Article first published as Kashmiri Protesters Set 5 Conditions to End 3 Month Long Agitations on Technorati.
Indian Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh’s drive to create an atmosphere that the India is worried about Kashmiri youth and it is going to engage those youth with number of employment opportunities, seems did not attract much attention of agitating masses of the Kashmir valley. The agitations are still continuing with even more determination. Indian forces are alleged committing rapes on Kashmiri women and killing innocent people in a bid to suppress the agitation with force. The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir is becoming more and more helpless with increasing anger and attacking mood of the protesting people.
For the first time after the protests began 3 months back on June 11, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, branded as hardliner among the constituents of the Hurriyat Conference laid down 5 conditions to end their continuous protests and challenged Indian government and even international community to prove their sincerity and commitment to resolve Kashmir dispute. He alleged Indian government is playing again the card of engaging Kashmir people with political but doing nothing practically. The 5 conditions put forward by the Kashmir agitation are like this:
1. The India’s Central Government should agree that Jammu and Kashmir issue as an international dispute.
2. The government should declare and initiate the process of evacuating all sorts of security forces from the region and the process of demilitarization should be monitored by a credible international agency like the UNO.
3. The Prime Minister of India should make a public statement and ensure that no killings and no arrests would take place henceforth in the region. The Centre must also discipline the troops and order them to stop humiliating people and destroying public and private property.
4. The government must immediately and unconditionally release all the youths and political prisoners, and withdraw cases against youths pending in courts for the last two decades. The list of 44 political prisoners include Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, Aasiya Andrabi, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Mohammad Qasim and several key separatist leaders.
5. The process of punishing the perpetrators of state violence has to begin with the conviction of troops responsible for the recent 65 killings, and has to be followed by convicting all those responsible for war crimes in Jammu and Kashmir.
The conditions put by Geelani are so tough and practically impossible for the Indian government to agree from the perspective of the government. Ever since the dispute began with the arrest of Kashmiris’ beloved leader Shaik Abdullah the grandfather of the present Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, India maintained that Kashmir has been and will be the integral part of India. It never agreed the Kashmir dispute as an international dispute on any platform and whenever Pakistan tried to make so India protested strongly against it. Even Pakistan could not succeed in its attempts to make it an issue on international platforms. India also didn’t agree any third party to mediate between India and Kashmir for the resolution of the dispute and India always maintained Kashmir as its internal matter. So the first condition itself a brick wall for any deliberations to be initiated at least.
In the background of some of the state forces participating in protests, India would not agree to withdraw its forces from the region. It is quite astonishing that the agitating people are demanding stoppage of destruction of public and private properties. Normally agitating masses would be destroying properties during protest marches and it would be security forces that would try to obstruct such destructions. But here, the roles are reversed. There is no question of releasing Afzal Guru as that would encourage the main opposition party the BJP to gain from troubled waters. With these conditions irrespective of whether they are legitimate or not, Indian government will not come forward to sit for talks.