Professor Dr. K. L. Bhatia
We are dismayed to read Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s gratuitous statement of 20 July 2017 appearing in print and electronic media which he had given to reporters outside Parliament suggesting third party mediation by China to resolve Kashmir issue. Every diligent citizen of India does not appreciate his wanton statement.
As conscientious citizen of India we shall like to draw his attention to the realities about Jammu Kashmir. We have unequivocally given vent to on more than one occasion that from Vishnu Puran to Kalhan’s Rajtarangini to modern history to neo-modern history to the constitution making process that Jammu Kashmir was India’s, is India’s and will be India’s till infinity and eternity. Jammu Kashmir is an integral part of Union of States and its entrenched federal structure which is fons juris of constitutional patriotism. Jammu Kashmir is no issue. There is no dispute with Jammu Kashmir; the dispute is in Kashmir valley. The only outstanding issue between India and Pakistan is with respect to POJK (Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir) which is a bilateral matter between Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Why to pant over third party mediation when the whole world is one that the issue be resolved bilaterally as sketched vide Tashkent Declaration, 1966, Shimla Agreement, 1972, Lahore Declaration, 1999, etc., the copies of these agreements are the repository of United Nations. Therefore, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1948 and 1949 have outlived their utility. These resolutions have least utility and relevance in the present scenario. The reasons are not far to seek. What is called the Jammu Kashmir Problem, in fact, is no problem, but in essence, with least doubt, a political problem in Jammu Kashmir manufactured by contrive fictions of those who suffer with sick mind-set in destructive tendencies in an indestructible Union. These contrive people have thus far endeavored to make the people over the world to believe the truth of their lies has an unsuccessful contrive journey. History affords testimony to it. Providentially, our firm stand and perpetual strategic stand on Jammu Kashmir culminated in Tashkent and Shimla and Lahore agreements have enabled us to get rid ourselves of the cobweb as well as incubus of the UNSC, UNCIP, AID MEMORIAL NOs. I and II Resolutions, for these Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements lead to resolve ‘any outstanding differences between India and Pakistan’ bilaterally without the interference/intervention of any international agency or third party mediation.
Why to wheeze over third party mediation that spells out the proverbial attitude ‘enemy of enemy is my friend’! Except Islamic Republic of Pakistan and China the whole world including EU Report on Kashmir, 2007, and recent United States Administrations Decision on Terror, 2017, backs India’s Stand as recognition to India’s concern to fight against terrorism jointly globally. World’s support to India recognizes India’s stature of hard State of 2017 (twenty first century) that is different from 1962 of soft State, namely, India’s physical vitality, economic growth, scientific and technological development, and spiritual strength give enough courage to attitude of powerful nation. India has been fighting back strategically, intellectually, diplomatically, politically and forcefully with obstinate and obsessed Pakistan when India’s borders enjoin Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan and Russia. In the backdrop of this, world declarations unfold that India’s decision not to resume dialogue with Pakistan is justified. And world backing to India unmasks Pakistan sponsored terror on its soil and abetting proxy war against India.
His earlier statements and present statement are contra to each other. Sorry to say, when in power his statements used to be against Pakistan and third party mediation which were appreciated as statements of nationalist fervor coming out of a patriot. Unfortunately, when out of power, his press statement speaks against national spirit. Its language speaks of our times one act play ‘She Stoops to Conquer’. The expressions of his press statement, too, stoop to conquer those who are not stakeholders such as JKLF, Hurriyat and Co., Hizabul Mujahiddin, Lashkare-Toiaba, etc. He being the honorable member of Indian Parliament will have to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and will have to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. His expressions must be the revelation of maturity as a seasoned and senior citizen-politician.
It must be remembered that global administrations declarations have punctured the azadi or self-determination narrative in Kashmir valley and endorsed the fact that Kashmir valley is also the victim of radical Islamic terrorism and Islamic Caliphate. Declarations by global administrations show that India has a mindset to deal with terrorists, secessionists, separatists sternly and may have to be taken as strength on our back by isolating the abettor State Pakistan. India has been in the process to increase its weight to hit and punch perpetrators as well as protagonists of terrorism externally and internally. As such, no statements at any forum should be made for personal aggrandizement that may weaken national interest. His press statement has both external as well as internal ramifications. When there is international wrath against terrorism and propagators of terrorism and Pakistan is shamed as protagonist and perpetrator of terrorism, his press statement is, indeed, against all canons of civility and national patriotism.
It must not be out of place to mention that India is emerging from disaster diplomacy to effective constructive diplomacy to tackle ticklish war against terrorism and militancy. In our concerted opinion India has to adopt two pronged strategies. First, as a weapon of international politics and diplomacy, India has to adopt diplomatic, economic and other recognized blockade modalities against Pakistan. Second, as a clear signal to the secessionists, terrorists, and that Jammu Kashmir State including POJK is not disputed and belongs to India as her integral part that shall in unequivocal expression convey that struggle in the Kashmir Valley is not a freedom (azadi) struggle or right to self-determination, but is terrorism. Economic, political, diplomatic and moral blockade shall convey a strong message to rattle internal and loyalists across the borders to understand that the so called azadi fighters if not true to India where they were born and brought up, how they could be loyal to Pakistan! So, his press statement, in no way, falls within the purview of freedom of speech and expression, and also not immune from the cloak of parliamentary privileges.
Last but not the least, a lesson to emulate is that challenge of militancy or terrorism or secessionism or organized crimes (like stone pelters) is a challenge to the internal and external security of the Indian Nation that is Bharat as well as to the sustenance of federalism so well knit under the Constitutional Patriotism. The State machinery must be put into motion by invoking obligatory part as effectively as the enemies of freedom are not entitled to its blessings as well as mercy. These enemies are the enemies of constitutional democracy, cooperative federal structure and Parliamentary form of Governments as contemplated by the Constitution of India. It is, now, imperative to suppress the subversive activities of the militants, terrorists and secessionists in the bud, as it is the right war, with the right enemy, at the right time. It should be logical for sustainable development that what may be legally permissible may not be politically proper and what may be politically proper may not be legally permissible.
Besides, it may not be out of place to mention that Articles 370 and 35-A are not “touch me not provisions” as those were back door entry to the Constitution of India and will be front door ouster when need arises, and there seems no tinkering about it. Indian National tricolor flag will fly and flutter high. Article 35-A is a mishmash of the constitution since added to it by usurpation of Parliament’s power, and, now, is sub judice before the Supreme Court and, therefore, any threatening expression appears to be against constitutional morality and ethics.
Therefore, he should withdraw his press statement in national interest with nationalistic fervor and We the People of India have a large heart to forgive. Otherwise, let us have an open debate on electronic media and let the public judge who is right and who is wrong.
( The author is former Dean Faculty of Law and Founder Director The Law School, University of Jammu)