ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Human Rights in Kashmir

The Press Council of India’s ‘committee’ under B G Verghese produced a report exonerating army personnel of mass rape at Kunan Poshpora in 1991; however, the victims continue to suffer even today. With regular allegations of human rights violations being made in the Kashmir press, there is a dire need to set up a thorough, impartial and credible inquiry into the charges.

India and Pakistan,1947-2002

The self-conception of India and Pakistan in 1947, when they gained independence, and a half century later. What are the terms of the discourse on 'religious conflict' and violence in the subcontinent and what are our criteria for classifying particular events as 'historical' and consequential?

Kashmir: The Discourse in Pakistan

For a majority of Pakistanis, Kashmir remains the unfinished agenda of the partition although there exist a plurality of views on the issue which has created complications for successive Pakistani regimes. Aware of these differing views and sensitivities, the Musharraf regime has been reluctant to make a marked departure from its declared policy on the Kashmir issue. But the success of the moderate approach is closely linked to the response of the Indian government.

Kashmir: Putting Politics in Command

For all the opprobrium that the All Party Hurriyat Conference has earned for its lack of action on many counts, it is a valuable platform. This is why its recent announcement that it would hold three-stage elections under a people’s election commission needs to be appreciated and supported. The move is the strongest evidence of change at the ground level placing politics over the gun and selfdetermination over the moth-eaten autonomy/plebiscite paradigm.

Calcutta Diary

The temptation to create a Pakistan and, by implication, a Muslim phobia was indeed very great. The stability of the government at the centre is crucially dependent upon the outcome of the assembly elections. For should the BJP fare badly, the rats will desert the sinking NDA ship in scampering hurry. The anti-Pakistan frenzy has also been helpful in quelling the reverberations of the Tehelka and coffins scandals. But the flip side of the strategic design is not easily avoidable: to achieve a strictly domestic objective, one still needs to lodge an appeal with a distant uncle.

Thus Spake (Everyone on) General Musharraf

The importance of the new directions that general Musharraf is trying to introduce in Pakistan cannot and should not be underestimated. We should wholeheartedly welcome the new mood in Pakistan.

Kashmir: The Dirty War

If the jails are full in Kashmir, it is not because of preventive detention. The number of detainees is reported by official sources to be less than 500, and by non-official sources as about 1,500. These are very small numbers considering that 35,000 people have been arrested since January 1990 (official figure). When I pointed this out to someone, the answer seemed pretty obvious to him. He asked "how can the number of detainees increase if instead of being detained, people are deliberately killed?" In the context of Kashmir, if this is the only choice, detention, for all its abuses, seems positively benign. Indeed it could be argued that in Kashmir the immediate task of human rights groups should be to focus attention on preventing custodial deaths, even if in the short term this means accepting greater use of detention.

Calcutta Diary

The architects of national decisions that matters have actually played themselves into an impossible corner. They must eat the cake and have it too; they must cultivate democratic pretensions and yet be impatient with democratic opposition. An impasse of this nature inevitably leads to the mindless acceptance of the proposition: my anti-terrorism is superior to yours. It is then a smooth passage to the brilliant corollary that if my police are nincompoops, I must have legislation which decrees detention sans trial.

Academic Freedom and Kashmir

The Kashmir University campus has been declared out of bounds for the media and the vice-chancellor has instructed university teachers to keep away from the media and avoid expressing their opinions on political matters. This is nothing short of an assault on academic freedom and fundamental rights and the silence of the national media on it mirrors the media's indifference to all the other outrages perpetrated in Kashmir.

Origins of First World War

Those who forget history are often condemned to repeat it. The history of the origins of the first world war, which need never have been fought, is worth recalling as the spectre of an unintended, unsought war between two nuclear powers over Kashmir makes its appearance on the horizon.

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