiris will continue to resist the Indian occupation and India will continue to kill those who do not submit to the Indian rule. We should keep in mind that these conditions will not bring peace and joy to any.

You may be speaking as a Hindu and you have every right to do so but I do not speak as a Muslim but only as a Humanist and a Socialist who is well-wisher of all – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and freethinking people, etc. etc. – in Jammu and Kashmir and other places.
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