Part 19: Special Status to Kashmir, Tibet and Nagaland

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Soon after Pakistan came into existence in 1947, irregular armed raiders from Pakistan infiltrated into Kashmir with a view to take control over it by force. In terms of the Indian Independence Act 1947, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir signed deed of accession to India. As a result, in law, Jammu and Kashmir became an integral part of India. Thereupon, the Indian government sent its forces and pushed the infiltrators out from the Kashmir valley.
 
Terrorism has no ReligionAs a gesture of goodwill to the people of Kashmir and confident that they were with India, the Indian leadership ordered cease fire and offered plebiscite, provided Pakistan vacated the territory still in its illegal occupation. Pakistan never vacated it and kept pressing for plebiscite. To press its demand, it has been encouraging infiltration of armed terrorists in Kashmir.
 
According to India, since Pakistan never vacated the territory in its illegal occupation, the plebiscite has become infructuous and Kashmir has now become an integral part of India. This dispute has led to three wars between India and Pakistan, and ongoing tension on the line of control. The people of Kashmir are being subjected to violence, terrorism and instability.
 
Soon after the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese totalitarian government entered Tibet, then an independent nation of peace loving religious people of ethnic origin different from that of the people of China, and claimed sovereignty over it. Since then, Dalai Lama, the religious leader of Tibet and over hundred thousand people have been living as refugees in India. The Chinese totalitarian government also created a border dispute with India and occupied chunks of India abutting China. The people of China, abused by the totalitarian regime, are not supporting these misdeeds of the Chinese totalitarian government. Misguided Youth - Methods wrong, demand rightPakistan has, in gratitude for China’s support to it, handed over portions of Kashmir in its illegal occupation to China. The issues of Kashmir and Tibet have thus got intertwined.
 
The vibrant Naga tribal community of Northeast India has been struggling for its identity. Part of the territory traditionally belonging to it is presently in India and part in Myanmar. It has been demanding unification of the two territories as a Naga identity.
 
Pakistan, China, Myanmar and India should realise that nationhood means people, not real estate. Every ethnic identity has a right to control its local resources and decision-making. The people of Kashmir and Tibet have been living in instability and terrorism, many of them in refugee camps in India, for the last half a century. The tribal Nagas are losing their identity, accelerated by the influx of refugees from Bangladesh. A solution honourable to all needs to be evolved urgently.
 
19.1 Autonomy under joint suzerainty
A legitimate resolution for these conflicts can be:

(1) Integrated Kashmir, that is the portion under India and that illegally occupied by Pakistan and a portion given by it to China, may be offered autonomy under the joint suzerainty of India and Pakistan, provided the minority communities votes in its favour, and autonomous Kashmir institutes true democracy. While exercising its veto, the Hindu and Buddhist minority communities can demand full protection, return of their properties and insist on true local empowerment so that their rights are not subverted. Jammu and Ladhak can choose through referendum to remain with India.
 
(2) Tibet may be offered autonomy under the joint suzerainty of China and India, and integrated Naga territory autonomy under the joint suzerainty of India and Myanmar provided they too agree to institute true democracy through referendum.
 
JOINT SUZERAINTY  - for contentious territories - J & K, Tibet, Nagaland(3) Operationally, joint suzerainty will imply that Kashmir, Tibet and Nagaland cannot have their own military. The nations exercising joint suzerainty over them shall position their military attachés in their capitals to oversee that neither of them nor any third nation violates their territorial integrity.
 
(4) In true democracy, every local entity is autonomous in local matters while the national government provides security. The above arrangement will be in keeping with the spirit of such true democracy. Since Pakistan has handed over a part of Kashmir to China, the decision for Kashmir and Tibet shall be as a package. Kashmir, Tibet and Nagaland can then prosper as peace zones between the four nations.
 
19.2 Peace in South Asia
Since India liberated Bangladesh from exploitation by Pakistan, Bangladesh clearly can have no threat from India. After its formation, Bangladesh suffered military rule for long periods. As a result of mismanagement and abuse, over one crore Bangladeshies, both Muslim and Hindu, have illegally migrated into India. Since India was its liberator, Bangladesh may seek India’s suzerainty, reduce its military, institute true democracy, and dedicate itself to national reconstruction.
 
If joint suzerainty over Kashmir and Tibet is adopted, India and Pakistan too can reduce their military, and through true local empowerment, dedicate themselves to national reconstruction.

The global society should support the people of China and Myanmar in their struggle for liberation from their totalitarian regimes and instituting true democracy. Sri Lanka too should resolve its Tamil discord by instituting true democracy in which local entities control local resources and decision-making. This will make South Asia a confederation of self-reliant, peace loving local governments.

 

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