Chenab Plan: BJP's sell-out?
Kashmir TELEGRAPH has reasons to believe -- beyond any shadow of
doubt -- that United States is 'arm-twisting' Pakistan -- more
specifically, India, in accepting the 'Chenab Plan'. A 'sinister
plot', which if America has its way, brings about the division of
the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir on religious lines -- with Muslim-majority
areas accorded a quasi-sovereign status. BJP -- the ruling party --
it seems, has all along been clandestinely involved in this sinister
plot, which undermines the basis principle -- rejection of the
two-nation theory -- on the basis of which India was founded. It
is in this context that one must examine the remarks of General Jay
Garner, setting December, 2004 as the American deadline for
resolving the Kashmir issue.
the specifics of the Chenab Plan? Who are (have been) the chief actors behind the scenes?
Excerpts from an essay, entitled, J
& K after 9 /11,
published by Kashmir TELEGRAPH in its June, 2002 edition (in
arrangement with Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi).
might the United States want? What could Pakistan accept? And what
might India be willing to concede?......
Interestingly, the first ideas for partitioning J&K along
ethnic-communal lines emerged from the United States. On
March 8, 2000, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and a group of his top
Cabinet colleagues held a secret meeting with Farooq Kathwari, a
US-based secessionist leader. The closed-door meeting, held at the
Secretariat at Jammu, appears to be just part of a larger
US-sponsored covert dialogue on J&K. Indeed, there is growing
evidence that the BJP-led coalition government in New Delhi was
complicit in this dialogue, which could lead to a violent communal
sundering of the State.
heads the Kashmir Study Group (KSG), an influential New York-based
Think Tank, which has been advocating the creation of an independent
State carved out of the Muslim-majority areas of J&K. The owner
of Ethan Allen, an upmarket furniture concern which includes the
White House among its clients, Kathwari’s associates in the KSG
have included influential Indian establishment figures, notably
former Foreign Secretary S K Singh and retired Vice Admiral K K
Nayyar. The furniture tycoon was earlier blacklisted by successive
Indian governments, on one occasion even being denied permission to
visit a seriously ill relative. Shortly after the second BJP-led
coalition assumed power in 1998, however, he was quietly granted a
arrived in New Delhi in March 1999, carrying a series of proposals
for the creation of an independent Kashmiri State. On this first
visit, Kathwari met what one senior intelligence official describes
as a “who’s who of the BJP establishment”. Kathwari also
appears to have visited Jammu and
Srinagar, staying at the home of a top National Conference
politician. Public disclosure of Kathwari's proposals provoked a
Kathwari seemed encouraged enough to push ahead with a new version
of his blueprint, Kashmir: A
Way Forward. In September 1999, the fresh version of the
document was finalised after, its preface records, receiving
reactions from “government officials in India and Pakistan.” The
new document outlined five proposals for the creation of either one
or two new States, which would together constitute what is described
in somewhat opaque fashion as a “sovereign entity but one without
an international personality”:
new entity would have its own secular, democratic constitution, as
well as its own citizenship, flag and a legislature which would
legislate on all matters other than defence and foreign affairs.
India and Pakistan would be responsible for the defence of the
Kashmiri entity, which would itself maintain police and gendarme
forces for internal law and order purposes. India and Pakistan would
be expected to work out financial arrangements for the Kashmiri
entity, which could include a currency of its own.
National Conference’s own proposals for J&K’s future have
some similarities with those of the KSG. The report of the Regional
Autonomy Committee [RAC], tabled in the J&K Assembly in 1999,
and now in the process of being reworked, advocates cutting away the
Muslim-majority districts of Rajouri and Poonch from the Jammu
region as a whole, and recasting them as a new Pir Panjal Province.
The single districts of Buddhist-majority Leh and Muslim-majority
Kargil, too, were to be sundered from each other and to become new