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Regret and Remorse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Capt. S.K. Tikoo   
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 00:00

Just a few days back I was confronted by two young men who introduced themselves as Kashmiri Pandits and true they were. Both were handsome, healthy, cherubic, and bore all features of a typical Kashmiri Pandit. In their late thirties or early forties both of them could speak the Kashmiri language and that was something to be really proud of. The place we met suggested that they were doing well in life. My further enquires revealed that they too were internally displaced persons like all of us and had left their land in1989-90. In Srinagar they lived in down town, beyond 4th bridge, the area known as Pakistan even when there was peace all around and life was normal except sloganeering demanding solution of Kashmir problem. Slogans like ‘Kashmir ka faisla kaun karega -- Hum karengay,Hum karengay’; the ubiquitous ‘Naare-i-Takbeer  Allah- o- Akbar’; and ‘Qaid- e- Azam, Alhaj Jenab-i  Sheri Kashmir zindabad’ were raised. We had to be on the receiving end whenever there was a cricket match involving either India or Pakistan, it did not matter against whom? We had to bear a little more if the two teams were pitted against each other and irrespective of the final outcome of such cricket matches, Battas (Kashmiri Pandits) were the target. Poor Batta, he had to switch off the lights if India won and if Pakistan was the winner he had to be ready for all sorts of celebrations, crackers would be thrown at him and an odd stone breaking couple of window panes would be thrown at his house but telling you the truth there was nothing abnormal. Such incidents would be more intense, aggressive and numerous in that area of downtown Srinagar, where these two young men originated from.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 23:54
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Stake-Holders PDF Print E-mail
Written by Capt. S.K. Tikoo   
Monday, 22 February 2010 00:00

We seem to be obsessed with coining words and the latest in circulation is ‘stake-holders’. This obsession is limited to our dealings with Pakistan over the ‘un-resolved’ Kashmir problem. The words like ‘porous-borders’,’ dual currency’,’ shared sovereignty’, ‘joint management’ are still fresh in our memory and here we come out with yet another gem. Now, who are the ‘stake holders’ who should be talked to? It seems a ‘stake holder in Kashmir is everybody and anybody who is for secession of the state (or at least the valley of Kashmir) from the union of India. It is immaterial whether such men/women have the peoples’ mandate, but you must engage them in ‘quiet diplomacy’ and ‘secret-talks’. These separatist leaders have yet to prove their popularity amongst the masses they claim to represent, yet GOI must deploy senior bureaucrats even senior political leaders to try and reach an agreement with these ‘stake holders’ after holding ‘talks’ with them in absolute ‘secrecy’. Such ‘secret ‘ parleys immediately become public, when one of the parties spills the beans, as was done by Maulvi Umer Farooq,when he repeatedly debunked such talks from the pulpit of his fort-the historic Jamia-Masjid of downtown Srinagar, in his Friday sermons. Now the ‘secret talks’ are no longer secret and ‘quiet diplomacy’ has received a big setback in the shape of a bullet fired by a terrorist missing the head of one Fazel Qureshi the chief negotiator of APHC(Umer),resulting in life threatening injuries to him. Poor Qureshi had literally a hair breadth escape yet we must do something to keep the Kashmir pot boiling, so we suddenly come out with Justice Saghir Ahmed report of a working group constituted by the Prime minister, which never met in the last two years ever, nor did it discuss the report ever. Poor members of the working group came to know of the report, the way the ordinary mortals did, through media. Even the wise justice (rtd) thought it prudent to submit the report to the J&K chief Minister Omar Abdullah and not to the prime minister.Probabaly, the chairman of the working group had his own reasons or compulsions to do so.

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How Not to Find a Solution to the Kashmir Problem PDF Print E-mail
Written by Capt. S.K. Tikoo   
Monday, 22 February 2010 00:00

Union Home minister Sh. P Chidambaram is a decent, no nonsense, and a well meaning gentleman. His recent visit to the Valley of Kashmir was wisely acclaimed as a big success he conducted himself very well while addressing a press conference in Srinagar it appears, he mans business and he makes no bones about it. His replies to queries raised by well known journalists were precise and to the point, and the icing was his friendly advice to the press corps was to relax and enjoy and not waste time reading something which was not there in between the lines. My only fear is that he might not end up making the same mistake that his predecessor (belonging to different political parties) made earlier. The basis for such fears is his announcement at the same press conference, that promised:

1.       Negotiation/dialogue will be held without any fanfare, it will be on one to one basis or to a group without any publicity and involvement of third party.

2.       The solution will be unique, since the history and the geography of the state of J&K was unique.

3.       The problem (Kashmir) is political and we will find a political solution.

4.       Solutions to identical problem in the rest of the country cannot be replicated here and vice versa.

Had this sort of the statement been made by any other political leader holding the high office, I would have discounted it as TIME PASS, but when Sh. Chidambaram makes a public announcement of this sort one must sit back and start thinking. Let us discuss these points one by one.

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The Last Days of Lassa Kaul and Rise of Kashmiri Terrorism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Capt. S.K. Tikoo   
Monday, 01 February 2010 00:00

[As published in Koshur Samachar].

It was a sunny day. The atmosphere was tense and that was nothing unusual those days. Selective killing of prominent Kashmiri Pandits had already begun. It didn’t matter even if one had devoted himself to the noble cause of serving the suffering population of the city of Srinagar with door to door delivery of essentials like rice, wheat flour, fresh vegetables, sugar and edible oil. That all the beneficiaries of this social and selfless service were his Muslim neighbors, for whom, he along with an equally dedicated band of young Kashmiri Muslims was going from door to door and collecting these essential food commodities for the less fortunate ones who were the worst sufferers as daily wagers now rendered jobless because of the endless  'civil curfew' imposed by the JKLF who loved to be called as freedom fighters.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:17
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Comment on Senator Brown's Letter to Sect. of State Hillary Clinton Regarding Discussions on Kashmir PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Vijay K. Sazawal   
Thursday, 08 October 2009 00:00
Dr. Vijay Sazawal, International Coordinator of IAKF, discusses important backround details surrounding the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

On October 6, 2009, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote a letter to the Honorable Secretary Hillary Clinton regarding the uncertain future of Kashmiri Pandits.
 
The Indian Prime Minister (PM), Dr. Manmohan Singh, is travelling to the U.S. in November. Before that he travels to Srinagar towards the end of this month. Last month the PM announced a financial package amounting to nearly 1,600 crores for rehabilitation of Pandits with offers of jobs and home grants to lure Pandits back to the Kashmir valley.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 04:02
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