Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Boiling "POT"

Sometime back a senior Army general declared that by sending infiltrators across LOC, Pakistanis want to keep the “Pot” boiling in Kashmir. There are many such statements and declarations made by various people in India about the situation in Kashmir attributing the cause of turmoil to outside agencies.The blame for any trouble especially violent incidents isusually attributed to intelligence agencies of the neighbouring country who are supposed to use some local outfits to carry out their plans. There are no two opinions that the neighbouring country is involved in many ways in fuelling uncertainty in Kashmir. In fact, Kashmiris have been used by both the countries to settle their own scores. However, one has to face the reality that the “Pot” of Kashmir contains a concoction which can remain boiling on its own. The concoction has been in making since 1947, the very year of creation of these two countries. It has been helped by the western countries who also wanted to keep their fingers in the pie in their own strategic interests. One wonders why does not the other side accuse India of keeping their “Pots” in Pak Administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan boiling even though those people are not very happy with the set ups there? The most probable reason is that their concoctions, if any are not so prone to boiling while as the concoction on this side just boils over with the slightest heat! The only boiling “Pot” in that part is Baluchistan which has lot of tendency to boil over. The US Congress has recently added some spice in this “Pot”! The other side accuses India often of keeping it boiling through their numerous consulates on its border in Afghanistan ostensibly opened for the Indians working on various projects there. Thus the story of keeping each other’s’ “Pots” boiling goes on.The entire process has now turned into a vast commercial enterprise involving massive amounts of money gobbled on both sides by the vested interests. Added to this is the perennial mistrust between the two neighbours which refuses to go away in spite of umpteen embraces and handshakes mostly between the elite in five star luxury hotels. On our side, the Indians instead of realising that the basic concoction is prone to boil over on its own, have been adding spice to it from time to time. In fact, the very ingredients on our side have a tendency to boil over without any external aid. The problem is that no one is prepared to admit the reality of the situation. It became starkly evident sometime back when the debate about AFSPA removal gathered pace. The Army itself admitted that the withdrawal of this draconian legislation which even the UN Rapporteur has termed as a violation of the international law, would mean giving independence to Kashmir. Thereby implying that it is being held solely by the force of arms! AFSPA is not the major illness of Kashmir but only a symptom. The disease is deeper. However, relieving the symptom could enable the patient to take a full course of medicine which could ultimately cure him. Unfortunately, people are not even ready to give symptomatic relief but are on the other hand accusing outsiders of keeping the “Pot” boiling! That is the worst tragedy of our times.

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