Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), which has been simmering for the past two decades because the Indian leadership reneged on the promise made by its founding fathers to honour the pledge given to the UN Security Council to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the desire of the Kashmiris, has now reached a flashpoint. The events of the past ten weeks, a fanatical Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and an ineffective Congress have acted as catalysts in bringing the situation to a head. The allocation of 100 acres of prime forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) by the Jammu and Kashmir Government caused a violent reaction by the Kashmiri Muslims, causing the Chief Minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad to lose his government and the rescinding of the allocation and placing IHK under Governor's Rule. This in turn provided an opportunity to the BJP to arouse chauvinism among the hardliner Hindu population of Jammu to politicise and exploit the agitation. It imposed an economic blockade which closed the Jammu-Srinagar highway for weeks bringing goods transportation to a halt, causing great public suffering. As a reaction, mainstream parties of IHK marched towards Muzaffarabad with the aim of selling perishable fruit in Azad Kashmir. More than 20 people were massacred along with the renowned Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, in condemnable, highhanded police action. In a turnaround, New Delhi has now decided to re-allot the cancelled land to SASB to appease the Hindus. Indian security forces have clamped a 24-hour curfew since August 23, in all the ten districts of the occupied territory to curb the rage of the Kashmiris. The curfew was not relaxed even for Friday prayers. The ethnic divide between the Hindus of Jammu and Muslims of IHK has reached a stage that Delhi-based Human Rights activist Praful Bidwai, in his Op-Ed titled Playing with fire in Jammu & Kashmir is forced to comment that "In less than two months, the BJP has succeeded in driving an emotional and political wedge between Jammu and Kashmir - something that jihadi separatists working with Pakistani agencies couldn't achieve in the nearly 20 years of the azadi movement." On the other hand, another alarmed civil liberties campaigner, Kuldip Nayar, in his Op-Ed Kashmir on edge, surmises that "The ISI may want to fish in its troubled waters. Some well-meaning persons are suggesting that India should quit Kashmir. They do not realise that the Yasin Maliks and Umar Farooqs will be pushed out in no time and the Valley will be taken over by the Taliban or terrorists." Mr Nayar has every right to fret over the boiling cauldron of Kashmir, but he should not waste his breath over the wrong reasons. With the war against terror being in Pakistan's own backyard, Pakistani security agencies are having their own hands full attempting to harness the terrorists. As for the dread of Talibanisation of Kashmir, Mr Nayar should realise that the Muslims of Kashmir are a liberal lot and do not welcome extremism of any kind; be it Hindu or Muslim. Indian government and security agencies have badly miscalculated the K-factor and this time they cannot blame Pakistan or ISI for their woes. Their own ill-conceived policies, BJP's desire to foment trouble after its no-confidence movement against Dr Manmohan Singh failed and the terror unleashed by the Indian security forces has backfired terribly. Even if Indian leaders ignore history, the events in the Valley this Independence Day, should be a stark reminder of the harsh ground realities. On August 15, 2008, Bakhshi Stadium, which was to be the venue of the Indian Independence Day celebrations was deserted, the event being totally boycotted by the Kashmiri Muslims, who chose to observe the occasion as a Black Day to register their protest. However, every Muslim rooftop had a Pakistani flag hoisted and the Valley was reverberating with loud slogans of Long Live Pakistan. So much so that the renowned Indian Human Rights campaigner Arundhati Roy, in her Op-Ed titled Azadi, concludes that it is time that the Indian government realises that the Kashmiris have expressed their will (a privilege denied them so far) that they no longer wish to be a part of India and it is time India respects their will. The Indian government has no option but to return to the Composite Dialogue process to resolve the festering issue of Kashmir, which has become a flashpoint and can erupt any moment embroiling the nuclear weapons equipped erstwhile arch rivals India and Pakistan. The writer is a political and defence analyst