Friday, August 10, 2007

Uruguay backs J&K separatists -Sandhya Jain(in Pioneer)

By the twitching of my thumbs, fresh mischief is brewing over our northern frontier. The signs are ominous: There is renewed violence in Jammu & Kashmir, including an attack on Amarnath pilgrims. There is Ms Pamela Mountbatten's titillating leak that her father used Edwina Mountbatten to manipulate Jawaharlal Nehru and subvert Indian national interest in the border State. There is US pressure on Ms Benazir Bhutto to cut a deal with President Pervez Musharraf, and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's threat of direct action against terrorists in Pakistan.
Hizbul Mujahideen has asked non-Kashmiri (read non-Muslim) workers to quit the Valley, triggering an exodus. Around this time, Uruguay hosted a Kashmir Conference (July 31) to discuss resolution of the India-Pakistan dispute. Organised by Washington-based Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmiri American Council, the conference proceedings leave little doubt it was backed by the US State Department.
According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, Mr Fai funds Hizbul Mujahideen, which has close links with the Jamaat-e-Islami in the Kashmir Valley and Pakistan. Hizbul was close to Afghan Mujahideen groups like Hizb-e-Islami (which received arms training against the Soviets) and has cordial links with Pakistan's ISI and United Jihad Council. Mr Fai is reputedly friendly with the Hurriyat's Yasin Malik.
The meet was largely ignored by the international media and India, but Pakistan's national television and Islamic websites reported it extensively. Seventeen Uruguan senior Army officers attended; 11 were in uniform and, significantly, had served in Jammu & Kashmir as part of the infamous United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). India remembers UNMOGIP for trying to alter the boundary-markers in favour of Pakistan, a fact which embarrassed Nehru and made him give up ideas for a plebiscite in the State.
Gen Ricardo Galarza of Uruguay, former Chief of UNMOGIP, made the astounding claim that Maharaja Hari Singh's Instrument of Accession (to India) was accepted by Lord Mountbatten subject to the reference of the people! He reiterated Uruguay's support for the 'right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir' (whatever that means). This is a gross intrusion in our internal affairs and New Delhi should take it up with the Uruguan authorities.
In India, few Kashmiri refugees have even heard of Mr Jatinder Bakshi of the Committee of the Return of Kashmiri Pandits. Yet this worthy pontificated that a lasting solution was possible only through peaceful dialogue between India, Pakistan and the People of Jammu & Kashmir (read separatists). Indians are more familiar with Dr Angana Chatterji, darling of the separatists; she demanded demilitarisation (naturally) to improve the 'human rights situation'.
The conference adopted a pompously-worded Montevideo Declaration, beginning with a demand to recognise the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. It bears emphasising, therefore, that the Instrument of Accession is final and non-negotiable; foreigners have no locus standi to speak of self-determination for Indian citizens.
The declaration calls for a "new beginning and manifested sensible approach to resolve the Kashmir dispute through a peaceful negotiated settlement" keeping in view the sensitivities and wishes of the Kashmiri people. This is probably a certificate to the participants and organisers as the only competent persons to handle the issue. New Delhi should unequivocally inform Uruguay that Kashmiris have expressed their political mandate through free elections, which even international busy-bodies have acknowledged as fair. The Montevideo Conference appears to have a distinct bias towards the Hurriyat.
Irritatingly, the declaration calls for making Kashmiris an integral part of the 'peace process' of which they are primary stakeholders, in order to facilitate a "permanent, durable and honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute". Kashmiri migrants, however, question the repetitive use of the word 'dispute', and point out that elected representatives of Kashmiris are already sitting in the State Assembly and Indian Parliament. Even more brazenly, the declaration states that the "ceasefire line as an option is totally unacceptable". The Indian view is that Pakistan must vacate Occupied Kashmir so that we can regain control of our 1947 border.
The Uruguay Conference favours an "intensive and comprehensive dialogue between different opinions and regions of the State on both sides of dividing line", so as to "improve the level of trust and confidence... to develop consensus in conflict resolution". It calls upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to provide travel documents to such participants. This vacuous opinion has been repeated ad nauseum in so many forums that it reflects the intellectual bankruptcy of the participants.
Surely, it is pertinent that while New Delhi is going all out to ensure travel documents to Pakistani nationals wishing to visit Jammu & Kashmir, not a single Kashmiri Hindu has received documents to visit the sacred Sharada Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, despite thousands of applications for permission. Even more telling is the fact that Pakistani nationals who entered India on tourist visas to watch cricket matches (for example, at Mohali, Punjab) or visit Sufi shrines, have simply melted into the night. It is certainly risky, therefore, for India to mindlessly keep an open door policy for infiltrators.
The conference has demanded an end to "all types of human rights violations". These West-funded jholawallahs should tell us why they don't speak about human rights violations against Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir, especially the genocide and ethnic cleansing intended to further a pan-Islamic agenda. India must make it clear that in internal or external discourse, we will not allow talk of Gujarat riots without acknowledging Godhra, or discussion of Jammu & Kashmir without admitting who began the selective killings and why.
The final mention about the return of all displaced persons, including Kashmiri Pandits, is polite piffle. The declaration favours Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures, demilitarisation to promote peace and reconciliation, and release of prisoners. Yet, demilitarisation can only augment the terrorists' ability to strike at will, and unsavoury characters like Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate have already been released.
Probably Uruguay and its American mentor want a Pakistani walkover in Jammu & Kashmir to placate Muslim rage over what is happening to the community in the Gulf and the Western world. Pakistan itself was a compensation for the creation of Israel, just as Israel was compensation to the Jews for European racism and religious bigotry. We are walking the same terrain again.

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