Trifling with Kashmir
Government of India, says the former interlocutor on Kashmir Radha Kumar, is not serious about resolving the Kashmir issue. She also thinks that the centre’s initiatives on Kashmir are primarily meant to buy time. There can’t be a more stinging indictment of New Delhi’s policies on Kashmir, come as it does from a person once charged with the humungous assignment of addressing the alienation in Kashmir. And in doing so, Kumar has emphatically echoed the sentiment in Kashmir where the disappointment with centre’s successive initiatives on the state has now degenerated into cynicism. And Afzal Guru’s execution and the indecorous secrecy of the deed may have only further deepened the pessimism and the sense of helplessness. Left unaddressed this situation can be a recipe for disaster at a time when the region is fast transitioning to a new geo-political reality whose rules are yet to be written. The elections in India and Pakistan together with impending US withdrawal from Afghanistan will usher in a whole new world with its own challenges and opportunities. And India and Pakistan can hardly afford to enter this new world with their bitter baggage intact. But by executing Guru and now refusing to even hand over his body to the family, New Delhi has given an impression that it doesn’t care. One can’t help but wonder at this manifest display of indifference to Kashmir. As is apparent from the prevailing tense situation in Valley, Guru’s execution has only fueled more alienation. And this time the centre has already walked itself into a blind alley on the state. It can hardly sell the people in Kashmir on a new political initiative on the state. This calls for a deep introspection in New Delhi. History is witness to the fact that the policy of managing Kashmir on a day to basis has only complicated matters in the state and rendered the situation prone to intermittent turmoil. By hanging Guru, Centre seems to have made its choice: it is happy to continue with this unhappy state affairs.
-editorial-Greater Kashmir-21 Feb 2013-