K N Pandita
Valley’s leading political parties participating in the parliamentary (and later on in the assembly) elections in Kashmir have lately found a pretext behind which they are giving vent to what they have been at pains to hide over the years. NC and PDP heavyweights both have publicly and to the media said that if Article 370 or 35-A are abolished, Kashmir will rejoice at God-sent (read Pakistan-sent) separation from the Indian Union.
No power on earth can separate the state from the Indian Union. Kashmir leadership of all hues knows it better than anybody else. However, assuming that Modi is returned to power and the said constitutional provisions are abrogated —— which is to happen in any case sooner or later —– the choice for the Valley leadership and the people they lead in such a situation would be (a) Declare secession of J&K from the Indian Union and get it ratified by the State legislature to give it a semblance of legality (b) After a declaration is made and Legislative Assembly gives its consent, the people of the State will have to decide whether the State remains independent or joins Pakistan. (c) Immediately declare unconditional accession to Pakistan according to the agenda of the separatists and their movement. (d) After establishing secession from the Indian Union, there could be many voices in Kashmir Valley demanding Valley joining China because the pro-Chinese wave has been covertly in motion in Kashmir Valley ever since the Chinese literature was seized from a militant in Baramulla two years ago and also China began issuing visa to Kashmiris on a separate piece of paper.
The questions that will arise and shall have to be answered are: (a) Will the endorsement of the legislative assembly become legally tenable because the MLAs will have taken an oath of upholding the Constitution of the State which does not allow secession from the Indian Union? (b) Will the State Government (after it is formed through pending assembly election) make the secession announcement of only the Valley of Kashmir or of all the three regions? (c) Since the J&K Legislature has till date reserved 25 seats for the PoK, will the announcement of the elected government in Srinagar (elected via allegiance to the Indian Constitution) include the PoK in its secessionist agenda? (c) Presuming it will, in that case, will the dictation of Srinagar assembly/cabinet be a binding on Muzaffarabad Government and assembly where anti-Pakistan voices are loud and clear since a long time? (d) If the Srinagar assembly declares separation from the Indian Union for the regions of Jammu and Ladakh, what will be the consequences in case the people of these regions reject the decision of Srinagar clique? In that case, will not polarization come to revive the bloody scene of the partition of India? (e) In a chaotic scene to which Kashmir leadership intends to become the catalyst, if Ladakh unanimously opts for the Territory of the Union of India and Jammu declares to be a new State of the Indian Union, can Srinagar regime stop it and has it anticipated the consequences?
This apart, there are other issues like (a ) We said that the secession has to be ratified by the legislative assembly. Obviously, the MLAs from Jammu and Ladakh will not vote for such a destructive course (reminiscent of the partition of 1947) and they will walk out leaving only valley-based MLAs (and maybe a stray Muslim MLA from Chenab Valley or Poonch-Rajouri segment going with them) in the assembly hall to vote for secession. In such a situation, the secessionists will lose Jammu and Ladakh regions altogether. Some constitutional and legal issues will also prop up. For example, (a) There exists no provision in the J&K Constitution for the secession of the State from the Indian Union. The Constitution states that the accession to India is final and irrevocable. What the secessionist political leadership led by NC-PDP-MC-JI-Left combine will be demanding will be in total contravention of the J&K and Indian Constitution. Now, since the NC, PDP, Muslim Conference, Jamaati Islami and their cohorts claim that tampering with the 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution will lead to the secession of the State, what have they to say when their attention is directed to blatant tampering by them with the constitution of J&K and of the Indian Union? If the separatist leaders want to enjoy the right to rise against any attempt of amending the Indian Constitution by the Indian State, naturally Indian State shall have the right to prevent any attempt of violating the constitution of the State and the Indian Union. The use of the might of the State is its prerogative and logical consequence/
In all probability, the entire exercise of the rogue Kashmir Valley leadership boils down to the bare fact that it will be only the Kashmir Valley which will secede from Indian Union while the regions of Jammu and Ladakh will remain intact. This is precisely what Pakistan is aiming at while Pakistan-based jihadis, the mentors of Kashmir separatists, are fighting tooth and nail for the Islamic Caliphate to which J&K is central. In any case, there is no second thought on Kashmir Valley seceding from the Indian Union and acceding to Pakistan as a precursor to Islamic Caliphate. Two situations have to be kept in mind in such a scenario. One is that Beijing will in no case remain a silent spectator when it comes to knowing that its border with India is shifted to the border with Pakistan. Pakistan is already in her pocket. What China wants and will tenaciously pursue is to have borders with India. Therefore, within 12 hours of Kashmir Valley declaring secession from India, PLA will be marching in the Hari Singh High Street and the Palladium square is already known as Lal Chowk. The second is that in terms of logistics, India will take many years to dismantle and relocate its military and other security installations throughout the valley. Who is going to provide the Kashmiri people security in the prospect of a retreating Indian army? For that purpose, an international commitment/ agreement will be needed by the stakeholders. In all probability, the UN will walk in and demand a total withdrawal of Pakistani forces from the part of the State it has illegally occupied in 1947 in the light of the Security Council Resolution 1948. Therefore, it is for the Kashmir Valley secessionist leadership to initiate the issue with both Beijing and Islamabad. The commonsense is that NC, PDP and JI are already in deep and covert deliberations with ISI sleuths in and outside the valley. Kashmir Valley leadership is already committed to repeat the history of Kashmir in inviting a foreign power (Islamabad/Beijing) to rule over them.
It has also to be made clear that the Indian Union has every right to defend itself against the publicized Ghazwatul Hind or the anti-India campaign purporting military defeat of India and its wholesale conversion to Islamic faith, something that Pakistan has secretly unleashed in Kashmir. India knows that no country will come to her rescue in fighting terrorist oriented secession and she has to fight the rising crescendo of Islamic terrorism single-handed. In an overall jihadist game plan Kashmir issue pales into insignificance and inconsequentiality.
No international agency will accept that the rights of the Hindu religious minority displaced persons from Kashmir Valley since 1990 are to be ignored or neglected. The displaced Hindus from Kashmir have already mooted the idea of a global Diaspora demanding not only a court of inquiry into their genocide in 1990 but also the recovery of their homeland. In a prospect of secession of the valley from the Indian Union, the separate homeland for the Hindu (Pandits) religious minority has to become a reality. We know one of the reasons of a concentration of the terrorists in South Kashmir with tacit support and goodwill of the local Muslim political and religious leadership is that they nurse the apprehension that South Kashmir would one day be the homeland of the displaced people. This, I understand, will be the critical and key demand of the Indian Union while succumbing to the secession of the Kashmir valley, something for which the Congress has been sustainably supported by the Indian Left’s Adhikari Theory. For the Indian nation, eventually, this would mean enforcing a pro-national resolution and not just supplicating for the Hindu homeland.
K N Pandita