During the recent Foreign Secretary level talk between India and Pakistan, the latter again raised the apparently justified but actually baseless demand to involve Kashmiris as a third party in dialogues over the Kashmir problem.
It is a demand that has been raised for quite a number of times by both Pakistan and Hurriyat Conference. And, as I said, though the demand appears to be a justified one, in reality it is simply a stupid demand that does not even worth any consideration.
But why is it so? Simple. Even if India and Pakistan try to involve the common Kashmiris in the dialogue process, how can they go for the same? They cannot literally invite the mass of that region to participate in the dialogue process, right? Rather, the mass has to be represented by an appropriate entity.
Fine. Now Pakistan might say that it and India can find that representative of common Kashmiris in Hurriyat Conference. In fact, Pakistan actually refers to Hurriyat Conference every time it talks about involving the common Kashmiris as a third party.
Now comes the crucial question. How can India accept that Hurriyat Conference is indeed the true representative of common Kashmiris? Where is the proof? Neither the leaders of Hurriyat Conference have ever contested (and won) any election in Kashmir nor they enjoy any other kind of recognition that qualifies them as the true representatives of common Kashmiris. An organization cannot be accepted as the true representative of the wishes and aspirations of a community simply because it claims itself to be the same.
Secondly, even if it is taken for granted that Hurriyat Conference leaders do have some influence and acceptability among the Muslim Kashmiris, it is well known that they have absolutely no acceptability among the Hindu and Buddhist Kashmiris. I hope that Pakistan has the basic courtesy to accept that Muslim Kashmiris are not the only representatives of the common people of that region. The Hindu and Buddhist Kashmiris are also to be counted, right? And in that case Hurriyat Conference cannot claim itself to be a true representative of the common people of Kashmir, as its acceptability is confined only within a certain section of the Kashmiris.
So, at the end of the day we find that there is no organization that can claim itself to enjoy acceptability among all sections of Kashmiris irrespective of religious background. So even if India and Pakistan try to involve a third party as the representative of “wishes” and “aspirations” of the common people of Kashmir, they cannot be successful in that “noble mission”. Because no such organization or entity exists in the first place. It is high time all relevant stakeholders accepted this “harsh fact” with a “broken heart”.