Geopolitics

Indianess Asserts in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 23 Jul , 2016

Two developments in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), i.e. forthcoming elections in region (PoK less Gilgit-Baltistan) and joint patrolling by security forces of China and Pakistan on PoK-Xinjiang region, have vital lessons for India, particularly for Kashmiris, seduced by the military-intelligence establishment of Pakistan.

Elections are to be held in this 10 percent region, that Pakistan calls ‘Azad Kashmir’, as if the 90 percent that constitute Gilgit-Baltistan are slaves.

These two developments stand juxtaposed at a time when the pro-Pak elements in the Valley, are busy inflaming and destroying their own land while lamenting and deifying Burhan Wani, a dead jihadi as martyr. Nothing much can be done about people who possessed by bigoted  and imported religious frenzy are adamant on self-destruction.

The pro-Pak elements have been made to believe that Burhan was a freedom fighter, a soldier of Islam, engaged in the sacred duty of waging war against India. They feel India has no right over Kashmir and Kashmiriyat. They clamour for Pakistan in the misplaced notion that muslims in that country are secure and prosperous. It is their belief that Kashmiriyat at best is an adjunct of Islam. Such a belief automatically excludes the Kashmiri Hindus and hence their forefathers. To tell them that their ancestors were Hindus, invites stoic silence. There is advantage that accrues from that silence. But for that silence, Indianness or Hindustaniyat would reassert and pose a question mark on the very idea called Pakistan. Consequently the militant or jihadi industry would be endangered.

While the pro-Pak elements in the Valley pretend to forget their ancestors, there is the opposite tendency in the PoK, the part from which Gilgit-Baltistan has been hived off.

It is just the 10 percent portion of total PoK created by Islamist spin-doctors of Pakistan sliced through with the scalpel of Sunnism, but for strategic reasons.

…the Valley people have no familial links with people in PoK. Those with links are Gujjars and Pahari Rajputs who are patriotic Indians.

Elections are to be held in this 10 percent region, that Pakistan calls ‘Azad Kashmir’, as if the 90 percent that constitute Gilgit-Baltistan are slaves. The nationalist parties PML(N), PPP and Imran Khan’s Tehrek-e-Insaf are the main contenders. There are 26 parties, 423 candidates and 26 lakh eligible voters – but no contending ideology. Ironically, the elections are also not being fought on Kashmiriyat, because there are no Kashmiris left in the region.  All political analysts have concluded that voting will be influenced by ‘clan’ rather than any other factor, least of all religion, notwithstanding that the Jamat-e-Islami is also in fray. The Rajputs and Jats dominate the political landscape of Kotli, Mirpur and Bhimber. The other districts are dominated by Gujjars and other tribes. Interestingly, the Rajputs are aligned with Nawaz Sharif PML (N) and the Jats with PPP. Barrister Sultan Mahmud is a key Jat leader. The pertinent deduction is that in absence of Kashmiris, there is no issue about ‘Kashmir Valley’ or ‘Kashmiriyat’. Hafeez Saeed or Mullah Masood Azhar may attract large crowds but have little influence over politics of ‘Azad Kashmir’.

The other inference is that the Valley people have no familial links with people in PoK. Those with links are Gujjars and Pahari Rajputs who are patriotic Indians.

Islam has always to content with ethnicity. In an exhortation, which is reflective of the wide and diverse Muslim cultural milieu on the Indian Subcontinent, Jinnah during his address at the annual session of Punjab province of Muslim League at Sialkot in April 1944 said: “I appeal to Ahrars, Jamiat, Ulemas, Shias, Sunnis, Jats, Rajputs, Afghans – to unite themselves for the cause of Muslim League and the achievement of Pakistan.” The ethnic Jats and Rajputs that Jinnah referred to were those who at some point in history, converted to Islam but retained a fierce pride in their ethnicity. The lesson in the current reference is that in the long run ethnicity triumphs over Islam.

In total disregard to religious, cultural and ecological sensitivities of the people and in deference to economic greed and strategic compulsions, the region is gradually turning into a Chinese colony.

The pull of ethnicity or ‘clan’ is therefore not only restricted to PoK but entire Pakistan. The incontrovertible truth is that Pakistan which in the name of Islam was created as a homeland for Muslim has never transcended ethnicity. Even, as the election results conveyed after Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in December 2007, nationalism or Islam could not demolish the ethnic barriers. The PPP’s victory was mainly on account of Sindh and some parts of Seraiki region in Punjab, contiguous to Sindh. In India on the other hand, nationalism swept all considerations in elections held after Mrs Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.

If Islam was the motif force behind Pakistan, then Benazir a Shia and of Sindhi Rajput origin and before that Liaquat Ali Khan a Sindhi and a Jat Muslim, also the pioneer of Pakistan, would not have been victims of Islamists.  One factor amongst many for their elimination in 1951 and 2007 at the same location in the Company Bagh in Peshawar was that they were Shias. In Gilgit-Baltistan, the majority status of Shias is being eroded at a furious pace. Because it is a Shia majority region more than 5000 sq km of their area was gifted to China in 1963. Then in the Kargil War the dead bodies of the soldiers of Northern Light Infantry (NLI) was not claimed because they were Shias. Now Pakistan has handed over entire Gilgit-Baltistan to China for China -Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In total disregard to religious, cultural and ecological sensitivities of the people and in deference to economic greed and strategic compulsions, the region is gradually turning into a Chinese colony.

And now at the prodding China, Pakistan and Chinese security forces are carrying out joint patrolling the PoK-Xinjiang border region to deter Uighur jihadists who have been known to use the area for training and other activities. More than 100 Uighur Muslims have reportedly joined the Islamic State in Syria. Earlier the Chinese authorities had banned burqas and fasting by government officials during Ramazan. Hafeez Saeed and likes kicked lot of dust but to no avail. The military-intelligence establishment ensures that Pakistani Islam remains India-centric. To placate the fundamentalists, an official delegation from Pakistan was sent to China, and as expected and dictated they had no adverse observations.

…if a Pakistan brand of Islam can be acceptable to them in context of J&K, why should India not insist on  Indian brand of Islam and Kashmiriyat for nation building?

President Xi Jinping has urged Uighur Muslims to practice their religion “as part of Chinese society and direction”. Clearly he was emphasizing on Chinese brand of Islam.

Hafeez Saeed and ilk have not objected to this joint patrolling against Muslim brethren from China. Earlier too, Pakistan at the insistence of China had carried out extensive operations to flush out Uighur jihadists, under the banner of East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM    ), who had established bases in Pakistan. Where are the jihaids and suicide bombers against China? What has happened to the cause of Islam and Ummah?

Why do not the pro-Pak elements including Hurriyat speak-up against the Chinese? So, if a Pakistan brand of Islam can be acceptable to them in context of J&K, why should India not insist on  Indian brand of Islam and Kashmiriyat for nation building?

Many Islamic countries have expended their vitality in the grind between Islam and ethnicity.

If the pro-Pak elements in Valley and our politicians realize the endurance and supremacy of ethnicity over religion, there will be no problem in the Valley.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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6 thoughts on “Indianess Asserts in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

  1. What a insight ….really u have proven urself to be part of RAW… the question remains .how we can utilize this insight for national policy ..the way chines done in tibet and east turkestan….changing demography (Chinese muslims and han chienes migration in large number), supporting pro-indian (people from indian lineage specially jat, rajput and others) but starting gathering in ethical line (including people from both relegion) like punjabi have done or sufi summits….more people to people contact based on their ethnicity will make religion secondary factor …..and two nation theory created by Jinnah die….lets do it…

  2. Sir , i salute you for your unique thinking . Yes , you are right when you say that time has come for India to stand firmly for their rights
    I am truly saying that when i see you in any TV channels , i just brim with the feeling of patriotism .
    Thank You Sir , keep posting such eye opener essays

  3. Col Sahib I am an admirer of your hard hitting direct approach on the debates on TV. I feel we as a nation should introspect and come up with a true idea of nationhood and stop playing fotsie with Pakistan and put an end to the way this terror sponsoring state is endangering the whole region and we should finally rise as a so called regional power and face this nonsense head to head without adopting this hot and cold approach. The most paramount element of a nation is its sovereignty and national security and there should no longer be any compromises on the same. Jago Bharat Jago aur Aapne Dushman Ka Saamma Karo. We should come out on the streets against Pakistan and Immortalize our true heroes who fight for the nation instead of creating incons out of misled youth like Burhan who are stooges in the hands of the perpetrators of the destruction of Bharat and give a false hope of self determination to Kashmiris.

  4. The majority of the public and writers do not know, how to counter this kind of gimmicks played against India by Pakistan and China. Any more adventure like Kargil with the support of China will be disastrous for both the countries. This is not 1962 or 1998 India. I always welcome any incidences in the world like China’s claim on the South China sea and subsequent construction of an artificial island in the disputed sea. Now the International Court of Justice given a verdict against China. Any move by Pakistan to capture Kashmir with the help of China is not going to last long. China has to leave Pakistan and concentrate on South China sea. the USA is awaiting a chance to take action against China. First, the Govt. has to complete a five-layer elaborate plan to stop infiltration on the 2,900-km western border with Pakistan on a war footing. It entails round-the-clock surveillance through sophisticated technology which in effect will totally “lock” India’s western border to prevent Pathankot-like terror attacks and smuggling. Clean up Kashmir valley. God has given an opportunity to wipe out the terrorist from the valley. Except Pakistan and China, no other countries in the world will raise voice against India. Before the next election lot of developments can be achieved if there is no violence.

  5. Kashmir was invaded by Pakistani irregulars (Razzakars, the original prototype for the Taliban and Al Qaeda) after its accession to India.

    The UN resolution, (which resulted from Jabberlal Nehru’s monumental stupidity in declaring a unilateral cease fire when Pakistan was on the run, and taking the matter to the UN), was rendered infructuous by Pakistan. The plebiscite was to have been conducted after Pakistan withdrew from Kashmir.

    Pakistan never did withdraw. Instead it kicked the last remaining Indians out of Kashmir in 1990 through traditional Islamic means such as rape, arson, murder, beheading, dismembering, loot, vandalism and other instruments of Islam i.e. terror, under the Nelsonian eye of the Indian Republic and the then Prime Minister, V. P. Singh, the Raja of Manda. who also cursed India with perpetual tyranny by the incompetence and extortion of the Constitutionally Certified Congenitally Backward (incompetent).

    There is a 40 KM wide corridor that Pakistan has ceded to China for all practical purposes including security for Gwadar overland logistical security. This is why Pakistan is ethnically cleansing Balochistan with attack helicopters provided by the US. The sole spine of stability in Pakistan will soon be yellow.

    Pakistan, is Islamic. Islam is an atavistic, barbaric, racist cult that believes that might is right. China is mighty and asserts its might. India is a soft state that is far weaker than it was in 1947 and celebrates Gandhian suicidal masochism in international affairs while persecuting the cultured, the civilized,and the educated People of Dharma within its borders to nurture the Nouveau Kleptocracy it constructed after 1947 with the help of its “Animal Farm” Constitution initially plagiarized from the Divide to Rule and suppress Government of India Act (1935).

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