Karan Singh’s Interview 23/7/03

Saying the valley of Kashmir is Kashmir, is as if you were stating that Champagne is France. The real problem with Kashmir started with my ancestors, the Doghras, mostly in the 19th century: by treaty, conquest, or inter-marriages, they created a state comprised of five major units, which are fundamentally very different from each other in terms of geography and ethnicity: the territory around Gilgit, which belongs basically to Central Asia; Ladhak, which is an extension of Tibet, what is today under Pakistan control around Muzarrafad, which is Punjabi Muslim; Jammu, which in essence belongs to Himachal Pradesh and the valley of Kashmir, of course, which is Indian Muslim at 95 % and Kashmir Pandits before they had to flee. I must emphasize that the KP community never tried to rule Kashmir; they were only the babus, the secretaries, the teachers, there might have been some exploitation, but on the whole they lived peacefully with the Muslims.

It is essentially an artificially-constructed entity, the exact replica of what was Tito’s Yugoslavia before it was broken in parts, or the Austrian empire, which was an amalgam of different states. All empires are artificial: look at the one Alexander created, or Ashoka’s empire, or Charlemagne’s… Often, they are also governed by non local rulers: even my family was non Kashmiri.

I have not accepted partition, but today, there is certain logic to the split of Kashmir: two of the “foreign” portions – Punjabi Muslim Muzarrafad and Central Asian Gilgit – are with Pakistan; and the three “Indian” parts are with India : Jammu, which is 2/3 Hindu; Ladhak which is 55% Buddhist (and 45% Muslim); and the valley which is 99% Indian Muslim.

Since 1947, Pakistan has fought four wars to regain Indian Kashmir, five, if you include the proxy war they are waging on us today. In my opinion, I don’t think they will ever succeed. The only solution is a European type of Union in the subcontinent. Look at you and Germany: you fought three wars over two centuries; you even fought a hundred years war with England and are still bickering at each other over the mad cow, or the Euro! We only have been at it for 50 years. Euro is a logic thing today travelling everywhere, we could have the rupee in South Asia

Muslims and Muslim leaders respect me. Kashmir has always been inclusive of all religions. Vashnaism was born there, Sufism flourished there, the hard-line Sunnis of Pakistan have tried to change all this, I don’t think they have succeed, as today the Kahmiri Muslim is still more tolerant than his Saudi or Pakistani brother. I am en elder statesman, and have been in politics for 55 years! Born in France, I am in several areas now: education: the UNESCO commission with Jacques Delors. Environment, I have my own NGO Interfaith meetings, I think it is very important, as lots of Christians do not access Hinduism monotheism, Pope has to change only 1/3rd of Christianity. India was civilisation before Greece. I am an MP, with certain duties. And above all, I love my Vedanta lectures, Sri Aurobindo, the supramental, clash of civilisations. India has to become a spiritual power, leader of the world. Quote Malraux

450,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley, have been forcibly pushed out of the Valley by terrorists. Since 1989, they have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country. Terrorism has unleashed a systematic campaign of terror, murder, loot, arson and rape.

This exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has reached its climax with terrorism CLEANSING the valley of the minority Hindu community, who are the original inhabitants of Kashmir.

With the completion of fifth year of their forced exile, this peace loving, culturally rich community with a history of more than 5000 years, and a unique tradition of Shiva worship, is fighting a grim battle to save it self from becoming extinct.

EXODUS OF HINDU PANDITS FROM KASHMIR

Terrorism in Kashmir is an ideological struggle with specific fundamentalist and communal Agenda.

Terrorist violence aims at the disengagement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is a continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle.

The major dimension of terrorist violence in Kashmir is the terrorists’ commitment to the extermination and subjugation of the Hindus in the state because Hindus do not subscribe to the idea of separation from India, nor do will they allow governance by the tenets of Islam. Kashmiri Pandits have always been in the forefront of the struggle against secessionism, communalism and fundamentalism. Hence this peace loving minority with a progressive outlook became the main victim of terrorist violence. The strategies involved in the terrorists’ operation against the Hindus in Kashmir include:

The extermination of Hindus

Subjecting Hindus to brutal torture, to instill fear among them in order to achieve their submission.

To engineer a forced mass exodus of Hindus from the land of their ancestors by way of issuing threatening letters, kidnappings and torture deaths on non-compllance of the terrorists’ dictates and ensure the destruction of the secular and pluralistic character of Kashmiri Society.

Attacks, molestations, kidnappings, gang rapes of the women folk of the Hindu Pandits to instil fear and humiliation.

Destruction and burning of residential houses of the Hindus who have been compelled to abandon their homes. Looting of their properties and appropriation of their business establishments are undertaken to ensure that they do not return.

Attachment of the ancestral and landed property of Pandits

Destruction of the social and religious institutions of the Hindus by the desecration and destruction of their places of worship.

Appropriation of the property of the Hindu shrines.

THE ROLE OF PAKISTAN IN KASHMIRI TERROR

GIVE ME A BIT OF BRIEF OF THE HISTORY OF THE KASHMIR AS WELL & A SUMARY OF THE ABOVE & ALSO SAYING HOW WE HAVE THE STATISTICS FROM THE HOME MINISTRY

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