COME BACK AND LEAD A NORMAL LIFE,
A Dream of Mother before Shutting Her Eyes.
The surrender policy for militants, who had crossed over to the PoK for arms training, has give vent to a ray of hope across the Loc’s, as it seems to be a safe passage of Kashmiri youth based in PoK to come back and lead a normal life. The Rehabilitation of "Returning” Militants has to prove truth dully intentions, excerpts and analysis Irfan Quraishi.
While Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s new surrender policy has evoked divergent views in the state. There is no doubt that the Jammu and Kashmir has been the victim of unending and unmindful political game plans over the years. But in the recent times the styles of the political local leadership has been taking worrying new face lifts. But the subject that Omar Abdullah has touched does not fall in the scope of simple political solutions. Rather in the case of the Kashmiri youth under training in POK / Pakistan the need would be more for a socio political approach. If not taken this way, such like half thought proposals would only contribute to further ballooning of the confusions and doubts.
The chief ministers recommendation to the center for the formulation of a new surrender policy for the youth in PoK, who were willing to return to the mainstream but do not want to come back with weapons were appreciated by everybody from the grass root level in Jammu and Kashmir. Even The Congress-PDP government, headed by former Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammed syed, had strongly favored giving a safe passage to the “misguided’’ youth to return to their homes. Also, it formed part of a recommendation made by one of the five working groups, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to address various dimensions of Kashmir problem. No doubt some parties like BJP believes that such policy would further promote gun culture in the state, but the ground reality in Kashmir is that this initiative of formulation of rehabilitation and surrender policy will normalize the situation in valley.
“All misguided Kashmiri youths stranded in the PoK are looking for a narrow escape, but are helpless and can’t do anything, hence remain unmoved and are compelled to wait”, said Farooq Ahmad, brother of one of youth in POK.
Certainly, it is a political demand and if the persons holed up in training camps wish to come back, they can be permitted. Mr. Omar Abdullah’s plan to encourage more militants to return to the State and manage their transition to civilian life, a new surrender and rehabilitation policy of militants is under active consideration of his government. Significantly, the Centre is looking at the issue as an “important political demand’’ raised by Omar Abdullah that could have far reaching impact on the psyche of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. But this consideration and dialogue needs to formulate and executive soon so that the families of youth based in POK will be rehabilitated from the decades of agony.
Begum Zamrooda, an 80 years elderly woman residing in the frontier district of Baramulla, some 60 kms. from capital city Srinagar has three sons among the two sons namely Nazir and shabir have crossed over to the PoK for arms training in some nineties. Some 20 years has passed, she has a grim picture of their faces in her mind but still she lives by hope that some day they will come and she love them as ever.
“I am very happy and can’t express my emotions. I pray to God that the day would come soon when this formula will turn into reality. This is a dream of mother before falling to death. I wish to see my sons’ in-front of me once at all”, said zamrooda Begum, mother of one in POK.
Like Begum Zamrooda, scores of mothers have painful heart to narrate their agony. There is a need of broader contours of the package to facilitate their return to their homes. No doubt the government has to answer to some of the contentious issues such as how to differentiate between those having committed heinous crimes and the ones with clean record but this all can be easily worked out tactfully in consultations with the State Government and the security agencies, if the duo government is really looking for normalcy in Kashmir conflict zone.
The process to frame guidelines should be started earlier as possible. It is likely that the centre should work out comprehensive package for those choosing to return to their homeland. Apart from providing safe package, it is also likely to include incentives for their rehabilitation. All these aspects should be properly addressed in a wholesome manner.
According to some statics available, about four years ago, the Army had taken a piece-meal initiative and till June 2007, nearly 170 had surrendered on the Line of Control before this scheme had to be abandoned during the PDP Congress led rule in the state. This reveals the psyche of youth in PoK that they want to come back to their homeland to lead a normal life. According to official estimates there are about 800 Kashmiri natives holed up in PoK training camps whereas the unofficial figures put the number anywhere between 1500 and 2000.
Apart from those having gone there for armed training, there are hundreds of persons who had crossed the LOC for economic and social reasons. These categories are also likely to figure while dealing with the general amnesty issue. Indo-Pak peace process and confidence building measure (CBM) is popular phrase since 2004, but what about the Kashmir where actually base has to be constructed. The policy of rehabilitation for youth based in POK will make wonders in the conflict zone if it will be executed rightly and sincerely.
“When I was in PoK, I was fed up with my life, many times I thought of committing suicide, but I couldn’t make it and finally in the end one day I shared my irony with my family on phone and decided to come back home. Hence my father, Abdul Aziz, consult some army official for my surrender on the line of control. My father was asked to fix a date when army will receive me on line of control. Hence the day came and I got successful to come back home. After some days I was released to open air to begin my life again within my family and my own people”, said Inayatullah Qazi, a misguided Kashmiri youth who was based in PoK.
He added, “I can feel and imagine that the boys based in PoK camps are looking for narrow escape but they are helpless and can’t do anything whether that to wait”.
Unfortunate political system in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is such that most of parties have given vent to regional dividend on the consent of surrender policy. These political parties should try to understand the ground reality and the positive impact of its implementations. This is not a policy to promote gun culture that would demoralize the security forces while this is an attempt to lead peace to the broken hearts and a spray of normalcy to the turmoil of decades.
“India claiming Kashmir as an integral part, but after sixty years India couldn't rehabilitate the Kashmiri in the heart of Indian nation. For decades the ordinary Kashmiri had been a suspect whether than the member of Indian family. This is the real time for India to compensate the hearts of common Kashmiri who is waiting for his loved ones caught across LOC. India must address the people because operations alone can’t win. Win the hearts of people. Feel the pain of Kashmir’s to make them secure. Unless India bridges the gap of trust, faith, honor and security, Kashmir is at heaven’s distance”, said a senior political analyst.
But on the other hand the second face of the coin has put forth other issues, if such policy of surrender plan is shaped out with the consent of duo government. No doubt the solutions normally lie in seeking appropriate political solutions for political problems. But the subject that Omar Abdullah has touched does not fall in the scope of simple political solutions. Rather in the case of the Kashmiri youth under training in POK, the need would be more for a socio political approach.
If not taken this way, such like half thought proposals would only contribute to further ballooning of the confusions, doubts and reservations regarding the trueness of the 1947 Accession of J&K with India. It has to be kept in sight that those who have gone from J&K ( Kashmir Valley in particular ) across LOC/ LOAC/ international borders ( POK/ Pakistan ) have surely not gone there for simple reasons of unemployment or any movement going on in J&K for change of individuals or political parties sitting in the seat of power.
J&K Chief Ministers in chair or ex Chief Ministers like Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Mufti Sayed have confirmed at occasions that a number of Kashmir youth / cadres have gone to POK / Pakistan for arms training at the instance of the militant leaders. And the militant leaders, and for that purpose the separatist elements, are surely not engaged in a movement for change of local governments with in the frame work of constitutions of J&K or India. They are surely engaged in a movement that questions the trueness of 1947 accession of J&K with India.
In other words they (separatists / mentors of militants) do not include the people of J&K with in the scope of Indian Nationality. May be "they" have also been able to use the reasons of poverty, unemployment , local injustice, corruption, frustration amongst the educated less resourceful youth and the like for wooing some locals against India . But more use of concepts and social motivation against J&K joining India in 1947 has been made. At social levels Kashmir Valley has seen the propaganda of only one class during last 20 years. It has to be kept in mind. Omar will have to practically tread the lanes and streets with right information for the common man. For doing so the political game plans like erosion of autonomy, New Delhi not holding to commitments made, Kashmiri identity and like would have to be "sacrificed". Will he?
By: Irfan Quraishi