THEY are not asking for any economic package. They are asking for freedom, autonomy and separation from India. I will read out to you the statement given there. You see that the Government appoints a committee. You have provided economic packages. It is the third time that you have constituted a committee. The first committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Shri Rangrajan. He has submitted a report recommending development. What happens to that report? Where is that report?
You have constituted a committee for the third time. You constituted a committee and one of the members of that committee said that he was not consulted. Shri Kalander says that he had not given his consent. He was declared a member of this economic package committee without consulting him. This is the way you constitute committees? There are two-three committees but no discussion on the reports is held. Where are the reports? They are on the back burner or somewhere else, nobody knows anything about them. Later, you constituted another committee. As a result, the people of valley won’t trust on your Government. You do not keep your words. You did not fulfill your declarations, which you have been making from time to time. This fact is in the knowledge of many people and they do not trust you. I have a statement of Syed Ali Shah Gilani. This is the statement after the announcement from the Prime Minister. What is his demand? You are not trusted. You are supposed to be fooling the people of Kashmir. You are supposed to be fooling the people of India also.
There is an external dimension. How are you going to solve it? Do you agree that there is an external dimension? If this is so, then you tell me, how are you going to solve this problem? Will you hold dialogue, how and by when will you hold dialogue. Will the separatists be given a free hand? This is the basic question.
A few days back the Army Chief had said that we have missed the opportunity. He had said a right thing, however, later on, it was said that he should not have made such a statement, a political one. I feel that he had said the right thing. Why this problem cropped up? This was because there was a time when many agitators were not active, militancy was marginalised and many people were ready to participate in the democratic process. There was a time when even Gilani was involved in your democratic process. Then what happened? This is the consequence of your policies. You should understand this. Now he is saying that had these people ushered in a democratic process at that time, perhaps this situation would not have arisen.
As I said, intelligence report was pouring in from the month of April. The Minister of Home Affairs might be aware that some strange activists had sprung up at the local level over there. Some new faces were coming there, particularly from West, Muslims from the Western countries. They were coming over there and talks with the people were going on. I know this and the Minister of Home Affairs might also be knowing this. There was a time, when a large number of Mujahiddins had surrendered. They were assured that after their release from jails, they will be rehabilitated. Their number was around 10-12-15 thousand. However, I regret to say that you have not rehabilitated them. One person among them told me that he was concerned about his rehabilitation, but when he found that that was not being done, he joined separatists as he had a widowed mother and a younger sister and is getting Rs. 5000 per month for acting as spokesperson.
What Government has done, where the funds are being utilised, what kind of development the Government is undertaking, what kind of economic package is this? If there are 10 thousand such people over there, having deep resentment and with a contention that the Government of India is a liar, they are not wrong. The policies of the Government have proved futile, the Government is not paying attention towards Kashmir. Today the same people are acting in cohesion with the stone pelters. You must be having the intelligence report. If not, then try to ascertain the fact. They are giving statements in the newspapers that they are the same people who had left ‘Jihad’ and were staying with India, but, what the Government is doing for them? You could not keep even such elements in your fold. If you see, you will find that even a single policy of the Government has not become successful over there.
With regard to stone pelting, some people say that the Government of India has failed to do this thing and that thing. It has not given an economic package. The consequences were evident in regard to Kashmir and in the approach of talks held with Pakistan. Had the Government not changed those policies, which the NDA Government had adopted under the leadership of Shri Vajpayeeji, then, perhaps such conditions would not have arisen. The NDA Government had made a clear announcement in this regard. It had been said that they would hold the dialogue within the ambit of humanity but there was no question of autonomy or freedom. Devolution of powers could be carried out and that too on the basis that the issue of Centre-State relationship be reviewed in the context of whole country; we have no objection in this regard.
Situations change and with such changes and in accordance with the need there could be a shift in Centre-State relations, there could be some devolution of powers, however, this Government did not budge even in that direction. Our Prime Minister made a statement beforehand that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism and associated it with Baluchistan and he did not stop here but gave an altogether different dimension to the bilateral agreement between the Musharraf and Vajpayeeji’s Government which categorically stated our strong resolve that Pakistan would have to check terrorism and until this is done there would be no further dialogue. Our Prime Minister softened his stand intending that terrorism and talks could proceed simultaneously. This is the problem that he has opened doors to terrorism in Kashmir. He has let open the doors for Mujahideen and allowed the atmosphere in Kashmir to be spoiled. Just think over the reason which resulted in this situation.
The US wants to move out of Afghanistan for which he needs Pakistan’s help. It has given uncountable help to Pakistan. It helped financially as well as strategically and Pakistan has also been playing games with the US. At times, it catch hold of four Talibanis and tells that if radicalisation has to be checked in Pakistan then it should be helped and it be given some leeway in Kashmir. The US continues to exercise pressure on us in this regard. I doubt that our Government takes recourse to weak-kneed policy in these matters. This is not right. They cannot keep the interests of the country at stake for the interests of Pakistan and America. Whether the US remains in Afghanistan or is chased away from there, it is their problem. It has been thrashed at some point of time in Vietnam, Iraq and now, if it is being thrashed in Afghanistan, let it be thrashed. The question is, if it leaves Afghanistan in the hands of Talibanis then that day is not very far off when Pakistan would also be occupied by the Talibans. And if we will have a lackadaisical approach here with the pulling out of security forces and your relationship with the people over there remaining like that as it is now, then Kashmir could also slip away from your hands.
Relentless efforts are being made constantly for the past six decades to weaken the ties of Kashmir with India. And slacken it to the extent that one day it would be fairly easy to get its ties snapped with India. We are very well acquainted with the Western rock policy. They need Pakistan and Kashmir for their geo-political and geo-strategic interests. They have to keep an eye on China, Gulf countries and on India so they will maintain a base over there. And if they need Pakistan, then that need is primary and India is of secondary importance. It will also have to be considered that today China is with Pakistan. We are alone. What kind of policies are being followed by the Government which are isolating it.
Secondly, this Government has never shown its strength, it has never flexed its muscles and does not remember the resolution passed by this House in the year 1994 in which we reiterated that Kashmir is an integral part of India and its every inch of land is ours. This resolution was passed during the regime of Shri Narasimha Rao. They forget that resolution. Are there dialogues on that path? I do not think that they are moving ahead in that direction. Are they deflecting from Article 370 or strengthening it in a bid to make Kashmir a separate slackened state in India? I am telling them, requesting them, warning them that if they talk of autonomy here, there will be repercussions in the North-East. They should consider it seriously. They are not facing danger only on this border, there is threat on the north-east border as well. That threat will lurk in Assam, there would be threat in the seven sister states. We should consider all these aspects, show courage and put it firmly that Kashmir is an integral part of India, so these rioting should be checked. There should be no hesitation in this regard. These riotings will have to be checked so that the actual demands could be considered.
I have to make one more submission. Some time back, there was a struggle between Farooq Saheb and Gul Shah. In regard to the situation that evolved over there, being on a trip to Kashmir those days, I had reported that matter on behalf of the party to the then Prime Minister late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. What followed after that I need not repeat as they know it very well. There is struggle for power between the PDP and the National Conference even today. The PDP is repeatedly making efforts to seize power, should Omar step down. What do they want to do? They want to oust the elected government by pelting stones only? What kind of a path they want to show that an elected government is ousted on account of only stone pelting? This is a separate issue if their Government is good or bad. Internal changes within a Government or changes in the Government through Legislative Assembly could be acceptable for a Government elected through democratic principles, but if Governments are allowed to be changed through stone pelting then there would be no state in the country where Governments could not be changed through stone pelting.
Kashmir alone is not in crisis. The entire country faces crisis due to developments in Kashmir. This is a grave crisis, this is a crisis of international politics, this crisis is caused by their weak-kneed domestic policies, this crisis is caused by not understanding the history of Kashmir. The most important thing is that this crisis is caused by not understanding the unity and integrity of the country.
How will you resolve this crisis? You do not have any roadmap. The Prime Minister says that this problem is prevailing for the last 60 years, it is very complicated. All right, who complicated this problem? Whether BJP or BSP or CPM complicated the problem? This complication is created by you. Now you say that we should find the way out. You should find out the solution and then tell us. If you adopt the right approach, we will help you. We will help you in all those works which strengthen Kashmir’s ties with India. We will help you in all those decisions which you take for making India an Independent sovereign power of world. We will help you in all those policies, which you formulate for lessening and countering the foreign pressure, but if you bow in front of foreign pressure, if you compromise with separatism, if you let change of Government due to fear of stone pelting then I am sorry, this country will not support you. This country will support you in strongly holding Kashmir with India. If you want to proceed in this direction in normal way, then consider the issue of Article 370 seriously. But instead of doing so, I regret to say that an issue related to your statement was raised in the House that saffron terrorism exists.
The saffron colour is top most in our national flag. Wherever national flag goes, saffron will also accompany it and it will spread peace throughout the country and world. It cannot be a symbol of terrorism. Probably you are not aware of history of Congress Party. Before Independence, the Congress Party had constituted a committee to decide the colour of the Indian flag. That Committee unanimously opined that the flag should be of one colour only and that colour should be saffron only. It was saffron which enabled India to be a guiding spirit of the world. It was saffron which enabled the great men, philosophers, holy men of our country to visit Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia, entire South Asia, South-East Asia and Western countries……… It was saffron only which conveyed the message of peace and harmony to the entire world. I would humbly like to remind you please do not use any kind of abusive language with this word.
(This is an extract from the speech by Dr Murli Manohar Joshi in Parliament on Kashmir)