Pak not fit to hold J&K; Who's scared of a referendum?

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With social activist and lawyer Prasanth Bhushan stirring a hornets nest with his acidic views on the controversial Jammu Kashmir issue, the word 'referendum' is back in vogue and when the case is regarding Kashmir, the issue gains all the more limelight. But what Indians merely cannot digest is the possibility of conceding the terror-hit valley to a country like Pakistan.

With Pakistan already caught in the loop of its very own issues, the thought of giving up Kashmir to Pakistan that is already plagued by terrorism and its own developmental issues is not a feasible solution to the burning issue. The prevalence of terror outfits that are operating and the fresh ones born in the land is not helping matters either. Pakistan recently facing a lot of flak from its all-weather friend USA is also a dark blot for the neighbouring country that is riddled with multi-various issues.

What is referendum?
According to Wikipedia, the word referendum is also called a plebiscite or a ballot question where a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of direct democracy.

Why was Bhushan attacked?
Bhushan's comments that sought a referendum to ascertain the will of the Kashmiri citizens irked people across the spectrum. Bhushan had reportedly told certain media persons that Kashmiri people should be given 'azadi' if they don't want to live with India and also recommended the withdrawal of Indian army from Kashmir. [Watch video of Bhushan being attacked]

Why is referendum not a great idea?
Referendum could emerge as a bad idea in the present scenario considering the religious fabric that make up the Kashmiri citizens. The plebiscite will also give out a black and white solution to the problem which could be beneficial to one group and hurt the other inadvertently. With Jammu and Kashmir enjoying special status, it is high time that the issue gets resolved.

The other issue is that the occupants of Pakistan occupied Kashmir should also be part of a referendum, if it is carried out. The PoK area is inhabited by primarily a Muslim population and the rules of the land do not have any value to them. So without the complete participation of the whole population of the region, the issue of plebiscite becomes a fruitless exercise.

With Pakistan emerging as the bad eye-sore in the fight against terror, the perceived friend US is also having a tough time curbing the terror activities stemming out of Pakistan. The relationship fell to an all-time low when al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pak soil a few months back.

The only way peace could come back to the valley is by empowering the Kashmiri people and bring more development in the region and generate more employment opportunities for the frustrated youth there. These should all be facilitated by none other than India itself. The youth in the region are so frustrated that they become easy prey to the quick lure of terrorism that promises arms and money.

But it is high time that the politicians and other decision makers in the country come together and talk things out to resolve the burning issue. Kashmir should once again be called 'Valley of Flowers' rather than the 'Valley of Terrorism'.

OneIndia News

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