Kashmir’s irreversible integration with India becomes irresistible for Pakistan

Delhi had done with one stroke what seemed impossible to the common Kashmiri. He had prided himself on his special place in the polity of Indian states for over seven decades.

While he could buy land and establish business anywhere else in the country, none from other states of India had the privilege of establishing residence or business in J&K.

Indian Parliament had done away with this sense of special citizenship of Kashmiris. Pakistan believed that the development had all it needed to focus international attention on Kashmir.

From the United Nations to the US, Pak Premier cried wolf. Imran Khan did his best to prove himself as the great champion of Kashmir’s secession from India.

Pakistan tried its influence on China and the Muslim countries to create unease for India internationally.

Internally, Pakistan believed hell would break loose in Kashmir. Delhi had put all separatist and Pro-India regional players like those of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party under arrest.

If separatism needed a bigger spark, Pakistan believed that the historic movement had come.

To the pleasant surprise of the Indian government and total bewilderment of Pakistan, Kashmir did not explode after the abrogation of its special status.

Cynics said that the people were under shock even to decide their reaction to the unexpected development.

Pakistan tried to console itself that the recovery from the perceived shock would result in a turbulence Delhi could hardly handle.

Nothing even remotely close to Pakistan’s expectations and hope happened.

To keep its hope alive, Islamabad’s so-called eyes and ears in Kashmir, those were puppets on the string at the hands of the ISI said India had cracked down heavily with ubiquitous deployment of security forces and a blanket ban on Internet and other means of expression.

The expected ‘upheaval’ was waiting for a breather to explode, Pakistan and its supporters in Kashmir strongly believed in this.

Three years after the abrogation of its special status, curbs on the Internet are no longer there.

Presence of the security forces has stopped interference with the civilian movement. A general sense of ease and normalcy has returned to the Valley.

The people of Kashmir have shocked Pakistan. Secessionist violence has been reduced to a few incidents of encounters between armed militants and the security forces.

Violence has moved from the centre stage to the flanks. Secessionist feelings have become an aberration. Common Kashmiri has decided to move on.

Education of children, developmental activities, sports, tourism, horticulture, handicrafts, white water rafting, trekking, hiking, family outings, entertainment, cinema, music and social get togethers have returned to the Valley.

Fear has been replaced by hope. Kashmiris appear to have decided that they will reclaim their special status by distinguishing themselves in civil service exams, competitive sports and entrepreneurship in business, horticulture and agriculture.

Khalid, 18, belongs to a middle class rural family of north Kashmir. He played football whenever stone pelting and separatist called shutdowns permitted him to do so till 2019.

In three years after 2019, the boy has been chosen to play for ‘Real Kashmir’ football club thanks to the initiative of the UT’s government.

His younger brother, encouraged by Khalid’s achievement is now training himself to play for the under 19 cricket team of the country.

Kashmiri youth have been making it to the coveted IAS/IPS services of the country.

Students belonging to remote areas of Ganderbal, Badgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Kupwara and Baramulla have made it to the country’s top civil services.

After the relaxation of the civil servants deputation rules, most of the local boys and girls allotted to IAS/IPS/IRS and other cadres of other Indian states have been deployed to J&K after abrogation of Article 370.

Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama and some other districts have local district magistrates.

For a change, Kashmiris seem to have decided to give up the perceived special status to become their own rulers and masters.

Girls from Ganderbal, Bandipora, Badgam, Anantnag and other districts have distinguished themselves at national and international levels in Karate, kickboxing, Judo, Taekwondo, etc.

The separatist diktat to restrict girls to veil and wall has been smashed with Kashmiri girls distinguishing themselves in sports, fashion designing, hospitality industry, music and fine arts.

Retardation of over 30 years imposed by the separatists on their education and progress has been replaced by the velocity of the local girls’ desire to excel in all fields and control their own destiny.

Mehvish Zargar is now the first female cafe entrepreneur of Kashmir.

Yasmeena of Baramulla district has become the chef at a local restaurant and she has distinguished herself as the ‘Cake girl of Kashmir’.

Rukhsana of Chanapora in Srinagar has set up the first cloud kitchen in Kashmir.A

Nasreena of Sopore has opened the ‘Al-Kareem’ restaurant where local cuisine called ‘Wazwan’ is served alongside Chinese and continental food.

Families have started outings on a scale that definitely indicates Kashmir’s return to entertainment with a bang.

As Kashmir had an unprecedented tourist flow in 2022, locals were not left out in numbers that visited Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Doodhpathri and a dozen other tourist spots during this year.

Hoteliers, taxi operators, houseboat owners, Shikarawallahs on the Dal and Nigeen Lakes, all have done good business this year because of the large number of tourists visiting the Valley now.

Commerce has replaced shutdowns imposed by the separatists.

Kashmir has not observed a single day of separatist called shutdown and protest since August 2019 when Article 370 was abrogated.

Families are going to the multiplex cinema opened a month back in Srinagar. Small cinema halls have also come up in some other districts.

The intention of the separatists and their sponsors across the border to keep Kashmiris on a tight leash has been defeated.

Kashmiris have broken loose from the psychological shackles imposed on them through violence and fear.

The Government of India intends to hold the Assembly elections in J&K by the spring of 2023.

Irrespective of who comes to power after those elections, Kashmir appears to have integrated with India in a manner irresistible for Pakistan and irreversible for Kashmiris.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

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