05 December, 2020

United States Of Kashmir?

'Azadi or accession to Pakistan is no longer a solution'

United States Of Kashmir?
The two contrasting images illustrate vividly the gap between popular expectations and the result. On June 2, the jubilation in the Valley as nine separatist Kashmiri leaders crossed the LoC on their way to Muzaffarabad and a fortnight later, the lack of excitement as the leaders wended their way back home. Just about nobody expected the leaders to conjure a solution overnight for the festering Kashmir problem. But, there was the hope that the Kashmiri leaders' visit to Pakistan may at the least be followed by a ceasefire declaration in the Valley, providing its beleaguered people respite from violence and security operations.

The response of Bashid Ahmad, a student in Kashmir University, is typical: "I thought they would convince the mujahideen leaders to silence their guns so that the ongoing peace process gets strengthened." The hope for a ceasefire was strengthened by the importance Pakistan accorded to the leaders who were feted in the manner befitting state guests. But not only did most militant leaders in Pakistan refuse to meet the Hurriyat leaders, Hizbul Mujahideen...


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