Tracking Public Opinion on Jammu Kashmir

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ejazr, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This thread is about sharing public opinion surveys done on Kashmir by various organizations and to keep track of what Kashmiris think. This is important to tackle the hearsay perception and focus on what really is the opinion on the ground.

    Of course as for all surveys there is always the margin for error but this allows us to have a better understanding of the ground situation and what people think in J&K.

    One problem that is common in most surveys is that we have more information on the Indian side of J&K rather than the Pakistani side. Gilgit Baltistan is not even covered by most surveys were anti-Pakistan sentiment is said to be higher.


    ------------------
    The first report I wanted to contribute to this thread is a conflict resolution poll in 2008-2009 conducted by Colin Irwin a well known name in conflict resolution around the world and played an important part in the Irish peace process. The website for this is on www.peacepolls.org


    Bear in mind that these interviews were conducted in the aftermath of Amarnath yatra controversy and the mumbai attacks so that would have influenced some of the responses.

    The best thing I like about this report is how it has not only tried to identify the problems but presented solutions to the people to "vote" on. They have also took pains to differentiate between Hindu Muslim and Buddhist opinions as well as opinions between Kashmir Jammu and Ladakh, with another subset for PaK.

    The methodology of how the poll was conducted and how statistical quality was maintained is also provided. I will not provide my own opinions but would prefer everyone to read these with an open mind.

    Pakistan Administered Kashmir information included report IaK vs Pak

    Full report focussing only on Indian J&K


    Regarding the UN mandated plebiscite, it seems that the resolution allows for only two options: join India or Pakistan. Independence is not on the table. So this following through with the UN mandated plebiscite would not solve the problem apparently. I will post some excerpts of the report later on that are significant but here is some from the website

    Peace polls, an effective approach in helping resolve conflict

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Its one of the biggest ironies that most Pakistanis(and possibly some Indians) believe that in case of a free and fair plebiscite J&K would choose to join Pakistan. Just a refresher on the UN resolutions: It requires the plebeciste on the entire princely state of J&K including the areas under Pakistan Kashmir and the Gilgit-Batilistan area in Pakistan as well as the aksai chin and karakoram valley under China.
    Another important point is that the UN resolution DOES NOT allow for independence. It allows only Pakistan or India. The independence clause was explicitly removed on insistence from Pakistan representatives in UN.

    Also not only did the Hindu Raja sign instrument of accession to India, but Sheikh Abdulla - leader of the National conference which was fighting for self determination and had the broadest support among the J&K population supported the accession. We don't have any opinion surveys in 1948 of what the valley or the J&K state felt but given the popularity of Sheikh Abdulla and the just thwarted raid by tribals and the devastation caused in its wake the sentiment would definitely be towards India more than Pakistan.

    Now coming to today, what do the Kashmiris want? Well ofcourse we have to look at both sides of J&K. Based on the opinion polls (the report that I posted earlier) India would win a plebiscite hands down (options only between India and Pakistan). So I think GoI (based on these opinion polls) would agree to a plebiscite. But will Pakistan and China willingly give up their territories, I don't think so. Will the plebiscite be free from intimidation and violence from terrorist outfits, again highly unlikely. So the practicality of the plebiscite is just not there.

    Quote from the peacepolls.org report on the poll results from Indian Kashmir:
    On the poll results from Pakistan administered Kashmir it says
    So hopefully some myths have been cleared. I had this feeling whenever I met and discussed these issues with Kashmirs but these empirical studies conducted by a third party proves my gut feeling that in case of a free and fair plebiscite India would win. Even if Independence, Pakistan and India are on the table, India would still win because of vote splitting between Pakistan and Independence. So I don't think plebiscite would be in the interest of Pakistan government and would agree to conduct it anyways.
     
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  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The second major survey report was done in early 2010 just before the Summer and after the Shopian rape and murder controversy. This survey again had similar results as the peacepolls.org one which shows consistency in responses.

    Basically again that although the majority want independance, when it comes down to UN resolutions and choosing either India or Pakistan, India wins again hands down.

    The Report is available here
    Chatham House Kashmir: Paths to Peace

    --------------------------------
    Here is an article from AFP summarizing the results
    Kashmir survey finds no majority for independence

    SRINAGAR, India — Less than half of residents in both the Indian and Pakistani zones of Kashmir favour independence as a solution to end unrest in the disputed Himalayan region, a survey said Thursday.

    Conducted by British academic Robert Bradnock, the independent survey found that 44 percent of people in Pakistani-administered Kashmir favour independence, and 43 percent in Indian-administered Kashmir.

    United Nations resolutions soon after the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 called for a plebiscite to determine whether the region should belong to India or Pakistan, both of which claim Kashmir in full.

    "These results support the already widespread view that the plebiscite options are likely to offer no solution to the dispute," said the survey, which was released by the London-based Chatham House think-tank.

    Titled "Kashmir: Paths to Peace", it was a rare attempt to assess the opinions of people on both sides of the Line of Control (LOC) -- the de facto border that splits the region between the two rival nations.

    "Any solution will depend on the Indian and Pakistani governments? commitment to achieving a permanent settlement," Bradnock said.

    The survey interviewed about 3,800 people to record their views on how they saw the future of Kashmir -- a scenic region that has been a constant source of tension between India and Pakistan.

    In the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, which has been at the heart of a 20-year-old insurgency against Indian rule, between 74 percent and 95 percent respondents favoured independent Kashmir.

    But in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region -- which is also part of Indian Kashmir -- support for independence dwindled to less than one percent.

    The survey found that the "overwhelming majority" of people wanted a solution to the dispute, even though there were no "simple fixes".

    More than 47,000 people have died in Indian Kashmir since the eruption of the insurgency in 1989.

    India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, but a recent peace process has brought a reduction in violence.
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    HEre is a quick table that contains basic information on J&K that I had used as part of a paper I was doing. It gives a big picture view of various districts in J&K and their profile and sentiments mainly based on the Chatham house poll

    Against Militant Violence refers to the reponse in the question "End to militant violence helps in resolving the conflict"

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  6. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some of the results are strange. 0% in Rajouri are against militant violence?
     
  7. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    As I understand, the valley on whole may be wishing for Independence and not a merger with Pakistan or India. Now, to me, the reason are: The valley does not want to merge with India because of India's hinduness(imagined or real). The valley does not want to merge with Pakistan because of its present situation(economically, socially, politically..etc). Because Pakistan has become a mess, Valley prefers independence. If Pakistan had developed relatively and was stable socially, then Valley might have preffered Pakistan... because they are co-religionists...
     
  8. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    What are they gonna do with their Independence, sell apples! They will be attacked the moment its freed. Slowly but surely the Govt. should work to remove 370.

    @ejazr, any studies on what good the article-370 has done to JK.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That maybe the public perception in both countries if one take your statement as correct.

    Notwithstanding, the reason why Plebiscite has not taken place is because this resolution has not been implemented.

    The UN Resolution

    RESOLUTION 47 (1948) ON THE INDIA-PAKISTAN QUESTION SUBMITTED JOINTLY BY THE REPRESENTATIVES FOR BELGIUM, CANADA, CHINA, COLUMBIA, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 286TH MEETING HELD ON 21 APRIL, 1948. (DOCUMENT NO. S/726, DATED THE 21ST APRIL, 1948).

    # The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavors:

    1. To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purposes of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;

    2. To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order.

    # The Government of India should:

    1. When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council's Resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for withdrawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order;

    Link

    Therefore, Pakistani nationals and troops have to quit POK and then the Plebiscite can be held.



    It is important to read Lawrence's Vale of Kashmir to understand the Kashmiri psyche.

    This psyche has been subverted by the Pakistani and foreign fundamentalists who have undertaken terrorism and attempting to project that they are fighting the cause of the religion and that the religion has always been under siege, more so, after 9/11 and India is one of those who are participating full time in such a siege of the religion.

    Most of Kashmir follows the Sufi form of Islam.

    As far as Gilgit, Hunza and Baltistan is concerned, they are totally opposed to Pakistan, more so, because the GoP is carrying out a sectarian demographic change by bringing in Sunni Pashtuns to overwhelm the Shia majority.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
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  10. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Ejaz a question - in Rajauri 0 % want to join India, but 100 % want to make LoC as IB ??can you explain ?
     
  11. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well on 1947, Sheikh Abdulla was the most popular leader in the valley if not beyond. After asceding to India he proved his mandate by winning elections on adult franchise and also becoming the first state to pass land reforms.
    Given this, the sentiment was definitely pro-India in the backdrop of the Pakistan backed tribal invasion.

    Now at the height of the insurgency, even then Independance had the highest support by far in the valley. Pakistan was looked sympathetically intially because of supporting their independance aspiration and ofcourse because Indian troops were seen to be ruthlessly putting down the revolt.

    An Outlook survey done in 1995 had 70+% for independance and 18% for joiing Pakistan with only 5% wanting to join India. Again this was only for the valley. Since then, the secular pro-independace militants(which even had non-muslims among them) were sidelined and assasinated while more hardline and extremist Islamist militants were supported. One of the reason why JKLF did a ceasefire with the GoI and decided to adopt a "peaceful way for independace".

    The current situation obviously has depended on how India has performed and Pakistan's decent into chaos. But also on the improving on the ground situation in Kashmir were increasing numbers (but still small) feel that they can be a part of India even if this is not what they really want.

    The screenshot showing the unacceptable for J&K's final constitutional shape shows that 70% of valley Kashmiris while corespondingly 63% consider it unacceptable to join to India.
    Interestingly, when the full implementation of A370 as the basis of joining India is given as an option. The unacceptable percentage in the valley drops to half of Pakistan's unacceptable score at 34%

    Again this is only the valley
     
  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yes sorry for that, I haven't got around correcting it but I have edited my post to clarigy what "Against Militant violence" means i.e. will ending militant violence help in resolving the conflict

    So basically the border regions don't think that ending militant violence is helpful. Not that they are "for" militancy
     
  13. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Unfortunately, the A370 was never implemented in full so we can't say what good it would have done to J&K

    if you check out the www.peacepolls.org report which asks the autonomy question (option 6) for the final status solution, you see an incredible number of people dropping opposition of joiing India if it is restored. The unacceptable % is evenly low across all except the Buddhists who will probably need some assurance in this case.
     
  14. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The report does'nt go into details on this but this is my understanding. The question was join the entire J&K with India. People in Rajouri beenfit from the Army prescence and border trade and other such benefits that come with being a border district. If the entire state becomes part of India Rajouri Poonch will not be border districts anymore.

    That is why either with LoC becoming IB in its present form or IB with liberalised control, both get over 90% acceptance in Poonch and Rajouri. Both Muslim majority districts have a higher number of poor or backward Bakerwallas and Gujjars who are mainly nomads and probably benefit from Army related work and other developmental activities.
     
  15. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    @Ray Sir

    What I wanted to highlight is that majority of Kashmiris by far (over 70%) want independance. But this is NOT on the UN resolutions. So when Pakistan harps on the UN resolutions, its not talking about Kashmiri aspirations but just to make a point. Hence you had the govt. interlocutors recently pointing out that the majority of the people in the valley aslo don't talk about UN resolutions as it just doesn't meet the requirement of what they want. Only those Kashmiris who harp about UN resolution wrongly think that it will provide Independace.

    Secondly, the rest of the state wether Muslim or Non-Muslim is just not interested in independance. wether you take Muslim majority regions of Kargil, Poonch or Rajouri or others. But given the fact that 50% of the Muslim in J&K state live in the valley, they tend to have a dispropotionate voice when it claims to speak for muslims of the state.
     
  16. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    J&K study centre clears air on disturbances in northern state - The Times of India

    BHUBANESWAR: Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre, a research organization set up in New Delhi two years ago, has undertaken a nationwide programme to sensitize people about the state.

    "Jammu and Kashmir that came into its present form of political structure as a state on March 16, 1846, through a treaty signed by Maharaja Gulab Singh and British government, is strategically important and historically a unique part of India. It is shocking that due to some historical blunders, some parts of it are currently under the occupation of Pakistan and China, which the country will never give up its effort to get back. But it is equally surprising that a large number of people in India still do not know much about Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the ground reality there," said Arun Kumar, national convenor of the Centre, who came here on a three-day visit to the state.

    He said contrary to popular perception, out of a total geographical area of 1.1 lakh sq km, 86,000 sq km area, comprising Ladakh and Jammu, has never seen anti-India protests. "Such protests have been confined to only Kashmir Valley, comprising an area of 15,000 sq km. And more importantly, the agitations have involved only Kashmiri speaking Sunni Muslims, a small sect of the valley's population. The Shia and Gujjar Muslims, who comprise 12% and 18% of the state's population respectively, have never vented anti-India views. It is an irony that whenever any public discussions have taken place, the separatist leaders, representing a minority view, project themselves as the sole representative of the voice of J&K people," he pointed out.

    Kumar said similar myths persist on "plebiscite, special status in Article 370 and dispute over its accession, perpetuated by vested interests and international conspiracies". Kumar appealed to educated people and intellectuals for a "deeper study of documents, which are all in public domain, for objective and proper interpretation".

    On Article 370, he said the provision was meant "to be in effect for a temporary period of time and the Constitution is clear about it. But massive frauds have been committed behind the cover of this Article and there is need to abrogate it, which is possible through a simple Presidential order". He also demanded voting rights for the lakhs of refugees from PoK, as done in the case of Kashmiri Pundits by providing them an Assembly segment of Habbakadal, enabling them to cast their votes from anywhere in India.
     
  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually, what the Kashmiris want is totally obfuscated because separatism has becoming a big business, with money flowing from both sides.

    The attitude of the Hurriyat blowing hot and cold is an indicator that none wants the issue solved and instead milch the lactating cows endless.

    In fact one PDP man Kaul said exactly the same yesterday in a TV show.

    This money has changed Srinagar's skyline and lifestyle, apart from some other places.

    Those who have gone across legally and illegally and come and go are aware that our side of Kashmir is better off.

    While much has been done for the Valley and Jammu, the areas of Rajauri - Punch and Kargil - Ladakh have not progressed and they are not quite delighted with the Srinagar Govt. That is why there is a clamour in Kargil (Shias) and Ladakh (Buddhists and Shias) for autonomy.

    In such a churn, it is difficult to know the genuine aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

    Nor will it be possible till separatism call is no longer a big business that milks the cows endlessly.

    Further, the surveys are conducted in urban centres, but then Kashmir is not merely the urban centres. There are a sizeable nomadic population - the Bakerwals and the Gujjars who are constantly on the move. Then there are small hamlets high in the mountains. These people constitute a large part of the population but are never considered for any 'intellectual' studies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
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  19. Subramanian

    Subramanian Regular Member

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    First Make Jammu a new state,do a referendum and finish the story.
     
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