Is a referendum the only solution to the crisis in Kashmir?
ROADMAP to solve Kashmir Issue has four aspects namely its main purpose the formula, its implementation and its salient features. Let us elaborate
(a) The Main Purpose
The main rather the sole purpose of our road map is to ensure a peaceful, prosperous and respectable future for India, Pakistan and Kashmir. As everybody knows, Kashmir Issue has already caused two bloody wars between India and Pakistan, has also been sucking the blood of their economies and has subjected Kashmiris to miseries, massacres and continuous agony during last about six decades and if the issue remains unresolved it is definitely going to harm all the three nations far more than it has done in the past.
(b) The Formula:
Our Formula to solve Kashmir Issue is that the divided Jammu Kashmir State be re-united in five peaceful phases and made a fully independent state with a democratic, federal and secular system of government and having friendly relations with both India and Pakistan. Fifteen years after re-unification and independence there be a UN supervised referendum in which Kashmiris would determine whether Kashmir should perpetuate its independence, become part of India or Pakistan or adopt any other course and that democratically given popular verdict of Kashmiris be accepted by all concerned as final settlement of Kashmir Issue and implemented.
It would have been in the fitness of things if the governments of India and Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the LoC could take collective steps to implement this formula. But in the light of the past experience, it looks quite difficult if not impossible, to expect that sort of fairness, broadmindedness and sleflessness from all the three parties. The alternative is that the UN Secretary General appoints as the initial step to implement the unanimous Security Council resolution No. 1172 of June 6, 1998, an International Kashmir Committee (IKC) comprising one nominee each of the UN Secretary General, permanent member countries of the Security Council, NAM, OIC, EU, Germany and Japan. The Committee members should discuss the formula first among themselves and evolve a practicable and easy way to implement it. It should then discuss the matter with the governments of India and Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership and obtain their approval and consent to cooperate with the Committee in implementation of the Formula. Obtaining of consent and cooperation of India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership will complete the first phase. The second phase will be withdrawal of all foreign armed forces and militants and civil personnel from the State. The third phase will be to disarm all anti and pro-India militants including the murderous Task Force. It will also include repatriation to their homes of the people displaced as a result of armed freedom struggle. The fourth phase will be to reopen all intra Kashmir roads closed since 1948 and establish the first national assembly in Srinagar comprising members of the existing assemblies at Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit. The Central government will be formed out of senior officials of the three governments. The Parliament to be elected will be bicameral with National Assembly (Lower House) based on population of all the five provinces i.e. Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The Upper House (Senate) will have equal representation of all the five provinces. IKC will leave the State after formation of the central and provincial governments following the first general elections. The fifth phase will be to have the referendum to determine the future of the State and to implement the result of the referendum. Implementation of the result of the referendum will settle Kashmir Issue forever.
(d) SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ROADMAP
(i)This formula solves Kashmir Issue without injuring the national egos of India or Pakistan as neither of them will be required to handover the part of Kashmir under ones control to the other.
(ii)This formula solves the Issue without causing mass-migrations, communal/ethnic disturbances or further bloodshed
(iii)This solution safeguards the national interests especially the national security of all the three nations since both India and Pakistan will be having friendly relations with Kashmir.
(iv)This solution will change Kashmir from the position of a bone of contention to a bridge of friendship between India and Pakistan
(v)The final solution of the issue evolved through JKLF formula will be-based on the freely expressed and unfettered will of Kashmiri people
(vi)This Roadmap solves Kashmir Issue without disturbing the national ideologies of India and Pakistan
(vii)Friendly relations between India and Pakistan to be achieved by this satisfactory solution of Kashmir Issue can help both politically, economically and diplomatically enabling both to upgrade their economic, political and diplomatic positions.
(viii)This solution of Kashmir Issue will help to solve other disputes between India and Pakistan.
(ix)Once India and Pakistan stop pulling each others legs on international level, both will play important roles in international matters and in the process raisE their own position tosfar more respectable heights than they are today
(x)This solution of Kashmir Issue will save all the three nations from the horrors of an atomic war between India and Pakistan which is inevitable in case the issue remains unresolved.
(xi)This solution will ensure a peaceful, prosperous and respectful future for all the three nations if India and Pakistan just part with the parts of Kashmir under their control. What a collossal gain for what a small price!