26.9.10

Chidambaram the pragmatist.

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When I first fell in love it was with a very beautiful Kashmiri girl at university; I was 19 and she was 18. She represented everything that is Kashmir, beautiful, clear elegant and much more. Kashmiris are not an aggressive warlike people.....they are a soft thoughtful poetic people, ruled and dominated by outsiders taking advantage of this fact.

India/Pakistan it seems are the latest countries which are out to dominate Kashmir, rather than rule it judiciously and effectively. One shudders at the thought of Kala Sala RSS type Maharashtran sepoys fingering Kashmiri women.

If soft touch Kashmiris are up in arms then
THERE MUST BE A GOOD REASON. Yes the battle hardened Islamic Fundamentalists sent by the ISI from Afghanistan to stir the pot from 1989 might appeal to a small narrow section of Valley Kashmiris, BUT after 21 years that can't be the only explanation for the WHOLE Valley being up in arms STILL NOW.

There must be other explanations........the problem thus might be India. What are the problems that India is creating as defacto occupier? How and why have 80,000 people died in Indian Kashmir since 1989? What can India effectively do to make amends? Looking at the long term, and not quick, 'here's a rupee or two" fixes. How can Kashmir be fully integrated into the whole of India, economically and socially?

This is the job of publicly elected officials and babus; that's what they are paid for.

Saving Kashmir by TOI opinion

Valley of Tears

The Killing of Kashmir

The Valley of Despair

Stuck in the Middle

Caught in the Crossfire

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Amnesty International


India: Repeal Immunity Law Fueling Kashmir Violence

India: Kashmir Arrest a Step for Accountability

India: Prosecute Soldiers in Kashmir ‘Encounter Killing’
India: Hold Abusers in Kashmir Accountable


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Government in Delhi offers peace to sullen Kashmir Valley.

Times of India

The Centre on Saturday formally signalled its conciliatory intent towards the sullen Kashmir Valley by deciding to appoint a team of 3-4 interlocutors for starting "sustained" talks with all sections and groups including the separatists, as well as by advising the Omar Abdullah government to take a set of measures that would facilitate the engagement.

The measures, which look like an "anger management package" meant to smoothen the way for the "sustained dialogue" the Centre aspires to hold, include an "advice" to the state government to release all stone-pelters and others charged with similar violations of law and to drop all cases against them. Likewise, the state government has also been asked to review the cases of all those detained under the Public Safety Act and to withdraw detention orders in appropriate cases.

However, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which finalised the clutch of measures announced by Union home minister P Chidambaram, steered clear of the vexed issue of what to do with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. It has, instead, asked the Unified Command headed by J&K chief minister and comprising representatives of armed forces and police organisations to take a fresh look at the deployment of security forces and the areas which are under the Disturbed Areas Act.

Announcing the decisions of the CCS which took into account the inputs from the all-party delegation that visited the troubled state earlier this week, Chidambaram said that a group of interlocutors would be appointed under the chairmanship of an eminent person "to begin the process of a sustained dialogue with all sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, including political parties/groups, youth and student organizations, civil society organizations and other stakeholders".

The decision to appoint "interlocutors", at least one of whom should be a politician, came amid indications that a search for those who could play Centre's emissaries to the estranged Kashmir valley has not thrown up exciting results.

The omission of any mention of AFSPA suggests that the CCS has taken into account the concerns of the armed forces who hold the legal cover to be crucial for their operations against insurgency in J&K. In the CCS, defence minister A K Antony steadfastly argued the case of the armed forces, often drawing support from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Chidambaram said that the Omar Abdullah government has been advised to "immediately convene a meeting of the Unified Command and to review the deployment of security forces in the Kashmir valley, especially Srinagar, with particular reference to de-scaling the number of bunkers, check-points etc. in Srinagar and other towns, and to review the notitification of areas as `disturbed areas'." Given the heavy representation of the Army and security forces in the Unified Command, no dramatic results can come out of the review.

But the Centre can hope to achieve a de-escalation of tensions as the obtrusive presence of security forces along with bunkers and check-points have been sore points with the population who have often complained of harassment and a sense of humiliation.

Other measures announced by Chidambaram are: Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia relief for each person killed in "civil disturbances" since June 11, 2010, a "request" to the state government to reopen educational institutions, hold special classes to make up for the time lost due to turbulence, and to conduct examinations for the current academic year.

The Union home minister also announced Rs 100 crore as additional central assistance to strengthen their infrastructure.

The CCS also took care to guard against the risk of heartburn in the two other regions of the state -- Jammu and Ladakh -- over the "special treatment" for the valley, by announcing the setting up of two Special Task Forces to examine their developmental needs.