On March 15, both Houses of Parliament adopted a unanimous resolution rejecting the March 14 resolution of the Pakistan National Assembly on Jammu & Kashmir and the lawfully executed Kashmiri terrorist Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the 2001 Parliament terror attack case.
The Pakistan National Assembly had, like all Kashmiri separatists and Valley-based leaders belonging to the ruling National Conference (NC), the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M), attacked New Delhi, condemned the execution of Afzal Guru, and asked India to hand over the body of the hanged Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) operative to his Sopore-based family. In fact, the Pakistan National Assembly glorified Guru and the cult of terror. This can only be expected of Islamabad given its track record of hatred for India and the manner it has been bleeding the nation at regular intervals.
The Pakistani resolution, contemptuously dismissed in India as a brazen interference in our internal affairs, created such situation in the country that the Congress-led UPA was left with no option but to respect the national mood and ask the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament to move identical resolutions on Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir for adoption so that a right message goes to Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership.
The objective was to demonstrate the Indian resolve that the entire nation was committed to defeating Pakistan’s evil designs and integrating into India the Jammu & Kashmir territories which Pakistan illegally occupied in 1947-1948 as a result of the conspiracy hatched between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Jammu & Kashmir Emergency Administrator and pro-autonomy NC president Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
The conspiracy was hatched by the two to allow Pakistan to occupy non-Kashmiri speaking State territories so that Sheikh Abdullah and his NC could rule over the State without any difficulty. Had Jawaharlal Nehru not ordered ceasefire, the advancing Indian Army would have evicted the intruders and the result would have been the inability of Sheikh Abdullah to rule the State, as the people whom he represented then constituted less than 20 per cent of the population. Non-Kashmiri Muslims and other communities inhabiting Jammu and Ladakh then constituted more than 80 per cent of the State’s population and they were all hostile towards Sheikh Abdullah and his NC and opposed to their Valley-centric approach.
As stated, Pakistan’s outrageous resolution created a nation-wide furore and the result was the adoption by both Houses of Parliament of a unanimous resolution on Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir. Parliament rejected out-of-hand the Pakistani resolution saying the nation shall not tolerate any interference whatsoever in the internal affairs of the country and administered an unambiguous warning to Islamabad that in case it failed to reform itself or continued to export terror to India, there will be serious consequences. The March 15 resolution, like the February 22, 1994 Parliamentary unanimous resolution, reaffirmed that New Delhi shall not allow Pakistan to tinker with the territorial integrity of India or take away even an inch of Jammu & Kashmir territories. The resolution said that “Jammu & Kashmir, including territories under illegal occupation of Pakistan, is and shall be an integral part of India”.
This assuaged hurt national sentiments, but only to an extent. India wanted New Delhi to act decisively against Pakistan to produce a moral effect and show Islamabad its place. But this was too much for the Congress-dominated UPA which is controlled by those whom people have started saying that “they do not represent India and Indian interests” and that it is indeed, as Gujarat Chief Minister said, a party of “termites”.
It was hoped that the NC-Congress coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir would imitate the UPA and adopt an identical resolution on Pakistan, but it did not happen. But happened was to the contrary. The coalition government shamelessly rejected out-of-hand the demand made by Jammu-based opposition parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) and the Jammu State Morcha (JSM) that the State Assembly should also adopt a resolution on the lines of the one adopted by the Indian Parliament unanimously.
“By passing a resolution on Afzal Guru, Pakistan has interfered in our internal matters. We should also pass a counter resolution to denounce Pakistan… It is high time to give befitting reply to Pakistan… If we can discuss and bring a resolution on terrorist Afzal Guru (in the Assembly) why can’t we bring one against Pakistan which has started proxy war against us,” the BJP, the JKNPP and the JSM members repeatedly said while urging the Speaker to allow them to move a resolution on Pakistan.
But in vain. Even the surprise support extended by three Congress MLAs from Jammu province did not move the coalition government. The Congress MLAs urged the Speaker to allow the House to “condemn Pakistan for passing a resolution on Afzal Guru”.
The official response was: “Parliament has already passed a resolution against Pakistan, the message has been sent. It is applicable to us also. There is no need for a resolution… The issue was between India and Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir is a part of India. We have no control over Pakistan”.
This is a bogus argument. The NC-Congress coalition overlooked Section 3 of the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution that says Jammu & Kashmir, including territories illegally occupied by Pakistan, is and shall be an integral part of India. By rejecting the opposition’s demand, the ruling coalition simply accorded legitimacy to the Pakistani resolution.
No wonder that some of Jammu-based MLAs termed the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly as a “platform of anti-national speeches”. One MLA said: “These so-called mainstream parties (NC and PDP) are responsible for the increase in terrorist activities in Kashmir because they have provoked and incited people… The two parties are trying to disrupt peace and normalcy for their petty political ends by indulging in secessionism and communal politics in and outside the Assembly”.
The upshot of his whole argument and the arguments of other opposition MLAs was that both the ruling coalition and the PDP were pandering to separatists and “anti-national elements”. This is a valid point. The NC and PDP MLAs, besides other Kashmiri legislators, have converted the law-making body into a platform of anti-national activities. Even Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has during the past four years used the floor of the Assembly to challenge the Indian presence in Jammu & Kashmir and demonize the Army and the Indian laws.
The question to be asked is: Will the Congress-dominated UPA Government act against the Jammu and Kashmir Government, headed by parties which were party to the Parliamentary resolution? It must act failing which it would be construed that the UPA is not committed to implementing the national resolve.