Posers On Mush Waft Through Valley
19 April 2005
Srinagar: Has Pakistan withdrawn support to militants operating in Kashmir? Is General Musharraf on a sellout mission? Or has the leadership in New Delhi and Islamabad arrived at a solution to the vexed Kashmir problem without actually asking the people of the state. What could be the solution and would that be acceptable to Kashmiris? These are the topics being discussed in private meetings with common people in the politically-sensitive Kashmir. But people fail to get firm answers, though indicators support their suspicion or conclusion. They tend to remain indifferent, but they cannot escape the ground realities, which increases each passing day. Those fed up with the violence see a ray of hope in the metamorphosis of the proactive Pakistani general into a seasoned politician. 'It is a good omen. Finally, the general has accepted the reality that militants in Kashmir are not freedom fighters,' said a member of a mainstream political party. But others reflect a completely different view. 'Pakistan has embarked on a dangerous path for Kashmiris. They are trying to draw curtains on a movement they backed for 15 years and was nurtured by the blood of thousands of Kashmiris,' said Shabir Ahmad, a private schoolteacher. 'If Pakistan was not mighty enough to take on India, why did it encourage Kashmiris to resist India with their so-called political and moral support,' he asked. Another section believes that Gen. Musharraf can ill-afford the withdrawal of support to Kashmiri separatist movement. 'The joint declaration issued in New Delhi indicates that India and Pakistan will work together to find a final solution to Kashmir issue. They (Musharraf and Manmohan) have started a process and it is a step in the right direction,' said Aziz Rather, a political science student.