Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vijayvaani.com - J&K: Jhelum (not Chenab) Solution

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    • J&K: Jhelum (not Chenab) Solution
    • Sandhya Jain
    • BJP mumbles and fumbles
    • BJP’s reluctance to visibly oppose a report which proposes giving the state government more powers over all matters barring foreign affairs, defence and communications (a Sheikh Abdullah obduracy that drove Jawaharlal Nehru crazy), puts a question mark on its true approach to the Saghir Ahmed Report, despite a formal denunciation by Arun Jaitly, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha.


      This suggests that BJP’s uncurbed factionalism may play out on the critically important issue of autonomy for J&K, a stepping stone to the withdrawal of the Indian Army and Indian State from the Valley, and stepping in of Pakistan. On Sunday, 27 December 2009, Panun Kashmir (Agni Shekhar group) felicitated Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for passing a resolution in the MP Assembly on July 24 endorsing the demand for a separate homeland in Kashmir for Kashmiri Pandits. Shockingly, Chouhan was boycotted by all state BJP leaders though he was escorted by national secretary Prabhat Jha and state RSS leaders.

    • Chenab formula
    • More recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special expert Wajahat Habibullah mooted the same division of the state at the Working Group on Centre State Relations, unembarrassed by its overtly communal character and anti-India lineage. This was at the last meeting of the group on 2 September 2007.


      Interestingly, at the conclusion of his presentation to the Working Group, Panun Kashmir chairman Ajay Chrungoo asked Habibullah three questions which left him fumbling for answers:-


      1] If the autonomous character of the State is determined by religious demography, after such an autonomous unit is created, could we have a secular devolution within that? Please understand that Jinnah worked for the Muslim state of Pakistan and then wanted Pakistan to be secular, after creating it on a religious principle. Do you want to replicate this in Kashmir?


      2] You propose a division of Jammu in a way that the entire process coincides with the demographic divide in the region. Is it prudent to have an administrative model with deepens the religious cleavage in the state?


      3] Is it a coincidence that the administrative units into which you propose to divide the State coincide with the Musharraf Plan?


    • A pertinent point about this last meeting of the Working Group was that BJP’s Arun Jaitly maintained stoic silence throughout the first day when Dr. Chrungoo took up cudgels with Habibullah. Jaitly took no stand on Habibullah’s disgraceful presentation (perhaps because it coincided with the Track II diplomacy of the Vajpayee era) and failed to support Panun Kashmir. Nor did he challenge NN Vohra for supinely supporting the communal division of Jammu. He never attended on the second day (typical of the manner in which Indian parliamentarians take their duties).
    • Jhelum formula the solution
    • The question now remains, is there a Hindu counter-proposal to the Dixon-Musharraf-Habibullah-Chenab solution? Is there any way Hindus can undermine the repugnant Article 370?
    • This can be achieved by keeping the Jhelum as an unofficial dividing line in Kashmir. The north and east of the Jhelum can be given to Kashmiri Hindus as a Union Territory (the Panun Kashmir homeland), wherein the Indian constitution prevails, Article 370 is negated, and full emotional integration with India can take place.

    • The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com

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