Bring people of Jammu and Kashmir in to Indian mainstream

MANGALURU: Panellists at a discussion on ‘Kashmir: A Peep into the future’ at Mangaluru Lit Fest on underscored the need to ‘mainstream’ people of Jammu and Kashmir with India. Noting that local psyche, especially in Kashmir is already alienated against India thanks to subtle machinations of Inter-Services Public Relations, media wing of Pakistan’s Armed Forces, they stressed the need to back the people of the valley through an outreach mode.

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retired), strategic analyst said, “We have only heard about the ISI and not the ISPR from Pakistan that is propagating anti- India narrative to media.” India is in dire need to counter ISPR media game in the international arena. Internet connectivity which is now assumed to be a human right is prime problem in the valley. Incidents of 2008, 2010 and 2016 were due to mobile internet to mobilize information against the state, he said.

Academician M D Nalapat said it pays to foment dissent in Jammu and Kashmir. “More trouble you make in Kashmir, more you fight the Indian state, more you get richer rewards,” he said. It is profitable to be stridently anti-Indian in Kashmir. Mahatma Gandhi did not endorse a two-nation theory. Treating people differently which started after the August 15, 1947 based on their religion is the root cause for all the problems that one sees today, he said.

Waeil Ahmad, journalist of Syrian origin viewing the problem as an outside said, “People of Kashmir are victim of separation. Every political party has always said that Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India.” The government post abrogation of Article 370 should gain trust of the people. Integration of the valley into the rest of India can be done through giving them an assurance about them being a part of our progressive democracy, he said.

Nalapat said India must be smart on its strategic choices going ahead and having a strong security alliance with USA, Afghanistan and Iran, including having oil trade with them should help encircle Pakistan strategically. Lt Gen Hasnaian (retired) said India needs to be on top of the game for ideological war from across the border. Ahmad said a survey that he carried out in Kashmir indicated that the Kashmiris wanted to be an integral part of India.


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Updated: December 2, 2019 — 2:56 am

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