Are we on the retreat?
With each passing day India'sposition on Kashmir is getting weakened with nobody there to speak for India. The Government of India seems to have abdicated its responsibility. The main Opposition in the country is riddled in a needlessly muddled controversy. On the Father of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah'ssecularism?of all things in the world?as if that was the greatest of national concerns.
Not a word of protest, caution or concern was expressed in recent weeks that would have helped Indian interest on Kashmir. If the logic of two nation?of which Jinnah was the pioneer?is accepted, it will not take long for India to suffer three-nation and even multi-nation theories and divisions in the country. And that could be the end of the India of our dream.
It so happens that every issue of national interest is termed Hindu by our enemies. Before Partition, Jinnah used to call Congress a Hindu party, Congress provincial governments Hindu Raj, Muslim leaders in Congress traitors to Islam and Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu leader. All through the Hindu lost. The bully had his way. Hindu like Vasudeva'sDevaki is destined to weep and laugh. Weep for the loss of her newborn children at the hands of cruel Kansa, and laugh in the hope and prayer for the eighth son?the deliverer.
The Hurriyat visit to Pakistan without an Indian visa is ominous. One of them, Yasin Malik, even declared himself a Kashmiri citizen. On June 7, the Congress Finance Minister, Babu Singh, in the Mufti cabinet declared Jammu & Kashmir disputed. He wants to make a federal state with foreign and defence affairs under Indo-Pak control. Some others are talking of a four-way agreement with Pakistan. No Indian can ignore these looming threats to the country'sintegrity, nay its very existence.
With the Hurriyat travelling without visa, with Government of India winking?Pervez Musharraf said India has accepted J&K a disputed territory. The Hurriyat started its PoK visit asking for peace in the Valley and a role in the peace talks. A week spent in Pakistan and they met the high priest of terrorism in the Valley?the leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin. In this meeting, the Hurriyat men agreed with Syed Salahuddin'sstand that the struggle in the state on the political, diplomatic and militant fronts should continue. The meeting took place in Islamabad. Syed Salahuddin, whose original name is Muhammad Yusuf Shah and hails from Soibug village in Badgam, J&K is cosily perched in Pakistani hospitality and support to bleed India, like many other Jehadi desperadoes from India.
Musharraf has too many cards up his sleeves. He is smiling all the way and in a great hurry, lest the climate in India changes. He speaks in many voices at the same time. He is thinking Kashmir
24 x 7 as one commentator noted. Every day he comes up with a new plan. He spoke of maximum self-governance last week. In Delhi in April, he said that the Line of Control will eventually become a soft border. In January, on Pakistan Television he asserted ?a made in India? solution was not acceptable to Pakistan. In October last, he proposed that J&K be treated as seven distinct regions and spoke of working to establish contiguity between the regions. The other day he proposed many more solutions to visiting Indian dignitaries. It is all very confusing for all of us. And Musharraf himself last fortnight revealed, ?I have created quite a bit of confusion by what I said, but what I have in my mind is not confused.? And those who are familiar with the history of Muslim politics in the last century too will have no confusion. Like Jinnah, now Musharraf is calling the shots. When the All Party Hurriyat Conference told Pakistanis that LoC was not acceptable as the border, Islamabad agreed that the Kashmiris are the main party. Their another suggestion from Pakistan: Let the Babri Masjid be rebuilt and invite ruling Pakistan Muslim League chief, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to lay the foundation stone.
Peace is not a one-way traffic. Agreeing entirely to enemy demands and sentiments is not consensus; it is surrender! In China they call it kowtow. New Delhi is dealing with Kashmir through Pakistan. India has failed in isolating the separatist leaders or making them irrelevant. It has surrendered its ability to talk to them or Islamabad. Without thought or reason, the Indian leaders, in their obsession to make history or a Nobel nomination?swing from one extreme to the other. Diplomacy may be a road to international fame. And Dr Manmohan Singh has good reasons to pursue it. But on Kashmir, India has a position endorsed by Parliament, reiterated by all national leaders, reinforced by democratic elections in the state, repeated by the RSS Chief K.S. Sudarshan even last month. It is high time, the Government of India made up its mind and asserted India'sposition.