Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jammu & Kashmir: ‘Special Status’ must end

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    • Hari Om
    • The Prime Minister should stop thinking in terms of a “non-territorial solution” to the so-called Kashmir problem. This is not a solution to the Kashmir problem, which is patently sectarian in nature, character and implications. It is a formulation that has the potential to undo all that we hold dear. “Non-territorial solution” simply means an ideological compromise, a negation of what we call liberal values, democracy and all-inclusive ideology. Even a naïve would agree that the implementation of a “non-territorial solution” would simply help the religious bigots in Kashmir and their mentor Pakistan to achieve what they could not during all these 62 years of independence despite four full-fledged wars.
    • MEA must tell the world that the only issue which still remains to be resolved between India and Pakistan is the political future of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Last, but not the least, it must not allow any Kashmiri separatist to visit any foreign country. This is all the more necessary because Kashmiri separatists visit foreign countries only to tarnish India’s image, paint the Indian nation black, and preach secessionism. Such a course has become even more imperative in view of the recent statement of All-Party Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq that he would apply for a new passport and write in the application form that “he is a State subject” and not an Indian national. 


      Similarly, the Union Home Ministry must stop toying with the idea of a “unique solution” to the so-called Kashmir problem. To be precise, it should stop talking in terms of “unique history” and “unique geography of Jammu & Kashmir” and “quiet talks” and “quiet diplomacy”.

    • Thus, Jammu & Kashmir remained under President’s Rule for more than 6 years and 8 months! Did Parliament amend the Indian Constitution even once during this period as far as the State of Jammu & Kashmir was concerned? No. It did not amend the constitution even once because Article 356 (under which the Union Government has the power to dismiss any State Government and impose President’s rule on the ground of breakdown of the constitutional machinery) was (and is) not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir.
    • The author is Chair Professor, Gulab Singh Chair, Jammu University, Jammu