Image Hosted by  

Post-Brunch Intelligencer

Midmorning ramblings on the state of the species

On Kashmir

Posted by Nath at 7:08 AM
So Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just got done talking to a bunch of moderate Hurriyat folks, led by aspiring software engineer turned religious and political leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. I figured I ought to share my thoughts on the matter, given the vast amount expertise I gained on the Kashmir situation by watching LOC: Kargil eleven times in succession.

(Don't panic; I'm not serious. You can't hope to understand a political crisis as deep and intricate as the Kargil situation just by watching a Bollywood movie eleven times in a row. In fact, it is only after the twelfth viewing that you can call yourself a true expert on the subject.)

There isn't much concrete information about what exactly was said during the meeting; the only tidbit that seems to have been made public is that the Prime Minister has agreed to cut troop levels in Kashmir if the violence and infiltration end. That's all very encouraging and all, but one wonders how much control the moderates have over as fragmented and chaotic a group of militants as the one operating in Kashmir. Even within the Hurriyat party, certain elements (such as hardline leader SAS Geelani) seem less than pleased about all this. How exactly Mirwaiz Farooq and company are actually meant to 'end violence and infiltration' is a mystery.

Then again, as everybody keeps reminding us, we shouldn't expect any miracles. In all likelihood, the talk of ending infiltration and pulling back troops is just a friendly gesture, not an announcement of policy. Oh well.

For the most part, all concerned parties seem to agree that these talks are a step in the right direction; hopefully, the first of many. Even the JKLF's Yasin Malik seems to disagree with Geelani – at least according to these guys' interpretation of the fact that he didn't show up at Geelani's news conference. Then again, maybe he just overslept.

(Oh, for those of you who actually read stuff: go find a copy of Sumantra Bose's Kashmir. I think it's a pretty neat book.)

UPDATE: The BSF has been ordered to pull out of Srinagar. Curious. Perhaps the talk of cutting troop levels wasn't just for show. Then again, maybe this withdrawal is simply a continuation of 2003's plan to replace the BSF with the CPRF in the anti-militancy role in Kashmir.



Powered by 


Something broken? Let us know.