Kashmiri Refugees’ Settlement In US

One of the definitions of fantasy is that it is a dream-like happening in imagination with uncertainty hanging over its ability to stand on the ground.

Such is the quality of the idea of the mass-emigration of the KP refugees to US.

The idea is a fantasy because:

• US is not going to grant a refugee status to such a large number of KP’s, because that would be directly meddling in India’s internal affairs ( which Govt. Of India has very strongly resisted in the past).
• With the prevailing anti-immigrant mood in US, Clinton Administration is not going to sponsor such an idea.
• Govt. Of India is going to fight this idea tooth and nail to maintain an image of even-handedness with KP’s.(The mass-exodus of KP’s will be a egg- on-the- face in GOI’s history)
• Most of the KP’s will not be willing to make such a move because of its extreme dimensions.

Emigration to US does not provide the solution to the problem of the loss of Kashmir for KP’s; though it may provide ( if it is feasible) relief to their practical living . ( Ask a Jew if settling in US has made him forget the agony of Israel).

What we need is patience. The elections in Kashmir are a turning- point in the ongoing civil war. With the militants not having thrown their towel yet, and GOI not fully exploiting their weakened position, it may still take a couple of more years for the tide to turn significantly in KP’s favor. The geopolitics of the situation is in India’s favor; Pakistan’s evil is against them.

KP’s can not run away from Kashmir; we have to bear the agony a little longer. We have to set hartals, employ Gandhi’s satyagraha, and keep on hammering on the politicians in Delhi. The old- guard politicians are on their way out; to be replaced by more practical- thinking people, unencumbered by the old loyalties and stigmas. More than the Kashmiri Muslims and Pakistan, it is our own GOI which is the villain in this upheaval.

Those few KP’s who wish to emigrate to US should be encouraged to do so and helped by us. Let the word go out that there is a possibility in this direction for some of them. Let us campaign on that basis. ( That will also embarrass GOI a little)

Panun Kashmir, with its laudable commitment to the rehabilitation of KP’s and the great efforts it has expended in the general direction of the KP cause, has not been an effective organization. We need to rethink our strategy with GOI, and regroup if necessary.

The history of the unfair treatment of the groups of the mankind is mind-bogglingly enormous , but the capacity of the trampled masses to overcome that is no less overwhelming.

If we stand our course, but not hesitate to change our tactics if the situation so warrants, one day we will win.

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