Do the people of Jammu & Kashmir want to join the rest of the nation on the path of growth & development, enjoy dividends of peace and live a dignified life or do they want to continue to remain in the era of backwardness, poverty, lawlessness, terror and lead a life full of fear and uncertainties?
Brig Anil Gupta
It is amply clear now that the issues like hoisting of Pakistani flag by Ashiya Andrabi, unrest in NIT Srinagar, opposition to NEET and establishment of Sainik Colonies in Srinagar, honourable return of Kashmiri Pandits to Valley, raising of ISIS and Pakistani flags by the youth after Friday prayers, desecration of temples in Jammu were only dry rehearsals to mobilise the public for the bigger agenda to unfold. All these events have finally culminated in the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir fully backed by the Pakistani deep state making the agenda crystal clear. It has brought to fore a very important question. Do the people of Jammu & Kashmir want to join the rest of the nation on the path of growth & development, enjoy dividends of peace and live a dignified life or do they want to continue to remain in the era of backwardness, poverty, lawlessness, terror and lead a life full of fear and uncertainties? I am sanguine that majority of my fellow citizens are interested in the former. I can understand and accept the position taken by the separatists on these issues because they have no ideology of their own. They only speak the language of their masters sitting across the border and hence have no choice but to repeat what their akas want them to say. Pakistan is no friend or well—wisher of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Its intentions viz a viz Jammu & Kashmir are aptly clear, “If you can’t get it, destroy it.” Pakistan having failed miserably to annex the State through four wars and three decade old proxy war backed by state sponsored
terrorism, has now embarked on the path of destruction. Having successfully destroyed the cultural identity of the State based on diversity, tolerance and mutual love and respect for each other, it now wants the state to remain underdeveloped and plunge it into the dark era of medieval thinking. This strategy also suits Pakistan to supress the voice of the people of POJK
(so-called Azad Kashmir) and Gilgit-Baltistan and legitimise the loot of its natural resources and exploitation of their poverty stricken population. Pakistan furthers its interest in our State through the Hurriyat and hence rhetoric of its leaders of all hues and shades does not surprise me at all and can be dismissed. What are baffling are the statements of the leaders of
so-called mainstream political parties who owe allegiance to the Constitution of India and its unity and integrity. Why are they becoming a party to Pakistan’s strategy; is it to please Pakistan or for their narrow selfish political ends?
The present unrest has thoroughly exposed the so-called leadership in the Valley both mainstream as well as the separatists. They are unable to control the unrest leading to miseries to the poor common man the sustenance of whose family depends on the daily wages he earns. The grief on the faces of mothers who have lost their sons and daughters does not bother them because their own sons and daughters are leading a comfortable life in foreign countries again at the expense of their mentors in Pakistan.
Jammu & Kashmir known as the “heaven on earth” is rich in natural resources and has vast tourist
potential. More than 60 per cent
population of the State depends on tourism as only source of income. The state needs to develop self-sustaining economy. It needs to create jobs. It needs to develop the state into a major tourist hub both for international and national tourists. Tourism being a labour intensive industry provides a very vast scope for employment opportunities which would facilitate in overcoming the problem of unemployment in the State. However, the State does not have the wherewithal to directly involve itself in running the tourism industry. The participation of the private sector both from within and outside the State is needed for achieving the desired aims.
The government jobs are limited and hence cannot satisfy the aspirations of the unemployed youth of the State. There is a need to create jobs. As per an estimate there are about six lakh unemployed youth in the state and it tops in unemployment rate among the North Indian States. Suffice to deduce that other sources of employment generation need to be tapped. While industry is a known source of employment generation, jobs are also created as a by-product of infrastructure development. All these are capital intensive and require huge investments. Why have we failed to attract investment?
Many would blame prevailing security environment, poor governance and rampant corruption for the same. While these may be contributory factors but are not solely responsible. Let us accept the fact that we lack in-house resources both capital & talent. The rules will have to be relaxed to provide incentives for outside investors and professionals to attract them to the State. To promote investment in industrial, health and educational sectors land on long term lease will have to be provided to the non-residents. Need of the hour is to make progressive laws and not introduce bills which are regressive in nature. SRO 105 and bills like Amendment to Transfer of Property Act and Amendment to Alienation of Land Act are simply regressive and need to be withdrawn if we want investment in our State. I appeal fervently to the political leadership of the State to face the reality and be more open &
practical for the holistic development of the State. The youth today is disillusioned and angry, it wants end to their woes. If we do not act fast and quick, the consequences may be unimaginable. The need is to talk to the youth and convince them of the State’s sincerity in ensuring a bright future for them and strike a severe blow to the nefarious design of Pakistani deep State which is trying to alienate our youth.
I also have advice for those
clamouring for ‘Azadi’. My simple question to them is from whom they want ‘Azadi’ because the freedom they enjoy today cannot be guaranteed
anywhere else. Just have a look at the plight of citizens of so-called ‘Azad Kashmir’, it is Azad of Kashmiris because Pakistan subjugated them so badly that either they fled to other countries or they returned to our side of the line of control. Commenting on the miserable life of people of Gilgit-Baltistan, Nazir Ahmed, a local lawyer said in an interview to Al Jazeera, “The problem is in the system- it’s a colonial system. The laws come from Islamabad and we have to live under them.” They enjoy no rights, lack basic medical and educational
facilities and are booted by the
military. You need to pray for their Azadi. Do not get carried away by false propaganda because grass on the other side always looks greener. Are our sisters in Kashmir ready to lead the life their counterparts lived in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule? Does Azadi mean ‘Talibanisation’? Is the Azadi being asked for to kill your fellow Kashmiris who refuse to listen to the illegitimate diktats of the self-proclaimed saviours of faith?
Do not be misled by the Pakistani stooges……Pakistan wants Kashmir but not the Kashmiris.
(The writer is a Jammu-based political commentator, columnist, strategic and security analyst)