Mehbooba’s ‘Kashmir issue” must be taken by Government in Delhi beyond simple political gains.

25 Mar 2016 12:50:28

Daya Sagar

 “One cannot say what is going to happen tomorrow; let her( Mehbooba Mufti) take time” had said Dr Farooq Abdullah ( a four time Chief Minister of Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir ) on 13th Feb last in a session on Kashmir at the Delhi Gymkhana Club even adding “Let us wait and give her ( Mehbooba Mufti) total support; if that is given to her maybe she will do well”. And a month after that (on 11th March) same Dr Farooq Abdullah has opined while in Srinagar something like  “2014 verdict & the present political stalemate  in the State has no doubt proved that the parties /people with reactionary and divisive approach  may manage temporary electoral gains by whipping up passions and polarizing the situations  but ultimately they cannot simply sustain the mandate secured in that manner , which is otherwise imperative for giving a government worth sustenance in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir where  it can be now said that the coalition culture is not in the interest of  the state.” At the same venue while referring to Mehbooba he also said “She should tell people what CBMs (confidence building measures) she wants from Government of India. Let us all know". To this I will add that looking through the binoculars of Indian interest any unbiased analyst would opine that the socio political culture, if not deteriorated ( particularly in Valley) , it has surely not improved after 01st March 2015 and people in all three regions of J&K have started feeling more good in Governor rule. Yes it is too much now, after 7th January inspite of BJP leadership repeatedly suggesting that BJP -PDP Government would be taking place any  time Mehooba Mufti has every next day  talked of some “assurances” ( undefined) pending from government of India worth her taking oath of office of CM.

Rising above political gimmicks and political affiliations utmost need has arisen for those who truthfully look for peace and stability in J&K to take leads (beyond any political motives)  from  the ‘key indicators’ underlying what Dr. Farooq Abdullah , a four time Chief Minister of Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir ,has said on 11th March (i) the parties /people with reactionary and divisive approach  may manage temporary electoral gains by whipping up passions and polarizing the situations  but ultimately they can not simply sustain the mandate secured in that manner…. (ii) coalition culture is not in the interests of the state (iii) Mehbooba should spell out  what CBMs she wants from Government of India. The indicators (i& iii) must be well received by GOI and indicators ( i& ii) by the common subject of J&K for  truthful deliberations.

It was so satisfying to hear from Mufti Sayeed on 1st March that the 'two' had come together for development of the State and for that all efforts will be made by them to bring peace and stability in J&K. True there cannot be any economic development without peace and stability. But inspite of such like expressions  PDP and BJP so bluntly displayed differences in aspirations as well as ideologies ( even as regards the status of 26th Oct 1947 Accession of J&K with India ). Going by the contents of the PDP’s Self Rule Framework 2008 the differences between PDP & BJP are not as regards working approach and policies but are basically as regards the concepts and belief about even sensitive issues like Nationality. It was this angle of differences under what ‘infant’ PDP could even politically dismantle Sheikh Abdullah’s National Conference just in a period of less than 5 years since the ideologies professed by PDP were not taken seriously even by Congress as well as BJP thereby many common people in J&K not finding much otherwise ( from Indian point of view) in the PDP Self Rule Framework 2008 .I hoped that atleast  those who were handling the alliances with PDP by the parties like Congress & BJP  must have well studied the PDP’s ideology as drafted in “ J&K- The Self-Rule Framework for Resolution” (JKSRFR)and political approach of PDP towards J&K related issues concerning India , Pakistan and in the words of  PDP that of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK and not POK….JKSRFRPage-37 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution : Setting the stage  for Resolution: : Constitutional Restructuring: Clause- 132. Once this formulation of self-rule is accepted in and by India, it can be discussed with Pakistan for seeking a similar dispensation for the people living in Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Northern Areas….. ) . But it could be said that atleast BJP leadership had not done so since had it been so the controversies on political and national issues would not have arisen just from day one itself ( 1st March CM thanking Pakistan and militants for allowing 2014 elections, a junior minister at center talking of Art 370, State Government issuing circular on 12th March regarding State Flag & withdrawing same on 13th March and like )

With the political and administrative stalemate  prevailing in the indian state of J&K right since day one of PDP- BJP coming together , PDP in a way seized the  opportunity to come out for settling the scores with BJP  after the demise (7th Jan 2016 ) of Mufti Mohd Sayeed the then Chief Minister of J&K  as well as for “re-justifying’  its commitments to the contents professed in the Self Rule Framework for Resolution doctrine ( as contained in  PDP’s  JKSRFR -2008 ) and took 'political shelter' under rhetoric of ‘Sacred’ Agenda for Alliance’& CBMs ( no specifics made known to  public by Mehbooba Mufti on 2nd February and beyond).Does Mehbooba Mufti by CBMs mean that BJP Delhi leadership should express  some confidence in the likely way forward for bringing  “peace & stability” to  the people of J&K lying in the Self Rule Frame for Resolution 2008 doctrine as drafted by PDP ?

With the leads in hand I believe that ‘they ' have not even gone through the contents of PDP Self Rule Framework 2008 document (Page-3 para Executive summary Clause-2 :………  Self-rule, being a trans-border concept, has a pan-Kashmir dimension but at the same time seeks to regionalize power across J&K…… Page-4 para New Political super structure Clause -5 …. This will require devising an improved constitutional, political and economic relationship between the two parts of the State and their respective main lands; Page-4 para Economic Integration Clause -9. Further, instead of looking for a monetary union, a new system of “Dual Currency” will be created, where the Indian and Pakistani rupees are both made legitimate legal tenders in the geographical areas of GJAK. .. To be more precise, it means, allowing circulation of the Pakistani rupee in the Indian part of J&K and circulation of Indian rupee in the Pakistan administered Kashmir.  …  Page-12 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution: Setting the stage for Resolution: Demilitarisation Clause-30.  .   The Indian nation-state must make up its mind that the only way to forward is the non-military way. There is no room for armed interventions in J&K. …….Page-16 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution: Setting the stage for Resolution: Jammu & Kashmir Issue: Challenges Clause- 48. At a practical level, it should be obvious that the J&K issue has not been and cannot be solved on the basis of the exclusively on an intrastate level (i.e within India or within Pakistan). It requires a combination of intra-state measures (across India and Pakistan) with inter-state and supra-state (international) measures……   Page-26 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution: Setting the stage for Resolution: Economic Integration: Clause-94. ……..   we may like to have a situation where the Indian and Pakistani rupees are both made legitimate currencies in the geographical areas of GJAK. A better description of this system is a “co-circulation of two currencies” in J&K…) what to talk of looking seriously into it from Indian point of view. Had the BJP consultants done so by this time PDP would have received the reply on the demands made for CBMs and stalemate on BJP-PDP government or no government would have ended.

I would suggest that before any further action is taken the SELF RULE Framework Doc 2008 (JKSRFR) must be carefully studied by the BJP 'carriers' and then only decisions be taken since PDP cannot survive political onslaughts by National Conference unless it keeps on talking on the lines of it’s Self Rule doctrine and in case it does not review its JKSRFR the controversies will again crop up thereby making any future PDP-BJP government to collapse. No doubt it is also in the greater interest of PDP to rework on its JKSRFR and find ways & means to devise new strategies against NC other than like “Autonomy for J&K from Indian Nation State” as professed in it Self Rule Framework. Rather Mehbooba Ji should sense the an advise worth wisdom resting in Dr Farooq Abdullah saying “ the parties /people with reactionary and divisive approach  may manage temporary electoral gains by whipping up passions and polarizing the situations  but ultimately they cannot simply sustain the mandate secured in that manner.   ….

It is time for J&K People’s Democratic Party  as well to  have a very careful review of the draft of its Jammu and Kashmir – Self Rule Frame Work for Resolution2008  ( SRFR2008 )  carefully  since in case the same has to be carried further by PDP even with allies like Congress ( what to talk of BJP)  the ‘mainstream’ path may become more uneven  for taking to any more fair political drives from the point of view of the Indian Constitution & India. It may not be an over statement to say that Mehbooba Mufti is facing some questions from within her own party as well as regards alliance with BJP since had it not been so she would have attended the Budget Session of Parliament in Delhi instead of spending all the time in J&K  when all prime BJP leadership worth saying something on CBMs is in Delhi.The PDP cadres & junior leadership are not scared of questions concerning AFSPA or power projects, they are  scared of future political fights against National Conference without talking of the  contents of Self Rule Frame Work for Resolution2008 (JKSRFRPage-18 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution : Setting the stage for Resolution:Jammu & Kashmir Issue: Challenges Clause- 58. : What sets apart "self-rule" from "autonomy" is the political context in which they are conceived and operate.Self-rule refers to Autonomy from the Nation-state of India, whereas Autonomy connotes relative autonomy from the Government of India. The two are vastly different in substance and style. The change -- from  “autonomy” to self-rule” -- means is a fundamental shift in the terrain of political discourse and the existing status of the Kashmir issue. …… Page-19 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution: Setting the stage for Resolution:Jammu & Kashmir Issue: Challenges Clause- 59.  : Autonomy refers to empowerment of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir vis-a-vis the Government of India. As such it becomes a part of the centre-state debate in the Indian federal set up. Self-rule on the other hand refers to the empowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, vis-a-vis the nation of India…….    Page-19 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution: Setting the stage for Resolution: Jammu & Kashmir Issue: Challenges Clause- 60.:  Further, autonomy is for an institution of governance, self-rule is for a region, or geography)   since PDP too is loaded with questions on future of PDP JKSRFRby its Valley voter and with the present approach "limited" to setting eye on only seat of local governance it will not be that easy for PDP also to take further leads over NC in coming times.

But I doubt PDP will  easily do so unless Mehbooba Jee targets long term gains or pressure is put by BJP like it was  done by PDP for even getting a reference made in Agenda for alliance  1st March 2015 - AFA for ‘maintaining the  present position  on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K including the special status in the Constitution of India { where as  Union Government in written reply to a starred question 138 from MP Anil Desai  (  Whether it is a fact that through Article 370, the Constitution gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir ? ) in Rajay Sabha on 11th March 2015  has  said “  In the Constitution of India, there is no mention of ‘Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir’. }.The PDP Self Rule Frame Work Document also   mentions on Page-20 Chapter II The Contours of Resolution : Setting the stage for Resolution:Jammu & Kashmir Issue: Challenges Clause-  67 that…   Constituent Assembly of the State ratified Accession on 15 of February; 1954 and also resolved that Article 370 should be retained in its present form where as Union Government while reply to Starred question in Rajay Sabha on 11 March 2015 has said that Article 370 provides for ‘Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Such like controversies should not be carried atleast by those who are in government.

The confidence building measures (CBMs) that Mehbooba Mufti Jee is talking about surely is something beyond the contents of ‘agenda for alliance’.  PDP has not routed  NC in Kashmir Valley simply with the slogans against  AFSPA 1990 or by demanding handing over Power Projects to J&K PDC but has routed NC more with talks of asking Government of India to focus more on “Kashmir Issue” and not issues in Kashmir ( Mehbooba Jee very truthfully had made her parties approach known while speaking in Lok Sabha on 16th June 2014) resting more in questions on 26th October 1947 accession, J&K not being federally a state of India like Punjab, position of J&K wrt India, Pakistan & other world, PDP calling Pakistan occupied areas of J&K as Pakistan Administered Kashmir (not as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir).

May be by CBMs Mehbooba Ji means that "Modi" government must assure her that under compulsions in case PDP leadership refers to such like suggestions as contained in the PDP Self Rule Frameworkfor Resolution BJP will not object to that while in government as has happened from 1st March 2015 on wards as regards issues of State Flag, Special Status of J&K in Constitution of India , Art-370, Art 35A, PRC issues related to 1947 West Pakistan refugees in J&K , “Kashmir issue & not Kashmir issues” and the like. 

Mehbooba’s ‘Kashmir issue” needs to be understood and addressed by day’s Government in Delhi beyond simply seeing political gains for BJP sharing power with BJP. PDP too should truthfully look at her people. And above all people of J&K must take the electoral politics seriously otherwise the State would be distancing further from peace and stability.  Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s message, experienced politician and senior leader from J&K,  that 2014 verdict & the present political stalemate  in the State has no doubt proved that the parties /people with reactionary and divisive approach  may manage temporary electoral gains by whipping up passions and polarizing the situations  but ultimately they cannot simply sustain the mandate secured in that manner  has much for the people of J&K as well as GOI for setting the course for seeking  a solution to the problems the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir is facing.

( * Daya Sagar is a Sr journalist  and a social activist 09419796096  [email protected]).

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