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Undecided Farooq Abdullah, biggest hurdle in Kashmir solution. By Hem Raj Jain

First Farooq should find-out through vote (arranged by his party) whether Kashmiris want to be with India or with Pakistan (ii)- Farooq should know without unification of J&K there is no Kashmir solution (iii)- Farooq should now try to bring succor to profusely weeping and bleeding Kashmiris and ultimately to J&K within 2018 (iv)- Credibility of Farooq will be established only when seriously works for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits.

The Former Chief Minister, presently Member of Parliament and Chairman of National Conference (NC) Farooq Abdullah is certainly a tall leader of J&K and can contribute immensely and crucially in solving chronic and gory Kashmir problem. As per media report while addressing a public rally in Mandi area of Poonch district of Kashmir region of J&K on April 7, 2018 Farooq Abdullah said: “[Being landlocked between India, Pakistan and China, independence is no option for Kashmir Valley. On one side we have nuclear powers China and Pakistan and on the other side we have nuclear India and we have no atom bombs, no army and no jets. Hence how are we going to survive as an independent nation?]”

Farooq reportedly further said: “[But, this does not mean that we are slaves of India. Rather India must respect and honor the dignity of the people and try to win alienated hearts and minds of people here, otherwise the situation in Kashmir won't change and nothing else will work even if you build roads of gold]".

Farooq is evidently confused and dealing in contradictions and will be able to solve the twin problems of Kashmir and of Kashmiri Pundits (KPs) if does the following: -

(1)- As far the first point of independence: -

(i)- Farooq did not clarify that if independence is no option then obviously Kashmir will be either with India or with Pakistan. It is hoped Farooq will tell Kashmiris (mostly Muslims) clearly that now they (their majority preferably through voting arranged by his Party NC) should make a choice and air it publicly whether they want to live with Pakistan or with India.

(ii)- Farooq and Kashmiris should understand that without unification of J&K there is no Kashmir solution. Though it is highly unlikely but for argument sake in case majority of Kashmiris prefer Pakistan then Farooq should further tell Kashmiris that how will it be possible given the dominant military might of India vis-à-vis Pakistan which makes snatching of Kashmir (remaining J&K) militarily from India by Pakistan, impossible.

(iii)- In case majority of Kashmiris prefer India then Farooq should ask Kashmiris to demand that India should retrieve PoK from Pakistan (even militarily, if necessary). Farooq and Kashmiris need not bother about nukes with Pakistan because (A)- Air-Chief of India has already said publicly that India has adequate capacity to de-nuke Pakistan and (B)- The last word on India’s partition is yet to be written

(iv)- Farooq should also tell Kashmiri Muslims not to bring religion in this matter and should not think that how can they demand military action (if necessary in case Pakistan does not hand-over PoK on table) by Hindu India against an Islamic theocratic country Pakistan for the retrieve of PoK.

(2)- Regarding second point of India respecting and honoring the dignity of Kashmiris in order to win the alienated hearts and minds of Kashmiris: -

(i)- No doubt Muslim majority J&K opted (under the leadership of Farooq’s father Late Janab Sheikh Abdulla) for secular India against theocratic Pakistan at the time of partition of India in 1947. This is appreciated by Hindu India but Farooq and his son Omar Abdullah should not take over-advantage of it. Because since then, lot of water has flown through Jhelum and presently Kashmir valley is thoroughly communalized / radicalized.

(ii)- In addition to other reasons this has happened also due to the reason that as per official sources there are over 7,500 mosques and seminaries in Kashmir which have doubled in the last 27 years with foreign funds and with clergy from out of Kashmir (this clergy who believes in radicalism and militancy as opposed to age-old moderate tradition of Sufi Islam in Kashmir) as mentioned at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-mosques-and-mobiles-are-radicalising-kashmir/articleshow/59507200.cms

(iii)- Hence credibility of Farooq will be established only when he simultaneously works for the rehabilitation of Hindu KPs who (~ 5 hundred thousand as per website of KPs) were driven out of Kashmir forcefully (by Kashmiri militant Jihadis with the support of militant Jihadis sent by Pakistan in Kashmir around nineties). Farooq should tell Kashmiri Muslims that if they cannot tolerate Hindu KPs among them then how Hindu India will tolerate Muslims (including Kashmiris especially when they want to live in India).

(iv)- Hence Farooq should be serious about rehabilitation of KPs which he can easily achieve by mobilizing the cadre of his party NC not only from Kashmir / J&K but from rest of India too, where especially in the first phase of this rehabilitation NC party workers (both male and female as per requirement) can be provided as companion to KPs (willing to be rehabilitated), if they want so out of security consideration.

Kashmiris (even people of remaining J&K) have already suffered a lot due to chronic & gory Kashmir problem. It is high time Farooq Abdullah takes Kashmir problem seriously and should find-out and decide once and for all whether Kashmiris want to live with India or with Pakistan and then should act accordingly as mentioned above in order to solve the twin problems of Kashmir and of Kashmiri Pundits within a time bound period of 2018.