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.
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
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.
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.
Read more » Kashmir Observer
See more » https://kashmirobserver.net/2016/opinions/quest-political-identification-himalayan-state-jammu-kashmir-2909
In August 1965, what looked like an indigenous uprising spread like a jungle fire across the part of Kashmir under Indian control. A month later, India invaded Pakistan in what Pakistanis call an “unprovoked” move. Since the war ended in stalemate, Pakistan holds a victory pageant each year on 6 September to mark the day it fended off a much bigger enemy. But was the uprising in Indian-administered Kashmir really indigenous?
Air Marshal (retired) Nur Khan, who headed the Pakistan Air Force in 1965, said in an interview with Dawn newspaper that the army “misled the nation with a big lie” – that India rather than Pakistan provoked the war – and that Pakistan won a “great victory”.
And since the “lie” was never rectified, the Pakistani “army came to believe its own fiction, (and) has continued to fight unwanted wars,” he said.
Qurban Ali, 71, is one of the “insurgents” who fought the Indian troops in August 1965.
But he is a native of the Pakistani-administered side of Kashmir, and he was not an insurgent, but a soldier of the Pakistani army’s Azad Kashmir (AK) Regiment.
“I was a fresh recruit then, barely 20 years old. I had completed the regimental training, and then we volunteered for the Gibraltar Force,” he says.
Pakistan is yet to officially confirm it ever commissioned such a force, but a former Pakistan army major, security expert and author, Ikram Sehgal, describes it in a newspaper article as “a mixture of volunteers from the army, mainly those belonging to Azad Kashmir [Free Kashmir, as Pakistanis call the part of Kashmir they control], and fresh recruits” from the Pakistani-administered side of Kashmir who were “hurriedly trained and launched into the valley [Indian-administered Kashmir] in late July/early August”.
The plan, called Operation Gibraltar, was hatched by the officer in command of the region, Maj-Gen Akhtar Hussain Malik, according to Pakistani and other military historians.
The idea was to use armed guerrilla bands to destroy India’s communication system, and attack nodal points to tie up the Indian army.
Qurban Ali and his group took a long, circuitous route through Pakistani territory to infiltrate Indian-controlled Kashmir from the north.
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.
By Nayyar N Khan
Political world is experiencing massive geopolitical changes. At the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Russian city of Ufa has become the point of convergence for all the initiatives and projects of the Silk World Order of trade and integration that China and Russia are spearheading. Ufa, which is the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan, has simultaneously hosted an extraordinary summit for both the BRICS—which has increasingly become an alternative forum to that of the G7—and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) respectively from July 8 to 9 and from July 9 to 10, 2015. Meanwhile, economic crisis of Greece in Europe are deepening with every passing day. The question of how to save Greece, debated for more than five years among European Union, has taken the EU’s future at the recurring nightmare. After the country’s citizens voted in a referendum to reject the terms of a new bailout by international creditors, Greece risks having to leave the 19-nation Eurozone and forsaking the shared euro currency, a move that could decide the political future of Europe as a whole with particular line of actions in Greece. Although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government agreed to meet most of the terms demanded by its creditors, and it requested a three-year bailout of 53.5 billion euros, or $59 billion, as a starting point for talks about possible debt relief. But things at Brussels are not as simple as considered by many across the globe. Alexis Tsipras’s stunning victory during the elections in Greece was an alarming sign for the policymakers at the heart of European capital regarding the future of capitalism and European Union.
The hysteria surrounding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to be built through Gilgit Baltistan, appeared with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan. The visit has spawned an animated discourse among the concerned parties regarding the legal status of route and corridor’s future. Chinese President reaffirmed the previously announced commitment, worth $46 billion, towards the CPEC. The CPEC is considered a substantial project that seeks to bolster Sino-Pakistan bilateral bonds and further consolidate their premeditated ties. The corridor will run through Gilgit Baltistan, part of the erstwhile Princely state of Jammu Kashmir declared disputed by the United Nations and accepted by both India and Pakistan. In due course, this geographical reality of the CPEC could potentially impinge upon Jammu Kashmir’s geopolitical calculations, territorial integrity, promised referendum under UN patronage and pose a strategic challenge to the global peace and security. Pakistan as being a party to the Jammu Kashmir conflict has an obligation to uphold and recognize the disputed nature of entire State of Jammu Kashmir till the final settlement of the dispute. If it walks away from this obligation it shrinks itself as a liable nation state which would be a grave breach to international law and Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. A country emasculates its raison d’être if either it cannot provide minimally acceptable governance to its own people, or is derelict with regard to the internationally acknowledged rights of a people, for the effective support of which it assumed legal responsibility.
This report documents obstacles to justice for victims of human rights violations existing in both law and practice in Jammu and Kashmir, and shows how the government’s response to reports of human rights violations has failed to deliver justice for several victims and families. In writing this report, Amnesty International India analyzed government and legal documents related to over 100 cases of human rights violations committed between 1990 and 2013, and interviewed families of victims, their lawyers, journalists, academics, civil society activists, and state and central authorities.
Read more » AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
See more » http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/indiareport1july15.pdf
By Nayyar N Khan
Armed conflicts both on micro and macro level have always played a significant role in shaping the political trends in South Asia when visualized through the prism of modern day evolving tendencies. The entire region has been shadowed by the alarming apprehension of security concerns, cross-border conflicts and poor connectivity. The fragile situation of the one of the thickly populated region in the world has made it one of the least integrated in the world besides having certain 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 analyzing the Indo-Pak relations. Although India maintained her secular traditions as promised by her founding fathers but in practice religion was one of the fueling elements that impacted the Indian politics. 2014 victory of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) headed by Prime Minister Modi have altered the designs and corridors of South Asian politics in general and that of India in particular. While Pakistani politicians, on the other hand have consistently failed to identify the common “Political Nomenclature” as a characteristic symbol of their country. Instead of looking for the common bonds among masses 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 victory the dimensions of regional 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 both India and Pakistan have turned the Kashmir conflict into a religious one and have deliberately ignored the important variables to find the lasting solution of the conflict.
While, on the other hand, the emergence of China as a regional and global leader and her stature as an influential economic giant has further complicated the regional conflicts in South Asia because of the growing Chinese political influence accompanied by the goods and services of Beijing in the region. At one hand China has influenced the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of disputed state of Jammu Kashmir bordering Xinjiang, while on the other continuous diplomatic muscles are used while determining the border issues with India. Rising fundamentalism within the Chinese territories and counter strategies to tackle and handle the deteriorating situation has widen the range of conflict from territorial to an ideological and regional one ranging from China to Central Asia and on the other side of the border into Pakistan.
NATO and U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan to combat and curb extremism had put a halt on the other regional conflicts in the region. Organized extremist movement in the tribal areas of Pakistan have provided shelter to the Islamic militants of the region that would probably ignite the situation after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
NEW DELHI: Former Pakistani envoy to United States, Hussain Haqqani, said Pakistan was not doing enough to show the world the seriousness of its efforts to curb and eradicate terrorist setups breeding on its soil.
“It is time for Pakistan to give up the jihadi option forever, only when we do that, we will have credibility in the international community,” Haqqani said.
Haqqani told ANI that terror attacks in India perpetrated by agents from across the border were a deliberate hindrance to peace talks.
“Terrorists have always wished to interrupt talks between India and Pakistan through terror attacks. But India and Pakistan must understand that there is no other way than a peaceful bilateral dialogue. No terrorist is a friend of Kashmir, India or Pakistan,” he said.
Calling upon the Pakistani government to up the ante against terror if it wanted to show the world that it was serious against militancy he said that ”Pakistan’s government continues to say that it is trying to eliminate terror and efforts have been started, but they are not enough. Pakistan needs to make it clear to the world and to India that no jihadi group will have safe haven in Pakistan anymore.”
Haqqani observed that Pakistan itself had suffered in the hands of terror breeding on its soil and said that it was high time that authorities accepted this.
“The acceptance and tolerance towards jihadi groups over the past has harmed Pakistan more than any other country in region,” he felt.
The former Pakistan envoy to the US condemned Friday’s terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and said efforts were required from Pakistan to build confidence and move towards healthier, meaningful dialogue between the two countries. “Kathua attack should not only be condemned, but Pakistan must extend cooperation in finding out which groups based. Only then can the confidence be built which will enable India and Pakistan to move forward in a comprehensive dialogue,” added Haqqani.
He termed Pakistan’s steps towards Tehreek-e-Taliban as a positive step but an inadequate one.
“Unless Pakistan acts against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, JeM and all militant groups, wherever they might be operating Pakistan, will continue to be suspected by international community of harbouring terrorists,” he said.
Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Abdul Basit’s decision to engage with Hurriyat Conference leaders from Kashmir was criticised by Haqqani, terming it as an ‘ill-advised’ move which would not be looked on positively by India.
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”
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.
“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/
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.
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/
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
In the dying days of the British Empire the colonialists perpetrated upon India a tragedy of massive proportions. Absolutely artificially and unnecessarily they partitioned the country. Mahatma Gandhi had wisely stood against the division of the country. He had told the British to leave. The Quit India Movement of 1942 was the clearest articulation of that message. Suddenly the British worried about the ‘safety’ of their Muslim subjects. It wasn’t that Indian Muslims and Hindus had rioted and killed each other every day before the British arrived to rule the country. The fact is the kings and queens in India fought each other just as they did in Europe. The real Hindu Muslim riots started well after the first war of Indian Independence of 1857 when the British had come close to losing the jewel of the empire. In its aftermath the British intensified their efforts to sow divisions amongst Indians. They escalated only when in response to the demand of the Indian National Congress for independence the British started seeking fragmented representation of Indians based on religion in different fora including elected assemblies. The round table conference participants to discuss home rule/independence were deliberately chosen based on religion and caste to fracture the Indian national interest. The Indian National Congress and the Muslim League fell for the deliberate and divisive machinations of the colonial rulers and foolishly accepted the completely unnecessary division of India. The British could have left just as they had come leaving the Indians to their own devices. The Congress could have just shown British Imperialists the proverbial finger and insisted on one undivided and independent India. There may have been bloodshed. But it would have been the bloodshed of Indians caused by Indians. Doesn’t make it any better but it would have been the Indians’ blunder. India would have survived.
The rulers of Pakistan must know religious ‘purity’ and ‘orthodoxy’ by definition have no limits. The state must never compete with the fanatics in the domain of fanaticism. No matter what their flavour or variety the fanatics are the enemies of reason; beyond reason.
The Indian sub -continent and the world is still paying for the British imperialist’s 1947 partition of India that bordered on the criminal. It set off the not so unanticipated largest peace time migration of population in the history of the world. Hundreds of thousands perished in the carnage that ensued. The bloody echoes of that insane and unnecessary partition have continued to haunt the Indian sub-continent. They now bedevil the world too; particularly the western world.
The bloody trails of the partition of August 1947 lead directly to the most recent massacre of the children of the Pakistani military run school in December 2014. The Pakistani Madarsas created the Afghani Taliban, initially sponsored by the United States of America for Jihad against the Soviets. The Madarsas also trained Jihadis for Kashmir. First Afghani Taliban and later Pakistan sheltered Al Qaida. The fanatics figured if the Pakistani trained fanatic terror was ‘good’ for Kashmir and Afghanistan it would be just as good for Pakistan. It thus begot Pakistani Taliban. In my mind’s eye when I imagine an undivided India bordering Afghanistan I see no Taliban. In that moment I see the India of Gandhi’s dreams personified.
Division of people and countries by religion perpetuates hate. Unfortunately for the people of the subcontinent Pakistan has not been able to shed its birth mark of hate. It could have embraced its natural culture and heritage of India. Pakistan would always be Indian by heritage just as India and Bangladesh are. It is not a crime to embrace one’s roots. Pakistan did not have to fashion it’s rootlessness out of it’s deep Indian roots. It did not have to become an Islamic state. But then it was only natural for a state created in the name of religion to be consumed by it.
The rulers of Pakistan must know religious ‘purity’ and ‘orthodoxy’ by definition have no limits. The state must never compete with the fanatics in the domain of fanaticism. No matter what their flavour or variety the fanatics are the enemies of reason; beyond reason.
Note: Writer is Former premier/ chief minister of Canada’s British Columbia province.
Courtesy: Ujjal dosanjh
See more » http://ujjaldosanjh.org/index.php/entry/no-taliban-without-a-pakistan#.VJce5O7MN-I.gmail
Some see ISI’s ambiguous approach towards different groups in effort to counter Indian influence as fuelling attacks
Within days of a militant attack earlier this year on the Indian consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat, intelligence officials in Kabul and Delhi were told by their US counterparts that communication intercepts indicated that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba group (LeT) was responsible.
A lucky shot from a guard had hit the leader of the assault team, giving defenders time to prepare and the four attackers had all been killed. US officials said they had aimed to take hostages and cause a drawn-out crisis intended to destabilise India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, just days after his landslide election win.
The new details of the operation will be seen as further evidence of the close relationship between LeT and Pakistan’s security establishment.
LeT was responsible for a 2008 attack on the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai in which around 170 people were killed by militants who had arrived by boat from the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. A key figure in the attack told US and court officials that middle-ranking officials from the Pakistani military’s Directorate of InterServices Intelligence (ISI) had at very least facilitated the assault.
Western intelligence officials also believe the ISI has close relations with the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, an insurgent faction which has repeatedly struck international targets in Afghanistan.
“There have been intelligence reports that link the ISI particularly to the Haqqani network,” Joseph Dunford, the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, said in April.
The ISI also maintains links with a range of sectarian groups within Pakistan and outfits primarily focussed on fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir.
Some blame these continuing relationships for the carnage at the army-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday.
The link is indirect. Few say that there is any connection between the Pakistan Taliban (TTP), the rough coalition of groups that has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the country’s security establishment.
“The military formally and institutionally considers the TTP as an enemy of the state as it has killed many soldiers over the years,” said Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson centre in Washington.
Pakistan’s use of certain militant groups as strategic assets, however, makes concerted action against others impossible, according to Ajai Sahni, an Indian security analyst.
“If you allow space for armed Islamist groups you can’t really distinguish one from another,” Sahni said.
The policy of using militants as auxiliaries goes back to the earliest days of the new Pakistani nation and its partition from India following independence from Britain. Such forces were seen by the new country’s military commanders as an effective way of countering their eastern neighbour’s huge demographic, economic and military advantage. They have played a key role in Pakistan’s four wars with India. Auxiliaries were also deployed in Kashmir in the 1990s. When hundreds of Pakistani militants infiltrated across the de facto frontier in the disputed Himalayan territory in 1999, they sparked the most recent overt conflict.
Read more » The Guardian
Learn more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/17/pakistan-spy-agency-isi-relations-militants-blamed-school-massacre
State Assembly Elections in Indian-administered Kashmir: People’s Participation a Strategy or Paradigm Shift.
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.
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.”
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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.
A research study regarding an international railway project linking Pakistan with China’s Xinjiang province through Azad Jammu and Kashmir has been commissioned by China, according to a Times of India and China Daily report.
The rail link funded primarily by China would connect Xinjiang’s western city Kashgar to the Gwadar deep sea port of Pakistan, said state-run China Daily while quoting the director of Xinjiang’s regional development and reform commission, Zhang Chunlin on the subject.
“The 1,800-km China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad and Karachi,” Zhang had said at the two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt being held in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital.
Due to geo-strategic implications the project would be hard to proceed with, as it would be a requisite for the rail project to run through the Pamir Plateau and Karakoram Mountains. Although once completed it would emerge as one of the most strategically beneficial transportation infrastructures on the China-Pakistan economic corridor, opined Zhang.
“Although the cost of constructing the railway is expected to be high due to the hostile environment and complicated geographic conditions, the study of the project has already been started,” he added.
President Xi Jinping had also spoken in favour of rejuvenating conventional trade routes connecting China, Central Asia and Europe.
A multi-billion deal has already been signed to initiate work on an Economic Corridor linking Kashgar with the port city of Gwadar through AJK. It also implied revamping the already in place Karakoram road link despite the cynicism expressed by political analysts in China.
The project exhibits tremendous potential as it would enable China to run a port alongside Gulf of Oman which is deemed to be a hub for activities relating to oil tankers.
India however has objected to the project citing concerns that the said route would involve a disputed territory. Pakistan had given the operational key of the port city of Gwadar to Beijing back in 2013, a move deeply detested by India as it alleged it could provide a chance to China to monitor its port activities.
By Ayaz Amir
If this was Srinagar, and the Indian army had been trying to quell a crowd of Kashmiri demonstrators, we would have understood. We would have shaken our heads but we would have understood. Although even there the savagery and the mindless brutality of the Lahore police on supporters of Dr Tahirul Qadri would have seemed excessive.
The Indian army and the Indian police don’t have much of a reputation for being gentle in dealing with unruly Muslim protesters. Even so, when was the last time nine people, including two women and a youngster, were shot dead in cold blood in Srinagar? In addition to the dead there are around 30-40 people with gunshot wounds in hospital. When was the last time this happened across the Line of Control? When was the last time this was the tally of the dead and wounded in East Jerusalem or the West Bank?
And this wasn’t Hamas-ruled Gaza, the West Bank or Occupied Kashmir. This was Lahore and one of its better residential colonies. The chief minister lives in the same locality. But that evening when he addressed a press conference looking ever so contrite, he gave the impression that all this happened over his head. This from someone known as a hands-on chief minister…virtually half the city’s police force deployed against the Minhajul-Quran secretariat, the locality looking like a battlefield and resounding with the sound of gunfire for hours on end, and the chief minister in blissful ignorance.
Chennai – The Indian Army and its paramilitary are seen as a dominating force of North India against the South. While South Indians have generally not resorted to violent backlashes as those seen in the Northeast (Manipur, Assam, Nagaland) or Kashmir or Punjab, people in the South are just as adamant about South India achieving Independence.
The anger against the north is not simply hatred out of the blue. The constant discrimination from the north does not help. When our languages are replaced by a fake language, do not expect people to remain quiet either. And lastly, India’s dual game in Sri Lanka was the final nail in the coffin.
India has never been sincere with the Tamil people and has constantly fueled the civil war between the Tamils and Sinhalese. India sent her military to Sri Lanka and massacred both the Sinhalese and the Tamils in Valvettithurai and Trincomalee and named its contingent IPKF or “Indian Peace Keeping Force”. The games of India have been exposed and its only a matter of time until the fires burning at the edges of this country begin to make it’s way towards you in the Hindi belt.
Drokpa, India/Pakistan: Around 2,500 Drokpas live in three villages in the Dha-Hanu valley of Ladakh, which is situated in Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The Drokpas are completely different from the Tibeto-Burman inhabitants of most of Ladakh – tall and fair, with big, lightly coloured eyes, full lips and distinctive noses and eyebrows. Historians have identified the Drokpa people as the only authentic descendants of the Aryans left in India. For centuries, the Drokpas have been indulging in public kissing and wife-swapping without any inhibitions or consideration for marital relationships. Since the practice was banned by the authorities, the Drokpas now only conduct this passionate display in the absence of outsiders.
Resolution of the Kashmir issue would go a long way towards making Pakistan a more normal state and reducing its preoccupation with India, says CIA veteran Bruce Riedel.
He also suggests a quiet American effort led by President Barack Obama to move the two countries towards an agreement.
In his new book Avoiding Armageddon, published by HarperCollins, Riedel, who was a senior adviser to four US presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues, explains the challenge and the importance of successfully managing America’s affairs with India and Pakistan and their toxic relationship.
Full of riveting details of what went on behind the scenes, and based on extensive research and Riedel’s experience, the book reviews the history of American diplomacy in South Asia, the crises that have flared in recent years, and the prospects for future crisis.
“Resolution of the Kashmir issue would also remove a major rationale for the army’s disproportionate role in Pakistani national security affairs; that in turn would help to ensure survival of genuine civilian democratic rule in the country,” he writes.
India asks Pakistan to seek NoCs for projects in GB, AJK
ISLAMABAD: India has asked Pakistan to get no objection certificates (NoCs) from New Delhi for building all the hydropower projects being completed in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK involving funding of international donor agencies.
India has also asked Pakistan to provide detailed information about all hydropower projects being built in Gilgit-Baltistan with the funding of these international donors.
This has been communicated to Pakistan in the latest correspondence in which India has again declared Gilgit-Baltistan as its integral part. ….
By Saeed Qureshi
India and Pakistan have been dueling with each other since 1947 for accession or occupation of Kashmir. Both are stuck up on the line of control ever since and presumably would remain so in the future as well. The Kashmiri nation, ethnically different from the people of Pakistan and India cannot travel across the artificial border.
India makes a legal case for her occupation of Kashmir by citing the agreement reached with the Dogra monarch Hari Singh ruling Kashmir at the time of partition. Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir is based upon the partition formula stipulating that the majority of the religious population would be basic criterion for a state to join either India or Pakistan.
In simple terms it means Muslims majority areas to join Pakistan and the Hindus majority areas with India. India’s claim for annexation of Kashmir is based upon the then monarch of Kashmir Hari Singh’s hasty accession to India.
Because of the unrelenting insurgency and continuous internal unrest in the Indian occupied part of Kashmir, India started deploying security forces through 1990s under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act ( AFSPA) that continue to remain camped on the Indian side of Kashmir ever since. Lately their number has reached 700,000. This is the highest number of armed forces deployment by any country in the post world war in the disputed territories.
The stationing of such massive military presence is a counterpoise to the Pakistan much smaller military deployment in Pakistan’s controlled Kashmir. The deployment of Indian military and para military forces is aimed at suppressing any riots and internal liberation movements launched by the freedom fighters from time to time. The Indian army has been accused of gross human right violation and perpetration of civilian casualties.
WASN’T it? Yesterday I mean. Spring announced itself in Delhi. The sun was out, and the law took its course. Just before breakfast, Afzal Guru, prime accused in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, was secretly hanged, and his body was interred in Tihar jail.
Was he buried next to Maqbool Butt? (The other Kashmiri who was hanged in Tihar in 1984. Kashmiris will mark that anniversary on Monday.)
Afzal’s wife and son were not informed. “The authorities intimated the family through speed post and registered post,” the Home Secretary told the press. “The Director General of J&K police has been told to check whether they got it or not.”
No big deal, they’re only the family of a Kashmiri terrorist.
In a moment of rare unity the nation, or at least its major political parties, the Congress, the BJP and the CPM, came together as one (barring a few squabbles about ‘delay’ and ‘timing’) to celebrate the triumph of the rule of law.
The conscience of the nation, which broadcasts live from TV studios these days, unleashed its collective intellect on us — the usual cocktail of papal passion and a delicate grip on facts. Even though the man was dead and gone, like cowards that hunt in packs, they seemed to need each other to keep their courage up. Perhaps because deep inside themselves they know that they all colluded to do something terribly wrong.
By Salman Rashid
he Alafi tribe of western Hejaz were among the earlier converts to Islam. Since before 680 CE, a large body of them frequently travelled back and forth between their country and Makran. Now, Makran at that time seems to have been very much like modern day Fata. Though part of the kingdom of Sindh under Raja Chach, it appears to have been only loosely held with a substantial foreign element running wild in the country.
In 684, when Abdul Malik bin Marwan took over as caliph, his deputy in Iraq, Hujaj bin Yusuf, appointed one Saeed of the family Kilabi to Makran. The man was entrusted with collecting money from this country as well as neighbouring regions wherever he could exercise pressure.
Somewhere in Kirman on his way east, Saeed met with one Safahwi Hamami. The Chachnama is not explicit about this man, but gives the understanding that while he had “no army under (him)”, he was nevertheless a man of significant social standing. The man may, therefore, have been a merchant.