Is Dialogue the only Solution Left to Address Kashmir Conflict?

The Kashmir dispute is ‘land’, with India and Pakistan, both claiming it to be ‘their’ integral part. The JRL, state and central government should think on the same page, and bring about a much-needed solution

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Is Dialogue the only Solution Left to Address Kashmir Conflict?
Citizen seeking solutions on Kashmir conflict by initiating Talk
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Calling for dialogue and not initiating it for Solution, shows the intentions of the political leaders. Political dialogue is Kashmir Conflict need of the hour and the only solution to the people’s grievances. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has once again offered to ‘talk’ with the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) that comprises of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The JRL is ready for talks provided the central government talks in one voice. Last year, the government had appointed Dineshwar Sharma, former Intelligence Bureau Director as Kashmir interlocutor but nothing productive came out of it.

More than Just Words

Kashmir needs meaningful dialogue and not words thrown here and there just for the sake of it. Political dialogue is important for peacebuilding and the best way to resolve problems. Decisions can only be made through dialogue. Moreover, the dialogue is the only means of avoiding and resolving conflicts, provided that both parties are ready for it. There should be no slyness and no personal agendas. Kashmir and its people are suffering only because of the devious agenda of some people. Common Kashmiris should also be invited for dialogue. Their voices must be heard. The JRL doesn’t represent Kashmir at large. The people – youths and community leaders of Kashmir should be asked as to how their state can move forward as a whole.

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A Cycle of Problems

Businesses are running in losses; there is unemployment; no development; lack of proper infrastructure; government projects have missed a deadline; low wages; corruption is high, and frustration is at the all-time high. These problems are because of continuous calls for shutdown, protests, and encounters. In 2016, Kashmir literally came to a standstill for eight months. Schools were shut down. Businesses closed down. If a shop opened up to meet the people’s needs, then the youths protested. Everyday life was badly affected. Youths faced the brunt of the shutdown. Thousands were blinded by pellets. Some have received medical assistance, while some, their present and future is now dark. There have been cases where there is no breadwinner in the family. There are elderly parents, but they cannot do anything. The JRL fails to support the families affected by the on-going calls for a shutdown. There should be an end to the cycle of bloodshed and atrocities by the armed forces. Kashmiris’ basic human rights have been violated. Young men have been picked up in the middle of the night and their bodies have been recovered at encounter sites and labeled ‘militants’. Children have been orphaned and women widowed. Families have lost their breadwinners. Gun can never bring about peace.

Inclusive Dialogue

The state government and the central government must initiate an inclusive dialogue and give ear to different views. Lack of discussion has resulted in rejection and rebellion. There is no denying that even the JRL is wary of the state of affairs. A solution has to be given, and this is only possible through dialogue. Pakistan also plays an important role, but to what extent? It is a fact that Pakistan plays a key role in Kashmir’s crisis. India and Pakistan should look beyond religion and embrace humanity.

The Kashmir dispute is ‘land’, with India and Pakistan, both claiming it to be ‘their’ integral part. The JRL, state and central government should think on the same page, and bring about a much needed solution.