This is in response to the news report titled ‘Solution within Constitution: Interlocutors ‘Governance Can’t Substitute Political Settlement’ in Greater Kashmir dated 22nd of September 2011. It is indeed a good move that finally the interlocutors are going to submit their findings to the Government of India. Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors while briefing the press said that the agenda is to seek a permanent political settlement of Kashmir within the framework of Indian Constitution. One may like to suggest a few points to the interlocutors before they submit their report. First, before submitting the report they should deliberate on ‘Treaty of Amritsar’ signed on March 16, 1846, when British illegally sold Kashmir to the Maharaja Gulab Singh. This treaty was not only immoral but it also makes any accession with India technically illegal and illogical. Second, interlocutors should also reflect Article 152 of 1956 Amended Constitution which defines Indian States and specifies that the expression “state” does not include the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The report should also highlight all the UN Security Council Resolutions passed on Kashmir and particularly the UNCIP Resolution adopted on January 5, 1949, which talks of “democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite in Kashmir”. We hope the three member interlocutors team will debate all the pledges made by Nehru to the world community and to the people of the Kashmir. We hope they will reflect the speech of Nehru which he made on All India Radio on November 2, 1947 in which he reaffirmed the “Indian Government’s commitment to the right of the Kashmiri people through plebiscite to determine their own destiny”. We hope interlocutors will not forget to discuss the 1951, July 6 speech of Nehru in which he said “people seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future”. If the interlocutors will debate on these lines then one can expect sense out of the report. Otherwise debating unemployment, infrastructure, tourism and Kashmiryat in the findings will be nonsensical activity . But before I will conclude let's again remind the interlocutors the speech of Nehru that “Kashmir is not a commodity for sale and you can’t barter it”. Yes dear interlocutors, any readymade solution within or out of the ambit of Indian Constitution will not be accepted to the people of Kashmir. We also request you to please stop branding ‘Kashmir issue’ an economic problem or a cultural tension. It is actually the issue of a nation, which had its history. We hope the interlocutors will not submit a bureaucratic and politically biased report. After all this is the question of the credibility of the world's largest democracy.
S. Fayaz Ahmad