The nuclear capitulation was enough for any politician with some degree of rectitude to introspect and redeem. The controversial nuclear deal has isolated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his own ruling alliance. The scientific community and the opposition are appalled by the determination with which Singh is going about the proposal. Now comes reports that he is setting about negotiating with Pakistan on Kashmir.
The format is the one aired by President Musharraf in the course of a television interview. The initial reaction of the Government of India was that such proposals need not be taken seriously as they have not reached it officially. But a week later the Prime Minister has made a somersault and welcomed the military dictator'ssuggestion. Why is the Prime Minister so fickle-minded on Pakistan? Is it again the question of vote-bank and appeasement as they dictate all UPA actions?
In the meantime, Pakistan again shifted with its foreign minister Kasuri asking India to be flexible, as Pakistan has shown its inclination to make concessions. What does that mean? In the first place Pakistan makes an untenable claim on Indian territory. After three failed wars and fifteen years of sponsoring terrorism that killed thousands of innocent Indians Pakistan says it is willing to dilute on its entirely unacceptable demands.
Kashmir is one of the foundations of Indian secularism. A theocratic dictatorship like Pakistan should not have any right to meddle in the Indian affairs. In the absence of an effective and articulate spokesperson, it is difficult to fathom the Congress angle on all these matters. Maybe it is part of its cultivated strategy of a conspiracy of silence.
Kashmir is like an adolescent obsession with Pakistan. What Musharraf could not attain by proxy war, he is trying to get by laying a trap for India in the fa?ade of a solution. Why take him seriously? For, within a week after he spoke, three new propositions have come?that Pakistan does not consider Kashmir its integral part, that India has been illegally occupying Kashmir since 1947 and that Pakistan is willing to be flexible, but India has not shown flexibility. Should we be seeking Pakistani generosity, for preserving what is ours? Pakistani establishment is wacky and dishonest. The present Pakistani stand is as duplicitous and treacherous as Musharraf'sall earlier ambuscades. Pakistan wants to keep the issue alive, our interest is in burying it. Indian media is too cozy with Pakistan, hence all the General'sruminations get undue coverage.
Pakistan has no democracy and is keeping occupied Kashmir under a draconian regime. Pakistan has no right to tell India that it is for the Kashmiris to decide their future. What if India starts dictating to Pakistan on self-determination in Sind and Baluchistan? Pakistan is a failed state, with Baluchistan and Sind demanding freedom. Its western frontiers are under Taliban. According to a recent study by the Washington-based Foreign Policy, Pakistan ranks top among 25 failed states along with Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. A state is categorised as failed by the study not merely because of its poor record of socio-economic development but its government has become incapable of discharging the basic duties expected of a state, like ensuring peace and security, human rights, dignity of all citizens plagued by persistent internecine conflicts. The two accompanying articles in this issue show how secessionism and rebellion are simmering in Pakistan, threatening its very existence. Almost 55 per cent of Pakistani territory is facing rebellion. It is a victim of its own deception. Voters in PoK are made to sign a document stating that J&K has acceded sovereignty to Pakistan. Those who do not sign this document are not allowed to stand for elections or cast their votes. This is the kind of freedom Pakistan has given to PoK. Pak-trained terrorists who surrendered before the Indian army last week said the Kashmiris were not treated as humans in PoK. So who are we talking to and what are we going to talk about?
Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian state, on the other hand, enjoys almost total self-rule with full financial aid from the Centre. The Centre foots its entire plan and substantial part of non-plan spending. The extent of this funding will be clear from the fact that while Bihar gets per capita assistance of Rs 856, J&K gets Rs 9754, about 11 times more than one of India'spoorest states. Kashmir had free elections and its own government, which has more power than any other state government in India. There are very few Indian laws applicable in the state under Article 370. The special status enjoyed by the state is almost akin to self-rule. What more can Pakistan offer Kashmir, other than Shariat and theocracy?
Pakistan has a religious agenda to Islamise the whole of India. Even if Kashmir is solved, it is sure to lay claim on every Muslim-majority area in the country. It is working overtime to create fanatic terror modules across India.
Kashmir is an integral part of India. History, geography and culture support this. Retreat is the vagary of decaying powers. No emerging superpower like India can afford to concede its territory. A government that cannot preserve and protect the Indian territory has no right to be in power.
Separatism in Kashmir has to be dealt with an iron hand. Traitors should not enjoy the luxury of round table talks. Pakistan should be told to forget Kashmir. If needed, we should seal the border, sever diplomatic ties to fight secessionists on Indian soil and their foreign masters.