6 June, 2020

Bombs, guns, bullets and stones have been the norm in Kashmir for a long now. With its snow capped mountains, teeming with apple orchards and fields of saffron, Kashmir resembles an enchanted kingdom. But for decades this land has instead felt cursed as it has witnessed bloodbath all through.

Some give it a name of proxy war, some call it armed struggle and some by other names. Whatever the nomenclature one gives it, the reality is that the Kashmiries have suffered. They have lost their lives, their loved ones, their property and above all the peace of their heaven.

Earlier the infiltrators would come from cross border Pakistan with some Kashmiri Youth joining them. India continued fighting them with iron fist. Also we fought Pakistan in three wars and every time showed them their place. But from several years the trend has changed. Pakistan is not able to infiltrate its proxies in numbers as it would earlier. Today there are more Kashmiries (in ratio) than Pakistanis who are involved in militancy activities. No doubt during encounters, the security forces give chance to these militants to surrender and not get killed, which is very much evident from a recent video which surfaced on social media from an encounter site in South Kashmir and many other such incidents.

Security forces are, as they should be, going for a hunt. They are to be lauded for their efforts. They have been bravely guarding the land against the enemies of the country. But somewhere it is the ruling class of the country which has failed Kashmiries all through this. Except for the former Prime Minister of the country Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee no other leader has actually been able to walk the talk on Kashmir issue. It was during his tenure that New Delhi started a dialogue process with the separatists, which to the dismay of the Kashmiri population could not continue. For Kashmiries this dialogue process was a ray of hope towards a prosperous and peaceful future.The present NDA government is in no mood to initiate any sort of talks with Kashmiri people rather it is fulfilling its agenda by removing Art 370 and bifurcating the state into two union territories (UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh), which is further alienating the Kashmiri people.

Watching all this Pakistan should be at the cloud nine, as the alienation of Kashmiries with help them in furthering their proxy war tactics. India has always been a land of tolerance.

The founding fathers of the nation taught us to adopt the method of non-violence and reconciliation. We gave Pakistan so many chances to mend its way but it has always betrayed us and we have decided not to give it further chances till it mend its ways and rightly so. But in Kashmir, Pakistan is using our own boys against us and here we can isolate Pakistan by talking to these boys, who on provocation of an outsider are disturbing peace in their own homes. These boys though with guns in their hands are our own children. They don’t need bullets in their chests rather a hand to help them come out of the dark towards the light. They have been intoxicated by our enemies and we need to cure them of this intoxication.

Let’s try and talk to them with no third party in between. If the United States can talk to a dreadful terrorist organisation like Taliban, why can’t we bring our own children on table, who for some reason are unhappy with us and bring them back to mainstream where they can be a part of the developmental process of the country.Mahatma Gandhi has once said, ‘I remain an optimist, not that there is any evidence that I can give that right is going to prosper, but because of my unflinching faith that right must prosper in the end’.

The writer PRINCE SALHEEN MANZOOR  is an ADVOCATE in J&K HIGHCOURT and can be reached on psalheen@gmail.com