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Kashmir is a conquered desire

Every breeze which passes through the modest towns of Kashmir, has some story to enounce about warfare and unceasing captivity. Sometimes, thinking of the conflict, which we are sucked into, a series of images get flashed into my mind, and they are always about common Kashmiris and less about politicians and extremists. People every time overly praise and resist these same figures, but its the common people of Kashmir, whose somber stories have been missing in this territorial dispute. The beautiful scenery of our vale has been reduced in ambiance and it has become a vanishing world.

The very first bomb blast, the very first casualty has killed the truth here. Everyone has a story to tell but only in different versions. Kashmir, today, has been reduced to deserted streets, shuttered shops in the evening, a neighborhood with military presence, checkpoints with people getting frisked, angry blokes with lumps of stones, militant aggression.... when you are driven in conflict and subjugation, your own vale feels like a prison. The bitter literal truth about our land being brutalized, every fresh infliction on wounded memories of all aggrieved victims chokes us, shatters us, and yet we can't do anything about this wretched retrospection. We can just condemn savageries, provide platform for discourse and hope for a successful closure of this conflict, which is so sepulchral, mercilessly inciting macabre and gulping our generations for decades.

Kashmiri society is based on pluralism, harmony and tolerance. Those people who are trying to project the freedom struggle as an extremist, fundamentalist struggle are halting the resolution process. This very notion proves to be the biggest flaw in the Kashmir resolution. Unless and until, common Kashmiris are not made part of the resolution, no such resolution is valid or can be accepted under any circumstances. India & Pakistan have to revere the sacrifices rendered by the people of Kashmir; Till then no such resolution can take place because it would be against the existing social persuasions. A joint commission of some kind, having negotiants from India, Pakistan and Kashmir can help in institutionalization of decommissioning of Jehadi groups through proper negotiations and phased demilitarization of army, initiated together, from both sides. It can significantly restore peace in the region.

After every act of violence, both countries should learn to initiate Confidence Building Measures (CBM'S), and to identify the grassroots of the conflict, instead of nurturing visions of destruction for each other. The perceptions of common man from both countries still haven't changed. It has only helped in impeding the resolution instead of its facilitation.

LOC (Line of Control) should be dismantled for enhancing political stability, so that the common masses can prosper through mutual economic dependence. People can come close, live together, and it can result in overcoming the emotional barrier which Kashmiris have faced since decades. Delay tactics in initializing the resolution may favor both countries but it is a serious drawback to Kashmiris. There is no mutual co-existence between the two parts of Kashmir. After decades of armed struggle, wars, loss of life and property, the resolution is still in the process of accommodation. The resolution should be stringently Kashmir-centric. The two parts of Kashmir should enjoy a greater autonomy, and stress should be profoundly given on territorial integrity. It would not only ease off the never ending mutual distrust between the two neighbors, but would also give Kashmiris a long needed chance to represent their own aspirations. 

The most important concern, still subsisting, among the masses in Kashmir is still the same : end of human rights violations. Thousands of people have been slaughtered, missing & women have been raped. There has been a failure in delivering justice. Most of these abuses have been tainted as serious international crimes by international humanitarian bodies. Installation of a United Nations Truth Commission can act as a record institution for such savage abuses and it can prove beneficial in restoring the social fabric of Kashmir by proper rehabilitation of victims of violence.

The resolution in Kashmir is vital for long lasting peace in the South Asia region. It has been a nuclear flash-point for many years, so its resolution is highly critical. The solution depends on the will to resolve and leadership efficiency. Sound Indo-Pak relations depend upon the effectual resolution of the K-issue. It has been in the world spotlight, since the partition of two countries. So, all the world powers want this issue to be settled once for all.

Most of the armed fights between the militants and the Indian army ultimately involve the lives of common people and their property. People live in increasing fears, this is of little comfort to the common man, who generally has had to bear the brunt of instigated violence and subjugation, from the last two decades. People here deserve a respectful life. Kashmir should be given to Kashmiris. We need a nation on our own, give us our piece of land which it was, which we have claimed for decades-- our soul, our nationality, our pride, dignity & individuality. I’m a proud Kashmiri, I love every grain of soil which I touch here, and there are thousands of people like me, who think the same way.

© Naveed Qazi, Insights: Kashmir

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