Debundling of Kashmir into three regions by putting Ladakh and Jammu as union territories by Prime Minister Modi is perhaps the first step to solving the Kashmir problem and by implication accepting the Two-Nation Theory and abandoning the secular India façade, which has been done in the name of making India a Hindutva country.This is also separating the valley which has a Muslim majority and the demarcation is done on the basis of religion. Jammu has a pre-dominantly Hindu population and Ladakh, a Buddhist population. Both have been put under direct rule of India. In Ladakh, India has an outstanding border dispute with China, which is why China is the first country that condemned India’s action. India is a federation and the struggle for independence cannot be suppressed through brute force. Perhaps, the next step of the Modi government would be to consider accepting the independence of the valley and claiming that the people of Azad Kashmir should also be given the right to choose independence from Pakistan.There was talk of India and Pakistan coming close to resolving the issues between them during the regime of Pervez Musharraf. His foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, wrote a whole book on this subject – Neither a Hawk Nor aDove. Kasuri identified some factors of the framework for a Kashmir settlement through backchannel talks. It included demilitarisation regionsto wean militants away through Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration DDR, self-governance and a control on insurgencies from non-state actors among other factors. He wrote that both nations decided, after protracted negotiations, to agree on a reduction of armed forces in the AJK region. “It was also agreed that this reduction would be brought about gradually, in consonance with the improvement of the situation on ground,” he wrote.According to Khurshid Kasuri, India delayed the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because the Musharraf government was destabilised by the lawyer’s movement for the restoration of some judges. Some sources say that Musharraf’s intelligence agencies helped the lawyer’s movement destabilise his regime. Mr. Kasuri also confirmed that his interactions with the military generals on Kashmir’s issue supported out-of-box solutions which were developed through backchannel diplomacy talks. Musharraf, who was the architect of the Kargill attack, surprisingly took a U-turn and went to the extent of finding a solution to the Kashmir issue. He proposed four out-of-box solutions:The first was to identify the geographic regions of Kashmir that need resolution. At present, the Pakistan part is divided into two regions: Gilgit-Baltistan (who don’t consider themselves Kashmiris and fought for independence from the Kashmir Raja) and Azad Kashmir. The Indian part is divided into three regions: Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh. Are all these on the table for discussion, or are there ethnic, political and strategic consideration dictating some give and take? The strong reaction in Pakistan after India scrapped articles 370 and 35a which provided autonomy to Kashmir amply proved that states are ruthless creatures. The ruling establishment’s claim that their policies are to serve the people but more often in practice these are hollow claimsThe second was to demilitarise the identified region or regions and curb all militant aspects of the struggle for freedom. This will give comfort to the Kashmiris who are fed up with the fighting and killing on both sides.The third was to introduce self governance or self rule in the identified region or regions. Let the Kashmiris have the satisfaction of running their own affairs without having an international charter and remaining short of independence. The fourth and most important one was to have a joint management mechanism with a membership consisting of Pakistanis, Indians and Kashmiris overseeing self governance and dealing with residual subjects common to all identified regions and those subjects that are beyond the scope of self governance.The strong reaction in Pakistan after India scrapped articles 370 and 35a which provided autonomy to Kashmir amply proved that states are ruthless creatures. The ruling establishment’s claim that their policies are to serve the people but more often in practice these are hollow claims. People’s benefit is only the byproduct of some of the policies of the states ruling classes. Many a time’s right things happen for wrong reasons. And people are crucified on the altar of narrow nationalism. Ego and territory matters more than humanity.This point is evident by the trajectory of Pakistan-India conflict over Kashmir which has brought nothing but misery for the people of Kashmir in particular and in the people of both countries in general.This is also proved by the UN Human Rights Commission report on Kashmir.Nehru had assured in 1952 that India’s constitution would not be extended to Indian-held Kashmir without “the will of its people.”“I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Jammu & Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion. … I say with all deference to this Parliament … the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations, nor by anybody else,” Nehru had said as quoted by veteran journalist I.A. Rehman.The scrapping of these two Kashmir-specific clauses will further aggravate the crisis in Indian-held Kashmir and pouring in more forces will prove that instead of meeting the demands of the civilians politically India has chosen to suppress the Kashmiri resistance by brute force.The world may not give the support which Pakistan is looking for, except China, which has its own border dispute with India.It is not yet clear whether the Supreme Court would allow tochange the Indian Constitution’s basic structure. By scrapping article 370 and 35a, India has through a presidential decree not given any chance to the J&K state to give its vote because J&K is under the governor rule ever since India dissolved the Jammu & Kashmir state assembly.The writer is author of the book ‘What’s wrong with Pakistan?