By Daya Sagar
A Look Through The Mist (Part-II)
No doubt as far as Pakistan is concerned, it is a foreign body and Pakistan is not bound by any reins of the Constitution of India. But there should not be any problem in doing plain speaking with the agitators / protesters from within the country. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also in August 2016 said that for fixing the internal / local stake holders for talks with in the Constitution of India he would be taking the advice of J&K Chief Minister (Mehbooba Mufti). So, should not Mehbooba take the lead and suggest the stake holders to be addressed by GOI for talks/negotiations with in the arena of Constitution of India?
It was on 14-09-2011 when Omar Abdullah was heading NC- Congress Coalition Government in J&K when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator, Nizam-ud-din Bhat (Bandipora), had moved a private member Bill in the Assembly seeking deletion of Section -3 and Section- 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Constitution professing that such action is must for resolving the Kashmir “dispute,” since Section – 3 says that the State of J&K is an integral part of Union of India and Section 5 of J&K Constitution restricts executive and legislative powers of J&K State legislature. Bhat had said “If we are sincere in our political utterances that Kashmir is a dispute then constitution should provide me the space to solve it,… question should be kept wide open if Kashmir has to be resolved and any kind of hurdle has to be removed to provide for re-determining the state’s relation with the Union of India,”. The PDP was then headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who had the distinction of being the first ever Muslim Union Home Minister of the country from 1989 to 1990. No doubt by then (2011) PDP had already ruled J&K with Congress from 2002 -2008 and had also released party’s Self Rule Framework 2008 that had neither been by then rejected by UPA-I & UPA-II and of course it has also not been rejected by even NDA-II. J&K PDP’s Self Rule Frame would surely require Sections- 3 ,5 and 147 of J&K Constitution to get amended or go in case the ‘framework’ has to be implemented. Of course the then J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah too had claimed that he was the first ever Chief Minister of J&K who was for seeking a political solution for the troubled state.
Mehbooba Mufti too during her maiden speech after 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Lok Sabha on 16th June 2014 had “truthfully” asked Government of India to focus more on “Kashmir Issue” and not talk of issues in Kashmir. The recognised mainstream leadership of Kashmir often opines that to enable people of J&K live in a peaceful and stable environment Government of India should solve the “Kashmir issue” by taking all the stake holders (including the separatists) in to confidence and also settle the affairs with Pakistan.
After 2014 it was proper time for Center to tell PDP that PDP’s self rule frame work does not fall within the ambit of COI but so far it has not happen. Not only that it is also the duty of parties like PDP-NC-Congress spell out how talks could be held with “Separatists” within spirit of Constitution of India ?
A common question being asked today is that why the main opposition regional party of J&K, the National Conference is toeing the separatist line.
Some so simply say that NC is doing so since J&K People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has nearly ended the monopoly of National Conference in Kashmir Valley. No doubt the answer does lie around such like explanation but to reach the roots for the phenomenal change in the expressions made by NC after 2002 one must understand the “magic mantra” that Mufti Mohd Sayeed’s PDP has used to make the people of Kashmir Valley rally around PDP. The “mantra” has been of the type that could better percolate in the growing separatist infested environment in the valley since many myths/ questions regarding J&K having become as good an India as had become Punjab or Hyderabad after 1947 accession of the then princely states of Indian British Empire. Government of India had allowed many anti-India / anti-accession sermons / viewpoints to cultivate particularly in Kashmir Valley. J&K PDP just in three years from 1999 to 2002 threw challenges on National Conference that even Congress had not been able to press in till then. And the mantra was of Self Rule Framework that in simple terms professed of something like (i) naming the Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K as Pakistan ‘Administered J&K and the remaining part as Indian Administered Jammu & Kashmir (ii) joint control of India & Pakistan on some affairs concerning the State of Jammu & Kashmir (iii) a Council for Greater Jammu and Kashmir having five members each as nominated by India and Pakistan (iv) Validity of currencies of both India and Pakistan in two parts of J&K (v) Leaving it to “Greater Jammu & Kashmir” to decide the import – export tariff between J&K and two main lands of India and Pakistan and (vi) professing Autonomy of J&K State from Indian Nation State. And this ‘mantra’ ( Self Rule ) surely in a way professes diluting the totalness of the 1947 accession of J&K with India thereby finding better acceptability as compared to Greater Autonomy of National Conference that called for just autonomy for government of the state from the central government since all these years many myths against 1947 accession as promoted in Kashmir Valley had been left uncontested by Indian Governments and leaders. Of course the support base of NC and the support base of PDP are nearly same i.e. Kashmir Valley (they have set some ideological roots also with the help of religious kinship in some areas of Jammu region after 1947) and both the parties have lesser gravity of stakes in Jammu and Ladakh regions since it was only the Kashmir Valley that had been expressing resentments against non- fulfillment of some commitments made in 1947 by Government of India (particularly by Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru , the then Prime Minister) with the people of state, even professing that since J&K was a Muslim majority princely state.
And of course it is also now time for Mehbooba Mufti to spell out in plain and simple words whether she still carries the spirit of Self Rule Doctrine and if not then how she feels that talks worth bringing peace and stability in J&K ( Kashmir Valley) could be held by Government of India with the individuals / groups like Hurriyat leadership as one of the state holders ?
And it is for GOI also to settle the doubts in the understanding mainstream parties as regards J&K being as good an Indian sate as is Punjab. A clear line has to be drawn between the ideologies of local mainstream parties (Kashmir Valley parties) and the separatists so as to pull out the common man of J&K out of the web of myths & controversies. If not done peace may not return to J&K in the near future.
(Daya Sagar is Sr. Journalist & Social Activist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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