Centre for Policy Analysis has organized a Round Table discussion of Kashmir situation. It is a positive step. I find that most of the discussions held anywhere in the world are on Kashmir issue. Despite that, Kashmiris continue to be the worst victimized people.
I need not recount the history of the dispute, and hopefully, despite different ideologies you are wedded to, most of you are aware of historical facts about Kashmir. My assessment of Kashmir situation is rather simplistic. I believe three nuclear powers are illegally occupying the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and have divided it into four parts. Therefore I am of opinion that before seeking a way for the freedom of Kashmir, we need to address the question of its unification.
All the three occupational countries are at great variance in terms of ethnicity, language, religion and geography. But when Kashmir question is dragged for discussion, we find ourselves divided into various factions, like Gujjars, Jammuites, Dogras, Kashmiris, Paharis, Gilgitis, Ladakhis, Bodhs, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Shias, and Sunnis.
I am running 44th year of my life in politics. You may try to circumvent Kashmir issue, but the very nature of this issue is so much complex that it shall have to be resolved if we are seeking lasting peace and stability in South Asian region. If there happens a nuclear flare up in the region, the worst affected would be India, Pakistan and China. Kashmiris will be harmed less because they have not as yet come out of 16th century life style.
Indians are not tired of repeating the rhetoric of J&K being an integral part of the Indian Union and that Kashmiris are Indian nationals. In reality India has treated J&K as its colony for last 63 years. Kashmir has always been oppressed by black and tyrannical laws like Enemy Ordinance No. 3 promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh at the time of incursion by the tribesmen. It remains valid today and cases against nearly 200 persons have been filed under this law. I am one of its victims. Under this law an accused is prosecuted in a special court of law. The decision of this court cannot be challenged in any higher court as appeal is not allowed.