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.
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.
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.
Part 1: Historical background
Beginning of cold war, formation of the United Nations, decolonization on a mammoth scale and escalation in national liberation movements across the globe were some of the major achievements of post-World War II. Our political world entered into a new phase of history in the mid-1940s after the upheavals of Hiroshima and Naga Saki. Process of decolonization in Indian sub-continent was also a reverberation of the revulsions and rumbles of WWII. There was no single process of decolonization. In some parts of the world, it was serene, and methodical. In many others, independence was achieved only after a long-drawn-out uprising because of the competitive political ideologies of Socialism and Capitalism. Both Soviet Union and United States headed their respective camps and our political world got divided on ideological eminences. A wave of national liberation movements across the continents toppled and dethroned the colonialism. Many of the newly independent countries assimilated stable governments almost immediately; others were ruled by authoritarians or military juntas for decades, or suffered long civil wars. Some European governments welcomed a new relationship with their former colonies; others disputed decolonization regimentally. The process of decolonization coincided with the new Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and with the early development of the new United Nations. Decolonization was often affected by superpower antagonism, and had a certain sway on the progress of that rivalry. It also ominously changed the configuration of international relations.
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.
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
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
It has been claimed for decades that a convergence of dynamics, including water scarcity, societal unrest, and strategic choreography, will unescapably drive states and other actors to act belligerently, perhaps even sadistically, to secure exquisite water resources. So are we as a final step witnessing the first twinkles of the new era of water wars? Water as a resource is very equivalent to oil; it is indispensable to all circadian human activities. Water is becoming a much cherished commodity, yet freshwater resources are asymmetrically distributed among developing countries. This scarcity in water has prompted anxiety in countries that already have little access to water, let alone steadfast water supplies. This desperation customarily cannot be determined by negotiations. Peter Gerick in his research paper, Water Conflict Chronology published in May 2013 noted that “If governments or claimants want water badly enough, they resort to force to obtain it. Water has very rarely been the main ingredient in international conflicts, but it is often factored into the problem due to its economic importance.” War and conflict have been tied directly or indirectly to the protection of resources throughout the known history of conflicts. Water, being one of the most important natural resources always been the primary need ranging from individual to the industrial level. With the risk of water shortages around the world becoming more and more of an issue, water has become the fuel of certain conflicts in many regions around the world. “Water Wars” are becoming unescapable in the future of our world as the exploitation of water resources continues among countries and nation states that share the same water source. International law has proven itself inadequate in shielding the fair use of shared water supplies in some parts of the world. Professor Zoltan Grossman of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, noted in 2004 that the rapid population increase and commercial usage of water for energy production has greatly affected the amount of water readily available to many people.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Read more » china.org
Learn more » http://www.china.org.cn/world/2014-11/14/content_34052043.htm
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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.
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.
Islamic militants fighting Indian forces in Kashmir will declare war on Pakistan if it weakens its traditional support for their jihad, their senior leader has warned.
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi
Syed Salahuddin, leader of the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group of Kashmiri militant groups which includes the Lashkar e Taiba, said they had been fighting “Pakistan’s war in Kashmir” but Islamabad now cares more about trade than jihad.
“We (militants) are fighting Pakistan’s war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan,” he said in an interview with the Arab News.
His threat emerged as India and Pakistan’s leaders prepare for talks in Islamabad on Monday on proposals to withdraw their troops from the disputed Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield close to the Line of Control which divides Kashmir.
Salahuddin and other Kashmiri militant leaders fear Pakistan’s leaders will withdraw its long-standing support for the military strikes against Indian forces in Kashmir as part of its diplomatic campaign to reduce trade barriers and ease movement between the old enemies.
Pakistan’s readiness to grant ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ trading status to India and the opening of new ‘cross-border’ trade routes in Kashmir had sent a message to insurgent leaders like his Hizbul Mujahideen that “Pakistan wants business with India.” Pakistan has long used group’s like Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar e Toiba as part of its proxy war with India over control of Kashmir, with military protection for their training camps in ‘Azad’ or ‘Free’ Kashmir.
By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: A US-based Kashmiri leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges of lobbying for Kashmir without registration and spying for the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence).
Mr Fai also acknowledged receiving money from the Pakistani spy agency through clandestine routes and causing revenue losses.
Pleading before the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr Fai conceded that he received at least $3.5 million from the ISI between 1990 and 2011. This resulted in a revenue loss of between $200,000 and $400,000 to the US government. …
Read more » DAWN.COM
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC-STM-183-2011,
November 29, 2011 – The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a subject of severe criticism by human rights activists and jurists in India and across the world. The alarming number of human rights abuses committed by the security agencies deployed in regions where AFSPA is currently put to use is depressing proof to the draconian nature of this law. Many lives lost already – estimated to be more than 4000 since the Act came into force in 1958 – to this the Act underscores the non-compatibility of this law to the notion of democracy. The statutory impunity provided in the Act and the extreme nature of force, that could be used arbitrarily on mere suspicion, empowering a soldier to shoot to kill with no fear of prosecution which is used without restraint till today, proves that this law has not only failed, but would not by any stretch of imagination be of use to curb armed secessionist militancy in the country. Yet, the Indian Army is now entangled in a browbeating debacle with the civilian government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the state’s legislature concerning the withdrawal of this law from certain parts of the state. The army’s attempt is to continue enjoying the despicable impunity this law provides therefore unbecomingly benefiting from it.
– As a child growing up after India’s partition, Kashmir to me was always a part of India. Only in middle school did I begin to realize that it was considered “disputed territory” by much of the world, the sentiment being especially fierce in neighboring Pakistan. The map of India that we studied in school showed Indian Kashmir as a larger territory than what was actually under Indian control. Parts of it in the north and the west were in reality, within China and Pakistan. The scenic northernmost state, a popular destination for summer tourism and the backdrop of many a puerile romantic song & dance number of made-in-Bombay movies, was not a very urgent topic of discussion for the general Indian public. Kashmir for most Indians, evoked benign, pretty images of apple, apricot and walnut orchards, chinar trees, shimmering lakes, snow capped mountains, houseboats, fine pashmina shawls, lacquered papier mache ornaments and the valley’s light skinned aloof inhabitants.
Later in my teen years I began to understand that Kashmir was not the placid paradise we had imagined as children. Its politics were complicated and its population sharply divided on the state’s rightful status – part of India, part of Pakistan or a wholly independent/ autonomous entity. The difference of opinion fell across religious lines. Kashmiri Hindus wished to remain with India and the majority Muslim population of the state did not. Even then, things were mostly quiet and free of turmoil. There were quite a few Kashmiri students in my school. Many had ancestral homes and relatives in Kashmir and they visited there regularly during summer breaks. Those friends were all Hindus. Come to think of it, I did not know a single Kashmiri Muslim on a personal level until I was in college. There were Muslim traders and merchants who came down to major Indian cities bearing expensive and much coveted Kashmiri merchandise such as saffron, dried fruit, nuts and embroidered woollens, but they did not reside in the plains permanently and their children did not attend our schools. The first Kashmiri Muslim I came to know well was Agha Shahid Ali, a graduate student a few years ahead of me in Delhi University who later became a lecturer of English at my college as also a poet of some renown. It was Ali who first revealed to me that most Kashmiri Muslims did not identify themselves as Indians and many felt a greater emotional and cultural allegiance with Pakistan. An equal number wanted an autonomous state with a very loose federation with India for economic reasons. The Indian government spent large sums of money to subsidize the state’s economy and prohibited non-Kashmiris from buying land there while also meddling in local politics. Kashmiris became increasingly suspicious of the central government’s motives and the rift with India widened both politically and culturally.
Despite tensions and uncertainties, Kashmir never experienced the sectarian violence that had racked the eastern and western wings of India around partition time. Even when India and Pakistan fought several wars over their disagreement surrounding the region, Kashmir itself remained relatively free of communal strife for many decades after India’s independence. The uneasy calm ended in the late 1980s and early ’90s when the Kashmir valley became a battle ground for armed insurgents trained in Pakistan and the Indian military forces. The conflict caused a communal rift among long time residents and resulted in a mass exodus (some say expulsion) of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes. Those tensions remain to this day laced with bitterness on both sides.
I had never visited Kashmir when I lived in India. By the time the political upheaval unfolded in the 1990s, I had already left and had been living abroad for a decade. Kashmir’s troubles and deteriorating political situation were not something I paid close attention to until the Kargil War erupted in 1999. It became clear then that Kashmir had become an intractable problem for India. I am still not sure how I feel about the situation. What can India gain by holding on to a territory whose residents do not want to be a part of India? Can India protect regions like Ladakh and Jammu in the vicinity which identify firmly with the rest of India? What would happen if India does decide to vacate the valley and stops spending money to placate the population and maintain the large presence of its armed forces? Would Kashmir valley remain “independent” or will some other country like China or Pakistan march in and establish control even closer to other Indian states? How does one balance the interests of Kashmiris and the rest of India? Is peace ever possible when the citizenry perceives the government as an “occupying force?” Most confusing of all, will Kashmiri Hindus be permitted go back to the homes they abandoned out of fear and panic? And even if it was possible, would they ever want to return to a place that had cut all ties to India? ….
Read more → Accidental Blogger
By LYDIA POLGREEN
NEW DELHI — Thousands of bullet-riddled bodies are buried in dozens of unmarked graves across Kashmir, a state human rights commission inquiry has concluded, many of them likely to be those of civilians who disappeared more than a decade ago in a brutal insurgency.
The inquiry, the result of three years of investigative work by senior police officers working for the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, brings the first official acknowledgment that civilians might have been buried in mass graves in Kashmir, a region claimed by both India and Pakistan where insurgents waged a bloody battle for independence in the early 1990s.
The report sheds new light on a grim chapter in the history of the troubled region and confirms a 2008 report by a Kashmiri human rights organization that found hundreds of bodies buried in the Kashmir Valley.
Tens of thousands of people died in the insurgency, which began in 1989 and was partly fueled by weapons, cash and training from Pakistan.
According to the report, the bodies of hundreds of men described as unidentified militants were buried in unmarked graves. But of the more than 2,000 bodies, 574 were identified as local residents.
“There is every probability that these unidentified dead bodies buried in various unmarked graves at 38 places of North Kashmir may contain the dead bodies of enforced disappearances,” the report said.
The report catalogs 2,156 bodies found in graves in four districts of Kashmir that had been at the heart of the insurgency. ….
Read more → THE NEW YORK TIMES
– The trust deficit between India and Pakistan is not only toxic to Kashmir but has broader ramifications in South Asia.
by Mujib Mashal
In August 1998, about 70 US missiles landed in eastern Afghanistan, targeting former mujahideen training camps that had been handed over to al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden, in what his bodyguard later described as “divine intervention”, was on his way to Kabul and survived. But many of the 34 people killed – 20 Afghans, seven Pakistanis and seven Arabs – were training to fight Indian troops in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“When Bill Clinton ordered missiles [attacks] on former Haqqani camps in Afghanistan, there were definitely Kashmiris killed there,” says Wahid Muzhda, an Afghan political analyst and former mujahid who fought the Soviets during the 1980s. …
Read more → aljazeera
An interesting but debatable account
by Chidanand Rajghatta
WASHINGTON: It was during the Presidency of Ulysses Grant, the first prominent US politician to visit India (in 1878, after he demitted office), that the term lobbying entered the American lexicon. The story goes that Grant used to repair to Willard Hotel, next door to the White House, to relax with a cigar and brandy after a hard day’s work. Political wheelers and dealers, fixers and nixers, hung around the hotel foyer, hoping to get a word across to him. Lobbying arrived in US, although the term existed across the pond. The word ‘lobby’ itself is thought to have originated in England from an old Germanic word meaning “leaf,” to convey a shelter made of leaves and branches. ….
Read more → TOI
via → Wichaar
– Damaging revelations emerge from Fai arrest
FBI allegations that diasporic Kashmiri protests were paid for by ISI plunge movement into crisis
Last summer, as bloody clashes broke out between police and protesters on the streets of Kashmir’s cities and towns, Ghulam Nabi Fai had an impassioned message for the world. ….
Read more → New Digital Point
– FBI: Pakistani Spies Spent Millions Lobbying U.S.
WASHINGTON – For years, the Pakistani spy agency funneled millions of dollars to a Washington nonprofit group in a secret effort to influence Congress and the White House, the Justice Department said Tuesday in court documents that are certain to complicate already strained relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.
FBI agents arrested Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, the executive director of the Kashmiri American Council, on Tuesday and charged him with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Under the supervision of a senior member of Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, Fai donated money to political campaigns, wrote newspaper op-eds, organized congressional trips and met with White House and State Department officials.
Read more: → Fox News
By Kevin Bogardus
The Justice Department charged two individuals Tuesday with acting as unregistered foreign agents for Pakistan. Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai and Zaheer Ahmad are charged in a one-count criminal complaint alleging that they violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by not registering their lobbying work on behalf of the Pakistani government. ….
Read more → THE HILL
Pakistan funded Washington lobby group, U.S. says
Washington (CNN) — Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington front group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over the disputed territory of Kashmir, federal agents alleged Tuesday.
A Pakistani-American man who served as director of the Kashmiri American Council is in federal custody, while a second man accused of steering money to the organization is believed to be in Pakistan, the Justice Department said. The KAC director, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, “acted at the direction and with the financial support of the government of Pakistan for more than 20 years,” an FBI arrest affidavit states.
One U.S. congressman quickly gave $4,000 donated by the two men charged in the case to charity, while another said he would consider a similar move if the source of the money was in question.
Fai and his co-defendant, Zaheer Ahmad, have been charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires lobbyists acting on behalf of another nation to register with the U.S. government. The charge carries a possible prison term of up to five years. ….
Read more → CNN