News regarding joining brother of an IPS officer in cadre of militant organization has become talk of the town. This must be taken as a point where government and political leaders, activists and people need to think seriously about their own fault and reasons about why youths are being isolated and in what circumstances educated youths are leaving the mainstream and raising guns against the state despite knowing the power of state and military.
We don’t know any season when one could say that Kashmir was not in turmoil. It has always been in turmoil. The only news that comes out from Kashmir is most possibly happens to be about loss of lives, of common people that include even children, of militants or of soldiers.
While thinking with a humane angle, each of these lives is precious. Their actions are different but this is sad for humanity that they are losing lives due to a long sustained unresolved issue. Another affect that such incidents and news do, is upon the minds of rest of people who are living elsewhere.
For an ordinary Indian, Kashmir becomes an issue of self-esteem, nationalism, glory of military and martyred soldiers. People who are actually living there, including soldiers and common people; Kashmir is like a valley of death. No one knows when and from which side a bullet may hit.
Amidst all these turbulence and uncertainty, Kashmir still living and in fact it is really strange that a common Kashmiri youth, despite being witnessed all bloodshed, despite being in everyday fear.
Recently, in a meeting held at Delhi by Centre for Peace and Progress, people gathered together for a roundtable discussion on ‘J&K: The Road Ahead’.
To start, everyone stood up with two minute silence to offer condolence for assassinated journalist ShujaatBukhari. Rahul Jalali, who has been president of Press Club of India remembered the close friendship of his father with father-in-law of Shujaat. Rahul during his speech advocated peacebuilding and talked that panchayat elections in Kashmir should be held to have governance on grassroot level.
Kashmir is an emotion and in today’s youths it runs in their blood. Due to circumstances, all these got mixed with hatred against India. Former J&K minister, G. H. Mir tells that the problem of Kashmir is that for Pakistan, it is an unfinished agenda, while for India, it is an integral part.
In between, common people are suffering. The more military deployment Kashmir received to counter militancy, more isolation of people happened.
This vicious cycle of violence seems running without an end since last 71 years. In this large span of time, government could not bring any solution or even relief to people. Political leader Muzaffar Shah wishes that if he could ask with prime minister what government want? It is land? Or People? Or both? Or none? Shah demands introspection and also his desire is that different communities, groups of people among Pandits, Buddhists, and Muslimsof J&K should sit together.
He argues that bilateral did not yield result yet and therefore India and Pakistan both should allow to form a group of people from J&K region, including of Pakistan’s side, to sit together and talk for solution.
Solution cannot be brought by military believe Admiral (Retd) Ramdas, who has been Naval chief. His concern is about youths and he believes that protection of youths, their life and their future should be the duty of people and hence efforts must be made to bring normalcy and peace.
KapilKak who has been Air Vice Marshal, who visited Kashmir many times recently with Concerned Citizens Groups, believe that state need to take steps that could bring result on ground. Concerned Citizen Group's report talks about complete ban on pellet guns, reconciliation and serious and meaningful dialogues.
Infact, it is true that neither militancy nor military can bring the solution until any political dialogue will start among the stakeholders.
Common people are the major and most important stakeholders who are suffering this in their everyday life. We need to understand that this region, J&K, needs reconciliation.
I personally believe with my own experiences that Kashmir is a land of people who know the importance of love, because they only found hatred and violence.
There is a strong need that all who can raise voice or take action, whether these are political parties, civil servants, civil society and media should take stand to demand to resolve the issue.
Isolation of people have increased up to such a level that they are not getting any place to vent out their anger. The existing Armed Forces Special Powers Act provide impunity to forces where no inquiry can be set up against security personal without getting pre sanction from central government.
This results that people cannot go in court against atrocities, human rights violations, night raids etc. When the system itself would make itself isolate from people, results are obvious. Every one desires peace and happiness and deserves it.
Indian subcontinent is already facing challenges of basic needs that include quality healthcare, quality education, hunger and malnutrition and when the subcontinent get misunderstanding, hatred and violence; our challenges become wider and even dangerous.
We need to contribute in building our subcontinent free from hatred, free from violence and to start with Kashmir would be the most significant contribution.
Author is founder of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative