Bane Or Bridge
2 July 2005
Srinagar: Kashmir has been bane of peace in South Asia. Now overnight with no visible change in (on the ground) scenario, Kashmir is being declared as bridge of peace between Pakistan and India. Puppet Chief Minister of Indian Occupied Kashmir Mufti Sayeed has reportedly said. 'The state of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of being bone of contention, is becoming a bridge of friendship between the two nations'. Sayeed is a Mufti. His job is to issue 'Fatwa' (edict). Edict is an order by authority. An order is an order. It may be right. It may be wrong. But it has to be proclaimed by an authority. I have had a chance to meet Mufti Sayeed in Srinagar in 80's while I was APP correspondent at New Delhi. As far as I recollect he was a politician and not a religious authority eligible to issue an edict. Syeed is not a political authority either. He is Puppet Chief Minister of a territority forcibly occupied by his masters. It is a disputed territory. The entire international community recognises it to be so. How this dispute is to be resolved, is not a billion dollar question either. The United Nations Security Council have had passed numerous resolutions affirming the right of self- determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir State. And that the future of the state would be determined through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite to be held under UN supervision. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) have also been ritually reiterating its support to the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. At a recent session at Sana (Yemen) of OIC foreign ministers the Hurriyat Conference leadership of Indian Occupied Kashmir was invited as observers. No invitation was extended to Syed Ali Gilani since he was conspicuously sticking to right to self-determination stance. OIC is a spineless amalgamate of the rulers (lacking energy and resolution) of the Muslim countries. The peoples of the Muslim world are however, not that timid. The new wave of Muslim peoples resolve for survival and revival is manifest in the election of a 'sweeper of the streets as ninth President of Iran. According to Press reports common voters in Iran told some western mediamen that they slapped America's face by voting for Harduner Mahmood Ahmadinejad. Commenting on Iranian election that US State Department stated that Iran is out of step with a trend toward freedom and liberty in the region. According to the State Department 'currents of freedom and liberty' are apparent in Iraq and Afghanistan (both under US occupation). Under US tutelage Pakistan is also turning steps toward 'currents of freedom and liberty' with Army Chief being concurrently head of state and defence service dominated National Security Council superimposed over Parliament. To show 'soft face' (which Shaukat Aziz calls true image) of Islam to the world, contrary to traditions, an adult Pakistani girl dressed in sleeveless presented bouquet to visiting Prime Minister of Bahrain. In the past smartly clad small children used to do the same. The currents of 'liberty and freedom' are also causing frequent shifts in Pakistan's official stands on various questions of import. Shaikh Rashid had applied for permission to travel by bus recently introduced as 'bridge of peace' between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar. He repeatedly bragged that real intent and sincerity of Indian leadership regarding confidence building measures would stand exposed in case India declined his request. India did decline. Shaikh Sahib's confidence in India's bona fide is unshaken. After succumbing to a single telephone call from Washington (after September eleven episode) Pervez Musharraf assured the nation that he had received cast iron guarantee vis a vis bona fide freedom struggle in Kashmir to be distinguishable from terrorism. Under sway of his 'Roshan Khayali and Etedal Pasandi' Pervez Musharraf subsequently made certain statements which could confuse freedom struggles and terrorism as cousins. May be these statements encouraged Indian defence minister to demand of Pakistan 'to cooperate with India as it had done with the United States on the 'war of terror'.' The demand was made in Washington before Parnab Mukerji signed ten year defence agreement with his American counter part Rumsfied which envisaged US help in making India 'major world power. Kashmir indeed may continue to be bane of peace rather than a bridge.