Kashmir embroiled in a vexed situation, one which has baffled all but the politicians and leaders who traded it well to their maximum benefit. Partition; a nightmarish situation left the whole subcontinent bleeding except Kashmir but Kashmiries never knew their beautiful land was poisoned with uncertainty which would make it to bleed for long with deep wounds of hatred, alienation, subjugation and exploitation. For more than five decades Kashmir issue has been exploited to its maximum by every exploiter in the garb of political leadership leaving Kashmiris in misery and virtual desolation. A local urdu daily rightly put in one of its recent editorials about Kashmir issue, “Kashmir eik sada bahar masla hai” . Every one wants to have taste and share out of this ‘ sadabahar’ (evergreen) issue. Sheikh Muhamed Abdullah down to Mufti Muhmmad Syeed along with other politicians and leaders of all shades have enjoyed their share of joy out of this issue, bothering least about the aspirations, wishes and plight of people of Kashmir.
Kashmir has attracted international attention from the day one but during last many years the smell of explosives and rattling guns have attracted the world’s mighty and powerful; apprehending Kashmir to turn into a flash point of their destruction. These days apparently lot more seems being practiced to resolve this complicated and over exploited issue, but for last more than a year Kashmir issue is on the fore front of all burning problems, getting world attention. Kashmir, ke hawale se (a pet words with Kashmiri politicians nowadays) talks, conspiracies and behind the curtain parley are on. No sensible person will oppose talks; even hardliners can be motivated to toe the universally acclaimed idea of negotiations and peace full settlement. But talks should be for the sake of addressing and resolving the issue sincerely and honestly and held with people of Kashmir through their true and legitimate representatives. Every Kashmiri has a dream; the dream of peaceful and honorable solution of Kashmir issue.
Some time back Government of India held talks with late Ghuam Muhidin lone, Bilal Lodhi, Babar Badar and company of ‘Forum for permanent resolution of Kashmir issue’ the talks lead no where instead that company later amalgamated in to so called political mainstream pushing the main issue of ten million Kashmiries to backyard. This was the beginning of the mockery. What will be the end; depends on the intentions, sincerity and destiny determined by India and Pakistan for their people.
A faction of Hurriyat conference was lured to rosy table of talks but absolutely with a pat on the back from Musharaf and company. For the last more than a year this honey moon is going on, on both sides of LoC (line of control). Thus a divided house of separatist political amalgam; the only face of Kashmiri representative character was shattered further. Any negotiations with people of Kashmir for peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue will lead India and Pakistan no where unless these are held with the true and legitimate representatives of people of Kashmir. Any one engaged in negotiations on behalf of oppressed people should have some legitimacy and mandate. This new trend of talks with so called leaders of Kashmiries is further alienating people of Kashmir both from Musharaf and India.
Hollowness and cheapness of these talks can be gauged by the fact that at occasions there were pulls and pushes rather scuffle, merely for incorporation in the list of delegates to have taste of Indian and Musharaf’s hospitality. Every one here in political arena wants to be in limelight, seen shaking hands with ‘who is who’ of Kashmir issue under the glamorized glare of media. Kashmiri political arena is full of so called leaders with inherited political legacy, least political experience and acumen and negligible public support. Autocracy is said to have ceased since long but political autocracy is holding its feet firmly in Kashmir. Very rarely have we experienced evolution of leadership out of quality and ability, instead inheritance of political legacy has become a tradition over here.
Kashmir has produced several leaders with mass support who made contributions and blunders as well. No doubt Sheikh Muhamed Abdullah was prominent and towering among all but even his political legacy became bone of contention among his heir. Another leader with grass root level support was Late Abdul Ghani Lone who emancipated (I use the word emancipate because Lone Sahib struggled a lot against odds to become leader of masses on the onset of his political carrier) into a leader from a humble stock from remote part of north Kashmir. Unfortunately his political legacy was subjected to sibling rivalry. This is the unfortunate part of Kashmir politics and people of Kashmir. So how come talks or parleys held with politicians who have never felt the pulse and sufferings of a common Kashmiri but instead were born with a political spoon in their mouth can get credence and legitimacy. Certain leaders with some mass support have turned egoistic and want to cooperate exclusively on their own terms and conditions. India has widened its net of talks on Kashmir and hopes to net many more fish for its Kashmir cuisine. Now it remains to be seen how many self styled leaders will toe the line with out any clear mandate from Kashmiris.
Thousands of Kashmiris sacrificed their precious lives to highlight their plight, exploitation, subjugation and suppression. How long these self styled leaders will keep on exploiting their cause; behave like chameleons and wait for petty, malicious invitations for their personal ends and ego remains to be seen. If sacrifice of hundred thousand innocent Kashmiris made whole world to think of plight of Kashmir and its people, many more can make sacrifices to impress upon these political actors to understand and recognize the true leadership of Kashmiris. Every Kashmiri would like to full fill his long cherished dream of peaceful and amicable settlement of Kashmir issue envisaging a peaceful environment for people of Pakistan and India with out any compromise. So every one from Abdullas, Muftis, Gilanis, Mirwaizs, Professors, Shahs, Maliks, down to Inqulabis and Qureshis should mind; Kashmiri people are now mature enough to decide about their leadership for peaceful and honorable settlement of their issue and for the best interest of people of the whole subcontinent. Any deviation from the cherished dream and aspirations of Kashmiris will lead to a conflict which will wither away and shatter all forces of ego, exploitation and imposed leadership.