Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

8/27/08

Independence: A viable option

I would like to start posting my thoughts about the viabilty of Kashmir sustaining itself as an independent nation. You must have already guessed where my sympathies lie whilst reading the title of this article. Inspite of my pro-Independence leanings, I would like to analyse some arguments against this option. I will spend some time writing this, so same as while discussing the Pakistan option, this section will also likely be spread over several days.

I will straight away jump into it, and we all know that should India take it upon itself to practice real democracy and grant Kashmiris the right to a referendum to decide our fate, most certainly a majority of us would opt to stay independent. Many of you must be wondering why I use the term 'referundum' instead of the commonly used term 'plebiscite'. I will digress a little and explain my reasoning behind this.

Kashmiris have to be pragmatic and we have to change tactics as events unfold. The reason why we should change the vocabulary of our demands is that for all practical purposes, holding a plebiscite suggests that we would like India and Pakistan to live up to their responsibilty guaranteed to us by the UN resolutions, which asks that both these countries facilitate a plebiscite to be held under the supervision of the UN. This is all perfect in theory, however, very difficult to implement in practice. To make our demands more viable, we have to present our case as feasable and as being in the interests of all the peoples involved. Any result of a plebiscite would drag all the regions of the state one way or the other - even if they had voted for a complete opposite outcome. It is no surprise that the people of Jammu city and Ladakh would rather be with India. Therefore, this scenario is probably holding back many western supporters for our cause and in pressuring India to live upto its obligation. Keeping this in mind, let me explain why calling for a region-wise referundum would make it easier for us to get the international community to back us in our freedom struggle.

The results of a region-wise referendum for the parts of Kashmir occupied by India would come as a surprise to no one - Only Jammu city, Kathua, and Udhampur and perhaps Ladakh as well will opt to stay with India; the rest of the districts of the the Kashmir valley, Kargil, Doda (including Kihtwar), Poonch, and Rajauri will definitely want to join Kashmir as an independent country; however predicting the outcome of areas held by Pakistan is more difficult.

For one, many put forth the argument that Pakistan would be hell-bent against this arrangement since they have nothing to gain and everything to lose in this re-arrangement. This is a valid point to make since India will be gaining Ladakh, and three districts of the Jammu region, whereas Pakistan will likely lose all territory under its control, should a regionwise referendum be held. It will be very difficult for us to convince Pakistan to even consider a regionwise referundum; however, let me consider both options, first let us assume they agree to go ahead with this proposal.

Let us also assume for a moment that the regions under Pakistan, Gilgit, Hunza, and Muzaffarabad, (all of AJK) chose to join us in forming the new nation. We would most certainly need the cooperation of Pakistan in making this a success.

to be continued....

23 comments:

  1. In present circumstances it is the best option. Kashmir is the extension of central Asia. Our culture, language, living and etc is different and even Hindus of Kashmir are different. The forced occupation of land by south Asian countries and the imposition of their culture cannot justify we are from them. A sovereign Kashmir with autonomy to its different regions and equal rights of all religious groups is only alternative.

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  2. Tanveer
    Is it not a widely accepted fact that India never showed any interest for Autonomy also.That particular bill was passed in a the National assembly and latter what happened some other party came into scene.
    We should realize India has never been sincere in resolving the issue.It has never accepted the fact that it is a political dispute.Buying time for themselves.

    So we should come toghther and fight on the same platform and realize what the majority wants

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  3. Really anonymous, why is Kashmir part of central asia and not south asia ? Where do you draw borders ?

    Are Kashmiris related genetically to the central asian republics of Tajikistan or Uzbekistan more than they are to their neighbors down in Shimla ?

    Are Kashmiris related linguistically to the above mentioned regions more so than their neighbors in Amritsar or Lahore ?

    Is it religion ? Then what about the Deoband which is still around Delhi ?

    Are Kashmiris any further from the Indian heartland in Uttar Pradesh than are say Tamilians or Assamese ?

    The question comes down to this : Do you want independence out of hatred for others, or do you want independence out of an innate desire in yourself ?

    Do you really need to use separatist ideas to obtain independence ? Are they worth it ?

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  4. Koshur,
    i am ashamed to see poeple fighting on blogs and forums like little kids. but tell me seriously, don't you honestly think there are a lot of indians like me who understand reality and wish to help. i know a token sympathy won't do, i need to be able to do something about it. my intention is to establish a more meaningful connection between people who realize and understand the grave issues and not spew venom at each other, those fanatics can be kept out.
    the way it is going, I sometimes wonder if there can ever be peace between india and kashmir and pakistan. politicians and the army have hijacked the entire kashmir issue on both sides for a long time now. i seriously intend to bring out a more aggressive response from both sides in making peace a reality.
    - QuestForPeace

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  5. Conflict resolution was never an easy going. Kashmir-truth-to-be-told seems to have a point.Guys just listen to him, and reply relevant.

    Was a wonderful post. I like reading it. Keep it up.
    Regards,
    umarblogs

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  6. Its not about the similarities and differences . It is all about the basic right of people to decide their future.

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  7. Ray lighting --I am not saying our central Asian connection-- out of any mythology, fictitious or hearsay ideas. I am not ignorant or stupid or fanatic or hate monger. I will prove you my point on all modern scientific methodology and have patience with my answer.

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  8. Undoubtedly culture, traditions, likes, dislikes, food, attire, living style and much more of Kashmiris does not match in any manner with their compatriots in Shimla, Delhi, Amritsar or Deoband. It does match with people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other such contries. If you just have a cursory look on traditional Kashmiri music and folk dance, it in no way matches with any part of India. We sit on the floor, which probably no other race in India does. The way we eat, conduct and celebrate our marriages, funerals and live our life, anybody can make a wild guess that Kashmir in India is a round ball in a square peg. India has been holding us forcefully against our wishes and aspirations in spite of the tall promises made by Jawaharlal Nehru while annexing Kashmir with India in 1947, in the United Nations Organization of holding a plebiscite as per the wishes of Kashmiri people. Alas the promise has never been fulfilled and they say twenty first century belongs to them. How Shameful....

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  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpUC45vugdY

    Dear brother....I am a Palestinian and am deeply moved by happenings in Kashmir. Please upload this Sami Yusuf video on all your websites....it will surely help you.

    You are not alone in this brothers...God is with you.

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiEIxzAF2Dw

    And this is what will happen to Kashmiris if they choose to stay on with India....Please watch the video whose link I have given above

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  11. Even Afghanistan is not considered to have central asian culture then how can kashmir have central asian culture.

    Genetically, it would be very difficult to justify such claims.

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  12. Talking about independence at this point of time is a bit premature. 7 days of curfew with so many atrocities being committed by indian forces should be the topic of all Kashmiri bloggers at present. When the situation is ripe we can think about this also. Still Good work and plz visit ou blog also. www.kashmir-burning.blogspot .com

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  13. that way the culture, language and cuisine of one state is not found in another state in india...each state has a different identity altogether, so what we break up into 28 countries ? before brits came we comprised of hundreds of kingdoms, kingdoms in the south were not under direct rule of delhi at anytime except under the British Raj, so should south india claim to be a different nation and accuse new delhi of shameful subjugation? human right violations happen everywhere in the country, hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians are being killed here too in the name of jihad...who is to be ashamed?

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  14. What about the practical problems that will come with independence ? Kashmir is land-locked and far away from the ocean. It will have three large nations around it, each wanting to annexe it for itself. What will Kashmir survive on ? Who will defend Kashmir ? Kashmir has hardly any resources to defend itself with a modern army, airforce etc.

    Isn't staying within a large, well-known democracy a far better practical option for Kashmir ?

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  15. If India grants Kashmir independance,the Pakis will take over the very next day or establish a puppet government for sure.

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  16. Kashmiri leaders started a war against the Indian state, foolishly hoping that India will quietly suffer and do nothing. When India responded, they started shouting or rather crying, we are being beaten. In one breath they say we shall continute to carry on our 'jehad' and in the other breath they they go around the world crying that we are being hit upon. A five yours old school boy understands the basic lesson on the first day of his school - what happens when you hit the big boy, a lesson Pakistanis and Kashmiris fail to understand for last 60 yrs.

    One has to be absolutely stupid to wish part of modern day Pakistan,a failed state, which is the real aim of all the Huriyat leaders. Basiclly it is a Islamic fundamentalist movement whose real aim is to be part of Pakistan. Make Kashmir independent they will end up as another Talebanised state.

    After ethnic cleansing of 500,000 Kashmiri Pundits any talk of secular state or Kashmiri identity is simply hypocracy.

    Anyone who has any doubts about the killer instincts of Yasin Malik, the so-called leader of secular JKLF, must watch the following BBC interview with Yasin Malik.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/cta/progs/01/hardtalk/malik17jul.ram

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  17. The author is misinformed. The people of Poonch and Rajouri in IOK and Mirpur, Poonch and Muzzafrabad in AJK are Punjabi Muslims with profound connections to West Punjab districts like Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat. They are not likely to reject fellow Punjabis in Pakistan and go with the Kashmiris.

    I wish you Kashmiris all the best in your struggle. An independent Kashmir is inevitable - you will get your freedom one day for sure, but an independent Kashmir will consist soley of the Kashmir Valley.

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  18. To Mr. anonymous ---What you are boosting for? They could not kill our desire in 60 yrs –It will not also happen in next 600 yrs-Man is born free-World is changing fast –people cannot be held slaves against their wishes. You are telling us stories of a failed state. What about passed state. Where hundreds of farmers are committing suicides each year. Where millions of female fetuses are aborted. Where more than half of the population is untouchables. you are boosting about democracy ? Till date no election in Kashmir was fare. I am not saying this –Just check the articles of neutral persons who are more Indians than you. One crore rupees were shown in parliament as bribes.
    Don’t teach us secularism ,It were Kashmiri Muslims who suffered tyranny for centuries and KP elite was part of that yet we opposed our coreligionists- about their safety. It is history. The so called exodus was a political ploy to give us the bad name .They were used fodder for vote politics and also correct numbers .check official account of people migrated from here. What do you say about the recent interview of a famous bolly wood actress regarding discrimination against Muslims? You cannot say she is a Muslim extremist. Come out of dungeon of bigotry and hatred. There is so much to say but we don’t call a spade a spade. There is a saying those whose houses are made of glass don’t throw stones on others.

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  19. Please anawer me - what about Kashmiri Pundits? If culture is the criterion take them back to Kashmir. If religion is the criterion take all Muslims from India with you and we will gladly host Kashmiri Pundits in India. How many Muslims of India do u think would choose you?
    You are saying that OEC should intervene. Let them help you create another Israel - read Kashmir - where all Muslims go to and live happily. At least the world will be spared of jihad being fought by Muslims all over.
    You are talking of atrocities committed by Indian Army. What about hundreds of innocents killed by the Muslim militants? And the atrocities committed on the Kashmiri Pundits.

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  20. Has pakistan complied with the UN resolutions? If their kashmir is really "azad" what is their military doing on the LOC? Even pakistanis admit that annexing kashmir is only a first step towards destabilising india in the long run. Which army will be ready to protect kashmir from being consumed by pak/china?

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  21. Those who are fighting for a separate state must pass few tests.

    1. What are they fighting for?
    - Do you really have a vision for the country and state that you are fighting for.
    - Do you have an army that will help you sustain as an Independent state?
    - Do you have economic vision for your state?
    - And what prevents you from doing the same in the current state of affairs.

    These are some of the parameters that I would like you to consider. I completely agree with your right to fight for the freedom, but when you voice it, be informed that you are not only talking about your own self but a generation that exists and the one that is coming. Are you absolutely sure that the path that you are preaching leads to a desired results at least for the next generation that is coming. If you are not sure about the path that you want take or if you have any reservations I would suggest you to come up with a perfect path that can lead you to a safe place in a long run. Nothing short of a absolute surety will do.

    Here is what Abraham Lincoln had to say to the question of division of United States of America in his first inaugural address, “Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.” Do read the entire speech, if you already have not done that. Every nation, every region and every religion has gone through a phase as Kashmir is going through currently. It is up to us, to try and find the relations to the history and learn.

    And yes, thanks for putting you views forward. It is very important that we talk 

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  22. If someone has visted Tajikistan then he must have seen how much Dushanbe resembles Kashmir.The climate,the People,the clothes the culture.we have indeed deep connections with central asia.Moreover above the undivided kashmir is Pamir which has full resemblence with the people of kashmir.We had our silk route through these areas.We don't have anything common with the culture of India or Pakistan

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  23. Dear brother, undoubtedly your observations must be right. But is this reason enough for us to steer clear from a country united.

    The climate, the People,the clothes and the culture are indeed inseparable part of everyone's life. But, if you see, they exists in innumerable forms around us. I am sure you must have seen that dialects of language vary at smallest distance of few kilometers. Then what is stop us from further division?

    I would like to bring to your attention to a historic speech by Martin Luther King. The speech is titled "I have a dream".

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1732754907698549493

    Let us put down what our dream is. And "let us not drink from the cup of hatred and hostility!"

    Today after 45 this speech, results are for us to see.

    Can we not fight against the injustice? Can we not fight for the equal right that the constitution promised us? Why choose a path of division?

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