Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Home Minister’s panacea of 5 Cs

By K.N Pandita

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has just concluded his 4-day visit to J&K. He spent maximum of his time in Srinagar, and the customary eye wash of visit to Jammu by way of a balancing act.

I looked up in dictionary to find out if 5-Cs carries some deeper or mysterious meaning. I found none. What does HM want to convey and to whom, is my question.

One usually observed ritual about Kashmir issue is to “talk in hyperbole”. Responsible Central and State Ministers all take recourse to hyperbole when they are under pressure to articulate on the genesis of Kashmir question. It is never a straightforward and honest articulation and the reason is that they have no choice but to suppress the truth and speak a lie if they want to successfully mislead the people of Kashmir and the nation in general.
The foundation of a huge superstructure of lies and falsehoods about Kashmir rests on what may be axiomatically called ‘wilful suspension of disbelief.’ The first and most enduring foundation stone of this superstructure of falsehood was laid by none other than Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who sold the double-pronged canard to Nehru, namely (a) Kashmir is the bastion of communal harmony, and (b) Kashmiris reject Jinnah’s two-nation theory and are staunch pro-Indian accessionist. The Sheikh knew his lies have a big buyer. The second architect of the edifice of Kashmir canard was Nehru who (a) knew the Sheikh was a Goebbelian liar and yet would gave the devil his due, and (b) project him as a Muslim stalwart leader on Asian horizon to thwart imperial manoeuvres in Asian Continent. Little did Nehru understand that the Left in Kashmir was divided into Hindu Left and Muslim Left? Nevertheless, while the Sheikh’s simulation of falsehood had a clear goal — achievable or non-achievable is a different story -, Nehru misled himself and his nation with spurious idealism, the mythical Trishunka… A friend who understood Nehru well called him “half-baked socialist.”

Amusingly, Kashmir leadership, in or out of power, has become pitiable prisoner of hyperbole because (a) it apprehends it can be denuded of political power at any time, and (b) it trusts its political and ideological constituents only as long as hefty sums of money flow into their kitties. The money comes either from robbing the state exchequer or from flinging Pakistan bugbear into the face of India. Therefore, telling a lie .is taken a safety valve. Let me be somewhat specific.

T he slogan of “aazadi” is the biggest lie Kashmiris have spoken since 1939, the year National Conference was born from the garbage of Muslim Conference. This lie became their article of faith in 1990 and has endured till date, two and a half decades so far. Replace “aazadi” with “Pakistan” and you own the truth. Again, another lie they speak is that they want Pakistan. The truth is that their pro-Pakistan slogan has takers in New Delhi, therefore the hyperbole of aazadi. This art of hyperbole makes New Delhi bind them to India with chains of gold while Pakistan has assigned the task of owing Kashmiris via the jihad instrument. The syndrome of victimhood has become inalienable trait of Kashmiriyat.

Indians know that Kashmir related phraseology like aazadi, self rule, self determination, autonomy, greater autonomy, Kashmiriyat, and the rest of it plainly and simply means Pakistan. But again they tell a lie. Instead of telling Kashmiris that they will never get Pakistan, they feign innocence and come to them with bouquets of various hues like “Kashmir ka faisla Kashmir ke log karenge”, or “Kashmir Hindstan ka taj hai,” or “Insaniyat ke nate ” or “Kashmir is a unique problem asking for unique solution” or more recently “5-Cs.” I don’t need to elucidate the fallacious construct of all these outpourings. The taste of pudding is in eating.

For last three years Kashmir unrest remained on low key with Central leadership. It believed in (a) let them go on strikes and vandalising as it matters little (b) press for utilization certificates of enormous funds given for various developmental project and (c) let the hawala jinni out of the bottle.

5-Cs tantrum is one of the lies in line with other lies. The fact is Pakistan has convinced Americans that Kashmir is linked to Afghan crisis and any solution of Afghan issue must accommodate Kashmir resolution. Actually, former President Obama had encouraged the Track II diplomacy on Kashmir and the process was well afloat. Reportedly many angularities were ironed out. However, events like Pathankot and Uri and the rising crescendo of Pakistani terrorist organizations’ intensification, of Kashmir jihad put a halt to Track II process. In knowledgeable circles Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Uri, Udhampur attacks were loaded with political motive of scuttling the silent gains of Track II interface.

With Trump administration focusing on Afghan situation and encouraging talks between Kabul and Islamabad, Kashmir issue finds resurgence with American policy planners. Designating LeT and JeM by the State Department, Trump issuing weighty warnings to Pakistan to contain the radical chapters have their indirect fallout and India is desired to respond to these nuances with subtle reference to Kashmir dispute. Therefore, Home Minister’s 5-Cs and other offers like no scrapping of either 35A or 370 are signals meant more for the US State Department’s consumption than for the Government or the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Coming together of three main separatist leaders to discuss current situation and the visit of the Home Minister and his holding to them the olive branch all have to be understood in this broad spectrum of regional scenario.

What will be the fate of renewed Track II talks cannot be predicted. Perhaps a clue could be looked for in the outcome of recently held talks between the leadership of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This notwithstanding, a more significant development has taken place recently with bearing on all that is brewing on the sub-continent. Aspersions cast on Pakistan in the recent BRICS meet, and President XI’s direct mention of some Pakistan-based terrorist organizations, are not too subtle a message to Pakistan that she has to refrain from jeopardizing the interests of world community in peace and stability in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we have to remember that China made no bones in rejecting western perspective of Rohingya issue. China has the fullest information on terrorist training camps established by Pakistan-based terrorist organizations like LeT in Pakistan,

Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Beijing knows about the funding sources of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and its links with Al-Qaeda, ISI and LeT. Beijing understands that legitimizing terrorist ARSA would only lead to creation of more space for the terrorist groups like those of Haqqani and consequent repercussions on regional strategies. China has made huge investment in Afghanistan and she is not going to play the second fiddle in that country. Therefore, we can safely infer that interests of the US and China converge finally on some third party playing a role in regional strategies.

(The writer is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University.Feedback- [email protected])

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