Editorial: Idea of free Kashmir

Srinagar: Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has rejected the idea of Independent Kashmir. He says that the idea was floated around but has no reality.

The Pak premier’s statement has come at a time when the government of India has for the first time appointed an interlocutor with an official status to talk to various separatist groups and other stakeholders who wish to initiate talks to get the Kashmir issue resolved.

The message from the Pakistan premier which he delivered at the end of his 35-minute long speech after he addressed a conference on ‘Future of Pakistan-2017’ held at the London School of Economics’ South Asia Centre in London, has many connotations for the people of Kashmir as well as the separatist leadership.

First, Abbasi stressed that talks are the only way forward and without talks no quantum change is possible and that the relations between the two countries (India and Pakistan) cannot improve till the Kashmir issue is resolved.

For the Kashmiri separatist leadership the message needs no analysis for better comprehension. The writing is clear on the wall that Pakistan given the present circumstances is in no position to take on the Kashmir baggage on its shoulders anymore. The country wants an eased out roadmap for itself as its long time allies and friends, except China is no longer backing them.

The indications are clear that Pakistan leadership is not willing to take on the Kashmir cause anymore and that it has not only openly rejected an idea of an Independent Kashmir but has also stressed on talks for resolution of the issue.

Kashmir and its people have been facing worst of times from the past more than two decades. The people living along the LoC and in the hinterland are witnessing bloodshed, violence, killings and much more.

The two arch rivals Pakistan and India use Kashmir for scoring points over each other be it in world forums or any other world leaders meet, but what we as a nation seem to achieve, is a question for all of us to ponder over.

Even today when we write these lines, an encounter left three more dead in Pulwama in South Kashmir.

Week after week Kashmir wakes up to the horrible news of killings every morning. As security forces are in hot pursuit of militants, the Valley is witnessing killing of young men almost on daily basis.

As death and destruction is fast gaining momentum in the Valley, it is time for everyone involved-to take a step back and assess the situation, its underlying reasons and implications.

But, for this it is the Kashmiri leadership who need to take an initiative. Let us, understand it for once and for all-that Kashmiri have no friends on both sides of the LoC. What we are faced is a situation where we alone can seek some respite. We need to take some decisions and let both the countries know that the people of Kashmir cannot be treated as cannon fodder anymore.



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