• New Delhi: A five-member delegation led by former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha that made several visits to Kashmir valley following the recent violence has made its report public. In its report, the fact-finding mission has recommended “a multi-dimensional dialogue” with the Hurriyat be “initiated at the earliest”, besides asking the government to improve human rights situation in the state. 

The recommendations also batted for encouraging “more humane attitude by the security forces with the public”. It also felt there’s need to “resuscitate democratic linkages between the Government and the Citizenry.”

b’Source: PTI’

Besides Sinha, the five-member delegation comprised – former Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) KapilKak, Bharat Bhushan (Editor, CatchNews) and Sushobha Barve (Executive Program Director of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation). 

Here are the major highlights of the report. 

1. Kashmiris believe that there is a “crisis of acknowledgement” of the Kashmir problem with the Indian state. They feel that India refuses to recognize that Kashmir is a political problem and, therefore, requires a political solution. 

2. Kashmiris claim that they have lost faith in India because India has failed them. Now the trust-deficit is widening. Some Kashmiris believe that the rest of the country looks at Kashmir only within the framework of national security.

b’Source: PTI’

3. There is a near complete lack of faith in anything that the Government of India says or promises because of a history of broken commitments. Even among those who say that they see a future with India, there is anger that India has not done enough to keep the Kashmiris with it.

4. Kashmiris see the visits of emissaries of GoI and civil society groups as farcical exercises and part of a diversionary tactic to handle disturbances in Kashmir. Because of the record of the Indian State, there is skepticism about even non-governmental initiatives.

5. India, many believe, is deliberately pretending to be ignorant of the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Most Kashmiris claim that their protests are neither ‘sponsored’ by anyone nor are their youngsters being paid to come out in the streets.

6. There is an increasing lack of fear in the youngsters – or so they claim — in confronting the security forces. Today, they claim, they take death in their stride. “The best thing for which we are thankful is that your use of weapons, including pellet guns has killed the fear in us. We now celebrate the martyrdom,” one youngster told the delegation. 

b’Source: Reuters’

7. …There is a strange apprehension among the Kashmiris that something untoward is going to happen once spring sets in. What happens in the period after April 2017 is expected to be much higher in magnitude and intensity.

8. The state level political parties are seen to have a purely utilitarian function. They have very little to do with the mainstream sentiment in Kashmiri society, it was claimed.

9.  …It is India which will have to show the political will to address the political issue of Kashmir – the initiative has to be from India as the largest country in the region and it must be able to show boldness in addressing the issue.

10. The media in India has converted Kashmir into ‘a TRP issue…’

11. People we talked to suggested that there can be no permanent solution to the Kashmir issue unless Pakistan and the leadership of the All Party Hurriyat Conference is involved in a dialogue.

Feature image source: PTI/Fie photo