Kashmiris’ struggle should transform into NCM
TWO years have passed after India took away Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy and divided the state into two union territories on 5 August 2019, in a bid to making Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as a permanent part of India, against the Kashmiris’ wishes of getting their right to self-determination through a UN supervised plebiscite as granted to them by the UNSC vide its resolutions on Kashmir passed from 1948 to 1955. The Modi Government’s this action has totally alienated the Kashmiris.
By dividing the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, apart from violating the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, India has also disregarded Mr Nehru’s (India’s First Prime Minister) promise which he had made to the people of Kashmir by saying that the final decision about the accession of the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir will be made after seeking the will of its people through a plebiscite, and the bilateral Simla agreement and the Lahore Declaration, which state that both the countries will resolve their issues, including the Kashmir dispute by holding a dialogue.
Before 5 August 2019, while the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s other political parties under the banner of All Parties Hurriayat Conference (APHC), were continuing with their peaceful freedom struggle to get the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination started in 1989 and India was trying to crush the freedom struggle by deploying more than 700,000 military troops, a few political parties of the state, headed by the National Conference of Farooq Abdullah and PDP of Mehbooba Mufti were participating in the state’s general elections and since partition these parties had been in power, as their leaders were cooperating with India with a condition that the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir will be an autonomous state.
After India’s 5 August 2019 actions, the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has lost its autonomy and it has been divided into two union territories, thus making them a part of India like other states of that country.
Thus, after 5 August 2019, the National Conference and the PDP leaders have adopted a stance that they will only participate in the state politics, if the autonomy of the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was restored, and to that effect, they had even warned the Indian government even before 5 August 2019, as they feared that the state was going to lose its autonomy and was likely to be divided into two union territories.
Now, after two years time, it is almost sure that the RSS inspired, Modi-led BJP government is not going to revert its 5 August 2019 actions on Kashmir, as the Modi government is now struggling to convince the National Conference and the PDP that they should participate in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s elections to be held as a union territory, while Laddakh has been made a separate union territory.
However, so far, the leaders of the PDP and the National Conference are insisting that they will only participate in the state elections if the 5 August 2019 steps were reverted and Jammu and Kashmir’s (including Laddakh) autonomy was restored.
Thus, as a consequence of the BJP government’s 5 August 2019 actions, the parties led by the APHC fighting the freedom struggle since 1989, and the National Conference and the PDP, previously cooperating with India, are all angry with India because of taking away Jammu and Kahmir’s autonomy and dividing into two union territories.
Hence, it is obvious that since 5 August 2019, the whole population of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has become alienated from India.
The above discussion indicates that, despite their major differences, if the APHC and the National Conference-PDP combine can unite together for the greater cause of getting the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as per the UNSC resolutions, they can make their ongoing freedom struggle much more effective by converting that into No Cooperation Movement (NCM), or Quit Kashmir Movement by telling India to quit Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
In case such a movement can materialize on the lines of the Quit India Movement, which was launched by Mr Gandhi against the British Occupation of India, then, in the wake of 100 percent Kashmiris asking India to quit the state, it will be very difficult for it to hold the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by force, and it will be ultimately compelled to either leave the occupied part of the state or agree to hold a plebiscite, which it will lose badly.
In fact, it seems to be a golden and life chance for the political parties of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to get united by forgetting their past differences, and with the support of the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmiri, they should convert their ongoing peaceful freedom struggle into a No Cooperation Movement to succeed in their mission of getting their right to self determination.
—The writer, a retired Col, is Senior Research Fellow at Strategic Vision Institute, Islamabad.