Separatists Have Made Their Intentions Clear, Mainstream Squeezed In Kashmir15 October 2010
Srinagar: Notwithstanding the public mood, Separatist leadership in Kashmir have made their intentions clear to intensify the on going strikes ahead of the US President Barak Obama’s visit to India in mid November. Spontaneous response to the appointment of non-political persons as interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir by the Kashmir politicians is quite understood in the context of Obama’s India visit. The developments shaping at the International level with reference to Kashmir encourage the separatists to drag the strike with consistency for at least one more month till the high profile visit of US president to India concludes in the third week of November. China’s pro-active Kashmir policy, has of course strengthen the resolve of the separatists to prolong the on going strike in Kashmir that has crippled the life completely for four months by now. Taking clue from China’s Kashmir policy, separatist leadership in Kashmir have, for the time being abandoned engagement on Centre-state relationship with wait and watch policy on how the external factors shape in the changing political scenario. The statement of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in which he had said that US was keen in its relations with Pakistan taking into account its engagement in Afghanistan, has also raised hopes among the separatist that US may endorse Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir though with some big changes. From this angle it becomes clear that the separatists in Kashmir might have been told from across the border to harden their stand at least for a couple of weeks more to attract the attention of the visiting US president. Krishna’s admission that America was favouring resolution of Kashmir problem with Pakistan catapult separatists to reject Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir. As for the unhappiness shown by the mainstream political parties including state unit of Congress on canter’s decision to appoint non-political persons as Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, the intentions are quite clear. Since the mainstream political parties in Kashmir stand marginalized in the emerging scenario, their very survival seems to be threatened by the spontaneity of the political mobilization. National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, CPI (M) and other smaller groups blame the government at centre for the present mess in Kashmir. They have been issuing statements from time to time asking centre to initiate some serious confidence building measures in Jammu and Kashmir for good. Though all the mainstream political parties have their own respective agendas but there seems to be consensus as for the handling of the sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir by centre in concerned. Maximum leaders including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Yousuf Tarigami, Saifudin Soz, Hakim Yasin, Sajad Lone and others favour an unconditional dialogue with the separatists through a mechanism. All of them had been suggesting appointment of senior politicians as Interlocutors which enthuse the people and address the content of alienation in Kashmir. now, when the government of India has appointed some non-political persons , though of high repute, as interlocutors on Kashmir, the mainstream politicians are disenchanted. So it has become evidently clear that the situation will remain as it is till Barak Obama’s visit on one hand and on the other hand the mainstream political parties may not be able to reach out to the people and their space may squeeze further. However, the people in Kashmir tired of the prolonged strikes and curfews are likely chose their way in the coming days.