Kashmir needs referendum to determine the future of Kashmiris!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Kashmir is one of the most unsettled and therefore most dangerous region on earth where every day some persons are either missing or killed by brutal means.
Over years of joint occupation of Jammu Kashmir by India, Pakistan and China, life conditions of Kashmiris have been changed and personal opinions have been divided now. While the ruling parties in JK like PDP and NC would anytime like to regain sovereignty of Kashmir as it used to be before it was conquered and added to India, Pakistan and China under fictitious pretexts. At times these parties have displayed their priority for sovereignty when there was acute tension with New Delhi but they never made any steps to cede from Indian Union.
Pakistan has added a region of erstwhile Jammu Kashmir into its official territory and has also created Azad Kashmir it got from India by war. Maybe, with feeble hope for peace and in order to end confrontation, India has given some parts of upper Kashmir. But Pakistani seems to be pressing for more of Kashmir, including Srinagar to close the “file”. India unofficially refuses to oblige Pakistan, saying it has developed affinity to Kashmir for many reasons but above all, Kashmir geographically has become the crown and head of India.
It appears both India and Pakistan keep terrorizing the Kashmiris, sandwiched between the two nuclear powers by intermittent cross border firings and fighting. Their bitter rivalry has caused over 100000 innocent Muslim lives in Kashmir valley – now literally a land of secret graveyards. Many young and old people are still missing from their localities of Kashmir and there is no news about their whereabouts.
Then there are so-called separatists who want make Jammu Kashmir an integral part of Pakistan, of which Islamabad offers full support. They do not want Jammu or Ladakh regions.
Also there are freedom fighters who want their Kashmir back in full.
Perhaps, there could be more groups demand Kashmir in some other ways.
In order to clear the political scene of people of former Jammu Kashmir which is now scattered in Jammu Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Kashmir inside Pakistan and Kashmir inside China beyond doubts, referendum should be conducted in all these regions, simultaneously by the UN or some important and credible international agency under UN authority. .
The referendum should ascertain responses on three optional points. The people should say if
- They want to be where they are now 2. They want to regain sovereignty from the occupation powers, viz India, Pakistan and China, 3. They wanting go to Azad Kashmir (Pakistan) or Jammu Kashmir (India). Of course no Kashmiri would prefer to go to China as China had not taken Kashmiris into confidence when it almost bought a part of Kashmir from Pakistan (Azad Kashmir)
- It needs to be mentioned that both India and Ka Pakistan obtained nukes by using the Kashmir issue and now Kashmir has become a flash point in the South Asian region, routinely harming peace and tranquility of the region. Interestingly, neither India nor Pakistan is interested in resolving the Kashmir issue even when their bilateral relations have been badly strained.
- UNSC, discredited by its veto system, has not taken any serious steps to end the crisis in South Asia. Big powers searching for arms customers routinely ask India and Pakistan, for formality sake, to settle the issue” amicably”. Nothing comes out all these drams when peole are being murdered by India’s most powerful military in the region.
- The earlier the referendum is administered much better for Kashmiris and the region.