By Shabir Ahmad
The current coalition government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has two wheels; one is Green and other one is Saffron besides a driver that runs these two wheels to the direction towards which he deems fit. This driver is sitting at New Delhi. I have been perennially doubtful about the nature of this coalition given that the party manifestos of both these parties are dissimilar and contrarian. The Green flag party has self-rule as a pivotal objective in the party manifesto; the other party has abrogation of article 370.Where the former dreams the resolution of Kashmir conflict through self rule, other demands centre’s rule in all matters.
I remember the day, when the Green Flag Party was busy in its election campaign during the 2014 Assembly Elections. The self rule policy was used as a currency in all conferences, rallies and road shows to influence and motivate the electorates to vote in the PDP’s favour. The Party had further declared openly that, “our fight is not with National Conference or Congress but our fight is with Saffron Flag Party (BJP) and it must not come in power because the party is against Muslims, in general, and against the resolution of Kashmir dispute, in particular.
The people were innocent and basically duped by the PDP. The people had voted in favour of the party because they had erroneously assumed that the PDP was going to resolve the Kashmir conflict as per the aspirations of the people in general and as per the self rule policy.
When the results came out and the PDP entered into a coalition with the BJP, the people were discouraged and disappointed with the party’s U-Turn. The coalition happened despite the fact that the PDP was offered unconditional support by all the opposition parties including its rival, the National Conference. The PDP( the Green Flag Party) declined their support on the pretext that by joining hands with the Saffron party, it may be in a position to receive financial packages from New Delhi.
Before the formation of new government, both parties took almost three and half month to form the so called “Agenda of Alliance”. The very top prioritized points mentioned in the Agenda of Alliance document were: demilitarization, resolution of Kashmir the dispute, talks with separatists and Pakistan But, unfortunately, even though half of its tenure is over now, the PDP failed to fulfill even single point of it. In fact, it seems that this Agenda of Alliance document was just a crude joke on the general masses to justify the party’s move with the Saffron party. Moreover, the Agenda of Alliance document which promised demilitarization instead gave military rule. From the day, the PDP took oath; the whole of Kashmir has been converted into a cage where military rule is more clear and visible than the government. It even failed to maintain peace in the state especially in the Kashmir province, how could we expect the development and resolution of Kashmir conflict by their hands.
Now, the whole state knows that the “Agenda of Alliance” is nothing but an unholy document composed of fake and un-kept promises and stands contrary to the welfare of the general people. The document appears to have been formed just to satisfy the interests of the legislators within the party.
After every incident that happened in the Kashmir region, mere discussions and debates are held and nothing concrete is done on the ground level to de-escalate tensions. The coalition doesn’t bother about the threats to the life and liberty of the people. The government just condemns the brutal and shameful incidents merely ceremonially. The brutalities crossed limits when the social networking sites were banned in the region following some incidents when people uploaded the videos of brutalities and state violence on the internet. Actually these videos were the evidence that were making government liable.
The government ruling in the state and at centre doesn’t want to let the world community know the exact situation in Kashmir. The Agenda of Alliance promised to develop the state into new heights but has made life more difficult. Even colleges and schools are not spared by the security forces. Can we call it democracy? No. Actually, it is a perverted form of government where a government is elected for the specific period of 5 or 6 years, and during these years, it snatches the rights and liberties of the people.
To conclude, it can be said that this Agenda of Alliance documents stands for militarization of Kashmir. The document is mere composed of fake promises and has proven to be devastating and destructive for the demography and topography of the state. Moreover, the government is happy with the packages of pellets and bullets being transported to Kashmir for the common innocent masses.
—The Author is a Social Activist, Civil Services Aspirant and Post Graduate in Political Science from the University of Kashmir and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org