the survey reading of Kashmir Conflict

Open Posted By: surajrudrajnv33 Date: 16/10/2020 High School Case Study Writing

the guidelines for the writing of survey reading  ( attached below )of two reading materials are as follow:

 The four-page reflection is a critical reading analysis -- where you may include key questions and/or critique. ➢ A critical analysis is subjective writing because it expresses the writer's opinion based on the evaluation of texts. ➢ It will be important to identify the key theme(s) and the purpose of your reading, analyze the importance of the main idea(s). ➢ Have one or two key questions as points of inquiry. Summarize your readings and observations with reason. ➢ Consider the following questions: 1. Why/how did the readings affect you? 2. How is the material organized? 3. What does it clearly address? 

Category: Arts & Education Subjects: Education Deadline: 24 Hours Budget: $80 - $120 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1


Author(s): Rathnam Indurthy and Muhammad Haque

Source: International Journal on World Peace , MARCH 2010, Vol. 27, No. 1 (MARCH 2010), pp. 9-44

Published by: Paragon House

Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20752914

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Rathnam Indurthy Muhammad Haque

Professor of Government Assistant Professor of Sociology

McNeese State University 4205 Ryan Street

Lake Charles, Louisiana 70609 USA

Rathnam Indurthy, Ph.D, a native of India, has been at McNeese State University since 1989. He teaches international politics, U.S. foreign policy, and Middle East politics. He has published on the domestic politics of India and Pakistan, Indo-American relations, Indo-Pakistani relations and the Middle East.

Muhammad Haque, Ph.D, originally from Bangladesh, teaches in the areas of demography, medical ethics, and economic development. He has published on population growth and economic development in Bangladesh.

The Kashmir conflict is the major source of tension between India and Pakistan. Each controls a portion of Jammu and Kashmir which is divided along the line of control (LoC). They have fought three wars and developed nuclear weapons as a result of this conflict.

This article describes the conflict that developed with the British partition of India and why a peaceful solution has been so difficult to attain.

The authors list eleven proposed solutions and why none of them are completely acceptable to all sides. In they end they suggest why a continuation of the status quo is likely the only peaceful way forward.

Since the partition of British India and Pakistan in August 1947, the Kashmir dispute between the two countries has become an intractable one. They fought four wars in 1947,1948,1965, 1971 (Kashmir was peripheral to the independence of Bangladesh), and the Kargil war in 1999 but have failed to resolve the conflict so far. So, the pur pose of this article is first, to present a brief history of the conflict, second, to discuss the peace process known as the composite dialogue launched between India and the Musharraf, the Gilani/Zardari regimes, and finally, to explain why the dialogue has failed to resolve the conflict between India

and the Musharraf regime and why the stalemate may continue even with democratically-elected Gilani/Zardari regime.


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When British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan, Hari Singh, the autocratic and unpopular Maharaja (king) of Kashmir and Jammu, a pre dominantly Muslim state, resisted the pressure to accede to either Pakistan or India, hoping to seek independence or autonomy from both countries. To buy time and to accomplish this goal, he signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan on August 16, 1947, and was seeking to sign a similar one with India. India refused, but following the partition, communal rioting erupted in Punjab between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims as this state was divided between India and Pakistan. In September the rioting spilled into

Kashmir against Muslims. Muslim insurgents in Poonch in the

southwestern part of Kashmir, supported covertly by the Pakistani army with arms, transport, and men, rebelled against the King, and established their Azad (independent) Kashmir government. By October 22, 1947, the insurgents pushed themselves fifteen miles from the state's capital, Srinagar. Alarmed by this invasion, Singh sought India's assistance, but the latter refused to help him unless the king signed the Instrument of Acces

sion, a standard procedure under which other princely states had acceded to either India or Pakistan, which he signed. India agreed to his accession of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to India, after it had been consented to by Sheik Abdullah, the secular and popular leader of the National Conference party (NC) of J&K of the state at that time.

Following Singh's signing of the accord on October 27, the same day Indian armed forces entered Kashmir to repel the raiders. The local Mus lims, mostly members of the NC, provided the logistical support for the Indian troops. This intervention by India infuriated Pakistani Governor General Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. On the evening of October 27 he ordered the British Lt. General Sir Douglas Gracey, the

Kashmir and Jammu, a predominantly Muslim state, resisted the pressure to accede to either Pakistan or India, hoping to seek independence or autonomy from both countries.



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Source: From Map No. 4140 Rev. 3 Unted Nations, January 2004, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cartographic Section

chief of the Pakistan army, to dispatch Pakistan regular troops into Kashmir.

But, persuaded by Field Marshall Auchinleck, the Supreme Commander of both India and Pakistan of the transition period, Jinnah withdrew his orders. However, in November, Jinnah sanctioned the transfer of military supplies to the invaders while also sending Pakistan regular troops into Kashmir to join the rebels early as "volunteers" though not admitting its direct involvement until July 1948.

As the fighting continued, on January 1,1948, on the advice of British Governor General Lord Mountbatten, though opposed by his Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council (UNSC) by invoking Articles 34 and 35 of the UN Charter (that call for pacific settlement of disputes) against

Pakistan, suspecting that it was behind the invasion. In the complaint, as it had already been pledged by Mountbatten in his letter to Singh, on

October 26, India reiterated its pledge of its conditional commitment to a "plebiscite or referendum under international auspices," once the aggres sor, Pakistan, was evicted. This was a pledge which India later regretted,


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and which continues to haunt her until today. Following the passage of UNSC resolutions calling for conduct of a plebiscite in Kashmir, the UN commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) made several attempts to conduct a plebiscite during 1948 to 1958, but failed as India and Pakistan had disagreed on the conditions and modalities on the implementation of the UNSC resolutions.1

The stalemate, therefore, led to another short war provoked by Pakistan

on September 1, 1965 that lasted until September 22, 1965 when both parties agreed to a cease-fire as demanded by the UNSC. In January 1966, mediated by the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Lai Bahaddhur Shastri and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan met in the city of Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan) and signed the agreement known as the Tashkent Declaration

^ ^H agreeing to resolve the Kashmir dispute

Under the 1971 bilaterally without resorting to force.2 * Ai In 1971 India and Pakistan fought a agreement, both India ,. , . _ , . ,& ,,

and Pakistan amon third war in December over Bangladesh s an a is an, among independence (Kashmiir was peripherally Others, committed ^ connected) in which the latter was dealt themselves to settling a humiliating defeat. Here again, it was their differences through Pakistan's Yahya Khan military dictator bilateral negotiations." ship's atrocities committed against the """ ll B 11 1 1" people of Bangladesh, followed by the

fleeing of ten million people from Bangladesh into India, that provoked India's intervention. On July 2,1972 Mrs. Indira Gandhi signed the Simla agreement with Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, first as President and later as Prime

Minister of Pakistan, after he succeeded General Yahya Khan in 1971. Under this agreement, both India and Pakistan, among others, committed themselves to "settling their differences through bilateral negotiations." They also agreed that in "Jammu and Kashmir, the Line of Control (LoC) resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side."

The agreement became the basis for the renewal of official relations between the two countries thus ending any role either for the UNSC or outside powers.3 And with Sheik Abdullah of the NC finally having had accepted Kashmir as an integral part of India, on February 12, 1975, through the signing of the Kashmir Accord with India, it seemed as though



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the dispute had hit the final death knell, the fact that he and his son Farooq

in succession had led the State as Chief Ministers by having been elected democratically, however flawed the election might have been. They both ruled the state from 1975-1989.4

It turned out to be an illusory peace. In fact the state plunged into a secessionist militancy in January of 1990 and continues on until today though at a declining level, with Pakistan's active support and promotion. It was primarily highhandedness and chicanery adopted by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Farooq's inept, corrupt, opportunistic leadership, and the fraudulent state legislative elections of 1987that led to the insurgency. The

alienation of the educated but unemployed youth prompted the otherwise quiescent Muslim community and contributed to the insurgency.5

As the insurgency intensified, the con- ^^mmm^mm^m^^l?^mm^

flict between India and Pakistan assumed ^s ^e insurgency the portents of nuclear encounter after intensifiedf the conf|ict they each exploded nuclear bombs in . - . . between India and May 1998. So, in early 1999 Pakistan's " mum aM" i t i. , ' A*' \ xt cu r Pakistan assumed the and India s Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Atal Behari Vajpayee respectively, Portents of nuclear genuinely sought to reduce tensions encoun*er after they between their two countries by signing each exploded nuclear the Memorandum of Understanding bombs in May 1998, (MOU) in Lahore, Pakistan, in Febru- ^"i^""^""^"^"""^ """ ary 1999, by which they agreed to resolve the Kashmir dispute peacefully, and bilaterally.6 But Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as army chief, scuttled the peace process and engineered another mini-war called the Kargil War in May-June of 1999. Again, Pakistan provoked another war by sending the Mujahedeen fighters (Holy Islamic warriors) into the Indian-held Kargil region of Kashmir State. As the battle turned bloodier and more intense, and as victory soon turned in favor of India, the Clinton administration intervened and succeeded in persuading Sharif to withdraw the infiltrators

and the Pakistani regulars from across the LoC, although Gen. Musharraf, and his generals wanted to fight on.7

On October 12 the military, headed by Gen. Musharraf, ousted Sharif from power in a bloodless coup on the grounds that the latter had committed crimes against the country as well as the army. Gen Musharraf declared


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himself the Chief Executive besides being the Chief of Army. Sharif was tried and convicted and given a life sentence by Musharraf's handpicked Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC). But mediated by the Clinton administration, Sharif was subsequently exiled to Saudi Arabia in December 1999 for a ten year period.


To reduce tensions in the aftermath of the Kargil War and find solution to the Kashmir conflict, Prime Minister Vajpayee and Musharrsaf held a summit

on July 14-16 at Agra (the home of the Taj Mahal) near New Delhi, but failed to resolve it. They, however, agreed to continue the dialogue.8 Despite

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ their pledge to continue the dialogue, ^ . OAAO - it soon came to an abrupt halt, as the On January 12, 2002 in ., F ' , ... _ Pakistani-based terrorist groups such as a national address, Gen. ? y ** ^ /T , , T . , ' the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) and the Jaish

Musharraf pledged that e_Mohammad (JEM), and other militant he would no longer allow outfits intensified ^ cross-border ter his Soil to be used for rorism even after Gen. Musharraf joined cross-border terrorism. the Bush administration in October 2001

" " I I ,^ B to fight the Taliban and AI Qaeda (base) in Afghanistan.

To demonstrate that they were not intimidated by a US-Pakistani coali tion to fight them, the terrorists launched a suicide bomb that destroyed the

Kashmir's state assembly building and killed 38 innocent civilians in it. The JEM took credit for this blast. This blast was followed by another deadly attack on the Indian parliament building on December 13 by members of the LET in which 40 people including five terrorists were killed as the parliament was in session. In response, to compel Gen Musharraf to stop cross-border terrorism and to show it meant business, the Vajpayee govern

ment took a series of retaliatory measures. For example, it cancelled rail and road links with Pakistan; it banned its airspace for Pakistani commercial air flights; it recalled its ambassador from Islamabad, and moved nearly 800,000 troops to the borders along the LoC. Alarmed by the potential threat of another Indo-Pakistani war, the Bush administration (and this at a time



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when it was fighting terrorism in the neighboring Afghanistan) pressured Gen. Musharraf into breaking with the Jihadists.

In response, on January 12,2002 in a national address, Gen. Musharraf pledged that he would no longer allow his soil for cross-border terrorism, stressing that the issue of Kashmir "runs in our blood."9 And soon after that he arrested 2,000 militants and their leaders, but many of them were released, including their leaders, by Pakistani courts on the ground that there was no credible evidence against them. However, cross-border terrorism did not stop as three terrorists reportedly belonging to the LET disguised in army fatigues killed 30 and wounded 48 at a place called Kaluchak located on the outskirts of Jammu by dashing into the army family quarters (most

of those killed were children and their mothers). This crime infuriated Vajpayee so much that he visited the soldiers along the tense frontiers in Kashmir and asked them to prepare for a "decisive battle" against terror ists, reportedly to attack 200 plus terrorist training camps located in the Pakistan-occupied Azad (freedom) Kashmir.

In response, on May 27, Gen Musharraf responded by warning India that "if war is thrust upon us we will respond with full might," implying a threat of the use of nuclear weapons if his country were to lose in a con ventional war.10

As the military confrontation became more intense with increased exchange of artillery firing across the borders, calls from President George Bush and the Secretary of State Colin Powell, and visits by Deputy Secre tary Richard Armitage, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Shaw to India and Pakistan, helped to defuse tensions between the two countries. They successfully persuaded the leaders to avert war and also extracted a pledge from Gen. Musharraf that he would stop cross-border terrorism and shut down the training camps.11 Ironically, in an interview with a Time reporter

(July 1,2002), Gen. Musharraf reneged on his pledge made previously by saying that, "What I said is that there is no movement across the Line." India lifted its ban on Pakistan's commercial airline, withdrew its naval war

ships back to the port of Bombay, and withdrew troops from the border. However, it insisted that there would be no dialogue with Pakistan unless Pakistan completely stopped cross-border terrorism and handed over 20 hardcore terrorists to her for trial. But Pakistan did not respond to either of these demands.


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In the throes of threats by terrorists that they would disrupt Kashmir's state legislative elections, the Vajpayee government defied their threat and conducted fair and open elections in September-October 2002 in four phases. Although the separatist twenty-three party coalition, All Par ties Hurryat Conference (APHC), pressured by Pakistan, boycotted the elections and denounced them as sham, and although the terrorists killed more than a hundred and sought to disrupt the elections, 45 percent of the Kashmiris defied the threats and voted. Farooq Abdullah's party (NC), the Indian Congress Party (ICP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the

Peoples' Democratic party (PDP) and six other separatist groups contested the elec tions. The Kashmiris rejected the ruling

NC, reducing its strength to twenty-eight out of a total of eighty-seven seats, while voting mostly for the ICP and the newly formed PDP.

The INC and PDP formed a coalition

government with PDP's leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed assuming the post of Chief Minister. On assuming office, Sayeed adopted a conciliatory policy of releasing all those militants who have been

imprisoned. To bring the militants back in to the mainstream society as part of his "healing touch policy," he recommended to the central government that they be released provided they disavowed violence.12

On November 2, 2005, as per the previous coalition agreement, the state congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad succeeded Mufti as Chief

Minister of the Coalition Government. However, even with the restoration

of democracy in the State, terrorism continued. For example, on March 23,

2003, in a tiny Hindu village of Nandi-Marg in the Kashmir Valley's Pul wama district, terrorists gunned down 24 of the 52 citizens of that village. Even then Mr. Vajpayee visited Srinagar on April 18, and in a huge public rally of 20,000 people, he stunned the Indians by extending the "hand of friendship" to Pakistan for dialogue and reconciliation. In response,

The Vajpayee government conducted elections in September October 2002 in four phases. The All Parties Hurryat Conference (APHC) boycotted the elections and denounced them as sham.



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on April 28, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamal called Vajpayee on the telephone and invited him to visit Islamabad. On May 2 Vajpayee told the parliament that he wanted to start a "decisive and conclusive dialogue" with Pakistan to end the decades of hostility between the two countries. He also announced the renewal of diplomatic ties and renewal of air and land links with Pakistan on a reciprocal basis. On October 22,2003, India also declared its desire to open up a bus link between Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, and Muzaffarbad, the capital of POK.13 On November 22, as Eid (the day of ending fasting) gesture, Jamal declared a unilateral cease fire, to which India agreed. Immediately thereafter, the guns fell silent on November 24, the LoC between the two states was extended to include the disputed Siachen glacier at the request of India.

On January 6, 2004, Vajpayee and ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Musharraf, while attending the meeting of the South Asian Regional Cooperation ?n ?Ctober 22' 2003' _ (SARC), met on its sidelines in Islamabad, lnd,a dec,ared d?*sire

January 4-6, 2004, and issued an his- to ?Pen UP f bus ,ink toric joint statement in which Musharraf between Srinagar, the pledged to stop cross-border terrorism capital of Kashmir, and and, in return, Vajpayee agreed to engage Muzaffarbad, the capital in Kashmir talks with Pakistan.14 of POK.


The Congress-led coalition government headed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, which succeeded the Vajpayee government in May 2004, pledged to proceed with the composite dialogue with the Mushar raf regime. The dialogue covered eight issues such as Siachen, Sir Creek,

Wuller barrage project, terrorism, economic, and commercial co-operation, and promoting friendly relations. The Kashmir conflict constituted the core

issue of the dialogue.15 In response to Musharraf's proposal calling for the demilitarization of

both Kashmir states, as a peace gesture on November 11 2004, Dr. Singh announced the reduction of troops in the state of Kashmir. In his November

visit to the state, Dr. Singh announced a package of $5 billion to electrify all villages, build more roads, open six colleges and five training technical


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colleges.16 He also offered to talk to the APHC leaders unconditionally. His government permitted APHC leaders to visit Pakistan to consult with Pakistani leaders as well as the Kashmiri militant leaders living in exile. However, he made it abundantly clear that he was opposed to "redraw ing of the international borders, or any proposal which smacks of further division on religious lines."17 The dialogue finally began in late 2004. For example, in early December 2004 as part of the first round talks, joint working groups of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad on different dates and held discussions on the issues covered

in the dialogue.18 On December 28, 2004, the groups held second round talks, and the parties agreed to resume rail links between Kokhrapar (Sindh,

Pakistan) and Munnabao (Rajasthan, India) which were suspended since 1965. They decided to meet again to fix the date of bus service linking Srinagar to Muzaffarabad (POK), and exchanged a draft of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation to curb drug trafficking. They also agreed to future expert level talks on implementing nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBM), and promoting regular contacts at people to people levels, including at designated places to explore further CBMS along the LoC. The working groups discussed modalities for carrying out the joint survey of the boundary pillars in the Sir Creek?the disputed river boundary between the countries. Foreign ministers, Natwar Singh and Mahamood Khurshid Kasuri of India and Pakistan respectively, joined the last meeting of the talks on December 27-28 held in Islamabad. The foreign ministers agreed to an early finalization of a draft agreement on the pre-notification of flight-testing of ballistic missiles by both countries. But the core Kashmir issue was not discussed.19

On February 16, 2005, External Minister Singh and his counterpart Kasuri met in Islamabad and achieved a breakthrough by agreeing to open a bus route on April 7 between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad so as to give an impetus to the peace process and enable the families of divided states to visit

each other's families as part of the CBMs. They also agreed to open another

bus link between Sindh and Rajastan in February. Mr. Singh also met the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz and Musharraf and discussed

with them about moving the peace process. On April 17, as part of cricket diplomacy, Musharraf visited New Delhi, witnessed the match between India and Pakistan, and later held talks with Dr. Singh. Later they jointly



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issued a statement agreeing to have normal trade and political relations, and

proceed with the peace process. They also agreed to open two more trade routes between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad across the LoC, and between Poonch and Rwalakot, Pakistan. At the press conference Prime Minister Dr.

Singh noted that the peace process was "irreversible" while acknowledg ing a "hard road ahead."20 However, terrorists continued to attack India in order to disrupt the peace process. For example, on October 29,2005, on the eve of Dewali (the festival of lights), three blasts ripped through crowded markets in Delhi killing 69 and wounding more than 200 people. India implicated the LET. Musharraf condemned the attacks, and offered his condolences to the victims. Subsequently, the terrorists struck in vari ous Indian cities such as Varanasi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Even in the midst of these terror attacks third round hhh^mhhhuhhh talks were held between relevant specified Even in the midst of groups in New Delhi and Islamabad on these terror attacks different dates between January and June third round talks were

2006.They reiterated their commitment he|(, between re|evant to start bus service between Poonch, and a s? Mm., ^ , f t .if specified groups in New Rawalkot as had been previously agreed _ . . - , . . ^ , , i . Delhi and Islamabad on to. They also agreed to start truck service ^ dates between between Srinagar and Muzzaffarbad, and make rail links operational between Kho- January and June 2006. rarapar and Manabao. On Conventional and nuclear weapons, the groups agreed to strengthen CBMs. And on Sir Creek, they agreed to carry out a joint survey of the land in the Creek area,

and maritime boundary.21 But on July 11, 2005 terrorists struck again by causing suicide blasts

on the local passenger railway trains in Mumbai killing 200, and wounding more than 700 travelers. Immediately thereafter, Musharraf again offered his condolences, and pledged his cooperation in catching the culprits. India implicated the ISI, and suspended the dialogue with Pakistan. But the dialogue was put on track after Dr. Singh and Musharraf issued a joint statement creating Anti-Terror Institutional Mechanism on September 16, 2006 in which both countries pledged to cooperate to deal with terrorism when they met on the sidelines in Havana, Cuba at the summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Nations.22


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Perhaps to persuade India back to a negotiating table on the Kashmir issue, on August 1, 2006, Gen. Musharraf, in an interview with journalist

A.G Noorani, articulated his specific peace proposal that, among others, called for demilitarization, self-rule in both Kashmir states, and joint management of the states by both countries 23 On December 6, 2006, in an interview with the NDTV (India) Musharraf again reiterated the same proposal.24 On December 12, 2006, Pakistani foreign minister's spokes woman, Tasmin Aslam, threw in a bombshell by telling the Pakistani media for the first time that under Article 257 of its 1973 constitution, Pakistan

never claimed Kashmir as an integral part of Pakistan. And on December 14, Foreign Minister Kasuri affirmed what she had stated. This statement upset many Pakistani politicians.25 On December 17,2006, on a flight back to New Delhi from Tokyo, Dr. Singh welcomed Musharraf's proposal by saying, "If any new ideas come, we welcome them. And, I would like to say that in the last two and a half years, we have had very intensive dialogue with Pakistan."26


Dr. Singh initiated talks with the Kashmiri groups to seek a consensus on the issue. He focused his attention on the internal political dynamics in Kashmir and held a series of round table conferences with groups of vary ing ideological orientations. For example, he invited separatists such as the

APHC headed by Mirwaz Umar Farooq and other non-separatist groups. Dr. Singh agreed to talk to the separatists unconditionally. In September 2005, he met with moderate leaders. In January 2006, he held talks with People's Conference (PC) Chairman Sajjad Ghani and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation (JKLF) Chairman Yasin Malik. In February 2005, Dr. Singh convened a conference in Srinagar.27 Although separatists had refused to take part, all other non-separatists attended it. It was followed by second and third round table conferences also held in Srinagar in May 2006 and April 2007 respectively.28 But the separatists again refused to attend them unless the talks were limited only to them, excluding those groups who supported the state's integration with India. Dr. Singh also established five working groups or commissions to deal with various aspects



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of the Kashmir problem including one dealing with center-state relations. On Musharraf's Kashmir proposal, Dr. Singh also supported self-rule and eventual demilitarization of the state while he has been ambivalent about

joint-management of the two states. On the Sir Creek dispute, talks were held on December 22-23 and both

parties agreed to conduct a joint survey of this tidal channel. Accordingly, the teams completed the survey in March 2007 verifying the outermost points of the coastal line. Subsequently, talks were held in Rawalpindi on May 17-18 but they reached no agreement on this dispute. Similarly, water secretaries of India and Pakistan held talks over the Talbul/Wuller, a dispute since 1987, on June 22-23, 2006, and again on August 21-22 in New Delhi but failed to resolve it.29

On February 2,2007, Gen Musharraf hmhmhmmhhhm told the media that relations with India Qn Musharrafs Kashmir

should not become hostage to "confron- pr0posal, Dr. Singh also tationists" who are against the peace pro- supported self-rule and

cess, and that^our^"relations have never eventua| demi|itarj2ation been this good before in our history and ... . A , & , . ?TT . i. j * of the state while he has we are happy about it. He indicated that "both sides have realized there could be been amb'va,en* ab?ut

no military solution to these disputes."30 joint-management of the On March 16, 2007, addressing a four- two States, day 60th Formation Commanders confer ence held in Rawalpindi, Gen. Musharraf reiterated expressed optimism on the resolution of the Kashmir conflict, and that relations between India and Pakistan have "never been better."31 The fourth round talks were held

in May 2007 but produced no tangible results. Given the complexity of the disputes, especially Kashmir, fearing that

the round of talks between the countries might not bring them closer to a resolution, both the Singh government and the Musharraf regime at the same time launched back channel secret negotiations to resolve these issues including the Kashmir dispute. As Steve Coll vividly describes, beginning in 2004, Musharraf's classmate and bureaucrat Tariq Aziz on behalf of Pakistan, and a Russian specialist named Satinder Lambah on behalf of Singh's government, launched secret non-paper negotiations (text without names or signatures so as to serve as deniable in the event the agreement


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became too controversial to sign) on Kashmir, and other issues dividing India and Pakistan. They met two dozen times in hotels between 2004 and 2007 at different places, and worked out the principles of agreement on Sir

Creek, and Siachen. And on Kashmir, they were working on making the LoC as "irrelavant" if not a dividing border as demanded by India while giving each state on either side of the border a measure of autonomy with

eventual demilitarization of both states.

But the secret talks eventually failed to bear fruit as the Musharraf regime began to encounter a myriad of political prob lems at home especially. We proffer some explanations as to why the Singh govern ment and the Musharraf regime could not resolve the Kashmir conflict and other

ancillary disputes notwithstanding, having held so many rounds of talks including the secret ones.


Continued Cross-Border Terror was an Impediment to the Peace Process

Notwithstanding Musharraf's pledges to end it, cross-border terrorism continued, albeit at a declining rate. The Pakistani military's Kashmir policy

has been to engage India in a proxy war through the instrument of terror until India came to an amicable settlement with it over Kashmir. Ironically,

today, its policy is boomeranging against Pakistan itself. The fact is that the jihadists have been relentless in committing a series of suicide bomb ings since 2007, killing hundreds of people. As Dr. Navnita Behera notes, although fatalities and cross-border incidents in Kashmir decreased from 1,991 in 2004 to 1,509 in 2005, terror both in Kashmir proper and across India continued.32 The Frankenstein which the Pakistani military created to fight India has, ironically, has turned against its own country from early 2007 onward for its shortsighted policy. But the ISI has not abandoned its embrace of the jihadists to fight India.

Tariq Aziz on behalf of Pakistan, and a Russian specialist named Satinder Lambah on behalf of Singh's government, launched secret negotiations on Kashmir.



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Pakistan has become a hotbed as well as a epicenter for jihadists who have been engaging in worldwide terrorism. The Bush administration, which had offered more than $10 billion in aid for the regime's cooperation for its war on terrorism, subsequently became skeptical about the regime's commitment to fighting terrorism, given the resurgence of Taliban and Al-Qaeda attacks on the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. It is little wonder that President Hamid Karazai of Afghanistan openly accused the Musharraf regime for fostering terrorism against his country.33

The Need of the Military to Continue with the Conflict in order to retain its power.

With the exception of the rule under Prime Minister Zulfikkar Ali Bhutto

(1971-77), since 1958 the Pakistani military continued to intervene in the country's politics directly or indirectly to retain its economic, political, and social interests. This involvement con

tinued even during the time democracy was reinstated. To retain its power and perks, the military never hesitated to manipulate conflict and tensions with India over Kashmir. Although Mr. Bhutto had gotten Article 245 included in the 1973 Constitution, declaring any attempt by the military to abrogate and subvert government treasonous, the military ignored this injunction. For example, Lt. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq and Gen. Musharraf, in utter disdain for this clause, staged a coup d'etat against democratically elected leaders Mr. Bhutto and Mr. Nawaz Sharif in July 1977 and October 1999 respectively, and imposed military dictatorships.

When Mr Bhutto (1973-77) and his daughter Benazir Bhutto (1988-90, 1993-96) and Sharif (1990-93, 1997-99) challenged the Punjab-domi nated military, it found an excuse to dismiss them from power by accusing

them of favoritism, nepotism and corruption before they completed their terms of office even though the dictators have been accused of the similar charges, but with no price to pay.

The ISI has not abandoned its embrace of the jihadists to fight India. Pakistan has become a hotbed as well as a epicenter for jihadists who have been engaging in worldwide terrorism.


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The military never allowed democratic institutions to take root in the country. In its lexicon, there has not been any intention to returning to barracks and subordinating itself to a civilian leadership. It has a stake in retaining its huge economic interests. In a review article of the book entitled

Military, Inc.: Inside Pakistanis Military Economy by Ayesha Siddiqa, Niru pama Subramaniam notes that the Pakistani military has built up a huge commercial empire which will make it very difficult to dislodge it from power.

She points out that its assets account for 10 percent of Pakistan's GDP. In cahoots with businesses, the military, she further notes, dominates the three

sectors of the economy?agriculture, manufacturing and services operating at three levels?institutional, subsidiary and individual, involving billions of income for the military.34 At an individual level alone, Gen Musharaf placed

between 4,000-5,000 loyalist officers in various positions of authority.35 Dr.

Siddiqa points out that Gen. Musharraf did not grow up rich and he has accumulated land assets to the value of $10.34 million.36 He is an example of how the higher echelons of military accumulate wealth in Pakistan. This is attributed to its penetration of the country's economy. However, the

military has to keep the Kashmir conflict aflame lest its power should be challenged by ordinary Pakistanis. India's former Chief of Army, Gen. V.S. Sharma, in an interview to Sheela Bhatt of India Abroad (June 4, 1999), told her why the Pakistan Army needed to keep the Kashmir Conflict alive:

Pakistan's survival depends entirely on their quarrel with India on Kash

mir, it is endemic to their livelihood. They control the nation: get the

best pensions, best jobs. The Military community in Pakistan is having

a damn good time at the cost of the poor people of Pakistan. How can they make peace with India.37

The Regime's Lack of Political Legitimacy

Gen. Musharraf's lack of political legitimacy became another impediment to achieving peace with India on the Kashmir conflict, which is of historical

significance and which needs a national consensus in Pakistan to resolve the conflict. For instance, as noted ealier, on October 12,1999, Gen. Musharraf ousted Sharif, a democratically elected Prime Minister, in a bloodless coup and seized power although under article 245 of the Pakistani constitution



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it is treasonous to do that. To legitimize his praetorian rule, on April 30, 2002, he abruptly conducted a referendum asking the citizens if he should continue as president for another five years. But the election was fraudulent

and not even 15 percent had voted for him. In August 2002, Gen. Mush arraf issued the Legal Framework Order (LFO) encapsulating 21 clauses constituting as part of the 17th amendment to the constitution with the objective of not only legitimizing and indemnifying his coup, and holding a referendum, but also to legitimize his extraordinary powers.

In November 2003, supported by a coalition of six Islamic parties known as the Muttabide Majilis-e-Amal (MMM), an alliance he himself created, the new parliament led by the pro-Musharraf Pakistani Muslim League (PML-Q), which was elected in October 2002, approved these radical clauses as the 17th amendment on the pledge by Gen. Musharraf that he would give up his title as the Chief of Army by November 2004. He however, later reneged on his pledge. On October 6,2007, Gen. Mushar raf got himself re-elected as president by the Senate, National Assembly and four provincial assemblies. Challenges to the constitutionality of his reelection as president were rejected by the Supreme Court headed by Ifftikhar Chaudhary. Chaudhary was the chief justice whom Musharraf had suspended in March 2007 for asserting the court's independence, but pressure from a lawyer's movement got him reinstated in July 2007, a successful challenge to Musharraf's total authority.38

Gen. Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule on November 3, 2007

Fearing a negative verdict on his October 6 reelection by the Chaudhary's supreme court, on November 3,2007 Gen. Musharraf declared a state of emergency?a defacto martial law?by suspending the constitution. He issued another provisional constitutional order (PCO) under which he replaced Chaudhary, a thorn in his flesh, with suppliant Hameed Dogar. He also dismissed eight Supreme Court judges and scores of high court judges who refused to take the oath of office under his PCO. Gen. Musharraf

also closed private television networks, put in jail nearly 5,000 journalists, human rights and civil society activists, and politicians who challenged his emergency rule. He put Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Chaudhary under house arrest (she was later released, but not Chaudhary); they had demanded that


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he resign on the ground that he had no political legitimacy. Meanwhile, in the midst of severe criticism leveled against him by the Pakistanis, espe

cially the Pakistan bar association for clamping the emergency rule, Gen. Musharraf finally but reluctantiy let Nawaz Sharif, his nemesis, return to Pakistan. Sharif arrived in Lahore on November 26 to a huge welcome. On November 12, Musharaf announced elections for January 8, which were postponed to a later date, and on November 16, he appointed Moham median Soomro, the chairman of the Pakistan senate as Prime minister of the caretaker government until a new elected government was sworn in. On November 21, his handpicked Supreme Court Chief Justice Dower, dismissed all petitions challenging his election and the emergency rule, and declared his October election as valid. On November 22, Musharraf issued another ordinance validating and affirming the proclamation of emergency rule, and all other orders, ordinances, including the PCO he issued, and they were declared as constitutional by the supreme court.

After all domestic legal obstacles against him were cleared by Dower, the Bush administration and the Brown government of Great Britain pressured him to lift the emergency. And the 53-member Commonwealth also did the same by suspending the country from membership. On December 16, Gen. Musharraf reluctantly lifted the emergency and released most of the arrested persons with the exception of Chaudhary.39

Benazir Bhutto's Assassination only Reinforced the Regime's Lack of Political Legitimacy

Ms. Bhutto, a charismatic and popular leader, was assassinated in a gunfire attack-cum-suicide bombing on December 26 a few minutes after she had finished addressing an election rally, ironically in Rawalpindi, the military garrison city. The interior department spokesperson Javed Iqbal Cheema told journalists that there was "irrefutable evidence" linking the killing to the south Waziristan-based Taliban leader Beitullah Mehsud (on August 7, 2009 he has been killed in a CIA launched missile strike, New Tork Times, August 8,2009) although he denied that he had anything to do with it. But Bhutto's supporters blamed the Musharraf regime for the tragedy. It was rumored that some Islamists facilitated by the ISI might have committed the crime. In an e-mail sent to her friend Mr. Mark Spiegel in the US on



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October 26,2007, Ms. Bhutto put the blame squarely on Musharraf if she were to be assassinated. She also reportedly notified the British government

that she feared a plot to kill her. This belief only reinforced the Musharraf

regime's lack of legitimacy among Pakistani citizens. However, at the urging

of the Musharraf regime, the Scotland Yard police conducted an investiga tion and released a report in February indicating that Ms. Bhutto had died of the impact of the blasts, and cleared the regime of any complicity. But her family and her party the PPP continued to implicate it.40

In the February parliamentary and state assembly elections, Musharraf's

party, the PML (Q), was defeated, and the PPP and the PML (N) won, putting Musharraf's' rule in political jeopardy. The PPP asked Musharraf to exit peacefully on the ground that he lacked political legitimacy, while the PML (N) called for his impeachment.

Despite his apparent change of mind on the Kashmir issue, given his lack of political legitimacy, India has been skeptical of negotiating peace

with Musharraf on the dispute. India therefore, had hoped for restoration of democracy in Pakistan before it could seriously negotiate peace on the Kashmir conflict and other disputes. This belief by India is given some credence in that India achieved some tangible results with democratic governments in Pakistan in the past. For example, Mr. Bhutto signed the Simla Accord in 1972 with Mrs. Gandhi and reportedly told Mrs. Gan dhi that the LoC would be an international border.41 His daughter, Ms. Bhutto, signed two agreements with Mrs. Gandhi's son, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in Islamabad. The first was not to attack each other's nuclear installations and second to respect the Simla Accord,42 for which she was branded pro-India by the military. On May 25, 1999, in an address at the Woodrow Wilson International Center she admitted that she had to

be hostile toward India to appease the Punjabi-dominated military. She regretted not having engaged in dialogue with India.43 In 1997, Sharif and India signed a composite dialogue agreement, and in February 1999 he and Prime Minister Vajpayee signed the MOU to resolve the Kashmir conflict bilaterally.44 Musharraf opposed this and, as noted earlier, engineered the Kargil War of May-July 1999 to undermine growing Indo-Pakistan friendly relations. But the prospects of the Singh government and the democratic government have turned out to be equally bleak especially after the terrorist Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008.


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Following the election of Yousuf Raza Gilani as Prime minister in March 2008, Singh's government congratulated him on his election, and hoped for better relations with Pakistan by affirming its support for his democracy.

On May 20,2008, the External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee visited Islamabad and met with the Prime Minister, and the leaders of the PPP and

the PML (N), Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif respectively, and President Gen. Musharraf. Mukherjee noted that he was visiting Islamabad to get a feel of the new democratic dispensation's priorities and policies, and to affirm India's commitment to dialogue.45 On May 21, Mukherjee and his counterpart, Makhhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, issued a joint state ment noting that they had reviewed the progress report of the fourth round

of talks of topics covered under the composite dialogue, highlighted the bilateral achievements, and indicated that their foreign secretaries, Salman Bashir and Shiva Shankar Menon, were soon to launch a fifth round of talks in New Delhi in July 2008.46 But on the Kashmir issue the leaders began to express discordant opinions. For example, on May 11, 2008, Prime Minister Gilani characterized Gen.MusharafPs proposal on Kashmir as "half baked." In March 2008, Zardari told an Indian TV Network, that Kashmir should not be allowed to "hijack" from improving trade and other relations between the two countries.

This statement by Zardari was swiftly disapproved by various groups in Pakistan. For example, the new army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani,

who assumed this position in October 2008, visited the forward locations along the LoC and issued a statement stressing "national consensus" on the Kashmir issue and reaffirmed the army's commitment to the Kashmir cause. And on May 1,2008, in an address to the Pakistan-administered Azad (free) Kashmuir's joint session of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council in Muzaffarabad, Gilani assured the members that there would be no compromise on Kashmir and that his Government was seeking "result oriented" talks with India. On July 12, 2008, in a lecture at the Brooking Institution in Washington DC, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that India and Pakistan "have to look at innovative ways of resolution



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to the Kashmir Issue beyond the CBM by 'looking outside the box'." He pointed out that Pakistan had shown "flexibility."47

Meanwhile, perhaps to scuffle the peace process, for the first time after

the ceasefire agreement of2003 has been signed, in late July 2008 skirmishes

along the LoC flared up between the Indian and Pakistan troops in which four Pakistani soldiers and one Indian soldier were killed. India blamed the

Pakistani army for this provocation. On July 13 a suicide bomber attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in which 60 Afghans and four Indian diplomats were killed. India's National Security Advisor M.K. Naray anan openly accused the Pakistan's ISI as being behind the bombing and stated that it should be destroyed. President Karazai also implicated the ISI for the attack prompting President Bush to ask the Gilani government to investigate although Pakistani defense minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar

denied any involvement.48 In early August mmmmm^mmmtmmmmmmmmmmmm^

2008 Gilani, while attending the South India's National security Asian Association Regional (SAARC) advisor M.K. Narayanan summit in Colombo Sri Lanka, pledged openly accused the to Dr. Singh that he would investigate Pakistan's |S| as being the Kabul incident and do everything to behjnd the bombjng and put the India-Pakistan dialogue process - - j -. ^ - . , . . \ t i i i , Tox stated that it should be back on track, while the ISI was trying to . - . undermine relations49 These episodes and y rising internal turmoil in Pakistan with coincidental terrorist attacks by a shadowy new group known as Indian Mujahideen in India impeded the peace talks for more than six months.

On September 7, 2008, Zardari was elected President after Gen. Musharraf was forced to resign on August 20. Following his election, on September 10, Zardari declared there would be soon "good news" on Kashmir which set off a cross border guessing game, as he did not explain what he meant.50 While attending the UN General Assembly session in New York City, Zardari met Dr. Singh on September 24, 2008 and embraced him and spoke to him in their native language, Punjabi, calling him the "founder of modern India." They pledged to renew their co-operation to fight terror and agreed also to launch the fifth round of the composite dialogue within three months.51 He is the first Pakistani leader to refer the Kashmiri militants as "terrorists,"52 while the other Pakistani leaders call


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them "freedom fighters." To the disgust of the army, Zardari violated the army's long-standing nuclear doctrine by offering a "no first strike use" nuclear weapons agreement that India welcomed. But Zardari had to take

a quick u-turn on the offer after Gen. Kiyani reportedly rebuked him.53 Although the Pakistani army continued to maintain an unfriendly posture,

the Singh government and the Gilani Zardari government genuinely began to move toward a rapprochement. But surprise horrendous terror attacks by the Pakistan-based terrorist on the city of Mumbai November 26-29, 2008, brought Indo-Pakistan relations to their nadir, and doomed the prospects of resolving the Kashmir conflict.

Zadari is the first Pakistani leader to refer to the Kashmiri militants as "terrorists," while the other Pakistani leaders call them "freedom fighters."

The Mumbai Terror Attacks November 26-29, 2008; From Tense to Cold Relations

Ten terrorists boarded a merchant ship at Karachi port. En route to their destination they changed ships and arrived in Gateway, Mumbai, on November 26, 2008. Then they stole taxi cabs, and rode in five teams of two to launch their vicious and dastardly attacks on their intended targets.

They first shot commuter train passengers at CS railway terminus, and thereafter moved into the Oberoi-Trident hotel complex, Taj Mahal Palace, the Cama Children's Hospital, the Jewish Center in the Nariman home, and the Leopold Cafe, and they took the visitors and occupants there hos tage, singled out Britons, Americans, and Jews, and began shooting them indiscriminately. As the city police could not flush out these motivated, determined, and disciplined terrorists, the Indian elite national security guards flew in to battle them. It was only after 60 hours of battling the ter

rorists that they were struck and hostages released. The one lone terrorist named Mohammad Ajmal Amir Imam "Kasab" was captured alive after he was wounded in a shoot out with the police. The tragic episode ended on November 29. In this terror attack, 150 people were wounded and 171 Indians and others were killed including six Americans, three Britons, and Rabbi Gabriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka.



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Amir Kasab has admitted a connection with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) in Pakistan. As suspected, he told his interrogators that he was from the village of Faridkot in Punjab, Pakistan, and born of poor parents with a fourth grade education. He confessed that he, along with nine other ter rorists, was recruited and trained for more than one year by army men under the patronage of its founder, Hafez Mohammad Saeed, (who later founded the Jamat-Ul-Dawah (JUD) after LET was banned in 2002), and its commanders Zaki-Ur Rehman Lakhvi, Zaraar Shah, and Yusuf Muzam

mil on how to use explosives, grenades, AK-47s, and what targets they should hit. The investigators found the cell and satellite phones that the terrorists used, indicating that they had constant communication with the LET operatives in Pakistan. The police published the pictures of the other gunmen with reference to their age, place of residence, etc., in the Indian newspapers showing evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt that they were all from Pakistan. The lone terrorist Jamal

Kasab later confessed his involvement by implicating the LET, and others, before the special court presided over by judge

M.L.Tahilaani.54 Thereafter, the sched uled composite dialogue with Pakistan was immediately suspended by India, and relations turned hostile bordering on war between the two countries.

The Indian External Affairs Minister Mukherjee, on December 4, warned that India was taking the "strongest measures" to ensure there was "no repetition of such acts," describing the attacks as the "most vicious in the history of independent India." He expected Pakistan to honor its "solemn commitments and not to permit the use of its soil for terrorism against her neighbors." He, however, disavowed any military option. The Gilani government responded by saying that it seeks "friendly relations," and does not seek war, but, if provoked, it said that its forces will defend its sovereignty. Based on unconfirmed reports that India had given Paki stan a deadline of December 26 to return some 20-40 alleged terrorists and fearing an attack by India, Pakistan withdrew some of its troops from the western Afghanistan front and redeployed them on the eastern front

Amir Kasab has admitted a connection with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) in Pakistan. As suspected, he told his interrogators that he was from the village of Faridkot in Punjab, Pakistan.


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with India, to the displeasure of the Bush administration. Mr. Mukherjee characterized Pakistan's behavior as diversionary.

On December 5, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, accompanied by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited both India and Pakistan and asked Pakistan to cooperate with India in locat ing the non-state actors in Pakistan and punishing the guilty. She told the Pakistani leadership that it was responsible as its territory was allegedly used

by non-state actors. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain, who visited India and Pakistan on December 15, asked the Pakistani leadership to cooperate with India in locating the culprits. It was time for action, he said. He bluntly told Zardari that three quarters of those who were involved

in serious plots in England were of Pakistani ethnic background and had ties to AI Qaeda in Pakistan. In view of the fact that citizens of 22 foreign nations were affected by this attack, on December 12, the UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing sanctions on four leaders belonging to the LET/JUD, and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM). In response, Pakistani authorities put some of these leaders under house arrest and reportedly seized their assets.

Pressured by the international community and India's coercive diplo macy, the Gilani government finally appointed the Federal Investigation Agency (FLA) under the auspices of its interior minister, Rehman Malik. Mr. Rehman also admitted that police took into custody six of the eight conspirators of the attack including Zaki-ur-Rehman, Zarar Shah, Hamad Amin Sadiq, and Javed Iqbal. Meanwhile, New Delhi prepared a dossier of evidence, and delivered it to Pakistan implicating 35 persons belonging to the LET in the attack. In response, Pakistan sent New Delhi a 30-point questionnaire prepared by its FI A. On March 13, India handed over its response to clarifications sought by Pakistan to Pakistan's High Commis sioner, Shahid Malik, in New Delhi, by enclosing a plethora of primary documents running into 400 pages implicating the LET. India, however, did not implicate the Gilani government, but it did implicate the ISI. In fact,

on February 6,2009, India's foreign secretary, Shivashanker Menon, in an address to the Institute Francais de Relations, Paris, openly charged Pakistan that the organizers of the plot "were and remain clients and creations of the ISI."55 The lone terrorist Azmal has admitted that some of those who trained

them had military background, especially a major general named Sahab. But



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despite submitting clarifications by India about the accomplices, the Gilani government, as of this writing, has not conducted any trial of the indicted

personnel. Pakistan continues to ask India for more evidence and clarifica tions again and again. India considers the queries as diversionary tactics. It remains to be seen if the Gilani-Zardari government has the courage to try and convict those implicated in the attack given the ISI involvement.

India declared a "pause" on restarting the composite dialogue until the guilty parties were punished, while the Zardari government desperately

seeks talks.56 As Dr. Stephen Cohen noted, the terrorists committed a "bril

liant stupidity" in unraveling the peace process. The army, which became an unpopular institution under the Musharraf

regime following the Mumbai attacks, regained its ground as Pakistani citi zens rallied behind it in the face of India's alleged threats. The army could conveniently use this conflict with India to ???mmmammmm^H^m^l^B^

deflect citizen's attention from its alleged The army whjch became

comply an unpopu|ar institution Sanger, in his book entitled The Inheri- , , Lnn^ i i ^ta under the Musharraf tance (2009), points out that the CIA . bugged telephone conversations of the rj|^'J^!6 ?u ?aWin9 Pakistani generals including Gen. Mush- the Mumbai attacks, arraf and Gen. Kiyani, in which they called re9ained ?*s ground as the Taliban a "strategic asset for Pakistan Pakistani citizens rallied in fighting its enemy, India."57 As already behind it in the face of noted earlier, unlike the Gilani/Zardari India's alleged threats, government, the military has an interest ^ma^mmmmmmt^mmmmmmm^ in keeping the Kashmir conflict aflame to justify its dominance in Pakistani domestic politics. It never wants to submit itself to civilian authority.


Six months after the Mumbai assault occurred, for the first time, on June

17, 2009, Dr. Singh and Zardari met on margins of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperationorganization (SCO) held in Yekaterinburg, Russia and broke the dialogue logjam when they agreed to renew talks at foreign secretary levels. However, the mild mannered Dr. Singh was blunt with Zardari when he told him in front of the media that Paksistan should not


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allow terrorists to use its soil for terrorism against India. Although Pakistan

found his remark unacceptable, it nonetheless was happy that the meeting had broken the ice.58 Again on July 17, on the sidelines of the summit of the Non-aligned Nations held at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egyt, Prime Ministers Dr. Singh and Gilani met and, to the delight of Pakistan, the leaders issued a joint statement agreeing to renew the composite dialogue by delinking it from action on terror. The statement also included Gilanis' controversial

mentioning "some information on threat in Balochistan" implying obliquely

that India may have a hand in the separatist movement in that state. They announced that their foreign secretaries would meet as often as necessary and

report to their foreign ministers S.M. Krishna and Shah Mahmood Qureshi of India and Pakistan respectively.59 Because the Prime Mintster reversed his position on terrorism and let Gilani mention Balochistan in the joint statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) went berserk and denounced his stand as a sell out.60 On July 29, in his speech in the Lok Sabha (Lower House), Dr. Singh clarified his position saying that he has not diluted his stand on terrorism, and expects Pakistan

to prove its bonafides by action. He stressed the dialogue was only brought forward to achieve peace between the two countries.61

On August 1, the foreign minister Krishna told the Rajya Sabha (upper House) that no progress in dialogue with Pakistan was possible in an atmo sphere vitiated by violence or threat to use violence.62 At the conference of 112 heads of missions held in New Delhi on August 25, Mr. Krishna ruled out a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan until it fulfilled its commitment of completely dismantling the terrorist infrastructutre from its soil as has been

agreed to. As of this writing, no movement toward resolving the Kashmir conflict has beebeen taken by the two governments. On the margins of the

UN General assembly session on September 27,2009, India's new foreign secretary, Ms. Nirupama Rao, met her counterpart, Salman Bashir, and discussed only the progress Pakistan has made investigating and punishing the accomplices of the Mumbai attacks. And on September 29, Mr. Krishna

met his counterpart Quresh at the UN in New York and told him that the resumption of broad-based dialogue with Pakistan hinged on its prosecution

of all those involved in the attacks.63 Therefore, the prospects of resolving the Kashmir conflict with the Gilani/Zardari government are equally bleak,

although, as a democracy, it initially produced a lot of euphoria in India.



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The Gilani/Zardari government faces a myriad of political, economic, social, and military problems making it very weak and fragile. Withdrawal

of the PML (N) from coalition only further added to its fragility With the 17th amendment still intact, Zardari as president remains a powerful leader

endowed with the same extraordinary powers as those Gen. Musharraf had. The parliament is not sovereign yet without doing away with the 17th amendment. Zardari attained notoriety as "Mr. Ten Percent" for his alleged extraction of 10 percent bribes on government contracts while serving as a

minister in his wife's cabinet. (He was imprisoned for eleven years although he was not convicted.) He has become a very unpopular leader with an approval rating at about 19 percent. Structural reforms which the country badly needed to overcome this economic crisis have not been introduced. Gilani and Zardari themselves are feudal ^mmmmmm m^m^t^mm

lords who are incapable of initiating The Gi,ani/Zardari badly needed land reforms. It is bailed . , ., ., j, . , r i government faces a out with aid and loans received from the . . US, the IMF, and Friends of Pakistan. myr,ad ?f Pollt,cal' The $7 billion in economic aid approved economic, social, and by the US Congress in October 2009 for military problems ^ a five-year period for infrastructure may making it very fragile, certainly help the country provided it is l?l IB ll^""""ll^ B" not diverted for other purposes.

Terrorism by Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qeda has increased, threaten ing the very fabric of the nation. The Jihadists who started their terrorist attacks in early 2007 under the Musharraf regime have intensified them, especially suicide bombings. The deadly brazen wave of attacks launched by an alliance of Pakistani Taliban, AI Qaeda and Jihadi groups of Southern Punjab in October 2009 in various places, especially police and military installations, vividly show how audacious and powerful these groups have become and how shaky and vulnerable the Gilani government has become. For example, on October 6, a suicide bomber struck the lobby of the UN Food Program office in Islamabad and killed all five of its employees. On October 10 an explosion at a crowded market in the northwestern city of Peshawar (NWFP) killed 42 and wounded over 60 innocent civilians. On October 11, to the embarrassment of the military, four militants dressed in army fatigues entered its headquarters and took 42 hostages. Pakistani


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commandos had to rescue them, killing seven men including the mili tants. On October 13, a suicide car bomber attacked a military vehicle in a crowded Alpuri market in the Shangla district in the Swatt Valley, a sup posedly liberated area of Taliban militants, killing 41 people and wounding dozens more. And on October 16, in coordinated attacks, three groups of militants dressed in police uniforms simultaneously attacked three law enforcement agencies in the city of Lahore, the cultural center, and the capital, in which more than 30 people were killed including 19 police offi cers and 11 militants as commandos fired on the militants. On October

17, three suicide bombers, including a female one, attacked a police station in Peshawar killing more than 11 people. Terrorists did not spare even an Islamic university in Islamabad when two suicide bombers attacked it, killing

four people including a female student on October 21. These attacks are not

only aimed at discouraging the military offensive against South Wazirstan,

the hot bed of Taliban and AI Qaeda, but also presumably, as Hakimullah Mehsud has declared, to establish an Islamic state in Pakistan by remov ing the current government. Mehsud seeks to fight India after this goal is achieved. However, troops did move into South Wazirstan, and it remains to be seen if the army will be able to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and

its threat.64 In addition, separatist armed struggle is raging in Balochistan,

especially after its leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in August 2005 by the military at the orders of Gen. Musharraf, although the government falsely accused the Indian government for this ongoing movement.65 The government appears helpless and impotent in addressing these problems. The Gilani government is losing its political legitimacy.

The military continues to play a dominant role in the country's politics with little interest in submitting itself to civilian authority. As noted earlier,

the military and the ISI continue to support the Pakistan-based militants including the Taliban as strategic assets to fight India, despite the fact that the Gilani-Zardari government opposes this strategy. India's accusation of Pakistan's military support for terrorism was finally acknowledged by Zardari on July 9,2009 when he told the retired civil servants that militant

groups were "created and deliberately nurtured" as a policy for "short-term tactical objectives."66

No wonder on July 25, 2009 in Dubai, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, made a damning indictment of



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the ISI by saying that it was fomenting "chaotic activity" in Kashmir and Afghanistan. He hoped that "in the long run the ISI has to change its stra tegic thrust."67 The suicide bomb attack near the Indian embassy in Kabul on October 8, 2009 in which 17 people were killed and over 80 injured was claimed credit by the Pakistan Taliban headed by Hakimullah Mehsud for the blast. However, Afghanistan and India blamed the Pakistani army and the ISI which want to undermine Indian-Afghan friendly relations and force India to leave Afghanistan.68

And to the dismay of India, the LET after its involvement in the Mumbai

attack largely remains intact, robust and is determined to strike India again

and the ISI continues to maintain its ties with the outfit belying Pakistan's

commitment to dismantle it.69 No wonder Dr. Singh expressed the same concern about the pervasive jihadi threat ^mm?mammmmmmmmmmmmam*

from Pakistan. On August 18, inaugurat- The military in general, ing the Chief Minister's conference on ancj the ISI in particular, internal security in New Delhi, the Prime wou|d \\ke to keep the

Minister warned the heads that there was Kashmir conflict aflame "credible information of ongoing plans jn ^ tQ majntajn |ts of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry . . n - ^ r i i ^7n^ni i dominance in Pakistani out fresh attacks. 70 The military in gen- . eral and the ISI in particular (which has _"_ become a state within a state) would like to keep the Kashmir conflict aflame in order to maintain its dominance in Pakistani politics. For example, on July 3, in his meeting with Indian defense advisors of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha asserted that the ISI and the Pakistan army were involved in framing Pakistan's India

policy along with the Foreign Office and, therefore, he wanted India to deal directly with these three institutions including the army and the ISI although it is in breach of a diplomatic protocol to do so.71

Notwithstanding Dr. Singh's pledge, his government is hesitant to renew the composite dialogue until the Gilani government has produced some tangible results in punishing the conspirators of the Mumbai attack. But as India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram told NDTV network on

September 7,2009, India does not rule out the involvement of state actors such as the ISI.72 If that is true, Gilani may never be able to try and convict

the culprits, as the ISI is likely to resist. This may lead to a death knell to


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the dialogue as India insists on punishment of the conspirators as a condi tion to restart the dialogue.

Therefore, in light of problems cited above facing the Gilani-Zardari government, one wonders if it will be in a position to reach an amicable settlement with India on Kashmir. India may be averse to deal with such

a fragile and shaky regime which is at a crippling point. But what is the solution to the conflict when circumstances permit the Gilani/Zardari government supported by its military to make a genuine commitment in resolving the Kashmir conflict?


There are many alternative solutions suggested to resolving the Kashmir conflict in terms of their pros and cons. Given the space constraints here

below, we simply identify some of them and suggest the one that India, and the Kashmiri Muslims could agree to if Pakistan is willing to compromise. Raju Thomas and Sumit Ganguly suggest the following alternative solutions:

1. Maintain the territorial status quo in Kashmir along the LoC. 2. Secure Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.

3. Create an independent Kashmir.

4. Secure a "Trieste" solution (like the disputed city of Trieste which was partitioned between Italyand Yugoslavia) by territorial transfer of the Vale of Kashmir to Pakistan.

5. Manipulate a Tibetan solution by transforming the demographics in Kashmir (as China allegedly reduced the Tibetan population into a minority by settlingTibet with its Han Chinese, so should India with Hindus and Sikhs in the Valley).

6. Generate an exodus of Kashmiri Muslims into Pakistan through repressive or persuasive measures.

7. Achieve joint Indo-Pakistani control over Kashmir.

8. Foster a subcontinent of several independent states. 9. Promote a decentralized sub-continental confederation of several

autonomous states.



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10. As required by the U.N. Security Council, hold a plebiscite to ascer tain the wishes of Kashmirs.

11. Grant a protectorate status to Kashmir.73

The authors argue that most of these alternative solutions are either impractical or unacceptable to India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri Muslims, including the militants. Of these solutions the one that Pakistan and the

militants prefer is a plebiscite as has been called for by the UNSC resolu tions. But India considers this option as irrelevant, outdated, and rebus sic stantibus. Even Gen. Musharraf admitted that option is not practical today. A number of Kashmiri militants also oppose the plebiscite, the fact that under the UNSC resolutions they cannot have the option of inde pendence. Therefore, the only possible solution to this festering conflict is the first alternative. That is, maintaining the LoC as the current territorial

status quo with some border adjustment favorable to Pakistan, and by granting a measure of autonomy to both ma^K^mmmmim'^mammm^m^ parts of divided Kashmir. This is what Even with high-handed Prime Minister Jawaharhal Nehru and policies of previous Sheikh Abdullah had agreed to when they Indian governments, the signed the Delhi Accord in 1952.74 Even Kashmiris Still prefer to

Musharraf, as we noted earlier, suggested be with India than with some variation of this arrangement. As Pakistan which has pledged, if India grants autonomy under become almost a "failed Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, s^a^e " and demilitarizes the state as demanded ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ by separatists, and allocates sufficient funding for the states' economic development as has been already done by Singh's Government, one should not be surprised if the militants gave up their insurgency and joined the democratic forces to rebuild their heavily damaged state due to insurgency.

As support for insurgency in Kashmir has declined, the insurgency is declining. In fact, quite a number of Kashmiri militants are returning to Kashmir from Pakistan as they are tired of the unproductive insurgency.75

The self-chosen leaders of the APHC who refused to participate in rounds of talks convened by Dr. Singh pressured by Pakistan, and some militant groups, today, are willing to do so as they are being marginalized in the state


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where there has been a functioning democracy since 2003.76 Hindus and Buddists who constitute the majority in Jammu, and Ladhak respectively, and who want to be an integral part of India may accept this deal. Even with high handed policies of previous Indian governments, the Kashmiris still prefer to be with India rather than with Pakistan, which has become almost a "failed state."

For example, in an opinion poll conducted by the independent UK based Market and Opinion Research International (MORI) in June 2002, 61 percent of Kashmiris said they are better off remaining as part of India

as opposed to 6 percent choosing to be part of Pakistan.77 Moreover, ethni cally and ideologically and religiously, one can argue that Kashmiri Muslims

in the Valley are much more close to India than they are to Pakistan. The Kashmiri Muslims are mostly moderate, eclectic in their religious beliefs and values and have incorporated some aspects of Hindusim and are pre dominantly sufi, which is pacifistic in its theological orientation.78


We have first briefly discussed the history of the Kashmir conflict, and the insurgency the conflict produced in 1990, and that continues until today supported by Pakistan. Second, we have looked at the peace process that India and the Musharraf engaged in, and we have offered some explanations why they failed to resolve the Kashmir and other conflicts under the rubric

of composite dialogue. Third, we have explained why India and the Gilani Zardari government may not be able to resolve the conflict. And finally, we have suggested a viable solution to the conflict if and when democratic Pakistan is willing to compromise on the Kashmir conflict.


1. For a comprehensive discussion of the origins of the conflict and the first Kashmir war, Sisir Gupta, Kashmir, New York: Asia Publishing House, 1966.

2. For a detailed discussion of the war and its leading to the Tashkent Declaration see Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in the Cross Fire, New York: LB. Tauris 1996, pp. 193-206.


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3. For more discussion of the Bangladesh war and its leading to the Simla Accord, see Sumit Ganguly, Conflict Unending: Indian-Pakistan Tensions Since 1947, New York: Columbia University, 2001, pp. 51-78 and 168-169.

4. For a discussion on Sheikh Abdullah and his son's rule, see Schofield, Kashmir in the Cross Fire, pp. 216-223.

5. For discussion of the insurgency, see Ibid., pp. 230-236.

6. For text of the memorandum see in Ganguly, Conflict Unending, pp. 170-171.

7. For discussion of Gen. Musharaff's role in engineering the Kargil war and of President Clinton's role in ending it, see Ibid, Ganguly, pp. 114-129.

8. For discussion about the failure of the Agra summit talks, see Ibid., pp. 135-7.

9. New Tork Times, January 13, 2002.

10. In January-June 2002, India was on the verge of striking terrorist camps in POK, see India Today International, December 23, 2002, pp. 13-19.

11. Ibid., June, 10, 2002, pp. 10-11. 12. For more discussion about the elections, and the Sayeed government's

policy toward militants, see Ibid., October 21, 2002, pp. 12-18, and November 18, 2002,pp.24-29.

13. Ibid., May 12, 2003, pp. 23-25, and Economist, May 10, 2003, 31-32. 14. For details about the joint statement, see New Tork Times, January 7-8,

2004, and Dawn, January 7, 2004. 15. Hindu, May 13,2007. 16. New Tork Times, November 12, 2004.

17. India Today International, November 29, 2004, p. 8. 18. For details of the initial talks between the Singh's government and the

Musharraf regime, see Fahmida Ashraf, "India-Pakistan Dialogue under Con gress Government," at www.Issi.org.pk/journal2004-files/no-3/article/2.htm.

19. For details about the second round of talks, see "A Status Report," Insti tute of War and Conflict (IPCS), January 31, 2005, pp. 1-3.

20. Hindu, April 18, 2005. 21. Priya shree Andley, "Third Composite Dialogue: An Overview of Indo

Pak Relations in 2006," IPCS, March 2007, pp. 1-5.

22. For text of the joint statement, see Hindu, September 17, 2006. 23. For more details about the interview, see A.G. Noorani, "There is So

Much to Gain Mutually," Frontline, Vol 23, No.16, August 2006, pp. 12-25. 24. Hindu, December 7, 2006. 25. Ibid., December 12, and 14, 2006.


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26 Ibid., 17,2006. 27. Navina Behera, Demystifying Kashmir, Washington, DC: Brooking Insti

tute, 2006, pp. 54-5,138-141, and 167-169. 28 Ibid., pp. 139-142. 29. For a detailed discussion of these disputes, see Ashutosh Misra, "An

Audit of the India-Pakistan Peace Process," Australian Journal of International Affairs" vol. 61. no 1. pp. 506-528; Bharat Bushan, "Tulbul, Sir Creek, and Siachen: Competitive Methodologies", and Ahmed Bilai Soofi,Wuller Barrage, Siachen, and Sir Creek," South Asian Journal, January-March No 5, 2005 at southasiamedia.net/magazine/journal/7.htm.

30. Hindu, February 3, 2007. 31. Ibid., March 1 2007. 32. Behera, Demystifying Kashmir, pp. 52-53.

33. For details about the Taliban insurgency and Karazai's accusations of Pakistan, see India Today International, July 31, 2006, pp. 22-24.

34. Nirupama Subramanyam, "Military in Its Businees Business in Pakistan," Hindu, 19, 2007.

35. Economist, July, 8, 2006, pp. 22-24.

36. Ayesha Siddiqua, Military Inc Inside Pakist Pakistanis Military Economy, London. Pluto Press, 2007, pp. 190-91.

37. India Abroad, June 4, 1999, p. 20. 38. For more discussion about how Gen Musharraf came to powe, and how

he consolidated it, see Rathnam Indurthy, "Explaining Why the Musharraf Mili tary Regime is Not Likely to Restore Democracy in Pakistan," Asian Profile, vol.34, no. 4., pp. 371-74.

39. For a detailed discussion about Musharaf's emergency rule and why he subsequendy lifted it, see Hindu, November 4 -6, 2007; December 1, 2007, and December 19, 2007.

40. For a detailed discussion about Ms. Bhutto's assassination, the citizens' reaction to her death, and the conclusions of the Scotlan Yard report, see Ibid., December 28-31, 2007; January 5, 2009; January 9, 2008; January 15, 2008; January 21, 2009; February 5, 2009, and February 9, 2009.

41. Cited in Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in the Crossfire, IB Tauris, London, 1996, p. 214.

42. Ibid., pp. 225-35. 43. Cited in India Abroad, June 4, 1999, p. 20.

44. For text of the MOU, see Sumit Ganguly, Conflict Unending, Woodrow Wison Center Press, Washington, DC:. 2001. 170-71.


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45. For details about Mukherjee's visit, See G. Parthasarathy, "Symbolism Amid Turmoil," The Hindu Business Line, May 11, 2008, at the hindubusiness line.com/2008/05/09.

46. For text of the joint statement, see at meaa.nic.in/ pressrelease/2008/05/21js02.htm.

47. For details about differing positions of Pakistani leaders, see Hindu March 3, 2008, May 1, 2008, May 11, 2008, and July 13, 2008.

48. For details about the cease-fire violations, the Kabul attack, and their impact on Indo-Pakistan relations, see Hindu, July 13-14, 2008; July 16-17, 2008; July 31, 2008, and August 5, 2008.

49. Ibid., August 3, 2008, and August 5, 2008. 50. Ibid, September 10, 2008, and September 11, 2008. 51. India Abroad, October 3, 2008, pp. A5, and A9. 52. Hindu October 6, 2008, and October 7, 2008. 53. India Today International, December 22, 2008, p. 8.

54. For more details about the attack, see India Today International, Janu ary 5, 2009, pp. 18-31, and India Abroad, July 31, 2009, pp. A-A6.

55. For a detailed discussion about Indo-Pakistan relations in the aftermath

of the terrorist attack, see, Hindu January 1, 2009; February 4, 2009; February 6, 2009; February 10, 2009; February 13-16, 2009; February 20, 2009; Febru ary 26-27, 2009; March 1-2, 2009; March 4, 2009; March 7, 2009; March 12, 2009, and March 14, 2009.

56. Ibid., March 13, 2007.

57. The book excerpts are cited in "Why the US Bugged the Pakistan Army," Asian Times, February, 16, 2009.

58. Hindu, June 17, 2009, and June 18, 2009.

59. For text of the joint statement, see Islamicterrorism.wordpress. com/2009/18.

60. Hindu, July 18,2009. 61. Ibid., July 30, 2009. 62. Ibid., August 1.2009. 63. Ibid., October 27, 2009, and October 29, 2009. 64. For more detail about these terrorist attacks, and government response,

see New Tork Times, October 6, 2009; October 10, 2009; October 11, 2009; October 13, 2009; October 16, 2009; October 17, 2009; October 17, 2009; October 18, 2009, October 22, 2009, and Hindu, October 16, 2009.

65. For more discussion about the secessionist movement, see Malik Siraj Akbar, "Balochistan Situation 28, Getting Bleaker by the Day," Hindu,


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September 2, 2009, and Hamid Mir, "India and the Baloch Insurgency," Ibid., July 2009.

66. Ibid., August 25, 2009. 67. Ibid., July 9, 2009. 68. Ibid., October 9-11, 2009. 69. New Tork Times, September 30, 2009.

70. Ibid., July 25, 2009. 71. Ibid., July 18,2009. 72. Ibid., September 7, 2009. 73. Ibid., July, 23, 2009.

74. Raju Thomas (ed), Perspectives on Kashmir: The Roots of Conflict in South Asia, Boulder, CO: Worldview Press, 1992, pp. 30-34, and Sumit Ganguly, The Crisis of Kashmir: Portents of War, and Hopes of Peace, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., pp. 133-150.

75. For details about the 1952 accord, see Sumantra Bose, Kashmir Roots of Conflict: Paths to Peace, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.

76. Praveen Swami, "The Hurriyat's Moment of Decision," Hindu, Septem ber 5, 2009.

77. Cited in India Abroad, June 4, 2002, p. 6.

78. For discussion about the cultural affinity of Kashmiri Muslims with Indians, see Rathnam Indurthy, "Kashmir in Indo-Paksistan Relations: Mutual Claims to the State as Causes of the Conflict" Asian Profile, vol. 30, no.l, Febru ary 2002, pp. 54-59; and Praveen Swami, "The Hurriyat's Moment of Decision,"

Hindu, September 5, 2009. Cited in India Abroad, June 4, 2002, p. 6.


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  • Contents
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  • Issue Table of Contents
    • International Journal on World Peace, Vol. 27, No. 1 (MARCH 2010) pp. 1-96
      • Front Matter
        • Review: untitled [pp. 79-83]
        • Review: untitled [pp. 84-88]
        • Review: untitled [pp. 89-94]
      • Back Matter

Attachment 2

In the early eve ning of Friday, June 11, 2010, Tufail Ahmad Mat-too, 17, was walking home in Srinagar, the capital city of the Kashmir Valley. In the fi nal year of secondary school, he had a busy schedule. He had just fi nished a session at a coaching center for a medical school entrance examination.

The walk home through Srinagar’s bustling streets that summer eve- ning would be Tufail’s last. At Rajouri Kadal, a congested locality in the old city of Srinagar that is known for wildcat demonstrations by groups of youths who suddenly emerge from lanes and by- lanes to confront pa- trols of the Jammu & Kashmir police and the Indian Union government’s Central Reserve Police Force, tasked with keeping order in restive neigh- borhoods, Tufail was caught up in such a fracas. The detachment of the J&K state police fi red tear- gas shells to disperse their adversaries. One shell hit Tufail’s head as it exploded. The impact split the boy’s skull open, and his brain spilled out. He died instantly.

Tufail’s death ignited a summer of rage in the Kashmir Valley. Over the next three and a half months, until late September, the Kashmir Valley was convulsed by stone- pelting protests as tens of thousands of people, predominantly teenage boys and young men in their twenties, confronted the state police and the CRPF across the Valley day after day, week after week. When the extraordinary eruption of public disorder subsided in the autumn, about 120 protesters were dead, shot by the police and the CRPF and occasionally by Indian army personnel. About 1,500 stone- throwers sustained serious injuries, and several hundred police and CRPF personnel were also injured. The vast majority of the dead and seriously


The Kashmir Question

C o p y r i g h t 2 0 1 3 . H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s .

A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d . M a y n o t b e r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y f o r m w i t h o u t p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e p u b l i s h e r , e x c e p t f a i r u s e s p e r m i t t e d u n d e r U . S . o r a p p l i c a b l e c o p y r i g h t l a w .

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2 2 6 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

injured stone- throwers were males aged between 15 and 30— that is, persons who had been children, infants, or unborn when the Kashmir Valley had descended into a maelstrom of violence 20 years earlier, in 1990, when an insurgency and uprising against Indian rule marked the beginning of a brutal confl ict that lasted a de cade and a half before subsiding.

Tufail Mattoo’s family, middle- class people, with no strong po liti cal beliefs, wished their son to be buried in a family graveyard plot. But that was not to be. On June 12, 2010, Tufail’s body was carried in a pro- cession of thousands chanting slogans for azaadi (freedom) from India through Srinagar and buried in the “martyrs’ graveyard” in the old city’s Eidgah neighborhood, where a few thousand slain insurgents and other po liti cal activists have been laid to rest since 1990. The crowds fought pitched and running battles with the police and the CRPF before, during, and after the funeral. The stone- throwers’ uprising sparked by Tufail’s death spread and intensifi ed over the next three months, and its fury, re- ported worldwide by international media and daily, often in graphic de- tail, by Indian tele vi sion channels and newspapers, shocked India’s po liti- cal establishment and urban middle class, who had come to believe that a steep decline in insurgency since 2004 meant that “normalcy” had re- turned to Kashmir. The eruption subsided in the autumn, worn down by severe restrictions on public assembly and freedom of movement. But it had shown that a po liti cal problem still existed in the Kashmir Valley and that a new generation of its youth were as aggrieved with Indian authority as the generation that had produced thousands of Kalashnikov- wielding militants during the fi rst half of the 1990s.

Tufail Mattoo’s family, neighbors, friends, and teachers all recalled his most endearing trait: his gentleness. “What a polite boy he was,” a woman neighbor said sotto voce. Indeed, photographs of Tufail taken at the Srinagar schools where he studied— the Little Angels’ School, where he did elementary schooling, the Radiant Public School, where he did middle schooling and fi nished tenth grade, and the Government Higher Secondary School, where he was a twelfth- grader when he died— all show a slightly built boy with sensitivity writ large on his face. “Tufail was an extremely gentle boy,” the headmaster of Radiant Public School recalled. “There were 120 students in that [tenth grade] class in 2008, and Tufail was the most polite one. All I can say is that his gentleness made him very different from other students.”

Tufail’s parents were too shattered to engage with the avalanche of public and media attention, but an uncle who fl ew in from Oman to at- tend his last rites recalled Tufail’s compassion for the less fortunate.

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 2 7

Three months before his death Tufail bought a jacket, which he wore for a couple of days, until he happened to walk past a boy of the same age shivering in the winter cold in Amira Kadal, in the heart of downtown Srinagar. “He took off the jacket and handed it to the boy,” the uncle re- membered; “I just watched him.” A schoolmate confi rmed that Tufail had “some sort of obsession with the needy. Whenever he spotted a person in need, he would try to help.” Tufail’s interests were “playing cricket, read- ing books and driving.” His family had ordered a car as his eigh teenth birthday present. This likeable teenager from a middle- class family might have made a fi ne doctor, had he passed that entrance examination. In- stead he will be remembered as Shaheed (Martyr) Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, a notable name in Kashmir’s pantheon of “martyrs.”1

The Kashmir question is usually viewed through the lens of the interna- tional dispute over the territory’s own ership between India and Pakistan, which has existed since 1947. This perspective necessarily foregrounds the religious dimension and the Hindu- Muslim confl ict that led to the subcontinent’s partition in 1947. The Indian standpoint is that the avowedly secular Indian Union needs the Indian state of J&K, the only one of the Union’s 28 states that has a majority of Muslims in its population— about two- thirds—to be complete. This standpoint is con- tested by the Pakistani claim that as a Muslim- majority territory that is more territorially contiguous to Pakistan than to India, most, if not all, of the disputed entity ought to belong to Pakistan, an explicitly Muslim nation- state. These competing ideological claims have produced diamet- rically opposed positions on the sovereignty dispute. The Indian position is that the whole of the disputed territory is an “integral part” (atut ang) of India and emphasizes the legal fact that the last ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded his domain to India in October 1947. In this view the parts of the former princely state that have been under Pakistan’s control since the end of the fi rst India- Pakistan war over Kashmir in January 1949 rightfully belong to India, although in practice Indian governments since the mid- 1950s have been content with the ter- ritorial status quo, as about three- quarters of the population of the dis- puted entity live on the Indian side of the de facto border, known as the Ceasefi re Line until 1972 and the Line of Control since then, that divides the former princely state between the two countries. The typical Paki- stani view is that the territorial status quo is a grave injustice to Pakistan as well as to the people living under Indian jurisdiction, who have not had the opportunity to choose whether to be part of India or Pakistan. (A United Nations– supervised referendum, or plebiscite, was to settle the

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2 2 8 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

sovereignty dispute in the early 1950s, and India and Pakistan blame each other for its nonoccurrence.) In Pakistani nationalist rhetoric, the former princely state is Pakistan’s “jugular vein” (shah rug), most of which has been usurped by India.

The typical Pakistani view of the Kashmir question as a case of Mus- lims oppressed in and by Hindu- majority India has a mirror- image coun- terpart in India: that a perennial problem exists in India’s only Muslim- majority state because the state’s Muslims, or a large proportion thereof, have always been and continue to be congenitally disloyal to the ideal of the secular Indian nation- state and are a fi fth column for Pakistan. Thus, this story goes, it is no wonder that they are the perpetual malcontents of Indian democracy and troublemakers who waged an armed revolt from 1990 and have persisted after the decline of the insurgency in sporadi- cally expressing their disloyalty through other means, such as the mass rioting of 2010.

This reifi cation of religion and religious difference is grossly misleading. The violence that engulfed the Indian state of J&K through the 1990s and well into the fi rst de cade of the new century was not due to the fact that the majority of the state’s people had a religious faith that was at once dif- ferent from the majority of other citizens of India and the same as that of the vast majority of Pakistan’s population. The insurgency against Indian authority was rooted instead in the gradual radicalization, over a period of four de cades from the 1950s through the end of the 1980s, of a distinct regional identity and po liti cal tradition specifi c to the Kashmir Valley. Re- ligion has been and continues to be an important constitutive element of this regional identity, not least because the Kashmir Valley is an over- whelmingly Muslim region, and appeals couched in religious idioms have fi gured prominently in po liti cal struggles and mobilizations since the be- ginnings of mass- based politics in the Valley in the early 1930s.

Yet the regional identity of the Kashmir Valley, like all the regional identities evolved over historical time that together make up the rich and diverse social mosaic of contemporary India, is not one- dimensional but complex and multifaceted. It draws on deep wellsprings of a common culture shaped over centuries, in which a language- based heritage is a vital constitutive element. Kashmiri, a Dardic variant of the Indo- Aryan family of languages that retains Sanskritic features from the pre- Islamic era in Kashmir, is the native tongue of the vast majority of the Valley’s people. A religious faith rooted in a par tic u lar Kashmiri form of Islam is another such element.

The regional identity of the Kashmir Valley is not qualitatively differ- ent from numerous other regional identities that are quite at peace in and

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 2 9

with the Indian Union. That the Kashmir Valley is not at such peace is because the Valley’s people were continuously, and eventually deeply, alienated from the Indian Union due to authoritarian control and inter- vention imposed on them by the Center (New Delhi). As a result, the Indian state of J&K, and particularly the Kashmir Valley, where the majority of the state’s population lives, was denied the demo cratic and quasi- federal development that became the norm, and the fundamental source of strength, of the Indian Union. This post- 1947 history explains why the Kashmir Valley is the Achilles’ heel of India’s democracy in the early twenty- fi rst century: a weak spot that tarnishes an otherwise vibrant democracy that is today unmistakably evolving as a federation of distinct and diverse regional polities.

This chapter focuses primarily on the Kashmir Valley, a region of about 7.5 million people. I give less attention to, though I do not ignore, the other two regions of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir— the Jammu region of about 5.5 million people, which lies south of the Valley and whose social composition and po liti cal dynamics are different from the Valley’s, and the Ladakh region, a sparsely populated mountain desert of 300,000 people that lies northeast of the Valley. Likewise, I refer only when necessary to the two regions of the former princely state that lie across the Line of Control, have a total population of under 5 million, and are referred to as “Pakistan- occupied Kashmir” in India: “Azad” (Free) J&K, a long sliver of territory comprising mainly western Jammu dis- tricts whose cultural character is close to contiguous areas of Pakistan’s Punjab province, and Gilgit and Baltistan to its north and northeast, a vast and sparsely populated high- altitude wilderness similar to Ladakh and referred to in Pakistan as the Northern Areas.

A Regional Identity

Walter R. Lawrence was a British offi cial who was deputed to the Kash- mir Valley as “settlement commissioner” in 1889. His job was to reform the land revenue system of this region of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which had been established in 1846 as a vassal principality of the British colonial power, ruled by a Hindu dynasty originally from the Jammu region. When the British departed India in 1947, there were about 562 such principalities, covering 45 percent of the subcontinent’s land area, governed by an assemblage of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh vassal rulers. This extraordinary network developed through the nineteenth century formed the pillar of the British practice of “indirect rule” in India. Jammu and Kashmir was one of the largest princely states in territory

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and population, along with Hyderabad in the south (where, in a mirror image of Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim dynasty and ruling elite pre- sided over a subject population of which Hindus comprised the large majority).

Walter Lawrence spent six years in the Kashmir Valley and in 1895 published his book The Valley of Kashmir. He wrote: “if one looks at the map of the territories of His Highness the Maharaja of Jammu and Kash- mir, one sees a white footprint set in a mass of black mountains. This is the valley of Kashmir, known to its inhabitants as Kashir. Perched se- curely among the Himalayas at an average height of about 6,000 feet above the sea, it is about 84 miles in length and 20 to 25 miles in breadth. North, east and west, range after range of mountains guard the valley from the outer world, while in the south it is cut off from the Panjab by rocky barriers 50 to 75 miles in width.” The Valley’s population was then 814,241, of whom “52,576 are Hindus, 4,092 are Sikhs, and the rest are Musalmans, who thus form over 93 percent.”2

The Valley of “Kashir” has an ancient lineage as a cultural and po liti- cal unit. In the eighth century Lalitaditya, the king of Kashmir, built an imperial domain centered on the Valley that encompassed a swathe of the plains of northern India and parts of Tibet, Af ghan i stan, and Central Asia. An epic chronicle of Kashmir from antiquity to the eleventh century was composed around 1149 by Kalhana, the son of a minister in the royal court. Written in Sanskrit, the classical language of pre- Islamic In- dia, the chronicle is called Rajatarangini (The fl ow of kings) and has 7,826 verses divided into eight books. Rajatarangini was translated into En glish in 1900 by Marc Aurel Stein, a British explorer and scholar, as “A Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir.”3

Islam arrived in the Kashmir Valley in the fourteenth century and spread rapidly. The conversion of all but a tiny fraction of the population from Hinduism was due to the proselytizing of wandering Sufi mystics. A  crucial fi gure was Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, a Persian Sufi from Hamedan in western Iran. Hamadani, known in Kashmir as Shah Ham- dan, made three visits to the Valley during the 1370s and 1380s with hundreds of disciples, many of whom settled in Kashmir. A mosque com- memorating him, the Khanqah- e-Maula, was built in Srinagar in the 1390s on the bank of the Jhelum River. It still stands on the original site in an imposing eighteenth- century version.

Kashmir’s Sufi heritage is, however, identifi ed above all with an indig- enous saintly fi gure, Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani. This mystic, also known among Muslims and non- Muslims in the Valley by the Sanskritic (and Hindu- sounding) name Nund Rishi (Nund the Saint), was born around

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 3 1

1377 in a village south of Srinagar and lived until about 1440. His life was deeply infl uenced by Lalleshwari (c. 1320– 1392), a woman mystic of the Hindu Shaivite sect, which was infl uential in Kashmir at the time; its followers worship the deity Shiva. Lalleshwari, known as Lal Ded in the Valley and venerated as a saint, expressed her spirituality through poetry composed as couplets in the Kashmiri language. She can be regarded as the found er of the Kashmiri literary tradition. Her infl uence on Sheikh Noorani was so great that he has been referred to as a “Muslim Shaivite” who “translated Islam into Kashmir’s spiritual and cultural idiom.”4 He could be called the Kashmir Valley’s patron saint and is referred to as Alamdar- e-Kashmir (The Standard- Bearer of Kashmir). His mausoleum- shrine is in Charar- e-Sharief, a small town about 20 miles southwest of Srinagar. In 1995 the shrine and most of the town were razed by fi re dur- ing a gun- battle between Indian army troops and insurgents who had holed up in the holy premises, sparking anguish in the Valley. The shrine has been reconstructed and continues to be a center of pilgrimage for Kashmiri Muslims as well as the Valley’s Hindus and Sikhs.

Sheikh Noorani’s syncretistic philosophy set the tone of Islamic belief and practice in the Kashmir Valley, and the specifi cally regional variant of Sufi sm he pioneered is the dominant religious tradition at the pop u lar level in the Valley to this day. One of those infl uenced by his preaching was Zain- ul- Abidin, the greatest of Kashmir’s indigenous medieval rulers (sultans), who reigned from about 1423 to 1474. A square in the center of Srinagar, Badshah Chowk, is named after Zain- ul- Abidin, who is known as Badshah (Great Ruler). He reversed the intolerant policies of his father, Sultan Sikandar, who had persecuted Hindus, especially Brah- mins who would not convert, and vandalized ancient Hindu and Bud- dhist monuments. The son reinstated religious tolerance, got Hindus who had fl ed the Valley to return by abolishing the jiziya (a tax on non- Muslims), restored grants paid to learned Brahmins, and had Kalhana’s Rajatarangini translated into Persian.

The legacy of Nund Rishi and Zain- ul- Abidin is writ large six centuries later in the everyday practice of the dominant faith in the Kashmir Valley. The towns and villages are full of ziarats, shrines dedicated to Sufi saints, some of whom are women. These “Muslim saints are worshipped like Hindu gods and godlings.” Relic worship, which has its roots in Bud- dhism, was infl uential in pre- Islamic Kashmir although persecuted by some of the later Hindu monarchs.5 It endures most famously in the gleaming- white Hazratbal shrine on the outskirts of Srinagar, where a hair believed to be from the head of the Prophet Mohammad is preserved. The Kashmiri literary tradition pioneered by Lal Ded has also found

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illustrious exponents, from the late sixteenth- century female singer and poet Habba Khatun, whose compositions are suffused with longing and loss, to the innovative twentieth- century poet Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor.6

A narrative of victimhood prevalent in the Kashmir Valley stresses a history of subjugation going back over four centuries to 1586, when the Valley was annexed by the Mughal Empire, which ruled from Delhi. The Mughal emperors’ main interest in the Valley was as a summer resort where they repaired to escape the heat and dust of the plains. During the fi rst half of the seventeenth century the Mughals laid out beautiful gar- dens overlooking Srinagar’s Dal Lake that are preserved to this day. By the middle of the eigh teenth century the Mughal Empire was in advanced decline. In 1752 marauders from Af ghan i stan led by a warrior- king of the Pashtun Durrani tribe conquered the Valley. Afghan rule lasted until 1819, when forces loyal to Ranjit Singh (1780– 1839), a Sikh warlord, captured the Kashmir Valley. In the early nineteenth century Singh estab- lished an extensive kingdom across northwestern India that mostly cov- ered large parts of the present- day Punjab and Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (North- West Frontier Province) provinces of Pakistan, with its capital in Lahore, close to Pakistan’s border with India.

The Princely State

The succession of conquerors and occupiers notwithstanding, the period and overlordship truly relevant to understanding the Kashmir Valley since 1947 is the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir created in 1846 under British tutelage and suzerainty. The founding ruler of the princely state was Gulab Singh (1792– 1857), a warrior belonging to a Rajput (Jamwal) caste of the Dogra ethnic group, who live in large numbers now, as then, in the southern parts of the Jammu region. Gulab Singh rose to prominence as a commander in Ranjit Singh’s army. After the Sikh monarch’s death in 1839, his expansive kingdom began to disinte- grate due to lack of leadership and internal feuding. Gulab Singh became an ally of the British— strictly speaking the East India Company, which moved to assume direct or indirect control over the huge and disparate areas of Ranjit Singh’s domain. In return for Gulab Singh’s collaboration, the British gave him the Kashmir Valley, a remote region they were not interested in directly administering and garrisoning. This was accom- plished in 1846 under the Treaty of Amritsar. (Amritsar, a city in India’s Punjab province, is close to the post- 1947 India- Pakistan border, is a short distance from Lahore, and is famous for Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple.)

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 3 3

The Treaty of Amritsar was preceded by the Treaty of Lahore, signed on March 9, 1846, between the British and an effete son of the valiant Ranjit Singh. A clause of this treaty ceded “perpetual sovereignty” over “the hill countries” of the Sikh kingdom, “including the provinces of Cashmere and Hazarah,” to the British. A week later, on March 16, the Treaty of Amritsar was signed, which stipulated: “The British Govern- ment transfers and makes over, for ever, in in de pen dent possession, to Maharaja [Great King] Gulab Singh and the heirs male of his body, all the hilly or mountainous country . . . being part of the territories ceded to the British Government by the Lahore state.” This meant above all the agri- culturally fertile, naturally scenic and populous Valley of Kashmir, as well as the sparsely populated and rugged region of Gilgit to its northwest (Gilgit is part of Pakistan’s “Northern Areas”). In return Gulab Singh paid the Company 75 lakh (7.5 million) rupees— a considerable sum in India even today but a real bargain for the territory and souls he acquired as subjects— acknowledged “the supremacy of the British Government,” and agreed, “in token of such supremacy, to present annually to the British Government one horse, twelve perfect shawl goats of approved breed (six male and six female), and three pairs of Kashmir shawls.”7

Gulab Singh already had control of the Jammu region, a mix of plains, foothills, and mountainous tracts, and had also acquired the vast and scantily populated high- altitude zones of Ladakh and Baltistan through military expeditions led by one of his colleagues. Thus the acquisition of the Kashmir Valley (and Gilgit) completed the territory of the new entity: the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. C. E. Tyndale Biscoe, a British missionary who worked as an educator in the Kashmir Valley in the early twentieth century— one of Srinagar’s best schools is named after him— noted the polyglot nature of the sprawling entity, a menagerie of diverse regions and communities, in a book published in 1922: “to write about the character of the Kashmiris is not easy, as the country of Kashmir, in- cluding the province of Jammu, is large and contains many races of people. Then again, these various countries included under the name of Kashmir are separated . . . by high mountain passes, so that the people of these various states differ considerably . . . in features, manner, customs, lan- guage, character and religion.”8

The eternity promised by the British to Gulab Singh and his successors by the Treaty of Amritsar lasted 101 years, until 1947. After the found er’s death in 1857, Ranbir Singh ruled until 1885, Pratap Singh until 1925, and Hari Singh, the last maharaja, held court until events in the autumn of 1947 literally imploded the princely state. The hundred- year reign of the tinpot monarchy appointed as subcontractors of the Raj was an

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unmitigated disaster for the peasantry of Muslim faith who made up the overwhelming majority of the Valley’s population.

Walter Lawrence wrote: “when I fi rst came to Kashmir in 1889, I found the people sullen, desperate and suspicious. They had been taught for many years that they were serfs without any rights. . . . Pages might be written by me on facts which have come under my personal observation, but it will suffi ce to say that the system of administration had degraded the people and taken all heart out of them.” Lawrence was especially hor- rifi ed by the practice of begar, forced labor with no compensation, rou- tinely infl icted on the mass of peasant serfs. He was careful to absolve the ruler of personal culpability: “the peasants, one and all, attributed their miseries to the deputies through which the Maharajas ruled, and they have always recognized that their rulers were sympathetic and anxious to ensure their prosperity. But the offi cials of Kashmir would never allow their master to know the real condition of the people.” Who were these venal offi cials? Lawrence was particularly critical of princely state offi - cials belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community, the tiny religious mi- nority (4– 5 percent) of Brahmin caste indigenous to the Valley:

In a country where education has not yet made much progress it is only natural that the State should employ the Pandits, who at any rate can read and write. . . . They are a local agency, and as they have depended on offi ce as a means of existence for many generations, it is just and expedient to employ them. Still it is to be regretted that the interests of the State and the people should have been entrusted to one class of men, and still more to be regretted that these men, the Pandits, should have systematically combined to defraud the State and to rob the people. . . . Though this generosity in the matter of offi cial establishments was an enormous boon to the Pandit class, it was a curse and misfortune to the Musalmans of Kashmir. . . . I have no wish to condemn the Pandits. . . . But . . . it is necessary to grasp the fact that offi cial morality has, generally speaking, been non- existent.9

Walter Lawrence was not the fi rst outsider to be mortifi ed by the ab- ject circumstances of the vast majority of the Kashmir Valley’s people under the princely state. In a book titled Cashmere Misgovernment, pub- lished from Calcutta in 1868, Robert Thorp wrote: “in no portion of the treaty made with Gulab Singh was the slightest provision made for the just or humane government of the people of Cashmere and others upon whom we forced a government which they detested.”10 Indeed, Lawrence was sent to Kashmir as part of a British attempt to reform governance after a famine devastated the Valley between 1877 and 1879, but the Raj’s intervention had to wait until Ranbir Singh died in 1885 and was replaced by a relatively more pliable successor, Pratap Singh. In 1890

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 3 5

Col o nel R. Parry Nisbet, the “resident” (term for the top British supervi- sor in princely states) in Jammu and Kashmir, wrote to his superiors that “Kashmir [should] no longer be governed solely to benefi t the ruling family and the rapacious horde of Hindu offi cials and Pandits, but also for its people, the long suffering indigenous Muhammadans.”11

That proved to be a forlorn hope. In his chronicle of Kashmir at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Lawrence trumpeted his efforts to improve the conditions of the peasantry of the Valley, but the high- minded reformism of the white man had practically no effect on the brutal realities of power and penury in the princely state. A similar effort in the 1930s, after pop u lar re sis tance to the established order emerged, proved ineffectual with a regime incapable of reform. In 1929 Sir Albion Bannerji, a Bengali (and Christian) civil servant who served as the princely state’s “foreign and po liti cal minister” in the late 1920s, re- signed in disgust after two years. He explained to the Associated Press: “Jammu and Kashmir state is laboring under many disadvantages with a  large Muhammedan population absolutely illiterate, laboring under poverty . . . in the villages and practically governed like dumb- driven cattle. There is no touch between the Government and the people, no suitable opportunity for representing grievances and the administrative machinery requires overhauling from top to bottom. . . . It has at present little or no sympathy with the people’s wants and grievances.”12

Tyndale Biscoe, fi red by missionary zeal, was more optimistic. He wrote in 1922: “if we Britishers had to undergo what the Kashmiris have suffered, we might also have lost our manhood. But thank God, it has been otherwise with us and other Western nations, for to us instead has been given the opportunity of helping some of the weaker peoples of the world, the Kashmiri among them. May we ever be true to our trust. Gradually are the Kashmiris rising from slavery to manhood. . . . I trust they will become once more a brave people, as they were in the days of old when their own kings led them into battle.”13

Biscoe’s narrative is full of anecdotes of peasant- paupers living in con- ditions resembling slavery in the countryside of the Kashmir Valley, and the capital, Srinagar, which is set in a beautiful natural setting of lakes and mountains, appears as a fetid city inhabited largely by illiterate and wretched people. Indeed, in a book titled Kashmir Then and Now, pub- lished in 1924, Gawasha Nath Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit, painted a Dick- ensian picture of Srinagar: beggars, thieves, and prostitutes abounded along with disease and fi lth, and “90 percent of Muslim houses [ were] mortgaged to Hindu sahukars [moneylenders].” The overall situation was, according to Kaul, “frightful.”14 Until 1924, the Kashmiri historian

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Mohammad Ishaq Khan writes, “there was not a single newspaper printed or published in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.”15 Until 1920 a death sentence was mandatory for a state subject who killed a cow, an act of sacrilege in Hindu orthodoxy; in 1920 this was reduced to 10 years in prison, and later to 7 years.

According to a census conducted in 1941, 77 percent of the princely state’s inhabitants were Muslims, 20 percent were Hindus, and 3 percent others, mostly Sikhs. But local Muslims were barred from becoming of- fi cers in the princely state’s military forces and were almost non ex is tent in the civil administration. In 1941 Prem Nath Bazaz, one of a handful of Kashmiri Pandits who joined the pop u lar movement for change that emerged during the 1930s and swept the Valley in the 1940s, wrote: “the poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. Dressed in rags and barefoot, a Muslim peasant presents the appearance of a starving beggar. . . . Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee landlords. . . . Rural indebtedness is staggering.”16

This po liti cal regime and social order revolted Walter Lawrence, Al- bion Bannerji, and Tyndale Biscoe. But the challenge to it could not come from well- meaning outsiders. It had to arise from within the society. It did arise from 1931 onward, and its principal agent was Sheikh Moham- mad Abdullah.

The Rise and Fall of Sheikh Abdullah

He was born in 1905 into a modestly off family in Soura, then a village near Srinagar and today a neighborhood of the city. The family were late converts to Islam; they were Brahmins until the late eigh teenth century, when they were infl uenced by a saintly Sufi . From the late nineteenth century, conditions in the princely state led to signifi cant migration of people from the Kashmir Valley to the neighboring Punjab province of “British”— as distinct from “princely”— India. In the 1920s an associa- tion of Kashmiri migrants formed in Lahore started offering scholarships to enable young Muslim males from the princely state to acquire higher education in institutions in “British” India. One benefi ciary was Sheikh Abdullah, who graduated from Lahore’s Islamia College and then earned a master’s degree in chemistry in 1930 from the Aligarh Muslim Univer- sity, situated in Aligarh, a town in the western part of postin de pen dence India’s Uttar Pradesh state. This university was founded in 1875 as the “Mohammedan Anglo- Oriental College” to provide the subcontinent’s Muslims with access to modern, particularly Western, education. Abdullah returned to the Valley to work as a schoolteacher and in 1930 established

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 3 7

the Reading Room Association in Srinagar, where a small number of edu- cated young Muslim men gathered to discuss social issues. Physically a very tall man but with a gentle, sensitive face, he is the most important po liti cal leader the Kashmir Valley has ever produced.

The turning point came on July 13, 1931. The trial of a Muslim sparked a protest in downtown Srinagar that was fi red on by the maha- raja’s police. He was charged with making public remarks in a mosque condemning the princely state’s regime and inciting fellow Muslims to violence. The fi ring killed 22 demonstrators and triggered unpre ce dented disorder in the city. Rioters sacked a commercial quarter of Srinagar populated predominantly by Kashmiri Pandits and Hindu traders from the Punjab. Until then the absence of pop u lar protest against the condi- tions prevailing in the Valley was attributed to “the exceptionally docile nature of the peasantry in the Vale,” consistent with Tyndale Biscoe’s theory of a people whose “manhood” had been crushed by oppression.17 But in 1931 Albion Bannerji’s “ ‘dumb- driven cattle’ raised the standard of revolt. The people were never to be cowed again by police action. The women joined the struggle and to them belongs the honor of facing cav- alry charges [by the maharaja’s police] in Srinagar’s Maisuma bazaar.”18 Eight de cades after the eruption of 1931, Maisuma, an old neighborhood in the historic center of Srinagar, has changed remarkably little. It is still a warren of wooden houses built in traditional Kashmiri style inhabited by working- class and lower- middle- class people. The tradition of po- liti cal struggle has also continued. During the fi rst half of the 1990s Maisuma was a stronghold of gun- wielding proin de pen dence insurgents, and in recent years its winding streets teem with stone- throwing youths of the postinsurgency generation who emerge from alleys to confront J&K police and CRPF personnel.

The British government appointed a commission to inquire into griev- ances and suggest mea sures for redress. From the early 1930s pop u lar politics, and re sis tance, grew in the Kashmir Valley, and the princely state’s regime during its last two de cades in power swam against ever stronger currents of the tide of history. Abdullah attracted attention as a fi ery orator. Initially he was one leader among several of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (hereafter Muslim Conference), a po- liti cal party formed in October 1932 to provide direction to the nascent mass movement. His rhetoric was pungent; according to a report by the regime’s spies on a “seditious speech” by him in a village in 1933, he urged the crowd to “take revenge” and “turn out Hindus.”19

By the late 1930s Abdullah’s politics had evolved in a more mature, inclusive direction. In 1938, after internal debate and primarily at the

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initiative of Valley activists grouped around him, the Muslim Conference resolved to “end communalism by ceasing to think in terms of Muslims and non- Muslims” and invited “all Hindus and Sikhs who believe in the freedom of their country [Jammu and Kashmir] from the shackles of an irresponsible rule” to join the pop u lar struggle.20 The reasons for this mutation may have included the presence of a tiny handful of Pandits (and Sikhs) in the rising pop u lar movement in the Valley and the growing infl uence of left- wing thinking among some of Abdullah’s colleagues. A powerful underlying factor may have been the Valley’s syncretistic Sufi heritage. In 1939 the Muslim Conference was formally renamed the All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) to refl ect the shift. The transition was not unproblematic. In 1941 Muslim religious and social conservatives, mostly from the Jammu region but including anti- Abdullah elements in the Valley, broke away and revived the Muslim Conference. This faction was increasingly drawn to the campaign for Pakistan led by the All- India Muslim League and its leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah as the 1940s progressed. The call to Jammu and Kashmir’s religious minorities to participate alongside Muslims in the pop u lar struggle also evoked a poor response. In the Valley, the vast majority of Pandits remained aloof and were often hostile, and the few Pandits who did join achieved unusual po liti cal prominence precisely because of their deviant status in their own community.

Just as the movement for Pakistan— founded on a religion- based con- cept of nationhood and po liti cal self- determination—gained momentum in the subcontinent, the dominant tendency of the Kashmir Valley’s pop u lar movement, led by Abdullah, moved in the opposite ideological direction. In 1940 Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress leader who would go on to be India’s fi rst prime minister from August 1947 until his death in May 1964, visited the Valley on Abdullah’s invitation. Nehru had a familial connec- tion with Kashmir, as his forebears were Kashmiri Pandits who had mi- grated from the Valley to the plains of northern India. He was also a man of socialistic and republican convictions whose natural sympathies lay with the struggle against despotic feudalism in Kashmir. In 1944 Jinnah visited the Kashmir Valley. While the Muslim Conference and the JKNC competed to or ga nize a grand welcome for him, he chose to address the annual gathering of the former party and declared the Muslim Conference to be representative of “99 percent” of Jammu and Kashmir’s Muslims.21

Later that year, in September 1944, the JKNC leadership met in the northern Valley town of Sopore and adopted “Naya [New] Kashmir,” a detailed charter for a post- princely- state social and po liti cal order. In a diplomatic feint, this manifesto did not abolish the hereditary monarchy

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 3 9

but reduced it to purely ceremonial status. Power would be vested in a legislature called the National Assembly, to be elected by universal adult franchise, and executive authority would be exercised by a cabinet re- sponsible to that assembly. There would be decentralization of adminis- tration to districts, tehsils (subdivisions of districts), towns, and even the village level. Recognizing the multilingual character of Jammu and Kash- mir, the manifesto designated Urdu the lingua franca of the future. (Kash- miri was the dominant tongue only in the Valley and some hilly areas of the Jammu region contiguous to the Valley inhabited by Kashmiri- speaking Muslims, and Dogri- speakers were largely concentrated in the Jammu plains). Kashmiri, Dogri, Punjabi, Hindi, Balti, and Dardi would all be “national languages.”

The document’s most signifi cant section had to do with the transforma- tion of the agrarian economy. The Naya Kashmir charter called for the abolition of parasitic landlordism without compensation, distribution of land among tillers, and the establishment of cooperative farms. This con- fi rmed the leftist turn in the JKNC’s politics and the presence of a sizable cohort of socialists and even communist (pro- Soviet) fellow travelers in the or ga ni za tion. (On taking control of Srinagar in late 1947, one of the party’s fi rst acts was to name the city’s central square Lal Chowk, Red Square, after the Moscow original.) In 1945, after the end of World War II and the release of Congress leaders jailed by the British for anticolonial nationalist activities during the war, the JKNC’s annual convention was attended by Nehru, as well as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Congress’s most prominent Muslim fi gure, and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890– 1988), known as the Frontier Gandhi because of the mass popularity of his pacifi st (and Congress- aligned) anticolonial movement among the Pa- thans (Pashtuns) of the North- West Frontier Province.

Despite the secular (and socialist) turn in the JKNC’s line, the move- ment’s mobilization strategy and its mass appeal among the Kashmir Valley’s people continued be rooted in a Muslim idiom of politics, de- rived from and tailored to the Valley’s regional culture, six centuries old, of Sufi - inspired Islam. The charismatic Abdullah’s style personifi ed this. His crowd- pulling prowess owed much to his ability to enthrall predomi- nantly illiterate audiences by reciting beautifully from the holy Koran. During the 1940s his po liti cal rise was built on the control his followers managed to acquire over most of the Valley’s mosques, and consequently their congregations, at the expense of religious preachers of the tradi- tional variety. Asked toward the end of his life, in 1978, how he managed to outmaneuver and marginalize the traditional clergy (mullahs) he chuckled and replied: “By becoming a mullah myself.”22

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When Sheikh Abdullah launched a civil disobedience movement against the princely state’s regime in May 1946, and led the re sis tance to an invasion of the Kashmir Valley from Pakistan in October– November 1947, his headquarters was in the Hazratbal shrine on the shores of Sri- nagar’s Nageen Lake, revered by the Valley’s people as the shrine housing a hair believed to be from the head of the Prophet Mohammad. (In 1990 control of Hazratbal passed to proin de pen dence insurgents fi ghting In- dian rule, until they were evicted in 1996 by Indian security forces after a bloody gun battle.) The general secretary of the JKNC party was a cleric, Maulana Mohammad Sayyid Masoodi, who doubled up as the editor of Khidmat, the party’s paper. Masoodi, who was infl uential in Valley poli- tics through the 1960s, was “highly respected by the people for the depth of his views and the sobriety of his judgment.”23 In December 1990, aged 87, he was shot dead in his home in Ganderbal, a town north of Srinagar, by gunmen from a pro- Pakistan Kashmiri insurgent group who were young enough to be his grandchildren.

The other pillar of the JKNC’s strategy and mass appeal was the hope it held out to the craving for social emancipation among the Valley’s mass of impoverished peasants, who lived and toiled in conditions of serfdom. The party’s fl ag, depicting a plow, the peasant’s essential implement, im- printed in yellow against a red background, signifi ed the peasant base that constituted its bedrock support.

With World War II over and British withdrawal from India increas- ingly looking imminent, in April 1946, exactly 100 years after the estab- lishment of the princely state, the JKNC launched the “Quit Kashmir” movement, a campaign of mass demonstrations and civil disobedience against the princely state’s authorities. Abdullah declared: “the time has come to tear up the Treaty of Amritsar. . . . Sovereignty is not the birth- right of Maharaja Hari Singh. Quit Kashmir is not a question of revolt. It is a matter of right.”24 The drive to replace the hereditary kingship and its autocratic regime with pop u lar sovereignty had overtones of a decisive offensive of mobilized people’s power, and it was modeled on the Quit India movement, which Congress launched against India’s British Raj in August 1942, at a critical stage of World War II. The Quit India movement is a landmark episode in India’s struggle for freedom. The movement spread like wildfi re across (nonprincely) India, and (poorly) armed freedom fi ght- ers in some parts of the country were able to create “liberated zones.” The movement was put down through mass arrests of Congress leaders, in- cluding almost the entire apex leadership, and of key organizers in differ- ent parts of the country, and continuing re sis tance was suppressed through brutal violence by the Raj’s police and military forces against

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 4 1

rank- and- fi le freedom fi ghters and the civilian populations supporting them in the strongholds of the movement. Jinnah’s Muslim League, a key collaborator with the British government during World War II, derided the uprisings as “not directed for securing the in de pen dence of all con- stituent elements in the life of the country but to establish Hindu raj [rule] and [to] deal a death- blow to the Muslim goal of Pakistan.” The Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference echoed this stance. Abdullah’s JKNC, however, strongly condemned the repression unleashed by the colonial power.25

Of the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Quit Kashmir movement had by far the greatest impact in the JKNC’s bastion, the Kashmir Valley. The princely state’s authorities responded with large- scale arrests of the party’s top leaders and key organizers across the Valley. Abdullah himself was promptly arrested and spent 16 months in prison until his release on 29 September 1947, a month and a half after the birth of two in de pen- dent “Dominions” in the subcontinent, India and Pakistan. Some JKNC organizers managed to escape detention by going underground. Speaking in Lahore, the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference’s most promi- nent leader, Ghulam Abbas, a native of the Jammu region, derided the Quit Kashmir movement as “an agitation started at the behest of Hindu leaders.” By June 1946 the movement wilted under intense repression, and the atrocities of the (overwhelmingly non- Muslim) police and mili- tary forces of the princely state “in the Valley caused tremendous com- motion, leaving bitter memories of cruelties fi rmly implanted in the minds of the normally peaceful Kashmiris.”26 Thereafter a lull fraught with a sense of simmering crisis ensued in the Valley. This lasted until the autumn of 1947, when Jammu and Kashmir, and particularly the Kash- mir Valley, emerged as the prime bone of contention between the newly in de pen dent states of India and Pakistan.

The hundreds of princely states were naturally an issue in the decoloniza- tion, amid partition, of the subcontinent. In July 1947 Lord Mountbat- ten, the last British viceroy of India, urged a gathering of princely rulers in Delhi to decide without delay, preferably before mid- August, whether to join India or Pakistan after evaluating two criteria: their territory’s geographic embedding in or contiguity to India or Pakistan, and the wishes of their population of subjects.

This was reasonable advice, and on its basis the accession of the large majority of princely states to India and the rest to Pakistan was the inevi- table outcome, as most princely states lay within the borders of India and had non- Muslim majorities. Problems arose with only two princely

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states, bounded by India with Muslim rulers and predominantly Hindu subjects. In Junagadh in western India, a small princely state that was later incorporated into the state of Gujarat formed in 1960, a Muslim ruler presiding over a population that was over 80 percent Hindu ac- ceded his kingdom to Pakistan and then fl ed to Pakistan. In the princely state of Hyderabad in southern India, most of which would become part of the state of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, the Muslim ruler stalled for a year, amid mounting violence by his regime against a population that was 87 percent Hindu, until the Indian army was sent in and settled the matter in September 1948.

Mountbatten’s common- sense formula could not resolve the status of Jammu and Kashmir, however. This princely state was contiguous to both India and Pakistan, although its contiguity to Pakistan, to its west and northwest, was more extensive than with India to the south and southeast. The princely state’s transport, trading, and cultural links were also more extensive with western Punjab and the Frontier Province, which became part of Pakistan in 1947 (for example, the Jhelum Road, so called after the river, connecting Srinagar with Rawalpindi). The princely state’s religious demographics, 77 percent Muslim, also counted at least superfi cially in favor of Pakistan. But the wishes of the popula- tion were not obvious, despite that demographic fact. This was primarily because the princely state’s largest popularly based po liti cal movement, led by the JKNC with mass support in the Kashmir Valley and pockets of infl uence in the Jammu region, had developed a secularist and socialist orientation and was ideologically much closer to and more compatible with India’s Congress party than Pakistan’s Muslim League.

Jammu and Kashmir’s last maharaja, Hari Singh, and his coterie of advisers were concerned above all with the preservation of the dynastic throne and privileges. On August 15, 1947, a day after Pakistan’s birth, his regime concluded a “standstill agreement” with the government of Pakistan, normally a precursor to accession. This was a strange dalliance between the leaders of the new Muslim sovereign state on the subconti- nent and a despotic regime that had systematically oppressed its Muslim majority for a century and whose police and military had committed atrocities against Muslims in the Kashmir Valley and elsewhere in the princely state in 1946 and the fi rst half of 1947. But it was explicable. Hari Singh and his coterie calculated that their interests were more likely to be entertained by Pakistan’s leaders than India’s, who were known to hold princely rulers in contempt as British stooges and had friendly ties with the princely state’s largest po liti cal opposition, the JKNC. Pakistan’s leaders knew that though geographic contiguity and

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 4 3

religious demographics favored their case, a legally valid accession would have to be signed by the princely ruler.

The dalliance steadily unraveled, and broke down in the fi rst half of October 1947. It was derailed by developments on the ground. In spring 1947 a localized revolt against the maharaja’s regime fl ared in the Jammu region’s Poonch district, which is today bisected by the Line of Control between J&K and Pakistan’s so- called “Azad” Kashmir. The rebellion was met with atrocities by the princely state’s overwhelmingly non- Muslim security forces against the overwhelmingly Muslim population of Poonch but was not suppressed. Poonch, along with nearby west Pun- jab and Frontier Province districts, had been a prime recruiting ground for imperial Britain’s Indian army, and of 71,667 men from the princely state who served in British forces during World War II, 60,402 were Poonchis. These demobilized soldiers put up fi erce re sis tance to the princely state’s forces. After mid- August the rebellion renewed, this time with a defi nite pro- Pakistan character. By the beginning of October the rebels gained control of almost all of Poonch, and on October 3, 1947, a collection of pro- Pakistan sardars (clan chiefs) of western Jammu districts— Poonch, Mirpur to its south, and Muzaffarabad to its north— proclaimed a provisional Azad (Free) Jammu and Kashmir government in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. On the same day, the maharaja’s government cabled Pakistan’s foreign ministry in Karachi, accusing the government of Pakistan of complicity in crossborder attacks being conducted along several hundred kilometers of the border between Pakistan’s Punjab province and the Jammu region of the princely state, from Rawalpindi in the north to Sialkot in the south. On October 18 an even more acrimoni- ous cable, which alleged that the government of Pakistan had imposed an economic blockade on Jammu and Kashmir in violation of its obligations under the “standstill agreement” of mid- August, signaled an irretrievable breakdown in relations.

The decisive chapter of the struggle for Jammu and Kashmir then un- folded. On October 21, 1947, a motorized armed force consisting mainly of Pashtun tribesmen entered Jammu and Kashmir from the Frontier Province’s Hazara district, located north and northwest of the princely state. Although many were motivated by the prospect of loot and rape, they were “led by experienced military leaders familiar with the terrain and equipped with modern arms, [and] they poured down . . . at 5000- strong initially, with a fl eet of transport vehicles numbering about 300 trucks.”27 After taking the town of Muzaffarabad, later the capital of Pakistan’s “Azad Kashmir” region, they headed for the Kashmir Valley. Meeting almost no re sis tance from the princely state’s forces, they seized

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Baramulla, the largest town in the northwestern part of the Valley, just 20 miles by road from Srinagar. On October 24 the maharaja’s adminis- tration sent an urgent message to New Delhi requesting immediate mili- tary assistance to repel the raiders.

Nehru and his colleague Vallabhbhai Patel (1875– 1950)—a dour, con- servative Congress leader from Gujarat who as India’s home (interior) minister supervised the integration of princely states into India— were willing to oblige but correctly determined that intervention by Indian army troops without prior accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India might be regarded internationally as an Indian invasion of a neutral ter- ritory. Accordingly, on October 26 the last maharaja signed the formal “instrument of accession” to India, which made the princely state legally part of the Indian Union and ceded to the government in New Delhi ju- risdiction over external defense, foreign affairs, and currency and com- munications. On October 27 Mountbatten, the governor- general of the Indian “Dominion,” accepted the accession but noted that once the raid- ers were expelled and order restored, the accession should be ratifi ed by “a reference to the people” of Jammu and Kashmir.

On the morning of October 27, the fi rst Indian army units arrived in Srinagar by airlift, to a warm welcome from the leaders of the JKNC. They deployed immediately and found that units of the raiding force had penetrated the outskirts of Srinagar. Within a few days they also “discov- ered that they were dealing with an or ga nized body of men armed with medium and light machine- guns and mortars,” led by “commanders thoroughly conversant with modern tactics and use of ground” and sup- ported by “considerable engineering skill.”28 More than a half century later, in the summer of 1999, the Indian army would face much the same situation in the mountainous Kargil district of the Ladakh region, where they were taken by surprise by Pakistani military units who had crossed the Line of Control during the winter months in a meticulously planned operation and occupied ridges and peaks on the Indian side of the Line.

The hostilities of late 1947 turned swiftly in favor of the Indians. Within a week the Indian units pushed back the raiders from the vicinity of Srinagar. Then, reinforced by armored cars that had arrived by road via the Banihal Pass, which connects the Kashmir Valley with the Jammu region, they went on the offensive. Baramulla was retaken on November 8, and Uri, a smaller town on the western edge of the Valley that has straddled the border between the Kashmir Valley and “Azad Kashmir” ever since, was taken on November 14. By the time the harsh Himalayan winter of 1947– 1948 set in and fi ghting wound down, the raiders had been driven to the peripheries of the Kashmir Valley.

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 4 5

Two factors were crucial in this outcome. First, the Indian counterof- fensive benefi ted enormously from the support of an auxiliary force— the JKNC or ga ni za tion in the Kashmir Valley. Thousands of volunteers en- rolled in a “National Militia” that the JKNC quickly put together, and these locals were invaluable to the Indian campaign. Second, some of the raiders had committed atrocities as they advanced. Baramulla was pil- laged, and the fi ghters who had come ostensibly to liberate their coreli- gionists perpetrated brutalities, particularly on women, there and in other northern Kashmir Valley towns such as Handwara. The terror un- leashed in the name of liberation deeply unsettled the people in these ar- eas, and their memories of savage executions and rapes would linger for several de cades.

The leaders of Pakistan were furious at the turn of events. Kashmir, meaning above all the Valley, had been an integral part of the idea of Pakistan since the term “Pakistan” was coined by an Indian Muslim stu- dent at Cambridge University in 1933. (The K denoted Kashmir, the P Punjab, the S Sind, and the “tan” Baluchistan.) In late November 1947 Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, denounced the JKNC’s leader: “Sheikh Abdullah has been a paid agent of Congress for two de- cades and with the exception of some gangsters he has purchased with Congress money, he has no following among the Muslim masses [of Kashmir].”29 In fact, after his release from jail in late September, Abdul- lah had told a huge gathering on the premises of Srinagar’s Hazratbal shrine on October 5 that the question of accession to India or Pakistan was secondary to the imperative of establishing a government legitimate in the eyes of the people. However, after the force from Pakistan entered the Valley, overran its northwestern areas, and approached Srinagar, he traveled to Delhi. He arrived there on the eve ning of October 25, and on October 26– 27, when the maharaja’s accession to India was sealed, he was staying at Prime Minister Nehru’s residence. On October 27 he told the daily Times of India that the attack had to be resisted because failure would mean the coercive absorption of the Valley into Pakistan.

Abdullah could not have behaved otherwise in late 1947. The Valley was his home region and power base, and he had every reason to believe from experience that he would have no place in Jinnah’s scheme of things if the Valley passed into Pakistan’s control. A veteran po liti cal activist from the city of Jammu has written that the Valley’s people were “outraged” by the Pakistani attempt to fi rst secure accession by wooing the hated princely ruler and when that failed “to decide the issue by force.” He argues that the deeply rooted regional identity of the Kashmir Valley, evolved over centu- ries and rekindled through po liti cal struggle in the 1930s and 1940s, “was

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2 4 6 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

obviously a misfi t in the monolithic structure of Pakistan, which did not recognize any identity other than that based on religion. The federal- democratic and secular framework of India . . . promised a better guaran- tee for the defense and growth of Kashmiri identity.”30

While the fi ghting temporarily subsided, the confl ict was international- ized when in January 1948 the Indian government complained to the United Nations about Pakistani aggression on a territory that had ac- ceded to India. In response, the UN Security Council established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. In April 1948, as winter snows melted and hostilities resumed, the Security Council ad- opted a resolution that the Commission was “to proceed at once to the Indian subcontinent and there place its good offi ces . . . at the disposal of the Governments of India and Pakistan . . . both with respect to the resto- ration of peace and order and the holding of a plebiscite” to decide Jammu and Kashmir’s fi nal status. The reference to a plebiscite was con- sistent with the Indian stand at the time; on 2 November 1947 Nehru had announced his “pledge . . . not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world . . . [to] hold a referendum under international auspices such as the United Nations” to ascertain whether a majority of the erstwhile princely state’s population favored India or Pakistan. He repeated this several times up to 1952. The April 1948 UN Security Council resolution called on the government of Pakistan to “secure the withdrawal” of the invading tribesmen and other nonresidents from the regions of the princely state under Pakistan’s control, and once this was done the government of India was urged to reduce its forces in Jammu and Kashmir “progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of civil power.”31

As in many bitter confl icts, events on the ground evolved very differently from the UN’s high- minded intentions. Over the spring and summer of 1948, the Indian army, by now fi ghting the regular Pakistani army in what had become a war between the militaries of sovereign states, made further advances, retaking the strategic town of Rajouri in the Jammu region and consolidating gains in the Kashmir Valley. The fi nal act of the fi rst India- Pakistan war occurred in the autumn of 1948, when Pakistani forces made a thrust toward the Valley from the north, using the mountainous areas of Gilgit and Skardu as the base. The thrust was repulsed by Indian light tanks in a battle at the Zojila Pass, which connects the Valley with Ladakh. The Indians then took the western Ladakh towns of Dras and Kargil in November and secured the strategic road link between the Valley and the eastern Ladakh district of Leh, populated mainly by Buddhists of Tibetan stock. When a cease- fi re came into effect on January 1, 1949, the Indians were in control of the bulk of the population and territory of the former

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 4 7

princely state, including almost all of the Kashmir Valley— 139,000 out of 223,000 square kilometers, about 63 percent. This is the territorial status quo that prevails to this day, with very minor changes from subsequent military confl icts, notably the third India- Pakistan war of December 1971. The UN- supervised plebiscite never materialized. Pakistanis see this as evi- dence of Indian duplicity; Indians argue that Pakistan failed to fulfi ll the fi rst condition set out by the UN for holding the plebiscite, the withdrawal of Pakistani regular and irregular forces from the territory of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The British offi cial Walter Lawrence noted in 1895 that “the people of the valley [of Kashmir] . . . have retained their peculiar nationality unim- paired” despite three centuries of rule by outside powers: fi rst the Mu- ghal Empire, then the Durrani Afghans, succeeded by the Sikh monarchy of Ranjit Singh, and then the princely state of Jammu’s Dogra elite. He attributed the stubborn resilience of the distinct regional identity and culture formed in the Valley in the late medieval era to “the isolation of Kashmir,” its remote location. He did foresee, on the eve of the twentieth century, that this isolation would not last with the advent of modern communications. He could not have foreseen that within a half century the remote, isolated Kashmir Valley would become the crux of conten- tion between the nationalisms of India and Pakistan. But he presciently warned that once this remote region and its historically insular people were no longer cocooned from the wider subcontinent, “the revolution which will follow the more rapid communication with India is one which will require wise guidance and most careful watching.”32

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah became the prime minister of the Indian state of J&K in March 1948 and governed it in the style of an uncrowned monarch until his fall from power in August 1953. He was at once the Valley’s fi rst indigenous “sultan” in nearly four centuries and, in retro- spect, the fi rst truly autonomous regional leader of the polity of postin de- pen dence India, with a well- knit party and signifi cant mass base. He had thrown in his lot with India in clear preference to Pakistan, but due to his stature he did not see the relationship between New Delhi and his regime in dominant- subordinate terms. He felt that Srinagar could deal with Delhi on more or less equal terms.

The maharaja’s accession limited New Delhi’s jurisdiction over Jammu and Kashmir to three subjects: defense, foreign affairs, and communica- tions. This was normal practice in accession agreements and usually did not preempt further integration of princely states into India (or Paki- stan). Jammu and Kashmir was, however, an unusual case because of the

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2 4 8 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

international dispute and UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite and the presence of a mass- based po liti cal movement within, the JKNC. In Octo- ber 1949 India’s Constituent Assembly inserted Article 306A into India’s Constitution, specifying that the Center’s jurisdiction over Jammu and Kashmir (effectively the 63 percent of its territory on India’s side of the Ceasefi re Line) would remain limited to the three subjects specifi ed in the original instrument of accession. After India shed “dominion” status and became the Republic of India on January 26, 1950, Article 306A became the basis for Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which enshrined the same degree of autonomy for J&K in the Indian Union. This gave the Indian state of J&K a statutory degree of autonomy not enjoyed by any other unit of the Indian Union, an arrangement known as “asymmetric autonomy” or “asymmetric federalism” in comparative po liti cal science. Under Article 370, which remains in India’s Constitution, India’s Parlia- ment can legislate even regarding the three categories of subjects assigned to the Center only “in consultation with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir state,” and regarding other matters of governance on the Union List with “the fi nal concurrence of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.”

Sheikh Abdullah was adamant that this asymmetric autonomy was the sine qua non of J&K’s membership of the Indian Union. He articulated this in an important address he gave on August 11, 1952, to J&K’s Con- stituent Assembly, which had been constituted in November 1951 to frame a J&K state constitution, in itself unusual, because other Indian states do not have their own constitutions and the Republic of India’s 1950 Constitution is supreme across the country. He noted that his prior- ity was to ensure “maximum autonomy for the local organs of state power, while discharging obligations as a unit of the [Indian] Union.” He pointedly added: “I would like to make it clear that any suggestion of arbitrarily altering this basis of our relationship with India would not only constitute a breach of the spirit and letter of the [Indian] Constitu- tion, but might invite serious consequences for the harmonious associa- tion of our state with India.” This language— especially the use of words like “relationship” and “association”— was different from a fl owery speech he had made to the fi rst session of the Assembly, nine months ear- lier, in November 1951: “the real character of a state is revealed in its Constitution. The Indian Constitution has set before the country the goal of secular democracy based on justice, freedom and equality for all with- out distinction. . . . The national movement in our State naturally gravi- tates towards these principles. . . . This affi nity in po liti cal principles, as well as past associations and our common path of suffering in the cause of freedom, must be weighed properly while deciding the future of the

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 4 9

State.” The last phrase is a reference to the UN- administered plebiscite, then a live proposition, and can be read as entirely supportive of India’s position on Kashmir. In the same speech Abdullah criticized Pakistan’s failure to enact a constitution and ridiculed Pakistan, especially its (then) western half, as a den of feudal landlords. He also dismissed the idea of in de pen dence for part or all of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as utopian.33

In his August 1952 speech in Srinagar, Abdullah was reporting the outcome of talks on the autonomy issue held in Delhi in June and July between a J&K delegation led by him and Indian government offi cials headed by Nehru. During these talks, the J&K team stuck strongly to the “maximum autonomy” position. They blocked the other side’s proposals for J&K’s fi nancial and fi scal integration with the Indian Union, rejected a suggestion to extend the fundamental rights provisions of the Indian constitution to J&K, and turned down a proposal to make India’s Su- preme Court the ultimate court of appeal for civil and criminal cases that came up before J&K courts (as is normal for Indian states). They made a few concessions, agreeing to fl y India’s national fl ag in the “supremely distinctive” position alongside the J&K state fl ag in J&K, and they agreed to the Indian Supreme Court’s arbitration in the event of disputes between the state and the Center or with another state of the Indian Union. The talks resulted in an unwritten— and as it turned out within a year, tenuous— modus vivendi that was separately reported by the lead- ers to their respective legislatures. Nehru’s comments to India’s Parlia- ment, elected a few months earlier in the country’s fi rst Lok Sabha elec- tion, had a tone of weary resignation; he said that he wanted “no forced unions,” and if J&K were to decide “to part company with us, they can go their way and we shall go our way.”34

Abdullah’s stance on “maximum autonomy” was not an altruistic de- fense of the identity of his base— meaning essentially the Valley. He had a compelling personal motive: keeping maximum power in his own hands. This drive for absolute power was revealed by the manner in which the J&K Constituent Assembly was “elected” in late 1951. It was to have 75 members— 43 from the Kashmir Valley, 30 from the Jammu region, and two from Ladakh. (In a token gesture, a further 25 seats were kept va- cant for representatives of the regions across the Ceasefi re Line.) Of the 45 seats allotted to the Valley and Ladakh, JKNC candidates were de- clared elected “unopposed” to 43 seats one week before the election date. In the two remaining seats, non- JKNC candidates who fi led papers “withdrew under pressure subsequently,” according to Josef Korbel of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan. In the Jammu region’s 30

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2 5 0 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

seats, the Praja Parishad (Subjects’ Forum), a Hindu or ga ni za tion led by former offi cials of the maharaja’s administration and landlords dispos- sessed by the Abdullah regime’s radical land reforms (described below), decided to contest 28 seats. Thirteen of its candidates were arbitrarily disqualifi ed, and the Parishad then withdrew the rest of its candidates in protest and in anticipation of a completely rigged election that it would be pointless to enter. The Parishad would have won a few seats in Hindu- dominated southern and southeastern Jammu districts if allowed to run for them. Two other non- JKNC candidates standing in the Jammu re- gion’s remaining two seats also pulled out. In the Jammu region’s Muslim- majority areas and in the Valley, almost all anti- Abdullah leaders owing allegiance to the Muslim Conference were in exile across the Ceasefi re Line, but the JKNC’s 100 percent sweep was still a farce.

The 75- seat Constituent Assembly thus consisted entirely of JKNC members. In this scheme of things, maximum autonomy for J&K trans- lated into maximum power for Abdullah and his men. New Delhi turned a blind eye. Nehru reportedly told a po liti cal activist from Jammu that while Abdullah’s suppression of all opposition— including dissenting members of the JKNC— was undemo cratic, because “India’s Kashmir policy re- volved around Abdullah, nothing should be done to weaken him.”35 Be- tween 1948 and 1953, only one slogan could be heard in the Kashmir Valley: “One Leader, One Party, One Program!” (referring to Abdullah, the JKNC, and their “Naya [New] Kashmir” agenda of 1944, respectively).

Abdullah’s confi dence, even brazenness, was based on one po liti cal fact: the mass support and indeed adulation he enjoyed in the Kashmir Valley. He had already achieved near- iconic status among the Valley’s people by 1947 for his leadership of the struggle against feudal autocracy. (His top lieutenants, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, Mirza Afzal Beg, G. M. Sadiq, Maulana Masoodi, Ghulam Mohiuddin Karra, and Syed Mir Qasim, had also become house hold names there.) On July 13, 1950, the anniversary of the bloody protest in Srinagar in 1931, Abdullah’s regime “introduced the most sweeping land reform in the entire subcontinent.” Up to then, almost all of J&K’s arable area of 2.2 million acres was owned by 396 big landlords and 2,347 middling landlords, “who rented to peasants under medieval conditions of exploitation.”36 In the Valley, Kashmiri Pandits, under 5 percent of the Valley’s population, owned over 30 percent of the land. (The Abdullah regime softened the blow for the Pandits by allowing them to retain their fruit orchards and reserved 10 percent of state gov- ernment jobs for them, a share several times the Pandit community’s pro- portion of the J&K population.)37 Between 1950 and 1952, 700,000

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landless peasants in J&K became peasant- proprietors, as over a million acres of expropriated land were transferred to them. The majority of the benefi ciaries were Muslims in the Valley, but one- third were low- caste Hindu cultivators in the Jammu region. By the early 1960s there were 2.8 million smallholding peasant house holds in the state.

The transformation of rural J&K had far- reaching consequences. It ele- vated Abdullah to nearly divine stature among the Kashmir Valley’s peas- antry, a lay addition to the Valley’s pantheon of Sufi saints. Already literally lionized by his followers as Sher- e-Kashmir (The Lion of Kashmir), he now became the Valley’s Baba- e-Qaum (Father of the Nation). In the mid- 1950s Daniel Thorner, a scholar of agrarian affairs, visited the Valley. He found that despite “defects in implementation, many tillers have become landowners and some land has even gone to the landless. The peasantry of the Valley were not long ago fearful and submissive. Nobody who has spent time with Kashmiri villagers will say the same today.”38

The land reforms catalyzed an intense opposition to the Abdullah re- gime in the Hindu- dominated southern districts of the Jammu region. The Praja Parishad had been formed in late 1947 at the initiative of for- mer offi cials in the princely state’s administration based in the city of Jammu, J&K’s second largest city after Srinagar and the state’s winter capital. These elements, smarting at their displacement from power by a new ruling elite of Valley Muslims, began agitating against Abdullah’s regime in 1949. They were joined by upper- caste Hindu landlords dis- possessed by the land reforms. (In contrast to the Valley’s Pandits, there were no sweeteners for Hindu landlords in the Jammu region.) After the dubious J&K Constituent Assembly election pro cess of late 1951, the Praja Parishad launched a campaign of protest meetings, marches, and civil disobedience against the Abdullah regime in the Jammu region’s southern districts that steadily intensifi ed through 1952 and the fi rst half of 1953. The campaign demanded “full integration of Jammu & Kash- mir State with the rest of India like other acceding [princely] States and safeguarding of the legitimate demo cratic rights of the people of Jammu from the communist- dominated and anti- Dogra government of Sheikh Abdullah,” in the words of Balraj Madhok, a leader of the movement who later became the all- India president of India’s Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (forerunner of the BJP; founded in 1951 and renamed in 1980).39 Its rallying cry was “Ek Vidhaan, Ek Nishaan, Ek Pradhaan!” (One Constitution, One Flag, One Premier!) for all of India— a reference to separate constitution- making by the J&K govern- ment, the existence of a J&K state fl ag alongside the Indian national tri- color, and Abdullah’s title of “Prime Minister.”

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Abdullah reacted with a combative speech in April 1952 in Ranbirs- inghpora, a small town named after the second ruler of the princely state on the Jammu district’s border with Pakistan’s Punjab province. In this heartland of Jammu Hindus, he described the demand for full integration— that is, revocation of J&K’s asymmetric autonomy within the Indian Union— as “unrealistic, childish and savoring of lunacy.”40 He asserted that the agitation had backing from not just the Hindu nationalist party but unnamed elements in the Congress party and Union government. The speech was widely reported in the Indian press and deepened the contro- versy. The Delhi talks in the summer of 1952 between Abdullah and Ne- hru were intended by the Indian government to calm things down and to elicit concessions from the J&K government that might dampen the clamor for “full integration” while upholding the asymmetric autonomy framework. That did not happen.

In April 1953 Abdullah appeared to consider compromise with his in- ternal enemies. The basic principles committee of his handpicked J&K Constituent Assembly proposed devolution of power to regions within J&K within the framework of the state’s asymmetric autonomy. In addi- tion to the state legislature, the Kashmir Valley and Jammu regions would each have directly elected assemblies with authority to legislate on speci- fi ed subjects, as well as separate ministerial councils for regional affairs. Ladakh too would have an elected council to exercise local autonomy. It was even proposed to change J&K’s name to “Autonomous Federated Unit of the Republic of India.” The Jammu agitators refused to take the bait and stuck to their “full integration” stance, supported by the spiritual and po liti cal leader of eastern Ladakh’s Tibetan Buddhist community, who disliked the meteoric rise of a Valley- based Sunni Muslim ruling elite and feared the implications of the land reform policy for the Buddhist clergy’s im mense landholdings in eastern Ladakh. Areas of the Jammu region with Kashmiri- speaking Muslim majorities and strong JKNC support— mostly the current districts of Doda, Kishtwar, and Ramban, mountainous tracts contiguous to the southeastern Valley— also refused to be part of an autonomous Hindu- majority Jammu region.

In May 1953 Abdullah switched to confrontation. In that month the internal situation in J&K worsened when Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, a leading Hindu nationalist politician from West Bengal and the found er in 1951 of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, entered J&K in solidarity with the “full integration” agitation and was arrested. He died of apparently natural causes the following month while detained in the Kashmir Valley. In May the JKNC’s apex body, its working committee, appointed a subcommit- tee to examine constitutional options for the future of J&K (and the

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disputed territory of the former princely state as a whole). On 9 June 1953 this subcommittee submitted its report, outlining four possible op- tions, all involving a plebiscite and in de pen dence for part or whole of the disputed territory. The fi rst and recommended option called for a plebi- scite across the entire disputed territory but differed from the UN Secu- rity Council resolutions by suggesting that the population should be given not two but three options: become part of India, part of Pakistan, or an in de pen dent state. Abdullah refused to back down during July 1953 in correspondence with Nehru and India’s education minister, Abul Kalam Azad. Instead, he announced he would convene the JKNC’s work- ing committee and general council in late August to discuss the recom- mendations, and planned to hold a public rally on the issue in the Valley on August 21, coinciding with a Muslim religious celebration.

On August 9, 1953, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was formally dis- missed as prime minister of J&K— by Karan Singh, the 22- year- old son of the last maharaja and the ceremonial head of state, a titular position styled sadr- e-riyasat, acting “in the interest of the people of the state.” Abdullah had already been taken into custody in a predawn raid by state police under the Jammu & Kashmir Public Security Act, a draconian law used until then to persecute his opponents. He would remain incarcer- ated for the next 22 years, until 1975, barring brief spells in 1958, 1964– 1965, and 1968. On August 9 and 10, 33 JKNC leaders— including Afzal Beg, a cabinet minister in the deposed J&K government— were also taken into detention under this Public Security Act. Bakshi Ghulam Mo- hammed, deputy prime minister and home (interior) minister and one of Abdullah’s top lieutenants for two de cades, took over as the prime min- ister of J&K. Of Abdullah’s closest lieutenants, only Afzal Beg and Mau- lana Masoodi remained loyal. Most others— Bakshi Ghulam Moham- med, G. M. Sadiq, and Mir Qasim— became the leaders of a new, New Delhi– sponsored regime in J&K.

On August 10, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed issued his fi rst statement as prime minister, in which he denounced Abdullah as an oppressive leader who had become a tool of (unspecifi ed) foreign conspiracies to undermine J&K’s ties with India. In September 1953 Nehru justifi ed the change of government in J&K on the fl oor of India’s Parliament on the grounds that Abdullah had lost the confi dence of the majority of his cabinet, which consisted— in addition to Abdullah and Afzal Beg— of Bakshi Ghulam Mo- hammed, the Kashmiri Pandit Shyamlal Saraf, and Giridharilal Dogra from Jammu, and by his actions caused “distress to the people.” Nehru was never to offer any reason for Abdullah’s arrest and protracted incarceration. In

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October 1953 large majorities of J&K Constituent Assembly members (60 of 75) and JKNC general council members (90 of 110) ratifi ed the new leadership in specially convened sessions.41

The extraordinary events of August 1953 bore telltale signs of a care- fully planned putsch, instigated by and executed on behalf of the govern- ment in New Delhi. To the Nehru government, Abdullah’s behavior had crossed red lines, and he could no longer be tolerated. The intrigue capital- ized on rifts in the leadership of the JKNC party and its government. For the Hindu members of Abdullah’s cabinet, Shyamlal Saraf and Giridharilal Dogra, allegiance to India was probably the decisive factor. For G.  M. Sadiq, the leading cryptocommunist in the JKNC leadership and speaker (president) of the J&K Constituent Assembly, the changing position of the Soviet Union on the international dispute over Kashmir may have been a factor, as also for D. P. Dhar, the Kashmiri Pandit deputy home (interior) minister in Abdullah’s government and another communist fellow traveler. In 1948 the Soviet propaganda organ New Times hailed Abdullah as the leader of “a progressive and demo cratic mass movement” but condemned the intervention of “Indian reactionaries” in Kashmir. By 1953, after Sta- lin’s death and amid growing Soviet interest in India’s emerging foreign policy posture of “nonalignment” with either superpower bloc, while Paki- stan gravitated toward the United States, the same paper was calling the Kashmir question an “internal affair” of India and decrying “imperialist efforts to turn the Valley into a strategic bridgehead.”42 For Bakshi Gh- ulam Mohammed, personal ambition was probably the motive— the lure of stepping out of Abdullah’s shadow and supplanting him.

The problem was that August 1953 also marked the beginning of bitter feelings of estrangement, arising from regional pride and sentiment, among the population of the Kashmir Valley toward the Indian Union as embod- ied by the Center in New Delhi. For most people in the Valley, Sheikh Abdullah was the hero who led the struggle that had brought them emanci- pation from the princely state’s yoke and the messiah who gave the peasant masses land, dignity, and deliverance from generations of serfdom.

Mir Qasim, a prominent JKNC leader in Anantnag, the southern Val- ley district, joined the putschist group and was immediately made a min- ister in Bakshi’s cabinet. Qasim, who later served as J&K’s chief minister from 1971 to 1975, recalled in his memoirs, published in 1992, that the coup d’état “gave rise to a grim situation and a bitter sense of betrayal in Kashmir. . . . The news spread like wildfi re, giving rise to widespread agi- tations and protest marches. In [the town of] Anantnag, where the news reached a day late, I sat in my [law] chamber for three days, watching wave after wave of protest marches surge past. Some people were killed

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 5 5

in police fi ring.” On August 12, Qasim and G. M. Sadiq left Anantnag for Srinagar with a police escort: “on our way to Srinagar we passed through [the small towns] Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama and saw the people’s angry, rebellious mood.” In Kulgam, crowds gathered at a graveyard were burying people killed in police fi ring. When they saw Qasim with a police escort, they asked him: “So you are also with them?” “In Shopian we faced a graver situation,” Qasim wrote, “here a 20,000- strong crowd menacingly surged towards where we were staying, to attack us.” When they arrived in the capital, “Srinagar was in chaos. Bakshi Saheb’s own house, despite the police guard, was under attack. He was ner vous and wanted to step down as prime minister in favor of Mr Sadiq.”43

Wearing the martyr’s crown, Abdullah would dominate the Valley’s politics in absentia throughout his 22 years in captivity. He was let out on three occasions— for brief periods in 1958 and 1968 and a year in 1964– 1965. His short- lived public appearances invariably triggered mass euphoria in the Valley. Thus on April 18, 1964, according to Indian newspaper accounts, Abdullah “entered Srinagar and was greeted by a delirious crowd of 250,000 people. Srinagar was a blaze of color, and everyone seemed [to be] out on the streets to give Abdullah a hero’s welcome. . . . Addressing a gathering of 150,000 people on 20 April, Abdullah said that in 1947 he had challenged Pakistan’s authority to an- nex Kashmir on grounds of religion, and now he was challenging the In- dian contention that the question had been settled.” In March 1968, “al- most the entire population of Srinagar turned out to greet him” as he arrived in the Valley, the Times of India reported, adding that hundreds of thousands of people were chanting “Sher- e-Kashmir zindabad [long live the Lion of Kashmir], our demand plebiscite.” Days later, addressing 100,000 supporters in Anantnag, south of Srinagar, Abdullah warned that “repression will never suppress the Kashmiri people’s urge to be free.” Indeed, Mir Qasim wrote in his 1992 memoirs that the Jammu & Kashmir Plebiscite Front, an or ga ni za tion formed by Abdullah’s support- ers in 1955, had since its formation “reduced the [offi cial] National Con- ference to a nonentity in Kashmir’s [the Valley’s] politics.”44

Abdullah overplayed his hand in 1953. But his fall from power, engi- neered beyond any reasonable doubt by Nehru’s government, was funda- mentally because he was a mass- based regionalist leader whose stature among his own people and assertive style were at odds with the vision of centralized power and top- down authority in the corridors of offi cial New Delhi.

To put the 1953 (and post- 1953) events in J&K in context, it is impor- tant to remember that in the early 1950s Nehru wanted to renege on

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Congress’s commitment during the struggle for in de pen dence that free India would be constituted as a decentralized union of linguistic states, and he instead pushed the idea of a powerful Center presiding over four “administrative zones” on grounds of “security and stability.” He reluc- tantly climbed down from this agenda in 1953 in the face of pop u lar protest, and from the mid- 1950s the Indian Union gradually formed on the basis of the states’ autonomy, a pro cess largely completed by the late 1960s. But in J&K, the focus of a sovereignty dispute with Pakistan, the “security and stability” perspective prevailed, and a virtual dictatorship of the Center was imposed on the state after 1953.

Six de cades on, India’s politics revolves around powerful regional lead- ers who have a mass base in one state of the Indian Union. But Abdullah was a regionalist leader ahead of his times. In 1951 his J&K government announced a “nation- building” program to bring together the diverse communities of J&K in an offi cial publication released to celebrate its achievements in its fi rst three years in offi ce, particularly land reform. This sort of terminology was bound to raise alarm, if not hackles, in Nehru’s New Delhi.45


The top- down implementation of J&K’s “integration” with India after 1953 was dictated from New Delhi and executed by client governments in Srinagar run by stooge Valley politicians with no legitimacy in the eyes of the Kashmir Valley’s people: Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed from 1953 to 1963, G. M. Sadiq from 1964 to 1971, and Mir Qasim from 1971 to 1975. This pro cess built up a toxic reservoir of anger and discontent in the Valley. This succession of puppets could not have survived in offi ce if Abdullah had been at liberty to lead pop u lar re sis tance, hence his banish- ment from public life for 22 years, of which he spent nearly 20 in prison. The policy of remote control from New Delhi could only be effected by turning J&K— and particularly the Kashmir Valley— into a police state where civil liberties and demo cratic institutions and pro cesses were sys- tematically subverted and destroyed. Thus as the rest of India evolved as a plural and competitive democracy with a substantial degree of auton- omy for its states, the Kashmir Valley became an enclave ruled by crude authoritarianism and repression.

In February 1954 the J&K Constituent Assembly gave its consent, in the absence of a small number of dogged Abdullah loyalists, to a slew of integrative mea sures. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed called it “fulfi lling the formalities of our unbreakable bonds with India.” Speaking in the national

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Parliament, Nehru welcomed the move as “representing the wishes of the people of Kashmir.”46 In May 1954 a constitutional order was issued in the name of the president of India (the titular head of state) that brought J&K within the purview of legislation passed by Parliament on most subjects on the Union List, placed J&K’s fi nancial and fi scal relationship with the Center on the same footing as that of other states, and gave In- dia’s Supreme Court full jurisdiction in J&K. The fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed by the Indian Constitution were also extended to J&K, but with an escape clause: these rights could be suspended at any time by the state government on grounds of “security,” and no judicial appeals against such decisions would be allowed. The 1954 develop- ments were the beginning of the end for J&K’s asymmetric autonomy as enshrined in Article 370 of India’s constitution.

During October– November 1956, the J&K Constituent Assembly was presented with a draft state constitution, which was rapidly approved by 67 of the 75 members. (Of the rest, four were in jail, and another four boycotted the proceedings.) The preamble stated that “the state of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.”47 The state constitution came into effect on January 26, 1957, India’s Republic Day. On January 24, 1957, the UN Security Council passed a resolution reiterating its 1948– 1951 resolutions calling for the sovereignty dispute to be resolved “in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the demo cratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite con- ducted under the auspices of the United Nations” and stated that any ac- tion taken by the J&K Constituent Assembly “would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.”48 But by 1957 the UN’s role in the Kashmir dispute was fading into irrelevance as events in Kashmir unfolded differently.

In May 1954 Pakistan formally entered the United States’ orbit, when an agreement was signed in Karachi providing for American military hardware to be supplied to Pakistan. In September 1954 Pakistan joined the South- East Asia Treaty Or ga ni za tion, and in September 1955 it be- came a member of the Central Treaty Or ga ni za tion, another U.S.- sponsored regional security alliance. Pakistan’s motivation was to fortify itself militarily and strategically against India. The United States wel- comed Pakistan’s cooperation with its overriding strategic priority, “con- tainment” of the Soviet Union. Around the same time, India formalized its stance of “nonalignment” with either superpower bloc.

In response to these developments, the Soviet Union moved closer to neutrality- minded India. In December 1955 the Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin visited India and traveled to Srinagar.

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In Srinagar, Premier Khrushchev said: “the people of Jammu and Kash- mir want to work for the well- being of their beloved country— the Re- public of India. The people of Kashmir do not want to become toys of imperialist powers. This is what some powers are trying to do by sup- porting Pakistan on the so- called Kashmir question. It made us very sad when imperialist powers succeeded in bringing about the partition of India. That Kashmir is one of the States of the Republic of India has al- ready been decided by the people of Kashmir.” Marshal Bulganin referred to Kashmir as “this northern part of India” and discerned that its popu- lation felt “deep joy” in being “part of the Indian people.”49 Fortifi ed by this support, Nehru told Parliament in March 1956 that the plebiscite was “beside the point” and emphasized “Pakistani aggression in Kashmir and the legality of Kashmir’s accession to India.”50 In April he disclosed that a year earlier, in May 1955, he had offered Pakistan’s prime minister a permanent, de jure division of the former princely state along the 1949 Ceasefi re Line. That the offer was made, and summarily rejected, reveals India’s contentment and Pakistan’s grievance with the territorial status quo. In February 1957 the Soviet Union for the fi rst time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir, and would do so regularly thereafter.

Meanwhile, on August 10, 1955, Abdullah’s followers in the Valley, purged from the JKNC, fl oated an opposition or ga ni za tion, the Jammu & Kashmir Plebiscite Front. Afzal Beg, in and out of prison, became its fi rst president, and its other leaders included Maulana Masoodi, who had been removed as the JKNC’s general secretary in 1953 for opposing Abdullah’s ouster and incarceration. As the Plebiscite Front began to mobilize the people, on August 23 the J&K government banned public meetings, “to prevent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Government.” Mass detentions of Plebiscite Front activists followed. In- deed, “between 19 November 1955 and 29 September 1956 four presi- dents of the Plebiscite Front were arrested” one after another.51

In the Kashmir Valley, Bakshi’s 10- year regime became synonymous with, and is remembered for, or ga nized thuggery and blatant election fraud. In 1957 the J&K Constituent Assembly was dissolved and elec- tions were held to form a state legislature. The offi cial JKNC won 69 of its 75 seats. Of the Kashmir Valley’s 43 seats, 35 were won by offi cial candidates without any contest, either because no candidates fi led nomi- nation papers or because all papers other than those of the offi cial candi- dates were ruled invalid. Token contests in the other eight seats pitted offi cial candidates against po liti cally unknown persons. The opposition in the J&K state legislature constituted in 1957 consisted of fi ve Praja

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Parishad members who won from Hindu- majority areas of the Jammu region. The results in state elections in 1962 were a replica of 1957: the offi cial JKNC won 68 of the 74 seats. (The Praja Parishad got three, and three went to in de pen dents, including the chief Buddhist lama of La- dakh.) Of the Valley’s 43 seats, 32 were decided without any contest, and Bakshi and his cabinet colleagues G. M. Sadiq, Mir Qasim, and Khwaja Shamsuddin were all elected unopposed.

The man responsible for deciding whether nomination papers were valid was Abdul Khaleq Malik, a Bakshi henchman, and those blessed by him in this way are remembered even today in the Valley’s po liti cal lore as “Khaleq- made MLAs” (members of the legislative assembly). Nehru wrote to Bakshi after the 1962 state elections: “it would strengthen your position if you lost a few seats to bona fi de opponents.” The farcical situ- ation was of Nehru’s making. When in 1954 an attempt by the Praja So- cialist Party, a leftist all- India party, to open a branch offi ce in Srinagar was thwarted by Bakshi’s thugs, Nehru’s reaction was to accuse the Praja Socialist Party of “joining hands with the enemies of the country.” Ac- cording to a Jammu- based activist who met Nehru in Delhi to request that pro- Abdullah elements be allowed some po liti cal space to operate as an opposition in the Valley, Nehru agreed that Bakshi was an unsavory character but “argued that India’s case [on Kashmir] now revolved around him and so . . . Bakshi’s government had to be strengthened.” The activist recalls Nehru saying that the Valley’s politics “revolved around personalities” and there was “no material for democracy there.”52

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed outlived his usefulness to his masters in New Delhi after a de cade as J&K’s “prime minister,” during which time he came to personify a regime hated in the Valley. In late 1963 an attempt was made to dilute the embarrassment and the anger, and he was com- pelled to step down. But he managed to stave off the New Delhi– backed prime ministerial candidacy of G. M. Sadiq, his rival within the ruling clique, with whom he had been locked in confl ict since 1957, after failing to appoint anyone from the Sadiq faction to cabinet posts after the 1957 state elections. Bakshi was replaced as prime minister by one of his more obscure cabinet colleagues, Khwaja Shamsuddin, who lasted four months in the offi ce, from October 1963 to February 1964.

Winters tend to be relatively quiet in the Kashmir Valley because of the biting cold weather and frequent snowbound conditions. But the winter of 1963– 1964 saw the Valley explode in pop u lar protest.

The unrest was sparked by the mysterious disappearance of the holy hair of the Prophet Mohammad from Srinagar’s Hazratbal shrine in late

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December 1963. The vanished relic reappeared just as mysteriously a week later, but in the meantime the Valley had been convulsed by agita- tion and protest. It was an eruption of mass fury against the government of India and its local proxies, who were suspected by the public of malfea- sance or negligence in the relic affair. The release of pent- up resentment of over a de cade of repression generated an uprising that surpassed the Quit Kashmir movement of 1946 and would itself be surpassed for intensity a quarter century later, in the winter of 1989– 1990, when an uprising- cum- insurgency against Indian authority would engulf the Valley.

The few leaders of pop u lar standing not in prison, notably Maulana Masoodi and Ghulam Mohiuddin Karra, who had been the chief of the Srinagar city or ga ni za tion of the JKNC in the 1940s before falling out with Sheikh Abdullah, had a diffi cult time controlling and calming the people. Yet

Masoodi and Karra warned against violence. . . . Both did wonderful work pacifying excited Muslim crowds during the critical days, when a small mis- take could have soaked the Valley in blood. But for Masoodi [a se nior cleric], authentication of the restored relic would have been impossible and placed the Indian authorities in tremendous diffi culty. Karra’s speeches, characterized by balance and caution, produced a moderating infl uence. . . . In a mass meeting at Zadibal [a quarter of Srinagar inhabited by the Valley’s Shia minority] he advised Kashmiris that while denouncing Hindu commu- nalism in India they should not overlook the atrocities of Muslim fanatics in East Pakistan [a reference to early 1964 riots targeting the Hindu minority of East Pakistan].53

The intelligence reports from the Valley were most alarming, and the outpouring of rage unnerved at least some in New Delhi’s offi cialdom as well as destabilizing the proxy regime in the Valley. The inept Shamsud- din was replaced in late February 1964 as prime minister of J&K by G. M. Sadiq, and a decision was made by the Sadiq government and its handlers in New Delhi to take the calculated risk of releasing Sheikh Abdullah in order to calm down the people. This was the context of Abdullah’s release and triumphant return to Srinagar in April 1964. In late April he went to Delhi to meet Nehru, who was ailing and died weeks later, on May 27, 1964. In May he was allowed to go to Pakistan to meet with the Pakistani military dictator, Ayub Khan. The steadfast loyalists Beg and Masoodi accompanied Abdullah to both Delhi and Pakistan.

The “Srinagar Spring” dissipated within months. The Indian govern- ment was worried and alarmed by Abdullah’s defi ant rhetoric on “self- determination” and the mass response this evoked in the Valley. Over a

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de cade in prison seemed to have steeled rather than broken his resolve. The Sadiq government, packed with Sadiq loyalists like Mir Qasim and D. P. Dhar, came under pressure not just from the Kashmiri street, domi- nated by Abdullah, but from the deposed Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, who tried to or ga nize a no- confi dence motion against Sadiq in the state legislature with Abdullah’s tacit support. In September 1964 Bakshi was arrested under the Defense of India Rules— a draconian law inherited from the British Raj, who used it liberally against Indian freedom fi ghters— and sent to the same prison in the Jammu region where Abdullah had been consigned 11 years earlier. (Bakshi was released after a few months on health grounds.) Then, in the winter of 1964– 1965, the most drastic epi- sode yet of J&K’s “integration” into India unfolded.

In December 1964 India’s home (interior) minister announced in Par- liament that the Center had decided to bring J&K under the purview of Articles 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution. These articles empower the Center to dismiss elected state governments if it determines that there has been a breakdown of governance in the state and to assume the state government’s legislative mandate (President’s Rule), respectively. They are the most antifederal features of India’s Constitution and would gain par tic u lar infamy during the 1980s, when Indira and Rajiv Gandhi’s gov- ernments sought to topple demo cratically elected state governments run by regionalist opposition parties. In March 1965, the Center’s powers of control and intervention were consolidated in J&K when the J&K As- sembly passed an amendment to the state constitution replacing the post of sadr- e-riyasat, the nominal head of state elected by the state legisla- ture, with a governor appointed by New Delhi, as in other Indian states. Another amendment changed the title of J&K’s head of government from “prime minister” to “chief minister,” as in other Indian states. This round of “integration” effectively marked the end of the asymmetric au- tonomy given to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution.

The most breathtaking “integrative” development occurred in January 1965. On January 3 the working committee of the JKNC, meaning the ruling Sadiq group, with Mir Qasim the party general secretary, an- nounced that it would dissolve its identity and become the state branch of the Congress party. The Congress’s working committee, the party’s highest body, accepted the decision with alacrity, suggesting a carefully choreographed plan.

The “people of the Valley reacted with unpre ce dented anger,” and their “protests were again suppressed with brute force and large- scale arrests.” In mid- January Abdullah delivered a vitriolic speech to a mammoth rally at the Hazratbal shrine calling on the people to resist the imposition of

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Articles 356 and 357 and reject the absurd and insulting attempt to eradicate the identity of Kashmir’s historic regionalist po liti cal move- ment. “Violence and arson took place in some parts of Srinagar,” particu- larly targeting shops and businesses owned by Pandits and other Hindus, as soon as crowds dispersed after the meeting. By March, mass arrests of Plebiscite Front leaders and activists were taking place, and in May 1965 Abdullah himself was arrested under the Defense of India Rules on his return from a tour abroad.54

The turmoil in the Valley encouraged the Pakistani military to launch a large- scale cross– Ceasefi re Line infi ltration in August 1965, with the aim of instigating a general uprising in the Valley. The several thousand armed men who crossed the Ceasefi re Line into the Valley were a mix of Pakistani professional soldiers and volunteers from the “non- Kashmiri speaking AJK [“Azad” Jammu and Kashmir] territories” under Pakistan’s control since the late 1940s. Such an invasion had been in preparation ever since October– November 1962, when the Indian army had suffered a demoralizing military defeat in a border war with China, an emerging ally of Pakistan. Pakistan had ceded to China a remote and barren moun- tainous tract of its part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kash- mir, bordering China’s Xinjiang province, in 1963. The planners of the 1965 operation “had taken for granted the fullest cooperation of the lo- cal Muslims but this was not forthcoming, at any rate not on the ex- pected huge scale.” The operation failed due to the paucity of local sup- port and a hard fi ght- back by the initially surprised Indian army. This was the fi rst of two Pakistani incursions into the Indian side of the former princely state. The second came in 1999 when Pakistani military units crossed the Line of Control (as the Ceasefi re Line had been renamed in 1972), in an operation initially undetected by the Indians, and seized ridges and peaks in the remote Kargil district of Ladakh. It was a counter- productive attempt to spark an international crisis that would force India into negotiations and concessions on Kashmir. As later in 1999, when the Pakistani move elicited broad international condemnation as reckless and rife with dangers of escalation between nuclear- armed adversaries, the 1965 operation not only fl opped but boomeranged on Pakistan when the Indian government decided to broaden the confl ict to the India- Pakistan international border, triggering a 22- day inconclusive war in September 1965. Pakistan’s chronic revisionism vis-à- vis the Ceasefi re Line/Line of Control has remained frustrated to this day.

The lesson of 1965 was that the Kashmir Valley’s Muslims, however aggrieved with India, were not going to take the bait offered by Pakistan. Though embittered, they were also “reluctant to bring about change

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 6 3

through warfare and bloodshed.”55 That would change a quarter century later, in the early 1990s, when many thousands from a new generation of the Valley’s young men took up arms, with Pakistan’s material support, against Indian authority, and a brutal cycle of violence ensued that in- fl icted enormous suffering and trauma on the Valley’s people and society for over a de cade and a half.

In June 1966 Jaya Prakash Narayan, an anticolonial freedom fi ghter and veteran socialist leader, wrote a confi dential letter to India’s new prime minister, Indira Gandhi. (A de cade later, in the mid- 1970s, the aged Nara- yan would play an important role in mobilizing opposition, notably among youth, to her autocratic policies and especially her infamous 19- month Emergency.) In the 1966 letter Narayan wrote: “we profess democracy, but rule by force in Kashmir. . . . We profess secularism, but let Hindu nation- alism stampede us into trying to establish it by repression. Kashmir has distorted India’s image in the world as nothing has done. . . . That problem exists not because Pakistan wants to grab Kashmir, but because there is deep and widespread po liti cal discontent among the people.”56

But in the Kashmir Valley, it was back to the pathetic “politics as usual” by then. In elections to the state legislature in 1967, the majority of seats, 39 of 75, were fi lled without any contest. Congress candidates, meaning nominees of the ruling Sadiq- Mir Qasim group, which had meta- morphosed into the Pradesh (State) Congress of J&K, were “elected unop- posed” in over half, 22, of the Valley’s 42 constituencies. One of these vic- tors was Shamsuddin, formerly prime minister of J&K for four shambolic months in 1963– 1964, who was declared elected unopposed from the town of Anantnag after the papers fi led by fi ve other candidates were re- jected as invalid. In all, 118 candidates were disqualifi ed from contesting, nearly half, 55, on the grounds that they had failed to take the compulsory oath of allegiance to India and the rest with no reason given. The Congress won a four- fi fths majority in the state legislature— 60 of the 75 seats.

The 1967 national and state elections in India were the country’s most competitive after in de pen dence: the hegemonic Congress party saw its parliamentary majority sharply reduced and suffered outright defeats or serious reverses in state elections across northern, eastern, and southern India to an assortment of opposition parties, almost all of which were explicitly or effectively regionalist in character. As noted earlier, these elections were an important juncture in India’s gradual evolution as a robust multiparty and semifederal democracy. In J&K, the dreary farce of rigged elections continued. For the fi rst time, following the integrative mea sures enacted in 1965, the state elected six members to the Lok

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2 6 4 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

Sabha (three from the Valley, two from the Jammu region, and one from Ladakh). Congress won fi ve of these six seats, two uncontested: Anant- nag, in the southern Valley, and Ladakh. In the Jammu region, where Congress won both constituencies, opposition parties of all- India orienta- tion, the leftist Praja Socialist Party and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jan Sangh, “severely criticized electoral irregularities.” The abuses com- mon to both sets of polls in J&K, state and national, included “large- scale rejection of nomination papers, arrests of [opposition] polling agents, ad- vance distribution of ballot papers to Congress workers, absence of op- position agents at time of counting, and rampant use of offi cial machin- ery to the advantage of the ruling party.”57

The only opposition candidate to win election to India’s Parliament in 1967 from J&K was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, who stood from the Srinagar constituency. His platform was regional patriotism. In par tic u- lar, he claimed to be running in order to save the identity of the Valley’s historic po liti cal movement, the JKNC, now that his rival faction had forsaken that identity and been absorbed into Congress as a provincial unit. A commentator on state politics from the city of Jammu remembers being told in Srinagar by offi cials sent from New Delhi to “supervise” the elections in J&K— mainly operatives of intelligence agencies— that their instructions were that “Bakshi had to be defeated in the national interest.”58 Their efforts failed. It is probable that “Bakshi Ghulam Mo- hammed would not have won a free election at any point during his ten years in offi ce.”59 But now the groundswell of support for Bakshi the re- gional patriot was so strong that he managed to win from Srinagar. Al- ways the joker in the pack of Valley politicians, Bakshi lived up to his chameleon and turncoat reputation until his death in 1972. In March 1971 he sought reelection to the Lok Sabha from Srinagar as a Congress candidate. This was the national election that saw the rise of Indira Gan- dhi as the dominant fi gure in India’s politics on a left- populist platform. Her party won a resounding majority in the Lok Sabha and fi ve of the six constituencies in J&K. The exception was Srinagar, a congested capital city where outright rigging is more diffi cult than in the Valley’s district towns and rural areas. Here Bakshi, the regime- sponsored candidate, was heavily defeated by a journalist known to be a Plebiscite Front sympa- thizer who stood as an in de pen dent.

In December 1970 the Plebiscite Front announced that it would put forward candidates in the Lok Sabha election imminent in March 1971 and the state election due in 1972. The decision had been in the offi ng. In 1969 Plebiscite Front candidates had run for local bodies in the Valley, albeit not under the Plebiscite Front’s name, and swept the polls. Mir

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 6 5

Qasim, who had just taken over as J&K’s Congress chief minister on his mentor Sadiq’s death, was aghast at the prospect of Plebiscite Front par- ticipation in the national and state elections. As he wrote in his memoirs, “if the elections were free and fair, the victory of the Front was a fore- gone conclusion” in the Valley. Indira Gandhi was also displeased at the prospect. Speaking in the city of Jammu on December 23, 1970, she was unequivocal that attempts to enter the Lok Sabha or the J&K legislature with the intent of “wrecking the Constitution” would not be tolerated. Asked by journalists how this could be prevented, she replied: “Ways will be found.”60

On January 8, 1971, “externment orders” were served on the se nior Plebiscite Front leaders Afzal Beg and Ghulam Mohammad (G. M.) Shah, Abdullah’s son- in- law, requiring them to leave J&K. During the night of January 8– 9, “at least 350 offi cials and members of the Front were ar- rested under the [Jammu & Kashmir] Preventive Detention Act in a series of police raids.” On January 12 the Center declared the Plebiscite Front illegal under the India- wide Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, as it had “on diverse occasions by words, either spoken or written, and signs and visual repre sen ta tions . . . asserted a claim to determine whether or not Jammu and Kashmir will remain part of India.”61 In the state elections of 1972, the ruling Congress party got 57 of the 75 seats in the J&K Assem- bly. For the fi rst time, the Kashmir Valley wing of the Jama’at- i-Islami (Islamic Rally), a fundamentalist movement that has wings in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir, elected fi ve Assembly members from Valley constituencies, apparently after an under- standing with Qasim that they would help oppose the Plebiscite Front.

In 1968 Sheikh Abdullah said: “the fact remains that Indian democracy stops short at Pathankot [the last town in India’s Punjab before the Jammu region]. Between Pathankot and the Banihal [a mountain pass linking the Jammu region with the Valley] you may have some mea sure of democracy, but beyond Banihal there is none. What we have in [the] Kashmir [Valley] bears some of the worst characteristics of colonial rule.”62 Indeed, the rela- tionship between the Kashmir Valley and the Indian Union was utterly poisoned by the policy of force and fraud deployed between 1953 and 1975. The toxic legacy of that period provided the backdrop to the out- break of a protracted insurgency in the Valley in 1990.

The Return of Sheikh Abdullah

When Sheikh Abdullah fi nally made his peace, in 1975, with those in power in New Delhi, it was on New Delhi’s terms. In November 1974 his

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2 6 6 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

faithful associate Afzal Beg and a se nior bureaucrat representing the gov- ernment of India inked a short agreement subsequently known as the “Delhi accord” and sometimes as the “Indira- Abdullah accord.” It as- serted that “the State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India.” But there was no restoration in substantive terms of the asymmetric autonomy enshrined in Article 370. Instead, the agreement specifi ed that “provisions of the Constitution of India already applied to the State of Jammu and Kashmir without adaptation or modifi cation are unalterable.” This meant that al- most all of the 28 “integrative” constitutional orders issued from New Delhi and the 262 Union laws made applicable to the state between 1953 and the mid- 1970s would stand. The only concession the Center made was minor:

With a view to assuring freedom to the State of Jammu and Kashmir to have its own legislation on matters like welfare mea sures, cultural matters, social security, personal law and procedural laws, in a manner suited to the special conditions in the State [a coy reference to its Muslim- majority popu- lation, unique among India’s states], it is agreed that the State Government can review laws made by Parliament or extended to the State after 1953 on any matter relatable to the Concurrent List [subject to the joint jurisdiction of the Center and the states] and may decide which of them, in its opinion, needs amendment or repeal. Thereafter appropriate steps may be taken un- der Article 254 of the Constitution of India. The grant of President’s assent to any such legislation [passed by the J&K Assembly] would be sympatheti- cally considered.

A committee was later set up to examine this matter; its recommenda- tions were never made public.

The Delhi accord was especially careful to protect “the appointment, powers, functions, duties, immunities and privileges of the Governor” of J&K, an appointee of New Delhi since 1965. It specifi ed that “no law made by the Legislature of the State of Jammu and Kashmir seeking to make any change” in the Governor’s role and prerogatives “shall take effect” without the assent of the president of India (effectively, the Cen- ter). Abdullah formally accepted the agreement in February 1975, after unsuccessfully holding out for the restoration of the “prime minister” ti- tle to J&K’s head of government, and its contents were then made public by Indira Gandhi. Abdullah was then reinstated as the state’s chief minis- ter, after Mir Qasim stepped down. In March both houses of India’s Parliament approved the Delhi accord; the only opposition came from Hindu nationalists, then a small presence in Parliament, who demanded

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Figure 8. Sheikh Abdullah addresses a public meeting in Srinagar, Kashmir Valley (1975). POPPERFOTO / GETTY IMAGES.

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2 6 8 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

the abrogation of Article 370 and objected to “appeasement” of the sepa- ratist Abdullah. After returning to the Valley, Abdullah dissolved the Plebiscite Front formed in 1955 and resumed leadership, after 22 years, of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference. (The two men who had usurped the JKNC mantle in 1953, Bakshi and Sadiq, were dead, and Qasim, a Congress leader since 1965, faded into po liti cal oblivion.)63

This turn of events in 1975 signaled Abdullah’s abandonment of the “self- determination” platform he had upheld for over two de cades. He never again spoke using the rhetoric he used in the 1950s and 1960s. He may have calculated that after India’s historic victory in the Decem- ber 1971 India- Pakistan war and the breakup of Pakistan with the for- mation of Bangladesh, the strategic balance in the subcontinent had shifted so decisively in India’s favor that it made sense to conclude a rap- prochement with New Delhi. It is also possible that he was worn down by advancing age— he turned 70 in 1975— and by two de cades of incar- ceration. (He had a major heart attack in 1977 and died in 1982.) He was faced with the prospect of dying in jail or in enforced exile from his homeland, the Kashmir Valley.

Abdullah returned to the Valley amid massive acclaim and celebration. The ordinary people of the Valley were delighted to have their “Lion” back, not just free but in charge, as the long era of the jackals fi nally came to an end. His stature was so commanding that any regime headed by him was guaranteed to have wide legitimacy in the Valley. When he died in September 1982, having dominated the Valley’s politics for 50 years, his funeral pro cession was gigantic. It may have been the largest funeral pro cession ever seen for a po liti cal leader in India and the sub- continent, although the Valley is not particularly populous nor Srinagar a very large city by Indian and subcontinental standards.

Under the surface, however, things were not hunky- dory in the Valley after Abdullah’s return. In 1995 I interviewed Abdul Qayyum Zargar, who as secretary to Afzal Beg in 1975 had had inside knowledge of the Delhi accord’s making and aftermath. He was living in his hometown, Doda, and was now middle- aged. Doda, which is nestled amid rugged mountains in the northeastern part of the Jammu region, close to the southeastern part of the Valley, is inhabited predominantly by Kashmiri- speaking Muslims, who are about 80 percent of its population. (The rest are Hindu.) The district of Doda was at the time J&K’s largest in area— 11,500 square kilometers— and had a population consisting of 57 percent Muslims, mostly Kashmiri- speakers like the Valley’s majority population, and 43 percent Hindus. The district has since been trifur- cated for administrative con ve nience (into Doda, Kishtwar, and Ramban

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 6 9

districts). At the time of this interview, the undivided Doda district was in the grip of a brutal cycle of insurgency and counterinsurgency that pitted armed militants, mainly locals with a sprinkling of Pakistani radicals, against the Indian army and paramilitary police forces, with the horror all the more stark in the picturesque setting of nature. And in the Valley, lacerated by violence since 1990, Sheikh Abdullah’s grave, near Srinagar’s Hazratbal shrine, was under guard by Indian paramilitary police to pre- vent its desecration by a young generation of angry militants who had come to see him as a sellout to “India.”

Zargar recalled that at the time, 20 years earlier, the terms of the 1975 accord had caused consternation and resentment among Plebiscite Front/ National Conference activists across the Valley and other strongholds like the Jammu region’s Doda- Kishtwar zone. Many activists saw the agree- ment as not an honorable compromise they could live with but abject ca- pitulation by their leader, an unconditional surrender rather than a negoti- ated truce. It took tremendous persuasion, according to Zargar, to convince the disgruntled rank and fi le not to openly oppose the agreement. The ap- peal to them was couched in sentimental terms: they should fall in line because Sheikh Saheb’s (Respected Sheikh’s) personal prestige was at stake, and he had suffered so much for the awaam (people). While this was largely effective, not everyone was persuaded. A signifi cant number of po- liti cally minded younger men who had been born after 1947, grown up through the oppressive 1950s and 1960s, and come of age in the 1970s, charted an alternative path to keep the call for “self- determination” alive. One was Shabir Shah, who cofounded the People’s League, a group based in the southern half of the Valley (with some infl uence in Doda) and paid the price by spending 20 years in jail until late 1994. Some of these men, joined by an even younger generation of men born in the 1960s who were radicalized during the second half of the 1980s, emerged as leaders of the Valley’s insurgency in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Sheikh Abdullah of 1975– 1982 was a lion in winter and, in retro- spect, the 1975 deal was a way station en route to the armed struggle for azaadi (freedom) that convulsed the Valley in the 1990s. But for some time— up to 1984— the po liti cal rehabilitation of Abdullah and by exten- sion of the regional base he represented resulted in a fragile stability in the Valley.

Once state elections were held in 1977, after the nationwide Emer- gency imposed by Indira Gandhi in June 1975 ended, the JKNC won a clear majority in the J&K legislature, 47 of the 76 seats. This majority was built on their overwhelming victory in the Kashmir Valley, where their candidates won in 40 of the 42 constituencies. (The other two seats

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2 7 0 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

went to a short- lived J&K branch of the Janata Party that had defeated Congress in the post- Emergency national election. In the Valley this was led by Maulana Masoodi, who had become estranged from Abdullah.) In the Jammu region (32 seats), Congress and the Janata Party won 11 con- stituencies each, and the JKNC came third, with seven wins. The State Assembly elected in 1977 was J&K’s fi rst ever legislature that was sub- stantially representative of its people and diverse communities, and the government formed by Abdullah was the fi rst in a quarter century with any legitimacy in the Valley.

In 1981 Sheikh Abdullah anointed his eldest son, Farooq Abdullah, a doctor and po liti cal novice, as his successor. This was in the already well- established, if deeply problematic, tradition of hereditary succession and po liti cal dynasties in the subcontinent. In June 1983 Farooq led the JKNC to its second consecutive victory in state elections. As in 1977, the JKNC won 47 of the 76 seats in the J&K Assembly: 38 of 42 constituencies in the Valley, 8 of 32 in the Jammu region, and one of the two in Ladakh. Congress emerged as a large opposition, with 26 seats in the new house— 23 from the Jammu region, two in the Valley, and one in Ladakh. It seemed that at last a “normal” polity was taking root in J&K, a popu- larly elected government with a majority mandate facing a strong opposi- tion. The fact that the party in government was a regional party specifi c to the state and the main opposition a national party (indeed, the national party) with a base across India also constituted a healthy balance between the Kashmir Valley’s autonomist regionalism and the nationally oriented perspective favored by the majority of the Jammu region’s electorate.

Countdown to Insurgency

The promise was subverted within a year by ruthless intervention from the Center. Prior to J&K’s June 1983 state elections, Farooq Abdullah had angered Indira Gandhi by opening channels with opposition parties in power in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and the eastern state of West Bengal. In West Bengal the Left Front, led by the CPM, had ousted Congress from power in June 1977. In January 1983 Indira had been badly jolted when Congress was routed in state elections in Andhra Pradesh by the fl edgling regional party the Telugu Desam, led by N. T. Rama Rao. At the same time Congress had been defeated in Karnataka, like Andhra a Congress bastion, by the regional incarnation of the Janata Party whose implosion into factions in 1979 had enabled Indira Gandhi’s return to power in New Delhi in the midterm national election three years earlier. After winning the J&K state elections, Farooq

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 7 1

enraged Indira Gandhi further by participating in opposition “conclaves” with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Karnataka that were intended to build a coordinated anti- Congress front in national elections due in late 1984. As the chief minister of a state government run by a regional party he led, Farooq Abdullah had much in common with the opposition chief ministers of these states and their regionalist parties, above all a tense relationship with the Congress- ruled Center. (The par- ties in power in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were explicitly regional- ist or state specifi c, while in West Bengal the CPM, nominally a national party, had grown and eventually won power essentially as a state- specifi c alternative to Congress.)

For J&K’s demo cratic integration with the Indian Union, Farooq’s initiative to come out of the insular cocoon of the Kashmir Valley and play a role in all- India politics was a very positive development. But In- dira Gandhi saw this behavior as hostile provocation. In the national elections of 1977 and 1980, Congress and JKNC had run candidates as de facto allies in J&K, sharing out the state’s six Lok Sabha constituen- cies. This refl ected an implicit element of the 1975 pact that had restored an emasculated Sheikh Abdullah to offi ce in J&K: an agreement that the JKNC would not be party to challenges to Congress’s nationwide pri- macy. Now his son had broken that understanding.

In the J&K state elections of June 1983, Indira Gandhi campaigned energetically in the Jammu region, appealing to Jammu Hindus’ long- held resentment of the greater po liti cal importance of the Kashmir Valley. The campaign yielded rich dividends for Congress in the Jammu region, and by early 1984 it was becoming clear that she had used the J&K state elections as a laboratory to test an India- wide strategy she was develop- ing for the national election due in late 1984. This strategy involved ap- pealing to Hindu majoritarian sentiment to support her party and gov- ernment’s defense of “national unity and integrity” against assorted “separatist” ethnic and ethnoreligious tendencies: in the northeastern state of Assam, among Sikhs in Punjab, and among Kashmiri Muslims in J&K— rather implausibly, given Farooq and his father’s commitment to the Indian Union.

In June 1984, with the national election a few months away, Indira escalated her anti-“separatist” strategy by sending the Indian army into Sikhism’s holiest site, the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, to evict a group of armed radical Sikhs in a bloody battle, sparking a chain of events that worsened the Punjab crisis and fed a Sikh insurgency there through the early 1990s. In the same month, Farooq Abdullah’s govern- ment, barely a year into its six- year term, was dismissed by yet another

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2 7 2 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

intervention from the Center: 12 of the 47 JKNC legislators defected and formed a new J&K government with the support of the Congress contin- gent in the state legislature. All 12, mainly back- benchers, became minis- ters in the new government. Ghulam Mohammad (G. M.) Shah, Sheikh Abdullah’s son- in- law and a former Plebiscite Front leader, who had nursed ambitions of inheriting the sheikh’s po liti cal mantle, became the chief minister.

The chief executor of this putsch was J&K’s New Delhi- appointed governor, Jagmohan. He had earned Indira Gandhi’s trust— and public notoriety— a de cade earlier when he had served as a controversial admin- istrator in Delhi during the Emergency of 1975– 1977. He was dispatched as governor to J&K three months before the putsch, after the previous governor apparently refused to connive in Congress’s unconstitutional and antidemo cratic conspiracies. Once installed, Jagmohan dismissed Farooq Abdullah, denied him the opportunity to try and prove his ma- jority on the fl oor of the legislature, and rejected his appeal for fresh elections.

It was a surreal replay of 1953, with Indira Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, Jagmohan, and G. M. Shah playing the roles of Jawaharlal Nehru, Sheikh Abdullah, Karan Singh, and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, respectively. As in 1953, furious protests erupted in Srinagar and across the Valley. These were suppressed by detachments of the CRPF, whose personnel were air- lifted into Srinagar the night before the coup. (Nearly three de cades later, the CRPF still discharges the thankless task, along with the J&K police, of maintaining order in Srinagar and other Valley towns.) In August 1984 exactly the same modus operandi was used in the failed coup to topple N. T. Rama Rao’s recently elected Telugu Desam Party govern- ment in Andhra Pradesh. In 1985 Farooq Abdullah wrote that the plot to depose his government was “hatched in 1 Safdarjang Road, New Delhi,” the prime minister’s residence, and “directed by Mrs Gandhi.”64

The developments of 1984 marked the beginning of the end of the fragile stability that had prevailed in the Valley for nearly a de cade. The outrageous removal of a government with pop u lar legitimacy and its re- placement by a motley collection of opportunist stooges, along with the use of repression to put down protests, touched an all- too- familiar chord with the Valley population’s experience of New Delhi’s shenanigans and rekindled their simmering rebellious streak, particularly among students and youth. There was already anger in the Valley, especially among the young, at the Union government’s hanging, on 11 February 1984, of the pro– Kashmir in de pen dence militant Maqbool Butt (1938– 1984). Origi- nally from a village in the Valley’s northern Kupwara district close to the

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 7 3

Line of Control, he was executed in Delhi’s Tihar prison for having alleg- edly killed a policeman during a bank robbery in 1976.

In the national sympathy wave after Indira Gandhi was assassinated, when Congress won its highest ever proportion of the Lok Sabha, its landslide victory stopped at the Banihal Pass. All three parliamentary constituencies in the Valley elected pro- Farooq candidates with huge ma- jorities. (As recounted earlier, Congress’s landslide was also defi ed in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Assam.)

G. M. Shah’s tenure as chief minister was a farcical episode even by J&K’s standards. He earned the sobriquet “curfew chief minister” be- cause of the high frequency of curfews imposed in the Valley to prevent protest demonstrations during his 20 months in offi ce. Indeed, the Valley was under curfew orders for 72 of his fi rst 90 days as chief minister. His lame- duck reign came to a pathetic end in March 1986 when localized violence against members of the minority Pandit community occurred around a town south of Srinagar and his government was dismissed by the Center under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, citing a break- down of law and order in the state. J&K was then brought under direct central rule, which meant that Governor Jagmohan became the state’s de facto ruler.

Farooq Abdullah, a po liti cal greenhorn known for his impulsive temper- ament, committed po liti cal hara- kiri in November 1986 when he reached an understanding with the government in New Delhi. In a fresh twist to the po liti cal circus going on since 1984, he was reinstated as J&K’s chief minister pending new state elections, which were fi xed for March 1987. In return, he agreed to run in those elections in alliance with the Con- gress party, led by Rajiv Gandhi, which at the time looked unassailable in India’s politics. Under the deal’s terms, the JKNC would fi eld candidates in only 45 of J&K’s 76 constituencies, mostly in the Valley, while Con- gress would contest the other 31 seats, mostly in the Jammu region.

Farooq justifi ed his volte- face as a hard po liti cal reality he had “come to accept”: “if I want to implement programs to fi ght poverty and run a government, I will have to stay on the right side of the Center.”65 This logic was seen in the Valley as abject surrender to New Delhi’s bullying and evoked nearly universal scorn. By deciding to capitulate to Rajiv Gandhi’s party and government in return for his restoration to offi ce, Farooq abandoned the platform of regional pride and patriotism that was the lifeblood of the JKNC’s mass appeal in the Valley. He simply did not have the stature and authority that had enabled his father to paper over a similar capitulation to Indira Gandhi in 1975. When Farooq

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turned this page on his defi ance of New Delhi, he lost own ership of the Valley’s deeply rooted and overwhelmingly pop u lar po liti cal tradition of standing up for regional identity and rights. That fi eld was now open to others to fi ll. There was also a related problem. The JKNC and Congress had won 73 of the 76 seats in the J&K Assembly in the mid- 1983 state elections (47 and 26, respectively.) With the former governing and op- position parties now in the same camp, a yawning void opened up in the opposition space. Jammu & Kashmir’s demo cratic development had been crippled since the early 1950s by the (forced) absence of a legal and institutionalized opposition, with the partial exception of the 1977– 1984 interlude, and the Rajiv- Farooq accord threatened to bring about the re- vival of this fundamentally antidemo cratic feature of the state’s politics.

The winter of 1986– 1987 saw an extraordinary demo cratic mobiliza- tion in the Kashmir Valley, as a broad and heterogeneous spectrum of individuals and groups came together to build a regionalist opposition force to contest the March 1987 state elections. This co ali tion came to be popularly known as the Muslim United Front. As a mainstream Indian news magazine published from Delhi observed during the campaign, the Muslim United Front was an improvised “ad hoc bloc” of various reli- gious, civil society, and po liti cal groups “with no real unifying ideology.” One element was the fundamentalist Jama’at- i-Islami, which had a small pop u lar base but good or ga ni za tion; another was the J&K People’s Con- ference, a regional party with a base in the Valley’s northern Kupwara district, formed in 1978 by Abdul Ghani Lone, a very nonfundamentalist politician who had begun his career in the Congress party. (Lone, a “self- determination” advocate from 1990, was badly beaten by Indian para- military police during a demonstration in the early 1990s and repeatedly jailed, and was shot dead at a public meeting in Srinagar in 2002 by pro- Pakistan gunmen who viewed him as too moderate.) Another infl uential Muslim United Front fi gure was Qazi Nissar, the charismatic mirwaiz (high priest) of the southern half of the Valley. He was arrested by the Indian government after insurgency engulfed the Valley and jailed from 1990 to 1992. In 1994 he was shot dead in his home near the town of Anantnag by gunmen from a pro- Pakistan armed group, Hizb- ul Muja- hideen (Party of Holy Warriors), a close affi liate of Jama’at- i-Islami, after he publicly criticized them for a spate of murders they had committed of pro– Kashmir in de pen dence activists.

The Delhi- based magazine noted that the Muslim United Front’s base was as diverse as its leaders, comprising “educated youth, illiterate working- class people, and farmers who express anger with the Abdullahs’ family rule, government corruption, and lack of economic development.”

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 7 5

It observed that “the Valley is sharply divided between the party machine that brings out the traditional vote for the JKNC and hundreds of thou- sands who have entered politics as participants for the fi rst time under the umbrella provided by the MUF.” One of the 12 JKNC legislators who defected in 1984, a Pandit woman who in late 1991 was kidnapped by a group of insurgents and held captive for 45 days, says in her memoirs that in early 1987 there was a “wave” in favor of the Muslim United Front in the Valley. The movement’s grassroots campaign was exception- ally energetic because it attracted an army of youthful volunteers, young men born during the 1960s.66

On March 23, 1987, the Valley went to the polls. The same Indian magazine reported “rigging and strong- arm tactics all over the Valley,” “massive booth- capturing [forcible takeover of polling stations] by gangs,” and “entire ballot boxes pre- stamped in favor of JKNC,” while numerous citizens were “simply not allowed to vote.” The bureaucracy administering the polls “worked blatantly in favor of the JKNC- Congress alliance,” and “the police refused to listen to any complaint.” Once count- ing began, a pattern emerged of supervising offi cials “stopping the count- ing as soon as they saw opposition candidates taking a lead.”67 It was another episode of J&K’s hallowed history since 1951 of farcical elec- tions. The JKNC- Congress alliance took an overwhelming majority in the state legislature: 66 of the 76 seats. (The JKNC won 40 of the 45 constituencies it contested and Congress 26 of 31.) Muslim United Front candidates won in just four constituencies, including the towns of Anant- nag and Sopore, although according to the offi cial results the opposition alliance got one- third of the statewide vote (which meant that its offi cial vote in the Valley was much higher than one- third). The Muslim United Front won no constituencies in Srinagar. One of its defeated candidates was Mohammad Yusuf Shah, a Jam’aat- i-Islami member who stood from Amira Kadal, the downtown Srinagar constituency covering the Lal Chowk and Maisuma areas. (This was Shah’s third foray into electoral politics; he had also contested state polls in 1977 and 1983.) One of his chief campaigners was Mohammad Yasin Malik, a previously apo liti cal young man in his twenties from a typical working- class family in the Maisuma neighborhood.

A familiar cycle of repression and punishment followed the elections. Shah and Malik were among the hundreds and possibly thousands of op- position activists picked up in mass arrests across the Valley as the elec- tion concluded. Most of those arrested were kept in prison until late 1987 or early 1988, and many were tortured in custody. In May 1989 Malik, by then a leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, which

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2 7 6 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

would launch an insurgency for an in de pen dent state in the second half of 1989, spoke to the same Indian magazine in a Srinagar location. He said he had recently returned from across the Line of Control, with weapons and training, along with Ashfaq Majid Wani, another Muslim United Front volunteer who had been arrested and tortured in 1987. Wani (born 1967), the son of an upper- middle- class Srinagar family, was killed in late March 1990 during a Srinagar encounter with Indian forces when a gre- nade he was priming to throw exploded in his hand. His funeral attracted 500,000 mourners who defi ed curfew orders.

Malik (born 1966), who was captured in August 1990, survived the un- derground life, years of incarceration over the next two de cades, and assas- sination attempts by the pro- Pakistan Hizb- ul Mujahideen. In mid- 1989 he recalled his imprisonment in 1987: “they called me a Pakistani bastard. I told them I wanted my rights, my vote was stolen. I am not pro- Pakistan but have lost faith in India.” Yusuf Shah spoke to another Indian magazine in the autumn of 1992. By then he was the commander of Hizb- ul Mujahi- deen, operating under the nom de guerre Syed Salahuddin. He said he had taken up the gun because experience had convinced him that “slaves have no vote in the so- called demo cratic set- up of India.”68

The most likely scenario had there been a free and fair election in 1987 was that the Muslim United Front would have won most of the constitu- encies in the Kashmir Valley and a few in the Jammu region and emerged as a large opposition in the J&K legislature, holding at least 30 of the 76 seats. The Muslim United Front’s unity might not have lasted, given its ad hoc character and heterogeneous composition. Instead the second Fa- rooq Abdullah government, with no legitimacy in the eyes of the bulk of the Valley’s people, took offi ce, and the Valley sank into a morass of frus- tration and radicalization. In June 1988 protests against a hike in the elec- tricity tariff were fi red on by police in Srinagar, and people were killed. In late July 1988 the fi rst Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front bomb at- tacks occurred in the city. General strikes and “black days” were observed across the Valley in 1988 and 1989 on India’s In de pen dence Day (August 15), Republic Day (January 26), the anniversaries of the 1931 Srinagar protests and the 1947 arrival of Indian troops in the Valley (July 13 and October 27), and the anniversary of the 1984 execution of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Maqbool Butt (February 11).

In August 1989 the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front’s small band of underground militants began a campaign of targeted killings of mem- bers of the po liti cal establishment and men working as employees and agents of the extensive surveillance and intelligence- gathering apparatus

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 7 7

in the Valley. The fi rst victim was Mohammad Yusuf Halwai, a JKNC offi cial in Srinagar who had been prominent in rigging the 1987 election in the city. He was shot dead by masked gunmen on a downtown street. On the same day, “many shops in Srinagar were closed in protest against the opening of a session of the State Assembly and police clashed in some districts with rock- throwing crowds.”69 Over the next six months, these targeted killings claimed the lives of about 100 men, approximately three- fourths of whom were Muslims and the rest Kashmiri Pandits.

In late November 1989 India’s ninth national election after in de pen- dence was held. This was the watershed election in India’s evolution as a democracy that marked the end of over four de cades of single- party dominance and ushered in the regionalization of India’s polity of the next two de cades. In the Kashmir Valley, the election was a decisive point in the people’s estrangement from the Indian Union. Almost nobody voted. In Srinagar the JKNC candidate was “elected unopposed,” as no other candidates fi led nomination papers. In the other two parliamentary con- stituencies, Baramulla and Anantnag, the JKNC candidates won with 94 percent and 98 percent of the votes polled. The turnout in both constitu- encies was 5 percent of the electorate, partly achieved through stuffi ng of ballot boxes at selected polling stations. (Turnout was also abnormally low, at 39 percent, in one of the Jammu region’s two Lok Sabha constitu- encies, the result of a negligible turnout among the Kashmiri- speaking Muslims of the Doda- Kishtwar zone.) The Kashmir Times, a respected daily newspaper in the state published from the city of Jammu, editorial- ized: “let the image of Indian democracy not be tarnished further in Kashmir.”70

In the second half of January 1990, mass demonstrations demanding azaadi (freedom) from India broke out across the Kashmir Valley. Hun- dreds of thousands took to the streets in Srinagar, and tens of thousands marched in other towns like Baramulla, Sopore, and Anantnag. Farooq Abdullah’s government was then dismissed from the Center under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, citing a breakdown of law and order in the state.


I have recounted elsewhere the brutal and complicated saga of the war in J&K as it has evolved over the two de cades since 1990.71 In recent years, the story has also been told by writers who are from the Kashmir Valley, notably Basharat Peer, as a mix of autobiographical reminiscence and reportage, and Mirza Waheed, in the form of documentary fi ction.72

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According to offi cial statistics, 43,460 people were killed in violence in J&K between January 1990 and April 2011. The large majority of these deaths occurred in the Kashmir Valley. Nearly half the victims, 21,323, are classifi ed as “militants” (i.e. insurgents). Another 5,369 were mem- bers of the security forces: the Indian army, the CRPF and the Border Security Force, and the J&K police. The rest, 16,868, are classifi ed as “civilians,” of whom 13,226 are said to have been killed by militants and 3,642 by security forces.

Groups in the Kashmir Valley advocating “self- determination” com- monly cite a death toll of civilians and insurgents combined of 80,000– 100,000 over the same period. This may be implausibly high, but the offi cial fi gures and their categorized breakdown of deaths also deserve scrutiny and skepticism. They do not include, for example, the “disap- peared”: persons taken away during the confl ict, mostly by security forces, and never seen again. This number is somewhere between the low and high four digits. It is also unlikely that all of the 21,000- plus dead classi- fi ed as “militants” were in fact insurgents. Anecdotal and circumstantial evidence suggests that a portion of these are civilians passed off as mili- tants. And the breakdown of civilian fatalities is suspect; the number killed by militants is probably substantially infl ated and the number killed by security forces substantially defl ated. Yet even if the offi cial fi g- ures are taken at face value, it is clear that at a minimum, apart from “the 4,000 or so jawans [soldiers] of the Army, BSF [Border Security Force] and CRPF and 5,000- odd mehmaan mujahideen [guest fi ghters] from Pakistan, 34,000 Kashmiri men and women” met violent deaths between 1990 and 2011.73 The count of 34,000 is almost certainly an underesti- mate, and the probable actual fi gure is somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000, the vast majority in the Kashmir Valley.

Some elements of the offi cial statistics are very revealing of the trajec- tory of the armed confl ict. Thus the security forces killed 539 civilians in 1990, the year insurgency took off in the Kashmir Valley. Most of these civilians were agitated but unarmed people who marched in the huge azaadi demonstrations that year in Srinagar and other Valley towns and were gunned down in the hundreds by CRPF and Border Security Force personnel, all men from outside the state, who were as unnerved as they were enraged by an entire society in the throes of uprising. During 1991, 844 insurgents were killed in fi ghting with the security forces, of whom 842 were residents of J&K and who were overwhelmingly natives of the Valley, evidence of the wildfi re spread of armed struggle in the Valley af- ter the repression and atrocities of 1990. Among the dead militants were 72 young men who were intercepted and eliminated by Indian army

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 7 9

troops on the Line of Control on a single day in May 1991 while return- ing from Pakistan’s “Azad” Kashmir with weapons and training, at the start of the summer infi ltration and fi ghting season.

A de cade later, 1,612 militants were slain across the state in 2000. The majority were locals native to J&K and mostly the Valley. But a sizable mi- nority were Pakistani religious radicals who belonged to groups who were closely linked to the Pakistani military’s Directorate for Inter- Services Intel- ligence and who began to infi ltrate across the Line of Control in the mid- 1990s to fi ght in the Valley and open new theaters of war in the Jammu re- gion, especially the Rajouri and Poonch districts abutting the Line of Control. Led and dominated by radicalized locals during the fi rst half of the 1990s, the insurgency mutated over the de cade into a protracted war in which Pakistani religious zealots assumed a major role. By late 2002, 15,937 insurgents had died in confrontations with security forces since 1990. The deaths of “only” 5,386 militants in the next eight and a half years, until April 2011, reveals the steady waning of the insurgency in the course of the fi rst de cade of the twenty- fi rst century, with a steep downward graph of incidents and fatalities starting in 2004, when the regime of Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan curbed support for the Kashmir “jehad.” Despite the intrusion of Pakistani radicals that escalated from the mid- 1990s, over the period 1990– 2011 fewer than a quarter of the militants killed in combat were not natives of the Indian state of J&K; these outsiders were over- whelmingly Pakistanis, most from that country’s Punjab province. This fact reveals the extent of anger toward Indian authority among the majority of the state’s population, above all in the Kashmir Valley.

Between 1989 and 2002, 55,538 incidents of violence arising from the armed confl ict were offi cially recorded in the war zones of J&K, the large majority in the Kashmir Valley.74 While statistics such as these give an insight into the intensity of the violence that gripped the Valley after 1990, the magnitude of the trauma that percolates through the Valley’s society is not readily quantifi able. Hundreds of “martyrs’ graveyards” dot the Valley’s towns and villages, the resting place of militant and civil- ian fatalities alike. Alongside the dead are the living relics of counterin- surgency: the survivors of torture. Starting in 1990, “interrogation cen- ters” run by the paramilitary police and the army sprang up in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley. Most of those who had the misfortune of being inmates of such facilities were detained in “crackdowns”— roundups in which the entire male population of a mohalla (urban neigh- borhood) or village was screened and suspects, often identifi ed by masked mukhbirs (informers) accompanying the troops, taken away. Many never returned. Many others did, but commonly in a broken state (mentally,

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2 8 0 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

physically, or both). The peak of the “excesses”— offi cial jargon for sum- mary executions, torture, and other violations— occurred during the peak of the insurgency (1990– 1995), but serious abuses continued on a relatively diminished scale thereafter. In the second half of 1990 the gov- ernment of India declared the Valley a “disturbed area” and subject to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which is descended from a law that the British had used in 1942– 1943 to crush the Quit India move- ment launched by Indian freedom fi ghters and that Nehru’s government fi rst used in the late 1950s against rebellious tribes of the Naga people on the India- Myanmar border. These “emergency” regulations remain in force more than two de cades later.

While loved ones in many families in the Valley have been killed in the violence or have suffered serious traumas such as torture during deten- tion, many others have not. Yet even those fortunate to be spared a major familial tragedy have not escaped the harshness of counterinsurgency. During the fi rst half of the 1990s the Valley was saturated with paramili- tary and army forces, and checkpoints were common. Srinagar became a “bunker city,” as almost every street had a bunker manned by paramili- tary police, and the other major Valley towns were the same. (Between 1990 and 1993 the central market squares of the capital and other towns— Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and equivalents in Sopore and Handwara in the northern Valley, Bijbehara in the southern Valley, and Doda in the Jammu region— were severely damaged by paramilitary personnel, mainly from the Border Security Force, who ran amok after being targeted by militants, and scores of civilians were killed in these incidents.) New army camps appeared across the rural areas of the Valley after the insurgency began. The result was a suffocating, prison- like atmosphere in which citi- zens regardless of age, gender, or po liti cal orientation have been subject to petty humiliation and abuse at checkpoints, at camps, and at the hands of ubiquitous roving patrols. Since the mid- 1990s the oppressive atmosphere has gradually eased, but the essentials remain in place.

The Legacies

One legacy of this experience is the bitter resentment toward Indian au- thority that is widespread, almost pervasive, in the Valley’s society. It is important to realize that this resentment is not a post- 1990 development, though it has certainly deepened and sharpened since then. It dates back to 1953 and has been transmitted from generation to generation over six de cades. The rage of the stone- pelters has a long lineage in the Valley’s collective consciousness.

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 8 1

There are two other signifi cant legacies of the violence that over- whelmed the Valley in the 1990s. The fi rst is profound disillusionment with the “gun culture” introduced into the Valley by militancy. This disil- lusionment became manifest by the mid- 1990s, as the mass enthusiasm of the fi rst years of the azaadi uprising dissipated. Once the initial eupho- ria wore off, the Valley’s people came to the (literally) painful realization that freedom, understood by most as in de pen dence, was not around the corner and the price of waging armed struggle was relentless repression and suffering with no end in sight. In the early 1990s it was fashionable to become a “freedom fi ghter,” and droves of angry young men enlisted in a variety of militant tanzeems (groups) that sprouted across the Valley. This fi rst phase also saw the exodus from the Valley, in controversial cir- cumstances, of the bulk of the Pandit community, who numbered ap- proximately 140,000 when the insurgency began. About 100,000 Pan- dits left the Valley for Jammu and Delhi in the space of a few weeks in February– March 1990. From 1990 to 1992, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front dominated the insurgency, and its ideology of in de pen- dence, however far- fetched, had mass resonance among the people. From 1993 on, however, the Kashmiri armed group Hizb- ul Mujahideen, who were backed by Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence, gained ascendancy in the insurgency, and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front faded away by the mid- 1990s. The attempt by Hizb- ul Mujahideen to impose their own understanding of azaadi, represented by the slogan “Kashmir Banega Pakistan” (Kashmir Will Be Part of Pakistan), on the Valley’s people by means of the killing and intimidation of other guerrilla groups and civilians caused the insurgency to lose pop u lar appeal and triggered a backlash: some members of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and other armed groups changed sides and joined the Indian counterinsur- gency campaign as auxiliaries, seeking protection, vengeance, or profi t (or all three). In the second half of the 1990s a brutal civil war was fought between Hizb- ul Mujahideen cadres and these pro- India armed groups made up of surrendered insurgents.

In 1999 the insurgency in the Valley entered a new phase. Pakistani religious radicals, especially those belonging to the Lashkar- e-Taiba (Army of the Pious) assumed center stage and carried out scores of frontal assaults by two- man fi dayeen (daredev il) teams, effectively sui- cide squads, against army and paramilitary camps, police stations, and other offi cial installations. The fi dayeen campaign, which peaked in 2001 and gradually fell off after 2003, caused problems for the coun- terinsurgency forces but was always a Pakistani rather than Kashmiri initiative. Some residents of the Valley harbored and helped the

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2 8 2 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

Pakistani militants who came across the Line of Control, and the Lashkar- e-Taiba and a smaller jehadi group, Jaish- e-Mohammad (Army of the Prophet), recruited a small number of young Kashmiri men as cadres. But the role and participation of Valley people remained mar- ginal in the campaign waged by these organizations, led by Pakistanis and headquartered in Pakistan.

The other legacy is disenchantment with Pakistan. During the second half of the 1980s, as the Valley festered with discontent, it was common for people to hold a positive view of Pakistan. In the fi rst years of the insurgency, most people in the Valley saw Pakistan as a friendly big brother and strategic ally in their struggle. This started to change from 1993, once the Hizb- ul Mujahideen gained dominance in the insurgency and tried to take over the movement by using terror against fellow Kash- miris. The Hizb- ul Mujahideen’s rise was due to vigorous sponsorship by Inter- Services Intelligence handlers, who simultaneously worked to un- dermine and weaken the proin de pen dence Jammu and Kashmir Libera- tion Front. A large- scale reaction gradually grew in the Valley against heavy- handed and malign Pakistani interventions executed through local agents. The shambolic failure of demo cratization in Pakistan through the 1990s and Pervez Musharraf’s Kargil misadventure in 1999 increased Kashmiris’ skepticism.

Over the past de cade, Pakistan’s crisis- ridden existence has rendered it unappealing to the Valley’s people. Pakistan’s dire economic situation and prospects, its unstable civil- military relationship, and above all the blowback from the radical Islamists nurtured by the Pakistani military and Inter- Services Intelligence to push its interests in Af ghan i stan and Kashmir have made Pakistan’s stocks in the Valley plummet to an all- time low. In the autumn of 2009, a polling agency conducted an extensive opinion survey on both sides of the Line of Control on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a London think tank. This broadly cred- ible survey found overwhelming support for the idea of in de pen dence in the Kashmir Valley, ranging from 75– 95 percent in various districts. It also reported the percentage of Valley residents who wish to be part of Pakistan to be in the low single digits.75

The Kashmir Valley’s relationship with the po liti cal institutions of J&K is complex. In 1996 the government in New Delhi deemed the in- surgency suffi ciently contained that elections to constitute a new state legislature and government could be held. These elections, which re- stored the JKNC and Farooq Abdullah to offi ce, saw generally low turn- out in the Valley and were marred by security forces coercing people to vote in rural areas. But there was some genuine participation by voters

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 8 3

who felt that the restoration of a semblance of civilian government might dilute the oppressive weight of military and paramilitary forces on their lives. In state elections in 2002, turnout was again generally low albeit uneven, ranging from moderate to very low across Valley constituencies, a result of complicated local factors and dynamics. Forced voting occurred again in some rural areas, on a lesser scale than in 1996, and some fraud was perpetrated by JKNC members. But the 2002 state elections also saw some genuine participation in the Valley, mainly due to the emer- gence of a new regional party, the People’s Demo cratic Party, committed to India but with a “propeople” stance on human rights and the aspira- tion to autonomy or “self- rule.” (The PDP was formed in the late 1990s by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, formerly a Congress leader in the southern part of the Valley since the 1960s.)

In both 1996 and 2002, election boycott calls given by po liti cal groups seeking “self- determination,” reinforced by militant violence, achieved considerable impact in the Valley but were not totally effective. State elections in November– December 2008 saw moderate to high voter turn- out in most parts of the Valley, with the notable exception of the city of Srinagar, where a boycott call prevailed. The regional parties the JKNC and the People’s Demo cratic Party were the two main contestants, with Congress playing an also- ran role. There was almost no forced voting. The turnout was counterintuitive because a few months earlier, in July– August 2008, the Valley had seen the fi rst mass demonstrations against Indian rule since 1994, even as militant violence declined to negligible levels. As Lashkar- e-Taiba launched its infamous terror attack in Mum- bai in late November 2008, executed by 10 Pakistanis who had arrived by a sea route from Karachi, people in the Kashmir Valley were preoc- cupied with voting.

The Valley has learned to combine pragmatic electoral participation with a dogged attachment to the cause of azaadi. Its politics is overwhelm- ingly dominated by regional forces, in which establishment parties like the JKNC— now led by Sheikh Abdullah’s grandson, Omar Abdullah— and the People’s Demo cratic Party exist alongside a spectrum of po liti cal fac- tions that advocate “self- determination.” The stone- throwing uprising of 2010 sparked by the death of the teenager Tufail Mattoo revealed that the Achilles’ heel of India’s democracy remains as volatile as ever. The sim- mering anger in the Valley was accentuated in February 2013 by the hanging in Delhi’s Tihar prison of Afzal Guru, a Valley native convicted of being an accomplice to a terrorist attack by Pakistani religious radi- cals, in December 2001, on the building where India’s Parliament sits in New Delhi.

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Figure 9. The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, on fi re after a terrorist attack (November 2008). AFP / GETTY IMAGES.

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T H E K A S H M I R Q U E S T I O N 2 8 5

The Future

Despite the tortured history and uncomfortable present of their relation- ship, the Kashmir Valley will have to live with the Indian Union, and the Indian Union will have to live with the Kashmir Valley.

A key driver of their uneasy coexistence is likely to be economic. For de cades the Valley’s traditional shawl and handicrafts trade has depended on the Indian market— customers in cities across India— and the Valley’s tourism industry, comatose for many years from 1990, has revived since the decline of insurgency; its main clientele consists, as before, of masses of visitors from all over India. There is an additional factor peculiar to the early twenty- fi rst century. Six de cades ago the Kashmir Valley’s popu- lation was overwhelmingly comprised of peasants newly emancipated from generations of serfdom. Now, as in India as a whole, there is a large and growing urbanized middle class, not just in Srinagar but in middle- sized and small towns across the Valley. The sons and daughters of the post- 1990 generation— avid users of Facebook and Twitter, like their peers across the world— subscribe as strongly as their grandparents and parents to a Kashmiri identity, many males are experienced stone- pelters, and the vast majority will tell any opinion pollster that their preferred resolution to the Kashmir question is in de pen dence. Yet many aspire to higher education, professional training and careers outside the insular and often claustrophobic confi nes of the Kashmir Valley— in “India,” where options “from air hostess to aerospace engineer” exist.76

The po liti cal relationship between the Indian Union and the Kashmir Valley is likely to remain unsettled for the foreseeable future. The Kash- mir question in its totality has multiple dimensions: the India- Pakistan dispute, the cross– Line of Control aspect relating to the two parts of the divided former princely state, the internal tensions in the Indian state of J&K between the Valley and Hindus in the Jammu region, and the frac- tured and fractious politics of the Valley itself. All of these dimensions have an impact on the relationship between the Valley and the Union.

Moreover, the Kashmir question— meaning above all the “problem” of the Valley, the Union’s most troublesome region, where “separatist” sen- timent is deeply rooted and widespread— is a very sensitive issue in In- dia’s politics and diffi cult and risky for any po liti cal leadership in New Delhi to engage. The only Indian po liti cal leader of the post- 1989 era who showed fl ashes of vision and initiative on the issue is Atal Behari Vajpayee, the moderate Hindu nationalist who was India’s prime minister from 1998 to 2004. There is also a military command and a civilian bu- reaucratic establishment which sees the issue purely as a matter of national

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2 8 6 T R A N S F O R M I N G I N D I A

defense and security narrowly defi ned and is protective of the status quo, even if that status quo is fundamentally unstable and volatile.

It is noteworthy, nonetheless, that the real damage to the relationship between the Valley and the Union was infl icted from New Delhi between 1953 and 1989, i.e., in a now bygone era in which one party (and one po- liti cal dynasty) dominated India’s politics and an overweening Center lorded it or at least held the upper hand over states. In India’s evolution as a demo cratic federation of regional (state- based) polities in the early twenty- fi rst century, there is a glimmer of possibility of a positive recon- struction of the Valley- Union relationship. Any such reconstruction would require both sides to modify dogmatic positions and go beyond formulaic proposals. Were the glimmer of possibility to be acted on, it will attenuate the Achilles’ heel of the world’s largest democracy, and help India’s emer- gence on the global stage.

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