K Issue- Is plebiscite only India’s responsibility??

These days Kashmir has taken center stage in the discourse in India after the Handwara shooting. Separatists claim that a 16 year old was molested by army personal. Army claims it is rubbish. Whatever the truth may be, it brings up the Kashmir issue and I find that there are a few misconceptions that need to be cleared about UN resolution on Kashmir. People have made it look like the conduction of the plebiscite is responsibility of Indian state alone. Is that so?? Let’s look at it.

Any discussion on Kashmir cannot end without a mention of Plebiscite promise by Nehru and UN resolution on it. But when we look closely at the resolution, it says the plebiscite can be conducted only when Pakistan withdraws it’s army from Kashmir. And mind you this resolution is not only for Indian side of Kashmir but also for PoK. So those people who want a plebiscite should ask Pakistan to withdraw it’s army from PoK before we can proceed further. Don’t make it sound like it’s only India’s responsibility to conduct the plebiscite. If plebiscite has to happen, it has to happen on both sides. Or are people of PoK are not Kashmiri?

One more misconception is that Pakistan doesn’t want Kashmir for itself but wants it as an independent nation. Are those people who believe this live in utopia? Pakistan has not even allowed an independent local government and Federal government ( in records) and Army (in reality) control PoK directly. And irony is that it is called Azaad Kashmir because in reality it’s nothing more than a colony for Pakistan.

On the other hand India has allowed democracy in its side of Kashmir with regular elections. Kashmir has more rights than any other state of India because of Article 370 of the Constitution of India which allows distinct flag and own Constitution for Kashmir. All the matters except defence and communication are governed by the elected government of J&K. No act of Parliament can be enforced without being ratified by the J&K legislative Assembly which is elected by the people of J&K.

Just remember when Kashmir’s King wanted Independence, India left it alone. It was Pakistan which invaded Kashmir,PoK was born and then King came running to the Government of India with a request to save Kashmir. It was then that India intervened. Till late 80’s Kashmir was relatively peaceful. It’s only after militancy erupted that situation worsened there. Blaming India for the situation is living in a fool’s paradise.

Though the Handwara shooting is condemnable, pelting stones at the army isn’t a great act of valour either.
Please read the history behind the conflict before blaming the Indian state for “occupation” of Kashmir.

-Noman Nasir

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