22 September, 2020

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Kashmir – Part II

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

I concluded the first part of this article by stating that the relevance of the Kashmir problem for the Sri Lankan nation and for the question of shaping a new world order has to be addressed. For this purpose we have to firstly ask what the Kashmir problem really is about. I hold that it is really about the annexation of Kashmir by India. If the rebellion in Kashmir dies out and the people of Kashmir are seen to be successfully integrated into the Indian union there will be no Kashmir problem, not one at least that should bother the rest of the world apart perhaps from Pakistan. But that seems most unlikely considering that the rebellion is at its height almost seventy years after Partition. The Kashmir problem continues to envenom Indo-Pakistan relations, even to the extent that a nuclear war cannot be ruled out. It is time therefore for the international community to address the problem, and the first requisite for that is to understand what the problem really is about.

The case for stating that it is really about the annexation of Kashmir by India has to begin with the recognition of the fact that historically India never was a single political unit. A politically united India was a British creation. Before the Partition the Hindu and the Muslim leaders agreed that the sub-continent should be partitioned along religious lines in so far as that was feasible. It was certainly feasible for the Maharaja of Kashmir to have opted to join Pakistan because the territories were contiguous and Kashmir had a solid Muslim majority. But that did not happen because of certain developments that need not be recounted here. What is important is that there was a UN Resolution calling for a plebiscite to allow the people of Kashmir to decide on their future. What is important also are the facts that India agreed to the holding of the plebiscite and that Nehru kept on reiterating that commitment. India therefore acknowledged that there was a moral case for allowing the Kashmiris to opt to join Pakistan, or to set up a separate state – the latter was not regarded as a feasible option at that time. Nor would it have been thought that the majority of the Kashmiri Muslims would have opted to join India. But India finally refused to hold the plebiscite, and it is found after almost seventy years that the attempt to integrate Kashmir into the Indian union has been a failure. Those facts point inexorably to one conclusion: India has annexed territory that should not belong to it.

It is an intriguing question why India reneged on its very explicit commitment to hold the plebiscite. The factor of Nehru’s Kashmiri Brahmin ancestry being the determinant seems too frivolous to be taken seriously. I wonder whether the intensification of the Cold War during that period had a lot to do with it. It came to be widely accepted that Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated in 1951 through a plot mounted by the CIA, and the reason for that was that he was determined to entrench a Non-Aligned foreign policy – at that time Non-Alignment was called “positive neutralism” in Nehru’s terminology. The US’s notoriously aggressive Secretary of State John Foster Dulles explicitly declared that neutralism was “immoral” – a position reiterated to me many times by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary during my time there in 1957 – 1958. I must mention also a story current in some circles in Pakistan, a story that I have never seen in print. It was that a Scotland Yard team investigating the assassination went to East Pakistan to conclude their investigations, but while returning to West Pakistan their plane blew up mysteriously in mid-air.

It could be that India felt peculiarly vulnerable during that period, against a background in which there was a widespread assumption that India would be breaking up sooner rather than later. According to the perceptions of the great authentic nationalist leaders of that time, notably Nehru, Tito, Nasser, and Soekarno – the moving forces behind Bandung 1955 and the first Non-Aligned Summit in Belgrade in 1961 – the expositors of true independence as distinct from merely formal sovereignty for the third world countries, the US was an aggressive neo-colonialist power that was fiercely intolerant of that true independence. According to Indian perceptions the US could be a lethal force against India, and Pakistan could serve as its regional weapon. It could make sense in that context for India to take up a tough stand on Kashmir in opposition to Pakistan, and that could be the explanation for India so blatantly reneging on an international commitment.

There are two ways of looking at India’s relations with its neighbors. On the debit side we can take count of the absorption of Sikkim, the satellitisation of Bhutan, the troubled relations with Nepal and Bangladesh seen by many as bullying, the arrogance shown according to many towards China at the time of the border war, the breakup of Pakistan, the backing for the buildup of the LTTE and the disastrous 1987 intervention in Sri Lanka, which collectively show that India has an inordinate appetite for real estate and for trying to dominate its neighbors. It does seem that India has had an exceptional record for bad relations with neighbors. But we must acknowledge that for the most part India has had equable relations with Sri Lanka unlike with its northern neighbors. That could signify that the bad relations in the north were occasioned by security preoccupations which were not there in the south and not by a drive for domination over its neighbors. I rather think that both factors have counted in India’s relations with neighbors. Its behavior over Kashmir provides I think a convincing illustration of my point. On the one hand, security preoccupations arising out of the intensification of the Cold War could have led to the blatant reneging on the commitment to hold the plebiscite. On the other hand, India showed by that reneging that it was challenging the very raison d’être of Pakistan: if the Kashmiri Muslims were successfully integrated into the Indian union it would have been shown that there was no need to establish Pakistan to secure fair and equal treatment for the Muslims of the sub-continent.

I come now to the relevance of Kashmir for the Sri Lankan nation and for the question of shaping a new world order. I must emphasize two points before proceeding further. The first is that despite the ambiguity I have noted in the preceding paragraph, India has shown a regional hegemonic drive of a sort that should not be tolerated by any of its neighbors, least of all by Sri Lanka. The second is that India is guilty of annexation of territory that should not belong to it. That is true of Kashmir particularly in the period after 1989. Kashmir has a particular relevance for Sri Lanka because it is facing a serious threat to its territorial integrity. India seems determined to establish a permanent pro-Indian enclave in North East Sri Lanka. Under certain circumstances an outright intervention by India to establish a separate state cannot be ruled out. In this situation the support given by our Government for India over postponement of the SAARC Summit was deplorable. Did our Government have even one shred of evidence to show the Pakistan Government’s complicity in the raid that burnt alive sixteen Indian soldiers? Is it not known that that Government is not in control of some of the terrorist groups that operate from Pakistan territory? It is a reasonable surmise that though Pakistan Governments may foment the Kashmir rebellion – which should be regarded as quite understandable considering India’s outrageous behavior over Kashmir – none of them will want to do anything that could provoke a further war.

Obviously Kashmir is relevant to the question of shaping a new world order. There can be no such order worth the name if there is acquiescence in annexation. A war was fought over the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq, a war which had the support of the entire international community apart from Iraq. The international community’s disapproval of annexation was also shown over the virtual annexation of East Timor by Indonesia. In the case of Kashmir the aspect of annexation has been obscured by historical developments. It cannot be ignored if the rebellion there continues, which has to be expected maybe in waves and not in a continuous direct trajectory. In that event the international community could come to accept self-determination as the solution for the Kashmir problem. I believe that a solution of the Kashmir problem will result in a coming together of India and Pakistan in positive ways that are unimaginable at present.

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  • 5
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    Dear Izeth,
    Please stop writing half truths at least in your old age. Indus valley civilization belongs to Dravidians, and not to these North Indians or Pakistanis. They are the rightful owners of present day Kashmir, Punjab and Sindh which is occupied by India and Pakistan. Please advocate the correction of this historic injustice committed to Dravidians by giving their lands back if you are an honest person.

    Secondly, Kashmir was always a Hindu kingdom and was never conquered by Mughals. The Hindu kings in good faith allowed Muslims to live in his country and practice their faith. See how the ungrateful descendants of those people are doing to grab the lands belonging to Hindus. This is why European countries are opposing the immigration of Muslims in large numbers knowing very well their mentality.

    Thirdly Kashmir opted to be Independent at the time of partition. It was Pakistan which caused trouble by invading. If Pakistan did not do so the King would never have signed the accession to India. Therefore it is the occupation by Pakistan that is illegal and not that by India. It is also now accepted that linking of Kashmir entirely to either India or Pakistan is not a fair solution.

    If you take Kashmir, 50% is occupied by India, 15% is occupied by China and 35% is occupied by Pakistan. Jammu is an entirely Hindu area and Ladhak is an entirely Buddhist area with similarity to Tibetans. Also Srinagar had been the seat of rule of Hindus with Kashmir valley having several ancient holy Hindu shrines. So how do you justify to annex these areas to Pakistan against their wish.

    See what is happening in Pakistan where their persecution of religious minorities and destruction of their places of worship. Muslims who are shouting from roof tops about creation of Israel from lands originally belonging to Jews from which they were ethnically cleansed are woefully silent about creation of Pakistan from lands originally belonging to Hindus, from which they have been driven out.

    • 2
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      Dr GS – according to Wikipedia Kashmir had Muslim rulers from 1339 to 1846. At the time of Partition the Muslims were 77 % of the Kashmir population. – IH

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        The story of Hyderabad in 1948 is interesting in this context. A Hindu-majority state ruled by a Muslim Nizam who opted for independence because he was already self-sufficient, being the richest man in the world at the time. The state had its own Army, railway, airline and postal system. But India invaded and took over.The Nizam’s army wisely did not resist too much.
        Perhaps India was/is determined to protect its new-found unity.

      • 6
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        Izeth Hussain

        “At the time of Partition the Muslims were 77 % of the Kashmir population. – IH”

        At the time of independence could you tell us the Tamil speaking population in the island as well as in North/East provinces.

        Some Pandits say the people of Kashmir were originally Nagas and followers of Buddha. How did all those Buddhists managed to convert to Islam between (1339-1846) and now form 77% of population? Fall of Buddhism created a vacuum which was filled by medieval Arab practices and now called Islam.

        Did Allah reveal to all their ancestors (Nagas) the importance of conversion (just like from Imperial system to Metric system)to Islam and then go on brutalizing the indigenous people?

        • 5
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          Native,
          ” Fall of Buddhism created a vacuum which was filled by medieval Arab practices and now called Islam.”
          It was Islamic invasion, from Turks to Afghans, Tajiks and Persians, that caused the fall of Buddhism. Was it bad? Well, we have buriyani because of it at least.

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            old codger

            I still believe Buddhism had already lost its purpose by the time the Arab incursions took place from the Western and North Western front.

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              Native,
              You could well be right because the Southern Buddhists became Hindu without any prompting.

      • 1
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        Izeth Hussain

        “Dr GS – according to Wikipedia Kashmir had Muslim rulers from 1339 to 1846. At the time of Partition the Muslims were 77 % of the Kashmir population. – IH”

        In 1846, the British appointed a Hindu Ruler or Maharajah, as per British Divide and Rule Policy,and the Maharajah, wanted to join India not the People, during the partition.

        Thre was and still no plebiscite on Kashmir, as promised by the UN.

      • 6
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        Do you agree that this majority was achieved by murder and ethnic cleansing carried out by invading Moguls. In terms of justice lands should be given back to the original owners and not to invaders even if they had become a majority by unacceptable methods. According to your argument since Jews have become the majority in Palestine, there is no case for Arabs to make claim. Do you advocate that India should also practice Islamic method of murder and ethnic cleansing in Kashmir to bring back Hindu majority.

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    Hussein you r a righter,then can you write an essay like srilankan issue leaving your Muslim identity, Ian sure, Kashmir people n Muslim in India enjoy rights than being with Pakistan , hope you agreed upon

  • 3
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    Izzeth has been brainwashed and a chip planted in his brain while he was in Pakistan. He is so mixed-up and messy that his potpourri defies logic, and sometimes even reason. Central to his thoughts and writings is his Islamic identity that does exactly what it always does – create problems for everyone so that peace will always be elusive. There is nothing in his writings that will help to douse the flames but instead shows a cunning fox that adds fuel to fire. Let the Sinhalese and Tamils die killing each other so that the Muslims will be untouched, so appears to be his message.

    In a world where ISIS nerds/terrorists have been chillingly beheading hostages in front of cameras and turning helpless and hapless women into concubines, he should be at the forefront shouting away of what is the face of Islam today and support some of our Muslim friends’ efforts to voice their disapproval of how Islam is being unfairly defaced by neolithics. The more he writes the way he writes, the more he convinces me that he ought to have been the spokesperson for those neolithics.

  • 1
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    Izeth Hussain

    RE: Kashmir – Part II

    “For this purpose we have to firstly ask what the Kashmir problem really is about. I hold that it is really about the annexation of Kashmir by India. If the rebellion in Kashmir dies out and the people of Kashmir are seen to be successfully integrated into the Indian union there will be no Kashmir problem, not one at least that should bother the rest of the world apart perhaps from Pakistan. “

    It is about the Land. A Hindu Maharajah, appointed by the British during their Divide and Rule Policy, creating problems later on fr the Muslim Majority state.

    If the Kashmiris want independence, they have the Make Kashmir like Afghanistan, get external help, like getting China involved and make is extremely expensive for India. Until that happens, nothing much will happen.

    India will not go with a plebiscite, lust like Sri Lanka will not do for the North, as the outcome is obvious.

    Throughout history, invaders pulled out, when it became too expensive and untenable for them.

    • 2
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      If China wanted to invade Kashmir it would have done so long ago, as it knows that USA & Russia will not allow it and it will become expensive in terms of men and finances to achieve it and hold on to it. China is happy with the 15% of Kashmir which it is occupying as it gives China a path to Arabian sea via Pakistan. Strangely Pakistan which is refusing to accept the Indian possession of Kashmir, has ratified Chinese invasion. It is better for Pakistan to be satisfied with what it has, which it is not entitled to morally. Just like the divine retribution that Arabs are going through at present for murder and ethnic cleansing of Sumerians, Pakistan will not escape for murder and ethnic cleansing of Dravidians and will receive the same divine retribution in the future.

  • 3
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    Idiots,
    before looking for the Kashmir problem, look in to your own back yard,
    We have many problems to solve than those Kashmir problems in India and Pakistan.
    LET them solve their own shit bag,
    why you want to fork on those garbage and make another protest to destabilize our society.
    do not worry, they made the soup, they will drink or swim on that.

    • 0
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      “LET them solve their own shit bag,”

      Yes.

      We have our own shitbags, starting with the Traitor “President” Gin Sirisena Gamarala.

  • 6
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    Izeth most of the present day Muslims in Kashmir are either descended from Muslim immigrants from central Asia and Afghanistan or Hindus who were forced to convert. The original population of Kashmir are the Hindu Brahmin Kashmiri Pandits who have all now been killed or forced to flee from their land. Just like in current eastern Sri Lanka, where the once majority ( until the 1950s)indigenous Hindu Eelam Tamils and Tamilised Hindu Vedda are now being killed threatened and their lands stolen, ethnically cleansed and forced to flee by Muslims settlers who came to the east a few centuries ago as refugees and by illegal Sinhalese settlers who were settled there in the east in the past 60 years by the all Sinhalese led governments.

    Kashmir has always been ruled by a Hindu Maharajah and the elite and ruling class of Kashmir had always been Hindu. There are many ancient sacred Saivite Hindu shrines in Kashmir. As most Kashmiri Hindus are Saivite. Strange the deep south and the very North of India are the bastions of Saivaism. Ask any Kashmiri Hindu or Muslims even in the Pakistani occupied part of Kashmir. They want to be a separate nation and do not want to be part of India or Pakistan, like you imply. Kashmiris living in the Pakistan occupied part have complained of discrimination by the majority Punjabi and their land treated like a colony by the Punjabi Muslim majority.

    It was not India but Pakistan that created the problem in Kashmir by occupying and forcibly annexing 1/3 of Kashmir forcing the Hindu king to sign a treaty to accede to India. India only has 50% of Kashmir. 1/3 is now occupied by Pakistan and another 15% by China who occupied this area during the 1962 Indo/China war and have not left. The Jammu area is predominantly Hindu and they speak Dogri and not Kashmiri. Ladakh area is Buddhist and they are Tibetan by ethnicity. It only in the Kashmiri valley that the Kashmiri speaking Muslims predominate. The original population of Kashmir the Kashmiri speaking Hindu Brahmin Pundits have all been chased out.

    Please do not distort history or tell half truths to suit your pan Islamic agenda. The Indus valley civilisation was Dravidian and does not belong to other cultures but they are now busy hijacking it. They hate Tamils and Dravidians and will not acknowledge even their predominant Dravidian origin and heritage but are very claim to claim this ancient world renowned highly advanced Dravidian civilisation as theirs. Just like the Sinhalese here. Hate Tamils but quick to claim everything built by Tamil kings whether Hindu or Buddhist as theirs. Polonarruwa Kandy Lake etc.

    As usual he wants to link the Kashmiri problem with India and the Sri Lankan Tamils and their ancient homeland in the north and east of the island to create fear amongst the Sinhalese and to justify not granting the Tamils their due rights. You are indeed very diabolical. Shaitan. No Izzat( honour/integrity ) at all

  • 2
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    Izeth Hussain

    I appreciate your well written article on the Kashmir problem.

    I remind you a proverb in English that Charity begins at home.

    Rather you jump to Kashmir on religious line, how about you write your honest version on the independence of the people in the North East of Sri Lanka.

    This also will have an impact on your religious thoughts.

    • 5
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      Izeth can only dwell in the past.
      I challenged him many times to write about Syria and crisis in Aleppo and about Muslim terrorists such as ISIS and their killings in Paris and rest of Europe.

      He can only harp about his hallucination Tamil racism

  • 0
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    India wants to emerge as a hegemonic power not only in the South Asian region but also to the east and Modi’s vision from ‘look east policy’ to ‘act east policy’ has lot of hidden agendas one which is to become come a super power in the Indian Ocean region.
    so, they will never allow intra state conflicts and curb or wipe out such threats at any cost!
    Kashmir? Who cares!!!
    Human rights violations?? Who cares. Indian army orchestrating genocide in Kashmir and the rest of the world looking into India’s 1.5 billion market potential and FDI to boost one’s own economy.

  • 1
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    A superbly balanced article.

  • 2
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    “we have to firstly ask what the Kashmir problem really is about. I hold that it is really about the annexation of Kashmir by India.”

    Don’t talk BS izeth.You know very well a instrument of accession was signed by the maharaja of kashmir,making it a part of india.No pressure was applied on him to do that.Infact the pressure came from pakistan fermenting an uprising and sending tribesman from the northwest frontier to invade kashmir.Thanks to these fools the maharaja had no choice but to seek the protection of india.

    i suggest if you want the indian 50 % of kashmir to be given to pakistan,then reduce the muslims in india to the same percentage as hindus and christians in pakistan which is,bringing it down from 14% to 3.5 %.

    You can’t keep on taking the lands of other people just because you invade,convert or give them or give a option to die,then multiply at a rate because the koran forbids birth control and then take the land saying it is yours now because you are the majority in that particular area of the country.These kind of tricks will not work anymore and now the hindus,christians a bhuddhists are very vigilant and will nip it in the bud.

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    Further to my earlier comments, I wish to take exception to Hussain’s unnecessary jab on India when he insists “India has an inordinate appetite for real estate….. It does seem that India has had an exceptional record for bad relations with neighbors….” If there is valid speculation Hussain may have been hired by sources against India in the region to spite India, both statements go out to confirm the fear. If India nursed territorial ambitions Ceylon/Sri Lanka and the now precocious Maldives would have been part of the Indian Union by now. The present Bangladesh was already in a platter to India but she preferred to have nothing to do with this recurring head-ache, which is even unable to feed itself leave alone provide a modicum of even a lower level standard for its increasing multi-millions of abjectively poor. Sadly, that Kissingerian coinage “basket case” still remains true of this country ruined equally and alternatively by two ambitious women and a hopeless theorcratic political system. Therefore, to claim “India has had an exceptional record for bad relations with neighbours” is both a concoction and a poor job on the part of, to use Mario Puzo’s language – “the mouthpiece”

    Adding to the theory Hussain is now a paid-pen in the hands of anti-Indian sources is the latter’s provocative remarks “India has shown a regional hegemonic drive of a sort that should not be tolerated by any of its neighbors, least of all by Sri Lanka…” If Indeed that was India’s intention JRJ’s woes in 1987 was sufficient for India to have created the groundwork for an Indian take-over – even of a surrogate nature. Instead, India lost over a thousand jawans in the cause of defending Lankan soil – on the desperate plea made by the then GoSL – of serious threats both from the JVP and the LTTE. Unfortunately India’s sacrifices have not been sufficiently acknowledged by Sri Lanka todate – except for the reluctant and much delayed erection of a oft forgotten Statue in some corner of the Parliament. In case one wonders why I go to India’s defence so much, the answer is I am aware CT is read by academic circles in India as well. I do not want to leave the impression there Sri Lankan is a country inhabited by nothing but an ungrateful bunch of morons.

    The consequent statements “India seems determined to establish a permanent pro-Indian enclave in North East Sri Lanka” and “under certain circumstances an outright intervention by India to establish a separate state cannot be ruled out” are both calculated to place India in poor light both within the country and in the region – a function for which India’s adversaries in the region will pay handsome rewards to selected Agents.

    In concert with the anger of some countries in the region about GoSL’s abstention Hussain asks “Is it not known that that Government is not in control of some of the terrorist groups that operate from Pakistan territory?..” Let me refresh Mr. Hussain’s memory of the despicable and cowardly attacks on the civil population of Bombay in November 2008. While the whose world is aware the terror outfit Lakshar-e-Taiba lead by Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Major Iqbal and party are the master-minds behind the carnage operating under the watch of the ISI – a Govt of Pakistan outfit. The Pakistanis continue to deny this. The Indian government supplied evidence to Pakistan and other governments, in the form of interrogations, weapons, and call records of conversations during the attacks. That is no surprise, Pakistan cheated the USA and the entire world in denying that mass murderer Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistani soil. Those brave US Navy Seals proved to the world who born cheats are although these creatures proudly proclaim to the world they pray five times a day to the “Almighty” for truth, world peace and whatnot.

    Backlash

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    Old Backlash seems on Frontlash mode!!Nothing in the IH article to become hysterical about .BL must know that there is no room for emotions in formulating foreign policy.On the contrary it’s cool ruthless calculation that is involved under so many seemingly benign labels such as abiding friendship etc.In this game India, China and others are past masters in leveraging for maximum advantage at whatever cost.Cool down Backlash.Take a deep breath and read again!!!

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    Each time [Edited out] Izeth Hussein and his ilk write they release contempt from both Sinhalese and Tamils. He will bring back the BBS.

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    Our good friend Izeth Hussain continues to exhibit his enormous dislike of India once more in this article. He will, of course, be in constant denial. There is no real need for this by any Lankan Writer or Political Analyst of any worth. In its right perspective, progressively advancing and neighbouring India is an opportunity and not a threat to us. India extends its hand of friendship to Sri Lanka only to be responded indifferently. Mrs.B, JRJ, Premadasa, the Rajapakses and the Sinhala chauvinists identified with them openly castigate India during times of elections. However, once coming to power and particularly visiting Delhi our leaders sing praises of India insisting “we are one and the same people. But what to do, we must play politics inside the country, no?”

    “….historically India never was a single political unit” pontificates Hussain – a factor that cannot be new even to Junior standard students. But so is the story of China, South Africa, the former French Indo-China and many countries – arguably, even our own. It was the post-WW2 history that changed the Status Quo in the world of many lands is the basic fact. More to the point, Kashmir has always been historically, geographically, culturally identified with what we call India – for millennia.

    I am afraid in this article Hussain leaves one with the impression he is used by a sinister and faceless source to advance their surreptitious cause against India. “India agreed to the holding of the plebiscite and that Nehru kept on reiterating that commitment…India therefore acknowledged that there was a moral case for allowing the Kashmiris to opt to join Pakistan,…” Both Statements, I am afraid, are false and calculated to mislead. While India did agree at the UNO to hold a plebiscite in the beginning Pakistan, thereafter, deliberately muddled the waters by surreptitiously changing the demographic reality in the ground. Even today Kashmiris detest the very idea of being part of an unstable Pakistan – in any form.

    In the decades past when Izeth Hussain was posted to Rawalpindi, he would have been a very junior officer. Yet he claims here “a position reiterated to me many times by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary” The Pakistani Foreign Secretary may have had a special fondness to Hussain to devote so much of time with this junior officer!!!!

    As to Hussain’s comment “I believe that a solution of the Kashmir problem will result in a coming together of India and Pakistan in positive ways that are unimaginable at present”
    I cannot but agree entirely. This is the private wish of most Pakistanis – many of them spending several hours of the day/night watching Indian movies, on the sly, on pirated videos.
    If allowed to chose on their own, there is little doubt the friendly Pakistani civilians would love a normalisation relations with their estranged cousins across the Waga border. The popular belief on both sides of the border is it is the Pakistani Army and the ISI who are on the way. But this has to given in – someday soon.

    Backlash

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    From both Parts of his Articles on Kashmir, Izeth Hussain’s pro-Pakistan and anti-India stance is clearly evident and thus the Articles are lopsided. This is supported by the fact that in his very first many lines itself he looks at the Kashmir issue from a Muslim perspective and not as an issue between India and Pakistan. He keeps harping on the fact that there was no unified country called India at the time of Independence and that India and Pakistan were creations of the erstwhile British rulers. Be that as it may, most countries in the world today were not unified separate states in the past, including present day, post-independent Sri Lanka. So this is a non issue other than that, as per his contention, during the time of partition and as per the demographics Kashmir should have been ceded to Pakistan. By the way, I do not understand his statement “..our Muslims who for the most part have played down the Kashmir problem in Sri Lanka”. Why should they have played up, if they truly consider themselves Sri Lankan and thus not get involved with other country’s geographical problems?

    Contrary to his statement, that the Kashmir problem is very different today from when it was in 1989, I would state that this problem had remained same throughout and worse things had happened before, than what it is today. International interest had been much more in earlier periods than now and there has been no rebel upsurge now which is more than what it was before. In fact, the only upsurge has been the increase in terrorist activities from across the line of control, from Pakistan side. If it is only a matter of rebel upsurge only, from within Kashmir borders, then why should there be a threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan, as stated by Izeth?

    Then there are these dichotomous statements by Izeth. On the one hand he states that India’s behavior over Kashmir has been legally and technically impeccable and on the other he states that India has put itself completely, blatantly, outrageously in the wrong on Kashmir and also that it will be criminally irresponsible if the International community does not intervene. There is nothing for Pakistan to face humiliation again (unlike in the case of Bangladesh, which is of its own making), when it never owned Kashmir and as to the threat by them to use nuclear weapons against India, it is notthing new. India is capable of more than just responding, if such a threat were to materialize and the International community would be supportive of it. In fact, the International community is more concerned about the threat of terrorism coming from within Pakistan than any other issue in the sub-continent.

    Izeth keeps referring to the 1948 UN Resolution on Kashmir. The first precondition in this was the withdrawal of Pakistani invaders into Kashmir, which never materialized and which Izeth conveniently chooses to ignore. Also parts of Ladakh which Pakistan had annexed, were gifted by them to China. Add to this, the subsequent developments and the signing of the Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan in 1972, this non-binding UN Resolution has become redundant.

    It is not just in Kashmir that India is facing rebel attacks but on its North Eastern sector as well. Even in Pakistan there is the separatist rebel issue in Balochistan but it is only Kashmir that has become an International issue not because of its “annexation” (as incorrectly termed to by Izeth) by India but the intransigence of Pakistan to vest Kashmir, which was never a part of it. If at all, the only annexation here has been by Pakistan of its occupied portion of Kashmir. Today, the main issue in Kashmir is not from separatists, which has always been there but from terrorists across the border in Pakistan fuelling violence to which the Pakistan state and especially the intelligence wing of the army, the ISI have provided support.

    Izeth surreptitiously brings in the North-East issue in Sri Lanka to the equation. India has always been against the forming of a separate state in the North-East, as it may fuel similar aspirations in Tamil Nadu. It is only to for its internal politics and to pacify Tamil Nadu that India got involved in Sri Lankan issue, to its own detriment and learnt its lessons. India has never invaded any country nor does it have such aspirations. With regard to China, it is they who have “appetite for real estate” and Tibet is a good example, as also the gifting of land to them by Pakistan. There are more Muslims in India, who could have opted to move to Pakistan during Independence, than there are in Pakistan and Izeth’s statement that “if the Kashmiri Muslims were successfully integrated into the Indian union it would have been shown that there was no need to establish Pakistan to secure fair and equal treatment for the Muslims of the sub-continent”, is meaningless.

    There is also the issue of hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, who were residents of Kashmir before the waves of Islamic invasions, who have now been marginalized (ethnic cleansing) by Kashmiri Muslim militants and who are now refugees in their own land. The portion of Jammu is more than 50% non-Muslim and therefore that would need to be separated from Kashmir valley proper, if India were to give up Kashmir. This would further complicate issues.

    Today, the Kashmiri separatists are fighting for a separate state and not for absorption with Pakistan. They are using the support of Pakistan based terrorists for their own purpose. Clear evidence provided by India of the mischief instigated by Pakistan based terrorist leaders like Hafeez Saeed and Masood Azhar, in India, has been spurned by Pakistan. A 65% voter turnout in the Jammu & Kashmir elections of 2014 endorses the acceptance of the status quo by majority of people there, despite calls for boycott by militants and separatists. Even if Kashmir was to acquire separate statehood, Pakistan would always endeavour to invade and gulp them, which would exacerbate the problem and not solve it.

    The appropriate solution for the Kashmir issue today is the acceptance of the status quo by all parties and for Pakistan to stop supporting violence in India.

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