US Congress should recognize the changes in Kashmir

J K News Today Commentary

The key question at the Congressional hearing on human rights in South Asia, in which Kashmir , was a recurring theme because of the situation that has arisen in the Valley post August 5 measures of scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir , was whether Kashmir was on path to return to normalcy. The answer given by Assistant Secretary of state for Asia, Alice Wells, was “ yes.”

The Congressional hearing on the human rights situation in Kashmir had come in the backdrop of the repeated media reports in the Western media about the stories of humanitarian crisis directly linked  to the information clampdown  after the special status of the state was eliminated . This section of media that has its preset views about India and its position on the Indian part of Kashmir  has great influence over the Congressman in the United States.

Another thing that is forgotten so easily is that the peripheral references to the Pakistan sponsored terrorism , naming  and shaming Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba , two of the many terror groups, nurtured and trained by Pakistan to bleed India  is a weak attempt at balancing the things . The root cause of the whole problem is , Pakistan sponsored terrorism , which  comes in various forms and manifestations . The normal interpretation that Pakistan sends  armed and trained terrorists into Kashmir is  just one of the aspects, the other aspects are more serious and dangerous . Pakistan has set up nurseries of radicalism and terrorism in religious places and also schools in the Valley . The product of such institutions are causing problems in the normal life of Kashmiris, hurting them economically and educationally.

It is a fact that  after Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir  had its own genesis  and there also is another fact that this  was a temporary provision in the Indian constitution , that could have been removed any time by the Indian Parliament by the majority vote. Precisely that happened on August 5  when the Indian Home Minister  Amit Shah announced the scrapping of the Article 370 . This removed a big psychological barrier between the people of Jammu and Kashmir  and the rest of the country .  This had become a necessity because the Article 370 was  also providing  fodder to the secessionists to promote a campaign of secessionism , using the argument that J&K was a separate place . This was an attempt to keep the “ disputed” status of J&K alive as had been the plan of Pakistan . This had to end , and that’s what the NDA government at the Centre did.

Since the pro-Pak lobby was keen to cause trouble and it  had warned of serious consequences of the Government of India entered into what they though was forbidden terrain , the government of India was left with no option  but to implement the things  in the manner in which these happened.

It did cause severe problems , but  now the things are changing . The US Congress should have appreciated that by cutting down on communication for few weeks, several lives were saved.

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