Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Boiling Pot Called Kashmir - 1

Ajaz, from the University of Kashmir, shares his perspective

We’re Victims of Selfish Politics

"No political party works with good intentions to resolve the Kashmir dispute"

Aijaz Hassan

The Kashmir conflict has its origin in the notorious March 16, 1886 Treaty of Amritsar. After Independence it was due to stubborn and egoistic attitude of both India and Pakistan that Kashmir dispute remained unresolved despite lapse of more than 62 years.

Till date lot of agreements, bilateral talks, conferences were held between the two countries but all in vain. Leadership of both sides use Kashmir dispute for their own political gains. India betrayed Kashmiris since 1953 and role played by Pakistan since 1947 towards Kashmiris is well known to all of us.

Now if we examine politics of the state, we will find that all political parties have their own policies and theories regarding Kashmir. The Hindu rightwing extremists not only use Kashmir card in Jammu region but also in the entire India for banking votes. All political parties whether mainstream or separatists have never been sincere to resolve the Kashmir conflict. They always use blood of young innocent Kashmiris to fulfill their own needs. If we talk about National Conference it has lost its credibility since 1984 elections and present government of Omar Abdullah instead being on the side of people has waged a war against them. Another big regional party PDP changes its stand day in and day out. During present crisis one of its top brass leaders was speaking on one of the T V channels that destination of Kashmir lies with India and another leader of the same party was contradicting him. Why this double standard one fails to understand it? Congress never acted with good intensions to solve the Kashmir dispute. I deem Congress and BJP as two sides of the same coin as these parties use Kashmir sentiments to garner support in India and earn votes.

The separatist camp is also sailing in the same boat. I was shocked to see the strike calendar issued by Hurriyat (G) on August 25. On one side it urged people to observe September 2 as ‘Youm-e Tahafuz Khawateen’ and asked womenfolk to march towards Ali Masjid Eidgah on the same day, despite knowing fully the prevailing situation of the valley and the consequences of such action. I also fail to understand why not strike for three or four days including Sunday and routine work for next four days in a week because a particular section of people is suffering by the continuous strikes. The leaders should keep in mind that the flame of agitation keeps on burning because of these people. Therefore it is Hurriyat’s moral duty to think something good for them, otherwise at some point of time they will become answerable to them and at that time nobody will come to their rescue. History bears witness that even towering leaders like Sheikh Abdullah did not escape the wrath of people who at one time would write his names on leaves. Now his grave stands protected by several guards who fear its demolition by the same people.

Therefore it will be sooner the better if these leaders work out a strategy which will be poor-people friendly, good for student community because they are the future of our nation. Everybody is fully aware of the fact that the resolution of Kashmir conflict will take time. I hope when the new calendar is released due consideration will be given to poor people and students community

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