Why shall Pandits talk to Hurriyat?

Published in the Kashmir Images, 19th July, 2005

Dear Editor,
The news is that for the first time the Hurriyat will talk to the Pandits. They will visit their camps. It is to highlight their claim to “secularism”. But strangely, the thought of secularism has struck them only after their recent meeting with the Pakistan President General Musharraf.

On 14 September 1989, Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, the chief of BJP in Kashmir was shot dead by the KLF (at that time it was called KLF and later JKLF) gunmen about thirty yards outside his house. After this incident, one Professor who was known figure, writing on history and society wrote a letter to the militant leadership in late 1989 asking them to explain their policy and attitude towards the religious minority since they claimed they were fighting a “freedom struggle”. Next day they replied to his letter in the popular paper called Kashmir Times referring to his letter and simply saying that all Kashmir Pandits should join them in the armed struggle against India otherwise their life and property were not safe. But, Pandits declined to take up arms against Indian troops.

Now after the 16 years of exile, how these people pose conduits/mediator between the governments of two nations when they themselves started violence and terrorism. What these people are going to offer to the Pandits? And why they have started feeling the need of talking to Pandits?

Is it that in post 9/11 world, Hurriyat leaders have understood that violence has lost the appeal and therefore they want to pose and project themselves as non-violent, peace loving people?

Beleaguered Pandits are going to have a dialogue with Hurriyat on 25 July, but strangely when the whole world is aware that, Hurriyat leaders are the main root cause of Kashmir terrorism. Even the OIC has given the status of an observer to the secessionist Hurriyat and not to any populist group from Kashmir. Had they been the representatives, there would have been people from other religious minorities in the group. Are there any?

These people want a secular image and are therefore trying to use Pandits that is all.

Aditya Rangroo

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