Category Archives: Kashmir

Kashmir

British Parliament condemns Pakistan’s move over Gilgit-Baltistan, says it belongs to India

The British Parliament has declared that Gilgit-Baltistan, currently under Pakistan’s control, belongs to India. It condemned Pakistan’s move to declare it as its fifth province. The British Parliament also called the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as illegal.

Read more » India Today
See more >> http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/british-parliament-pakistan-gilgit-baltistan-india/1/912572.html

Days after crackdown, JuD reappears with new name

By Rana Tanveer

 

Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Belligerent Occupation

NayyarBy Nayyar Niaz Khan

The tension between India and Pakistan over Jammu Kashmir has its traditional rivalry over the ownership of entire Jammu Kashmir State, while the majority of masses in Jammu Kashmir is resisting for the right-to-self-determination. Presently, diplomatic lingo on either side is intimidating to add the real dimension to the conflict; this very dimension surpasses the human, political, cultural and economic rights of people in Jammu Kashmir and strips off the hidden desires of occupiers. Both the nuclear rivals are wide-open that their real tension over Jammu Kashmir is the control over its natural resources: Water being of the prime importance for which the entire Jammu Kashmir may turn into a blood-bath.

Continue reading Water Resources of Jammu Kashmir and Belligerent Occupation

India Says It Hit Pakistan Terror Camps After Attack on Army

 

India says strikes conducted Wednesday; Pakistan denies attack

India said it attacked terrorist camps just across the border in Pakistan, the biggest military escalation since a standoff 17 years ago, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi retaliated for a deadly strike against Indian soldiers earlier this month.

Read more » Bloomberg
See more » http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-29/india-attacked-pakistan-terror-camps-says-no-more-ops-planned

True Freedom and the Neglected Chapter of Political History

NayyarBy Nayyar N Khan

The entire South Asia has been shadowed by the staggering apprehension of security concerns, cross-border conflicts and poor connectivity. The insubstantial situation of the one of the densely populated region in the world has made it one of the least integrated in the world besides having common bonds across the international borders. India and Pakistan being two nuclear rivals and key states of the region have always been on forefronts since their creation in 1947. Religion has always been a dominant factor in classifying the geo-political trends while evaluating the Indo-Pak relations. Although India claims to maintain her secular traditions but in practice religion was one of the fueling elements that impacted the Indian politics. While Pakistani politicians, on the other hand have consistently failed to identify the common “Political Nomenclature”. Instead of looking for the common bonds to strengthen the democratic character politicians have always preferred to take refuge under the imported umbrella of identification and sadly ignored the true sentiments of the struggling masses. With the new Indian identity after BJP’s government, dimensions of conflicts also shifted from political to more deeply implanted in religious ones.  The conflict over Jammu Kashmir has its historical roots in human rights and right of freedom and development. Over the years and decades ruling class of both countries have turned the Kashmir conflict into a religious one and have deliberately ignored the important variables to find the lasting solution of the conflict.

Human history is full of endless struggles and lessons. Among countless lessons in the evolutionary phases, there is one distinctive lesson that can be drawn by going through the pages of hitherto history and it could be summed up as “if the people are to co-exist peacefully and respectfully and advance their life, they must be free of any kind of oppression and enjoying equal standards in rights.” Going deep down the pages of history we also come to know that as long as the mistreatment and exploitation of one class by the other exists and the majority of human race living in a particular region is deprived of fundamental rights and prospects to develop in a free environment without fear; the slogans of democracy, peace and justice are absurd and muted and claptrap assortments. The people of Jammu Kashmir have been going through multi-folded layers of exploitation that has taken its tolls in almost every single family living across LOC in this beautiful Himalayan Country. Major Obstacles in shape of occupation, slavery, exploitation by the ruling elites and imposed socio-economic order have protracted impacts in blocking the road to progress and development. Digging down the layers of history to determine where and what went wrong in the past seven decades definitely would help in advancing towards ending the conflict in a rational way but it needs much more time and efforts to point out every single ring of the chain. Shortly, the ruling class of the region has failed badly time and again to end the conflict in Jammu Kashmir. If the dispute is still going on Kashmiri people should not be held responsible for that rather class based interests of both Indian and Pakistani ruling elite is the major factor that hindered all the efforts in resolving the dispute in sub-continent. Ruling elite of both countries have defaulted on their own promises and pledges with Kashmiri people and International Community.  While reading all those dusted pages of political history of South Asia, one common question arises in the minds of Kashmiri people that almost seventy years have passed since sub-continent was divided and we still are not free; and the life of the masses is still sadly crippled by the yokes of exploitation and the shackles of suppression. All the divided parts of Jammu Kashmir have become milk-cows for the local legislative gangs, feeding grounds as pleasant as possible for a horde of the local rogues and the parasites of Kashmir conflict.

Continue reading True Freedom and the Neglected Chapter of Political History

Curfew imposed in north Kashmir’s Handwara town, four killed so far

The Army and police have regretted the killings and announced a probe into the matter

Written by Mir Ehsan

Curfew has been imposed in north Kashmir’s Handwara town after four people were killed during clashes between security forces and civilians over the alleged molestation of a girl by an Army man. Over a dozen villagers were injured in the clashes.

One of the youths, killed in the clashes, was buried in Kupwara amid anti-India protests. Locals said curfew was imposed in Handwara and its neighbouring areas as authorities fear fresh protests in the town.

One of the youths killed was Jahangir Wani, a 25-year-old from Dragmulla, who was hit by tear gas shells.

Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-firing-handwara-curfew-mehbooba-mufti-army/

Pakistan Army offers to help rescue Indian soldiers buried under Siachen avalanche

Pakistan Army director general military operations (DGMO) called his Indian counterpart on Thursday and offered assistance for the rescue of Indian Army personnel who went missing after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area.

Ten Indian soldiers were feared buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the India-held portion of Kashmir on Wednesday, The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1040287/pakistan-army-offers-to-help-rescue-indian-soldiers-buried-under-siachen-avalanche/

Modi makes surprise visit to Pakistan

BY MEHREEN ZAHRA-MALIK AND KRISHNA N. DAS

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stopover in Pakistan on Friday to meet his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, the first time an Indian premier has visited the rival nation in over a decade.

Sharif hugged Modi after he landed at the airport in the eastern city of Lahore before the two boarded a helicopter for Sharif’s nearby estate, state television showed.

A spokesman at the Pakistani prime minister’s office told Reuters the two leaders would discuss a range of bilateral issues, including the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the most contentious issue dividing the nuclear-armed rivals.

Modi was on his way home after a visit to Russia. He stopped off in the Afghanistan capital Kabul earlier on Friday.

After months of a freeze, India and Pakistan resumed high-level contacts with a brief conversation between Sharif and Modi at climate change talks in Paris late last month, part of efforts to restart a peace dialogue plagued by militant attacks and long-standing distrust.

Modi, who inaugurated a new parliament complex built with Indian help in Kabul, spoke to Sharif earlier on Friday to wish him on his 66th birthday.

“Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi,” Modi tweeted.

The two prime ministers flew to Sharif’s estate in Lahore named Jati Umra, after his family’s ancestral home in a Punjabi village in India, Pakistan state TV reported.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://in.reuters.com/article/india-pakistan-modi-nawaz-sharif-idINKBN0U80G020151225

 

Kashmir has never been part of India: Arundhati Roy

we give below a very relevant piece of news in connection with Arundhati Roy and her stand on Kashmir. Our organization was always of the opinion that Kashmir has been forcibly acquired by India and the people’s revolt there is justifiable. We have been writing articles and booklets for the last two decades elaborating the history of the Kashmiri people. The situation has come to such a state that immediate step has to be taken to free the people of Kashmir. [ref to appeal in www.srai.org dated 19 September, 2010] .About a hundred thousand people have been killed by army and hundreds are still missing in this small valley with a population of about 70 lakhs. If we take the stock from the year 1953, more than 2 lakh inhabitants of the Kashmir valley have been killed or are simply erased by the Indian army. Is this a free country? Can we still call Kashmir a part of our Nation?

We are with Arundhati Roy and demand justice for the common people of Kashmir.

Prabir Ghosh, General Secretary
Science & Rationalist Association of India

 

Read more: The FreeThinkers
See more » http://www.srai.org/kashmir-has-never-been-part-of-india-arundhati-roy/

Indian Air Force (IAF) capable of cross-border strikes: Raha

by Dailyexcelsior

NEW DELHI, Oct 3: Sending a strong signal across the border, Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha today said his force was fully capable of carrying out cross border surgical operation against terrorists’ camps, should the political leadership decide to do so.
Addressing an annual press conference ahead of the Air Force Day, the Air Chief said the decision to undertake such actions shall have to be taken by the political leadership.
To a question whether the IAF is capable of carrying out surgical operations on the terror camps operating in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), similar to one the Indian Army undertook inside Myanmar to demolish Naga insurgents’ camps, Air Chief Marshal Raha answered in positive.
“You want to ask about our capability. Yes, we have the capability but the intent would be of the Government,” he said.
The IAF chief hint at swift operations follows comments by Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag, who had talked about “swift and short” wars in future, which attracted a sharp reaction from his Pakistani counterpart Gen Rahil Sharif.
The Air Chief Marshal talked about capability building time and again during his hour-long news conference. Asked about the two-front war scenario, involving both Pakistan and China, he avoided a direct response, saying that the nation’s preparedness was not against anyone but the focus is to create a deterrent capability. (UNI)

Courtesy: Daily Excelsior
Read more » http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/iaf-capable-of-cross-border-strikes-raha/

Pakistan Tests Modi’s Mettle With Gurdaspur Terror Attack

By Assistant Professor, Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program

MUMBAI — When it was obvious that Narendra Modi would become India’s prime minister, Pakistan grew alarmed. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is the party that gave India its nuclear status. Indians voted for Modi and the brave India he promised in hopes that his government would not indulge Pakistani predations, and punish them instead.

Pakistan has developed one core strategy in dealing with India over the decades: deploy Islamist militants to attack India while seeking cover from retaliation under its nuclear weapons. It should be noted that while Pakistan is most notorious for supporting Islamist terrorists, it also supports religious and ethnic insurgencies within India as well. Pakistan not only seeks to use terrorism to illegitimately acquire territory in Indian Kashmir, it also wants to resist India’s rise in the international system. Until the Modi administration, Pakistan has remained fairly confident that India will not respond militarily to punish Pakistan for its state-sponsored terrorism or to deter it from doing so in the future.

Modi’s election prompted Pakistan to wonder how India will respond to a bold Pakistan-backed terrorist attack. Would it follow the path of the previous prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and defuse public demands for revenge in effort to avoiding any skirmish with Pakistan that would impede India’s economic growth? Or would it embrace a more hawkish approach that would punish Pakistan?

Read more » The Huffington Post
See more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-christine-fair/pakistan-modi-gurdaspur_b_7926308.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Bajrangi Bhaijaan – A triumph of humanity over Political Divide

By Nayyar N Khan

Passion, love and peace have no frontiers and neither do the compassionate relationships, which is why a Bollywood production like Bajrangi Bhaijaan strikes an arpeggio with working class audiences all over the Indian sub-continent without taking into considerations the phony and abhorrent divides created by the ruling class of the region. The message conveyed by Bajrangi Bhaijaan is based upon the idea of peace, love and harmony toward humanity. It shouldn’t be taken as nationalistic or denominational neither it should be explained as triumph of one nuclear rival over the other. It is the main concern for all the human beings living in the heavily militarized, brittle and odious nuclear sub-continent and that of the mankind living across the globe. Bollywood’s production in a milieu where the Missiles and nuclear weapons are named after Prithvi, Abdali, Ghazanvi and Agni for icing the bitterness on the cake baked from the ingredients of centuries old religious rivalry is a ray of hope for the peace loving souls of the region. Record business at the Box Office proves the fact that the ruling elites at both Delhi and Islamabad must rethink and graduate their political wisdom to come out of the State policies based upon hate and violence because ordinary folks have spoken aloud across Radcliffe Line. Millions of ordinary folks and working class across the Radcliffe Line in Indian sub-continent wish to live in peace and harmony and their shared dream have been taken hostage by the political religions backed by warmongers in both the countries.

Continue reading Bajrangi Bhaijaan – A triumph of humanity over Political Divide

Indian Army should leave Kashmir: Noam Chomsky

By Raqib Hameed Naik, TwoCircles.net

Boston (USA): American philosopher, linguist & a leading public intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky has said that the Indian Army should leave Kashmir as there have been ‘horrible atrocities’ in the Valley.

“Kashmir has had an awful story, especially since late 80’s after that fake election. There have been horrible atrocities. Therefore, the Indian Army should leave Kashmir,” Professor Chomsky told Mehboob Makhdoomi, a Kashmiri Author who recently got into Harvard University, in an exclusive interaction in his office at the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) here.

Continue reading Indian Army should leave Kashmir: Noam Chomsky

The Quest for Political Identity in Jammu Kashmir

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

Prior to the emergence of modern state, during the monarchy the subjects of monarchs had little say in their relationship with the state. Over time, the concept of citizenship and identity developed, with the principle that citizens were not just residents of a given territory, but were members of a political community with a particular identification and recognition. Civil, political, and social rights became associated with citizenship, differing by country in the balance among these and in their scope.

Different simulations of the appropriate relationship between a state and its citizens are exemplified in different systems, which legitimize these models based on their preferred political ideology. All regimes have formal institutions that reflect their ideological claims. But central to these identifications, besides having differing ideologies is the element of political identification, because modern day nation states in global north have kept religion as a private and personal matter and have set forth a “political doctrine” where citizens are equal before the law without prejudice to the their spiritual beliefs. Social scientists have established several different methodologies to understand how identities are formed and why they become politically prominent. Whether identity groups are politically important, and whether people act politically based on group membership, depends on a variety of factors, such as whether a group has a pre-existing sense of itself: it must be an existing reality with both historic ties and a forward-looking agenda. It must have some felt grievance, and it seems to need political identity to be recognized as a distinct unit. When it comes to conflict in Himalayas where the State of Jammu Kashmir comprised of different regions, with inhabitants of different ethnicity languages and religions; the factor of political identity seems more prominent and dominant in the decades long strife in the region. Historically the ethnic, religious and linguistic groups living in the State of Jammu Kashmir have a shared history of living together in peace and harmony over the centuries. This “Peace and harmony” was, however, shattered by the religiously charged atmosphere of 1947, when both India and Pakistan attained their independence under the umbrella of Two Nations Theory. Although India rejected the concept of Two Nations Theory and vowed for the secular and political identification but over the years religious identity has been a dominant insignia across the Radcliffe Line.

Continue reading The Quest for Political Identity in Jammu Kashmir

With China, for China – As China arrives, Pakistan cleans house

By Wajahat S. Khan

The Sino-Pak axis has matured. The decades old ‘Cheen-Pak Bhai Bhai’ narrative is fast moving beyond pan-Karakoram fraternal rhetoric complemented by scenically exotic highways, shared rocket designs and muted nuclear deals to morph into optically sound, fundamentally critical, even mutually loud and proud policy, infrastructure and defense initiatives on the ground. China – and not just its submarines – is coming to Pakistan, and Pakistan is getting ready to receive the People’s Republic. The ‘Bhai’ in Beijing, as the mood in Islamabad indicates, is now a BFF – Best Friend Forever – even a Friend With Benefits.

The comprehensive Chinese assistance package – hinged on the 3000 kilometer-long China-Pak Economic Corridor, an aggressive energy build-up and military modernization – is the largest planned foreign investment program for any country, ever, touching almost crossing over $100 billion in the next decade and a half, and is being seen as the next, and perhaps the last, big thing that war-weary Pakistan must grab on to, at any cost.

The Peking Promise

The plan is simple: The deep-sea port of Gwadar is going to drive Chinese imports, largely oil and gas, into western China, which is relatively underdeveloped versus the rest of the PRC and prone to militancy. The levies, infrastructure and traffic will tone up the CPEC network to create jobs, roads and even entire towns along the way from Pakistani Balochistan, through all of the Islamic Republic’s other provinces, to Chinese Kashgar in Xinjiang. Add the potential of Chinese naval presence in Gwadar that will let it over see Hormuz and neighboring ports and the reality of Pakistan’s newly formed and purpose-built 34th Infantry Division to protect Chinese assets and personnel, and there is a single-minded confidence that the corridor must be secured and will be secured. After all, the Pakistanis have given their word to Beijing.

“China is Pakistan’s only strategic friend…not even the Saudis get to have that privilege any longer” said a senior intelligence officer last month when China’s deputy intelligence chief, Dong Haizhou was promised “no hurdles for CPEC” by army chief General Raheel Sharif during a visit to GHQ, according to the military spokesperson’s office.

So, fuelled by the blank political cheque presented to the civilian and military security apparatus by popular support after the terrible Peshawar Army Public School massacre last December – which has granted the military, police and federal investigators unprecedented constitutional powers to clean house – whoever gets in the way of a CPEC-oriented Pakistan must move aside, or be pushed out. The purge is here, and the reasoning is to satisfy China.

Housekeeping

But this isn’t just the regular arrests and assassinations purge, the type that Pakistanis are used to. It’s more of a wide-ranging political rethink, a housekeeping exercise that runs from the south to the north, just like the corridor it is meant to pave. In Karachi and Sindh, the drive against ‘corrupt’ political parties like former president Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party has begun, which has forced him to take some respite and exit the country; also, that’s where the ‘violent’ wings of Karachi’s all-powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement are being clipped, with some help from the BBC (which claims that India’s Research and Analysis Wing funded and trained the party’s militants) and British authorities (who are investigating the MQM’s leadership in London for murder and money laundering). Karachi, too violent and complicated to tackle alone, needed a pincer move to control it, and the Pakistanis have managed to find a partner here in the UK.

Continue reading With China, for China – As China arrives, Pakistan cleans house

FALSE EQUIVALENCY IN THE “INDO-PAKISTAN” DISPUTE

By 

In the wake of India’s hot pursuit of militants into Myanmar, Pakistan has raised numerous alarms about Indian aggression. It has issued various warnings that no such Indian incursion into Pakistan will be tolerated. As often happens in such circumstances, the international media has raised the tocsin of the potential for yet another “Indo-Pakistan” clash. Unfortunately, much of this coverage of the so-called India-Pakistan conflict is deeply problematic in that writers, perhaps with good intentions, seek to impose a false equivalence on both nations’ conduct, giving the impression that India and Pakistan contribute equally to the fraught situation that currently exists.

This is dangerously untrue and feeds into a policy-process that has failed to come to terms with the most serious problem in South Asia: Pakistan. Such coverage also rewards Pakistan for its malfeasance by attributing blame to India in equal share and thus legitimizing Pakistan’s ill-found grievances. The only parties who benefit from such an understanding of the “Indo-Pakistan” dispute are the Pakistan military and its terrorist proxies. One such article was published by the Washington Post on June 11 by Tim Craig and Annie Gowen. In this essay, I seek to provide the necessary historical and empirical background that is required to make sense of the current situation. In doing so I directly challenge such writers as Craig and Gowen, among others, to devote more time to understanding the conflict dynamics before they inadvertently obfuscate the situation more than they illuminate it.

Pakistan’s Tired Kashmir Claims

As the article notes, the origins of the India-Pakistan dispute date back to 1947, when the two countries were tweezed out from the detritus of the British Raj. Pakistan’s founders argued that Muslims of South Asia could never be safe and secure under a Hindu majority in a unified India and thus required a separate state after the British departed. This was the crux of the so-called Two Nation Theory, which held that Muslims and Hindus are equal nations despite the fact that Muslims were far fewer in number.The Two Nation Theory was deeply problematic from beginning. First, Muslims had lived under Hindu dominion in the past with no significant diminution of their basic freedoms. Second, as independence loomed,many of the Muslims in what became West Pakistan did not want to join Pakistan in the first place. Third, during and after Partition, about one third of South Asia’s Muslims opted to remain in India rather than join Pakistan. Fourth, the 1971 secession of East Pakistan based upon ethno-nationalist mobilization against West Pakistani oppression further undermined the notion that South Asian Muslim identity was a sufficient basis for nationhood. The Two Nation Theory has remained the motivation for Pakistan’s claims upon Kashmir, without which Pakistan believes Partition can never be a complete process and the Two Nation Theory remains a dream deferred.

Partition was conducted on the basis of geographical contiguity and Hindu-Muslim demographics. Three so-called Princely States — Hyderabad, Junagarh, and Kashmir — did not cast their lot with either of the new nations even though hundreds of other such states had done so. The Muslim sovereign of Hyderabad, a large swathe of territory deep within India, governed a mostly Hindu population. He preferred to remain independent of either dominion. After a prolonged skirmish with the sovereign’s own militia and their supporters, India forcibly annexed Hyderabad. Junagarh, a Hindu majority state also deep within Indian territory, was governed by a Muslim who signed an instrument of accession to Pakistan. Pakistan initially refused to accept it because it shared no border with Junagarh. In the end, Pakistan accepted the instrument, likely in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip for the prize: Kashmir. Kashmir’s sovereign was a Hindu who presided over a Muslim majority population. While Kashmir was the only Muslim-majority state in the Raj, the polity was diverse and included Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslim communities various sects of Sunnis and Shia. Kashmir’s sovereign also sought independence. He signed a stand-still agreement with Pakistan to stave off military action while he dithered in casting his lot with either India or Pakistan.

Continue reading » WAR ON THE ROCKS
Read more » http://warontherocks.com/2015/06/false-equivalency-in-the-indo-pakistan-dispute/?singlepage=1

Increasing Diplomatic Distrust Across Radcliffe Line In Sub-Continent

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

Although both India and Pakistan never had friendly relations since their creation in 1947. The persistent mistrust between the two neighboring countries over various key issues has defied numerous international attempts at resolution and entered its most dangerous phase when both India and Pakistan openly blaming each other for supporting and funding the terrorist activities across the Radcliffe Line.

Both are well aware of this material fact that they cannot change their neighbors even then both hesitated to exercise their diplomatic muscles to ease the bilateral tensions. No serious efforts has ever been made in this regard to create a fear free environment in the world’s most thickly populated region. Fog of fear and mistrust are as old as the political age of both the countries. There were several occasions in the history when both could have negotiated a peaceful resolution of the conflicts and have progressed forward to establish trust instead of bullying. If there were some measures taken in this regard, they were merely on piece of paper under international diplomatic pressure but these accords were never accepted from either side passionately. For instance, Tashkent agreement of 1966 lost its credibility and validity only after six years when both fought another war in Bengal in 1971 and as a result Bangladesh came into being and Pakistan Army had to surrender amid defeating and humiliating circumstances.

1972 Shimla Accord between Z.A. Bhutto and Mrs. Indra Gandhi also could not prove to be a lasting and defining doctrine as the definition and explanation of the articles and clauses have different meanings in the diplomatic and self-explanatory lingo across the Radcliffe line.  1989 uprising in Indian held Jammu Kashmir again fueled the mistrust and both confronted each other internationally through their diplomatic muscles by the harsh words of intervention in the internal affairs, terrorism support, human rights violations and so on. 1998 proved to be another catastrophic year in bilateral rigidities when both tested their nuclear weapons one after another thus blowing the whistle for a deadly catastrophe in the region. Soon after the nuclear experiments both take the U-Turn and signed another treaty at Lahore, Pakistan declaring to move forward theoretically but ended up fighting a war at the Peaks of Kargil in Jammu Kashmir in 1999. Again During the Vajpayee and Musharraf regimes both countries came close to each other for a short period of time but the Confidence Building Measure could not last longer and 26/11 Mumbai attacks swept the dust of friendly relations under the old carpet of animosity. All the blames for the attacks were leveled against both the State and non-state actors from the territory of Pakistan.

Continue reading Increasing Diplomatic Distrust Across Radcliffe Line In Sub-Continent

Towards Understanding South Asia – A Comparative Study of Kashmir Conflict in Regional and Global Perspective

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar Niaz Khan

The State of Jammu Kashmir has been at the vanguards in India-Pakistan relations since the abrupt withdrawal of Great Britain from sub-continent and formation of two States. Since 1947 Pakistan and India have gone to war thrice, Kashmir perceived to be the main dispute. In 1999 Kargil crisis again brought both newly nuclear rivals to brink of war. The then US administration led by President Clinton intervened promptly and timely negotiated to deescalate the overwrought situation when both were at fighting an impromptu war at the peaks of Kargil in Jammu Kashmir. After US led war against terrorism in Afghanistan (2001), the genre of global politics exclusively transformed and it also influenced the South Asia and anywhere else in the world. Due to the changing global political scenario and new fronts of confrontation after the end of cold war, both India and Pakistan advanced their bilateral relations during the Musharraf and Vajpayee’s regimes in their respective countries. Back door diplomacy led them to take some sort of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including a direct bus service across the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed State of Jammu Kashmir. South Asian politics of guns and arsenals was replaced by composite dialogues, negotiations, reconciliations, sports and exchanges of cultural, intellectual, academics and musicians. But all this could not last long due to absence of a democratic system in Pakistan and history of mistrust among the rivals. Musharraf regime, which was already fragile and lacking public support, became weaker due to his confrontation with judiciary in Pakistan in the first quarter of 2007. The unfortunate and untimely death of Benazir Bhutto was a blow in the forthcoming regional politics of South Asia. As a result of February 2008 general elections in Pakistan, Musharraf lost the power but successive governments of President Zardari and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not show mature judgments on various key issues regarding the future of South Asia including the resolution of Kashmir conflict. On the other hand victory of Hindu nationalist BJP led by Narindra Modi in 2014 general elections in India altered the corridor of Indian politics and secularism. Even the major party to the conflict could not stand for the “Ownership Building Measures” and trusted the CBMs which was a colossal error on behalf of Kashmiri leadership across the LOC.

Continue reading Towards Understanding South Asia – A Comparative Study of Kashmir Conflict in Regional and Global Perspective

Status of Princely States, Treaty of Amritsar:  Myths and Realities

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar Niaz Khan

Part I, Concept of a Nation State and Indian Princely States:

The nation states developed not long ago in the known political history. Prior to the 1500 in Europe, the nation-state as we know, did not exist. If anything, people were more likely to recognize themselves with their constituency or local lord. At the same time, the rulers of states normally had slight rheostat over their countries. Instead, local feudal lords had a great deal of power, and kings often had to be contingent on the goodwill of their dependents to rule. Laws and their practices freckled differently in different parts of a country. After the Treaty of Westphalia the concept of nation states emerged on the global political scene. After the birth of nation states monarchs encouraged their subjects to be loyal towards their nation. It took almost two centuries after the Treaty of Westphalia to establish the integrated nation states in Europe.

This was not all true with regards to princely states of India (562 as most historian agreed on this number). Princely states of India were merely subordinate units of British India but some of them enjoyed greater internal autonomy as compared to others because of the size of the area and other factors. To call them sovereign states per Westphalia Treaty is politically incorrect because if that was the case there would have been 562 nation states in the greater sub-continent.

Hasan Ahmed in an academic paper notes with references and citations that princely states were internally autonomous entities of India during the British Raj, which were not under direct rule of British but rather ruled by their local ruler which was subject to the subsidiary alliance agreement between princes and British paramountcy. Malleson, G. B. in his book “ Historical Sketch of the Native States of India in Subsidiary Alliance with the British Government, Published by Longmans in1875 writes that “ The Indian princely states were not fully sovereign, but remained under the British Raj. Their sovereignty was mainly affected by the acceptance of subsidiary alliance and the suzerainty or paramountcy of the British Crown.

In other words Princely States enjoyed the internal autonomy instead of the sovereignty and the autocratic rulers were the masters of their states answerable to East India Company and later the British Raj. This mechanism was introduced by the Viceroy Lord Wellesley. According to the agreement between the rulers of the Princely States and British Colonial government in India Princely States were barred from maintaining troops in their states and had to allow British troops in their states known as Imperial Service Troops, had to allow a British Resident in their states, they were not allowed to enter into agreements with any other power nor could they declare war on any other state without approval from British Indian government. (Malleson 1875). Malleson further notes that “the rulers of the princely states had to acknowledge East India Company as a paramount power in India, if they failed to pay British troop maintenance fee a part of their territory would be acquired by British as a penalty and in return they were guaranteed protection from internal disorders and external dangers”

Continue reading Status of Princely States, Treaty of Amritsar:  Myths and Realities

Pakistan must give up its ‘ideological obsession’ with Kashmir: Hussain Haqqani

LONDON: Former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said on Wednesday that Pakistan no longer enjoys the support of the international community over the Kashmir issue and must give up its “ideological obsession”, The Economic Times reported.

“Pakistan needs to have the kind of approach China has over Taiwan. It doesn’t need to give up its claim but it needs to move on other issues first,” Haqqani said, speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London.

He added that Pakistan no longer has the support of the international community on the Kashmir issue.

Read: Pakistan to turn up heat on Kashmir again

“We need to take a more pragmatic approach rather than making it an ideological obsession,” he said.

Haqqani pressed for a “decisive shift” in Pakistan’s approach towards Kashmir. He said that issues around 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, its alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed could be stumbling blocks to lasting peace between the neighbouring countries.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/847519/pakistan-must-give-up-its-ideological-obsession-with-kashmir-hussain-haqqani/

Crazy talk

By Cyril Almeida

THEY call it a sequential approach. Let the good crazies run around and do the things they like while the boys go after the bad crazies first. Then, once all the bad crazies have been dispatched, it’ll be time to figure out what to do with the good crazies.

Sounds crazy, right? Think of it as a statist version of leaving for tomorrow what can be done today. Hence all those K-Day protests.

There is another possibility though: when you can’t say no, you say maybe. Essentially, the sequential approach is the polite way of telling the world what it wants to hear while merrily getting on with business as usual.

Too sceptical? Forget the history, forget the circumstantial stuff, set everything aside. And reverse the question. Instead of looking for reasons why things have changed or will change, ask why they should change in the first place. Or, to put it bluntly, why change a winning strategy?

We do know that at least three things have changed: Fata is on fire and 200,000 troops are fire-fighting; militancy across the Durand Line has become bi-directional; and the extremist mosque-madressah-social welfare network has exploded across Pakistan.

Much of that is clearly bad, whatever the strategy. But could that just be an acceptable price to pay for a winning strategy, the inevitable downside to a very big upside?

And, in the case of the extremist mosque-madressah-social welfare network, could that in fact be a necessary tool in a winning strategy, an inflammable substance to be handled with care rather than a toxic one to be buried deep underground?

Between the everything’s-changed and nothing’s-changed schools of thought, there is nestled the hawks’ perspective: at home, stuff has changed; outside, stuff is on track.

Start with India. If there’s one thing India doesn’t have an answer to it’s Pakistan-based, anti-India militancy. Nukes they can design. Missiles they can build. Planes they can buy. Submarines, guns and soldiers too. But they don’t quite know what to do about militancy. Which isn’t surprising. Because there’s not much anyone can do against the jihad complex that Pakistan has built.

Continue reading Crazy talk

Hafiz Saeed urges India to ‘leave Kashmir’

LAHORE: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed urged India to “leave Kashmir” while addressing a rally in Lahore to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day on Tuesday.

“No one could defeat the Muslims… If America had to run away, then India, you will have to leave Kashmir as well,” said Saeed amid chants of ‘al-jihad, al-jihad’.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/502947/hafiz-saeed-urges-india-to-leave-kashmir/

India, Pakistan border fighting intensifies before Obama visit

SRINAGAR, India: (Reuters) – Pakistan accused India of killing four civilians on the border of the two nuclear powers and India said one of its border guards was killed, heightening tensions before a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.

India said its forces had killed four Pakistanis planning an attack on Indian soil, although Indian media and opposition parties disputed the official account. The Pakistani army said four civilians had died in Indian shelling.

A senior Indian official with the border security forces said they had retaliated on Monday for machine gun and mortar attacks on about 60 positions strung out along more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) of the border.

“Pakistani rangers fired rocket-propelled grenades in villages near the border and our men have responded,” the officer told Reuters.

Monday’s incidents, in the Samba district south of Jammu along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, followed the killing of two Pakistani soldiers by Indian forces on New Year’s Eve.

As the hostilities intensified, India’s security agencies declared a nationwide alert last week to avoid militant strikes before visits by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama later in January.

Read more » Reuters
Learn more » http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/01/05/india-security-pakistan-idINKBN0KE14A20150105

Where the Kashmiri nationalists really Stand in the greater game

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, human rights activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan

State Assembly Elections in Indian-administered Kashmir: People’s Participation a Strategy or Paradigm Shift.

By Nayyar N Khan

State assembly elections 2014 in Indian administered Jammu Kashmir have glimmered a manic deliberation among the parties to the conflict and stakeholders. Indian media and politicians at Delhi and elsewhere in the country are depicting the participation of ordinary masses in the vale of Kashmir as a trust building notion on the Union of India and rejection of separatist sentiments. Pakistani media on the other hand remained both unconcerned and silent or repeated the same rhetoric of yellow journalism. Kashmir based analysts and activists are twisting the story that fits best in their pre-occupied state of mind. The reality is that after almost three decades of boycotts, strikes and shutdowns Kashmiri people decided to vote instead of boycott. Some intellectuals and writers are taking it as an abrupt decision and others are debating it as a dissatisfactory notion from the state of affairs Kashmiri people have been going through since 1988.

What basically happened has its roots in the past, political evolution, experimental judgment and revisited wisdom. It definitely involves the role of Hurriyat Conference/other separatist factions, lessons learned from militancy and a series of boycotts, role of Pakistani establishment and that of Indian government.  Understanding the linkages between past and present situations in the valley of Kashmir is absolutely basic for a good understanding of the events and chain of the events that, in a nutshell, is why history matters. Finding a linkage with past and present is not only useful rather it is an essential part in understanding the social, economic and political attitudes and beliefs in a constituency. The glance of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people, ideas, movements and events in time. Does it really matter to find the correct answer? The answer is yes it is. Because without finding the correct answer only speculations cannot put the course of “what we are today” in the right perspective.

Elections 2014 of the state assembly in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir have initiated a new chapter in the political panorama of the region. A decade of off-and-on detente between India and Pakistan has drawn to a close after months of deteriorating relations that began with the election victory in May 2014 of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party and the appointment as India’s Prime Minister of a noted hard-liner, Narendra Modi. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi after had already triumphed in a landslide victory across India in the general elections held in the spring of 2014 is continuously altering the political map of Indian Union by winning the elections held for various state assemblies (constituents of Indian Union). Prime Minister Modi has decided to take that heat to the state of Jammu Kashmir to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.

It is chilling winter in Kashmir where some parts are so cold just like frozen Siberia. Glaciers of Himalayas are melting down due to the political heat and participation of Kashmiri people in the elections after almost three decades. People in the valley who were accustomed to the calls of boycott and shut down calls from both the pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan leadership and in practice have sacrificed their daily means of bread and butter in solidarity with the anti-India leadership since 1987. But in 2014 the corridor of political venue has altered the paintings on the Kashmiri canvas. Instead of shutter down and wheel jam strikes lenses of both electronic and print media are capturing the live enthusiasm of people participation in the electoral process.

This apparent shift in the valley raises some serious concerns as well as some lessons to be learned. Indian state-owned media is propagating the events as a paradigm shift in the Kashmiri politics while Pakistani media is silent on the electoral process of Indian held Kashmir. The politicians across Jammu Kashmir are interpreting the events well in accordance with their pre-occupied state of mind and trying to concrete and cement their long-held opinions on the very issue.

Continue reading Where the Kashmiri nationalists really Stand in the greater game

Youth killed in clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Xinhua: A youth was killed Friday when contingents of Indian police and paramilitary troopers fired on protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir, locals said.  The clashes broke out following the killing of two militants at village Chanigam-Frisal in Kulgam district, about 53 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.  Indian police confirmed the death of the youth.  “After the killing of two militants, firing resumed during which two Indian army troopers, one paramilitary trooper of CRPF and a civilian was wounded,” a police spokesman said. “The wounded civilian succumbed to his wounds and the condition of one army trooper is critical.”

Read more » china.org
Learn more » http://www.china.org.cn/world/2014-11/14/content_34052043.htm

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More details: BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/regional/2014/11/141114_kashmir_protests_clashes_zs

 

Pakistan using militants as proxies to counter superior Indian Army: Pentagon

WASHINGTON: In a blunt assessment of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, the Pentagon has told the US Congress that the country is using militant groups as proxies to counter the superior Indian military.

“Afghan – and India – focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military,” the Pentagon told the Congress in its latest six-monthly report on the current situation in Afghanistan.

“These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations,” the Pentagon said in the report running into more than 100 pages.

Referring to the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat, the Pentagon said this was done just ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.

“In May of this reporting period, the Indian consulate in Herat Province was attacked by a group of four heavily armed militants. The attack came three days prior to the swearing-in of the new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack,” it said.

“In June, the US department of state announced that the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attack. Following the attack, former Afghan President Karzai denounced the attack and made strong statements supporting relations with India,” the report said.

Courtesy: http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Pakistan-using-militants-as-proxies-to-counter-superior-Indian-Army-Pentagon/articleshow/45031312.cms

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More details » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2014/11/141104_pentagon_accuse_pakistan?ocid=socialflow_facebook

More threats from India over cross-border crisis

By Dawn.com | Reuters

NEW DELHI: India warned Pakistan on Tuesday of more “pain” if it continued to violate a ceasefire on their disputed border in Kashmir and said it was up to Islamabad to create the conditions for a resumption of peace talks.

The two sides exchanged mortars and intense gunfire this month, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding dozens in the worst violation to date of a 2003 ceasefire. While the firing has abated, tension remains high along a 200-km (125-mile) stretch of the border dividing the nuclear-armed rivals.

“Our conventional strength is far more than theirs. So if they persist with this, they’ll feel the pain of this adventurism,” Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV in an interview.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1139420

Hyper nationalism can wait, Kashmiris need succour first

By 

A natural disaster of apocalyptic proportions has hit Kashmir. It is unprecedented in recent memory across three generations and has left tens of thousands marooned besides destroying vital infrastructure. The extent of the human toll is unclear. Reports of floating bodies and those trapped inside collapsed houses makes it a frightening scenario. Almost all major hospitals have been affected and practically dysfunctional. The ones which worked were fast running out of life-saving drugs, painkillers, food and water. Near total power and communications breakdown has complicated relief work. Even after the water recedes, Kashmir would suffer physical, economic and psychological consequences of the disaster for years to come.

Yet it seems to business as usual – dehumanizing Kashmiris — for certain people even in the midst of the catastrophe that has directly affected an estimated 60% people. It is the same old ‘good us’ versus ‘evil them’ subtext — based on chronic disinformation — that is playing out even in the sections of the mainstream media. It is been much worse on the social media. Nauseating trolling has become even more vicious in the name of exclusivist nationalism, which has no place for the monolithic other like Kashmiris. Abuse and sadistic pleasure being drawn from the colossal damage to human life and property has been very distressing particularly for non-resident Kashmiris, who have relied on social media to find out the fate of their loved ones caught in killer flood waters.

Continue reading Hyper nationalism can wait, Kashmiris need succour first

‘India calls off sec-level talks with Pakistan’

NEW DELHI – India on Monday called off foreign secretary-level bilateral talks with Pakistan which was slated to be held on August 25, Times of India newspaper reported on Monday.

The paper reported that the Indian government decided this after a meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and senior Hurriyat Conference leader Shabbir Ahmad Shah in New Delhi. Earlier on Monday, the high commissioner met Kashmiri leader ahead of the proposed secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India.

Read more » Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/18-Aug-2014/india-calls-off-secretary-level-talks-with-pakistan