THE JOKE’S ON US!
There is an old adage that in order to survive in politics, it is not moral uprightness, or for that matter even cunning, but political ‘correctness’ that matters. And by ‘deputing’ a delegation to stage a dharna on Parliament Street in New Delhi against the atrocities and excesses being committed by the security forces in Kashmir, the Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has proved just that. While the Mirwaiz may think that his novel move of sending a group of human right abuse victims to New Delhi to stage a dharna on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day is a path breaking event, the fact remains that by indulging in such theatrics, he appears to be more concerned about ensuring ‘political correctness’ by playing to the gallery!
There is no denying that the Hurriyat (M) is under tremendous pressure for having agreed to visit Pakistan. It is also true that in view of the prevailing internal situation in Pakistan and the impending elections, nothing much is likely to be achieved. Yet, one had hoped that at least the visiting Hurriyat (M) delegation would be able to present a road map for the resolution of the Kashmir problem. But with Senior Hurriyat (M) leader Bilal Gani Lone stating that “We only would discuss the issues and see what Pakistan was up to, because it has been more than five years since we last traveled to that country,” the very idea of visiting Pakistan now seems absurd!
And when Lone has himself admitted that they (Hurriyat) had no road map or proposals to offer to the Pakistan government, then how can we expect this visit to be anything more than a mere ‘photo session’? Just to visit to see what “Pakistan was upto” reminds one of the whims and fancy associated with Kings and rulers of medieval times who disregarded expert opinion and instead went out of their palaces in disguise, spoke to a person or two and then used the inputs gained to gauge public opinion. So, will Lone please care to tell us as to what extra does the Hurriyat (M) delegation hope to find out by visiting Pakistan which can’t be ascertained otherwise? Are they going there in search of something concealed that can be unearthed only by a physical visit? And even if there is something that is being concealed, then does the Hurriyat (M) delegation have the expertise to ferret it out? These are questions which are begging for an answer.
Lone has put up a brave front defending the visit by saying that “We have been invited by a State. Hurriyat has not sought invitation but have been invited by the Pakistan government to initiate dialogue”. He may think he has a point, but then hasn’t Islamabad invited the Indian PM Manmohan Singh to Pakistan too? But Singh has not gone as he knows that any visit at this time will invariably end up being a mere ‘photo session’. So, is the purpose of the Hurriyat (M) delegation visit aimed at finding out a way ahead to end the Kashmir logjam or merely a social gesture to honour an invite lest the host feel offended?By stating that the “Mirwaiz has emerged as a leader who has been accepted by Pakistan, Kashmiris and the international community, so why shouldn’t we accept him,” Lone may have unwittingly revealed the probable motive of the Hurriyat (M) chairman’s decision to undertake the trip to Pakistan. So, could it be possible that this move has less to do with resolving the Kashmir imbroglio and is more related to the ongoing ‘turf war’ for supremacy being waged by the Hurriyat factions against each other? Again we are confronted with unanswered questions!
There is an old story about a fish seller who kept crabs in open containers and left them unattended. When asked why didn’t he cover the container to prevent the crabs from making their way out, the fish seller replied that there was no cause for worry since as soon as a crab was about to get out of the container, another would pull him down! This is exactly what is happening within the separatist amalgams. Our leaders have made a laughing stock of the movement for the ‘right to self determination’ as every leader thinks he is ‘right’ but there is no concerted ‘determination’. But they don’t seem to care. So, as we go around staging dharnas and protests at the behest of our leaders while the world laughs on the comic state of affairs in Kashmir, ultimately the whole joke’s on us!