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What is exactly the problem with Kashmir today?
I came across many comments/opinions on the Kashmir issue, especially after the recent unrest. Many people think that it's a struggle for freedom, some think it's a demand for more autonomy, and according to some the unrest is for demanding withdrawal of AFSPA etc.

Clearly, many haven't yet understood what the exact problem is. Below, I will try to explain the exact problem.

Is it a freedom struggle or so called rebellion for azadi?

To get an answer to this question, let me give you a brief idea about Jammu & Kashmir state. Kashmir does not mean only the Valley, rather the entire J&K state. Area wise, Kashmir Valley has 15.73 per cent land area, Jammu has 26.29 per cent and Ladakh has 58.33 per cent land area of the state. Demographically, the Valley has 54.93 per cent of the population whereas Jammu and Ladakh have 42.89 per cent and 2.18 per cent respectively. Religious census says that J&K state has 68.31 per cent Muslims, 28.43 per cent Hindus and rest 3.26 per cent are other minorities.

J&K is legally an integral part of India. This legality is based on the instrument of accession executed on October 26, 1947 by the erstwhile ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, and the subsequent J&K constituent assembly's endorsement of it in 1952. Yes, Pakistan attacked J&K and occupied a sizable area of the state which is now known as PoK.


Later, Nehru went to the UN which resulted into a resolution. The UNSC Resolution of April 21, 1948, stated that "both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite".

The plebiscite proposal was subject to three conditions or prerequisites. Firstly, that the Pakistan Army has to withdraw from its occupied portion of Kashmir. Secondly, all non-Kashmiris must leave Kashmir before the plebiscite takes place and thirdly, that the Indian Army's presence during the plebiscite shall be minimal.

Pakistan didn't abide by the first condition of withdrawal of its army from PoK. It also did not obey the second condition, rather on the contrary, brought non-Kashmiris into PoK and settled them there. The demography of PoK has now totally changed and the original Kashmiris are a minority there. On the other hand, because of the existence of Article 370, no non-Kashmiri can settle in Indian administered J&K state. The third and final condition of downsizing Indian Army's presence in J&K cannot be acceptable as Pakistan has failed in fulfilling the first two conditions. That's why the United Nations declared the resolution as null and void, later on. Thus, whoever cites the UN resolution on Kashmir, clearly doesn't know enough about it.

Now legally speaking, J&K is an integral part of India and militarily, nobody can separate an integral part from the Indian Union. This current violent unrest is just limited to five districts surrounding Srinagar, dominated by a Muslim population. They can't represent the entire J&K state. Never such protests have taken place in Jammu, Ladakh or the border districts of the Kashmir region. Thus, it's not a freedom struggle. Originally, this problem began due to power politics of Sheikh Abdullah and later got converted into a religious problem. However, I shall explain it later.

Is it a demand for autonomy?

J&K state is already enjoying greater autonomy than any other state in the country, all thanks to Article 370. Because of this greater autonomy, politicians of the Valley are enjoying great power and discriminating Jammu and Ladakh regions. Ask the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions, they want an end to this autonomy and Article 370. Because the Valley region has close to 55 per cent population, they hold the key to power. It is only for the first time that the Jammu region has come into the power equation because of BJP's seats and sharing of power with the PDP. The Valley region will never want Jammu and Ladakh to develop and have a say in power. Thus, autonomy may be a demand of NC or PDP, but definitely not of the majority of the people of J&K, including the trouble makers of Kashmir.

Is it about the withdrawal of AFSPA?

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is an act endorsed by the Indian Parliament and enforced in disturbed areas like J&K just to avoid the army from unnecessarily attending court cases for every encounter. It's the Indian armed forces that prevent terrorist insurgency in the Valley. If the army stops acting, all so called politicians will have to run for their lives and the common people of Kashmir will come under the rule of terror. That's why, no matter which party's government is in power, it has always supported the continuity of AFSPA, although while in the opposition, that same party makes a customary demand for the withdrawal of AFSPA. Let me give you a fine example. During the 110 days of unrest in the Valley in 2010 where more than 100 people had died, the erstwhile J&K CM had argued in favour of AFSPA, but during the recent unrest he demanded the withdrawal of AFSPA. The only difference is that Omar Abdullah was the CM then and is now the leader of opposition.

What exactly is the problem?

Many wouldn't be aware of the real problem. It is a radical Islamic rebellion by Wahhabi Muslims. Many wouldn't believe it, but let me explain. When Pakistan realised that it can't get J&K, it adopted a two prong strategy. It settled hard core Wahhabi Muslims in PoK and started Islamic radicalisation in the Valley. This was the master plan of the then president of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq.

The first victims of this strategy were Kashmiri pandits. They were killed and forced to flee from the Valley. Although Muslims constitute around 68 per cent of the total population of J&K, the Valley now has around 96 per cent of Muslim population. Like in Pakistan Hindu population declined rapidly, in the Valley too Hindu population has decreased very fast. The Valley comprises of almost 100 per cent Muslims now.

This was a requirement of the Wahhabi movement. The Hurriyat Conference and other separatists are just stooges of Wahhabi professors like Hafiz Saeed and other such mullahs of Pakistan who dictate everything in the neighbouring country. That's why during demonstrations, along with the Pakistani flag you can also see the ISIS flag. All sane Muslims say that ISIS is not at all Islamic. Even Pakistan, at least officially denounces ISIS.

But no one opposes ISIS flags in Kashmir for the only reason that it's a Wahhabi Islamic radical movement and not a freedom struggle. Had it been a real freedom movement, waving ISIS flags would have been opposed by the Hurriyat leaders or others. But their real masters are radical Islamic outfits and they want to turn the Kashmir Valley into Syria.

That's why Narendra Modi-led government is taking strong steps and all other political parties should stand behind him. I think good sense will prevail and they will rise above petty politics and help the Indian government in preventing the Kashmir Valley from becoming another Syria.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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