Geopolitics

Yet another attempt to force an ethnic exodus from Kashmir?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 17 Oct , 2021

The recent killings in Kashmir have two dimensions, i.e. Territorial and Civilizational. Matters pertaining to the Line of Control (LoC), observance and violations of Cease Fire, Counter Terrorist operations, Surgical Strike, and Balakot Air Strike fall under the Territorial dimension. The recent killing of a ‘golgappa’ seller from Bihar, or a Kashmiri Hindu medicine shop owner, or a Sikh lady school teacher, or 26/11 Mumbai attacks, or the attack on Indian Parliament, or the exodus of Kashmiris in 1991 can be clubbed in the category of Civilizational dimension.

The civilizational dimension has manifested the installation of a jihadi regime in Afghanistan by Pakistan’s military-intelligenceestablishment. As facts emerge, it is becoming clearer that the Afghan security forces were virtually disabled by Ghani’s National Security Advisor, Hamdulla Mohib. He in collusion with Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai (former chief of National Directorate of Security), the points-man of previous regime at Doha negotiations, sold Afghanistan to the ISI for a price. It was a ‘palace coup’, which Afghanistan has witnessed many times in the past. This was a jihadi variety of palace coup. In the first week of August 2021, Mohib had ensured that Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) were rendered defunct by their own commanders, especially placed for the purpose. Mohib spent better part of his life in the United Kingdom and was appointed Ambassador to United States at the tender age of 32. People of his background in the present day world are ideal targets for subversion.

There are many forms and dimensions of warfare. The tank battle in Asal Uttar is one form of conventional warfare, the war in Kargil mountains is another form, Operation Enduring Freedom relied totally on TNT power, Operation Desert Storm was predicated on air power, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were examples of nuclear warfare, but there is one form of warfare in which Pakistan has no competitor, i.e. war outsourced to radical Jihadis. This form of warfare by Pakistan took a vicious turn after partition in 1947. The last jihad against the British colonial masters was in 1857 wherein the main objective of Islamic radicals was reinstallation of Bahadur Shah Zafar as the full-fledged ruler of India. For other Indians, it was a fight for ‘Swaraj’ (home-rule or self-rule). From then to 1947, there was not a hint of jihad against the British. Even during the KhilafatMovement, Caliphate movement to say, the British were not targeted, it was the Hindus who suffered in terms of violence and exodus in Kerala during the Moplah riots.

Like Afghanistan, where sustained Pakistan sponsored jihad installed Taliban , the same weapon   has been employed for political manipulation and to attempt regime changes in India as well . The only difference being that Mohib’s in India failed because of  some fortuitous interventions. 26/11 was carried out to perpetuate a particular regime in India by creating the bogeyof ‘Hindu Terror’. Ishrat Jahan was recruited by the LeT to impede the process of democracy. The civilizational dimension of Pakistan sponsored jihadi war is trying to gnaw the roots of  the Indian Republic.

The jihadis in Kashmir have no love with the binding concept of Kashmiriat , in fact they are farthest from it. Their main objective is ethnic and cleansing, which includes destroying Kashmiriat. It is a kind of cultural genocide. Human Rights must encompass the factor of ‘cultural genocide’. Violence is not restricted to physical harm. Systemic and sustained attack on native religion, culture, traditions, language, history, ancestors and identity is also a kind of genocide, because it has the potential to uproot human existence. Kashmir, for centuries has been subjected to this cultural genocide. Targeted religious conversions tantamount to cultural genocide.

A classic case of civilizational dimension of jihad is instanced by the recent arrest of a Pakistani terrorist, Ashraf Ali, by the Delhi Police Special Cell.  One AK-47 rifle, large amount of ammunition and grenades were recovered from him. This Pakistani jihadi has been active in India for past 16 years, of which eight years (from 2009 to 2017) were devoted to jihad in Kashmir. He had absolutely no problem in finding benefactors and facilitators anywhere in India including Delhi. This is another dimension of civilizational war. He was nabbed by India’s counter-terrorism apparatus, when he had set in motion the jihadi machinery to cause mass casualties during Dussehraand Diwali, on the instructions of his handlers in Pakistan linkedto the ISI. This aborted attack cannot be divorced from the recent targeted killings of Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir. It appears that the planners in Pakistan had concluded that to derail the ongoing social, political and economic change in Kashmir, it was imperative to complement the killings in the new Union Territory with mass killings in Delhi to terrorize the Indian nation as such.

We Indians must ponder as to why Ashraf Ali remained undetected in India for so long. How many more Ashraf Alis are enjoying the hospitality of Indians (anti-nationals) in India? This question engenders another pertinent question, as to why India has been insistent on border fencing and not Pakistan? It is because various Pakistani dispensations have always been confident of their proxy constituency in India, fencing or no-fencing. A distinction between Indian and Bharat has deliberately been made because the word ‘India’ is a corrupted name of this land, given to us by the colonizers, while the word ‘Bharat’ resonates with the history and geography of this sacred land. If we had insisted on the word ‘Bharat’, probably partition would not have taken place, and if we still make amends and insist, probably the proxy constituencies of Pakistan in this country will inexorably shrink. Our constitution begins with the expression, ‘India, that is Bharat’, it is high time we reversed it.

The main ingredient of nation-building is shared sense of history and geography. How can there be nation-building or human rights in Kashmir, when the jihadis rejoice the destruction of religious instutions of one community? How can there be reconciliation, when there is different interpretation of commonhistory by the two communities.

The prime motive behind the recent killings of non-Muslims in Kashmir, as the pattern suggests, was to trigger the eighth exodus. The first exodus was around 1400 AD, during the reign of Sultan Sikandar notoriously known as Butshikan. As per historians, the number of Hindus he killed can be extrapolated by the weight of sacred thread, which measured 37 kg. He even placed border guards on passes to kill those Hindus, who tried to escape. His son, Ali Shah, was even worse.  He caused the second exodus. Importantly, the fourth exodus was during the rule of Aurangzeb (1658-1707), whose governors, Iftikar NissarMuzaffar and Ibrahim unleashed a reign of terror, compelling Guru Teg Bahadur to sacrifice his life to stop the mayhem. The fifth exodus was on the orders of one Mullah Abdul Nabi, who was appointed as the head of Islam Implementation Authority under the governorship of one Ahmed Khan. Hindus were forbidden from riding horses, visiting gardens, wearing shoes and receiving education. The sixth exodus was under the Afghan rule of Ahmed Shah Abdali. In this period all Hindu scriptures were seized and burnt. The parents of Hindu girls shaved the heads of their daughters and had their nose cut to escape from the jihadi depredation. The seventh exodus was in 1991, following the events in Afghanistan, wherein the jihadis trained by Pakistan, financed by Saudi money, and armed by the US, forced the Soviet troops to retreat after a decade. These jihadisriding on the crest of invincibility unleashed terror in Kashmir, causing half a million Hindus to flee.

The irony is that this exodus happened in Independent India, something beyond the imagination of Kashmiri Hindus. Following 67 years Afghan rule, the Sikhs ruled for 27 years and the Dogras for 100 years. In these 127 years, the Kashmiri Hindus were entirely secure.

30 years ago, in 1991 the seventh exodus of Kashmiris had taken place in the backdrop of the churning in the geopolitical situation in Af-Pak region.  Today,  the principal enemy of the jihadis,i.e the USSR has been replaced by the US, but the fate of the Kashmiri Hindus hasn’t, because the main and constant player, Pakistan, remains unchanged. The knock of the eighthexodus can be discerned by the Hindus in Kashmir. The discourse has hardly changed because the tenets of jihad have not changed or rather change is forbidden, it is blasphemous.Makhan Lal Bindru, a respectable medical shop owner in Sri Nagar, who had chosen not to be part of exodus in 1991, has been killed. He was part of those 800 families, who had resolved to live and die on the soil of their ancestors. The jihadis having bartered their sense of soil are now trying to destroy the resolve of their Kashmiri patriots. Just like Taliban, the jihadis want the Sikhs to be out from Kashmir, that is why they found an iconic  and convenient target in a lady teacher, Supinder Kaur. They killed after carrying out an identification parade to separate muslims from non -muslims.  From her earnings she  wasnurturing an Muslim orphan girl. Historically, jihad is not given to these sentiments, especially with regard to girls.

The parallel cannot be missed out that Hindus are being targeted in Afghanistan as well. Gurdwaras have been destroyed, temples were destroyed much earlier. About 100 Shia Muslims have recently been killed inside a mosque in Kunduz. How can we allow Hindustan to become Pakistan and Afghanistan?

This endemic exodus of Kashmiri Hindus since 15th century raises many questions on our precept of political secularism. If all faiths are equal, why is exodus confined to one faith in our context? If all faiths are steeped in spirituality and love of God, then why exodus of adherents of only one faith? If we still deny the reality, then either history is fraud or our Establishment. If we do not question, those who have hijacked this faith, we are condemned to suffer such exodus from our entire neighbourhood. The Assam agitation, the need for border fencing, the imperative of CAA and NRC has been engendered by this recurring  phenomenon. Jihad squeezing this country from all directions.

700 years ago it was Butshikan, who had declared Nizam-e-Mustafa (the system of governance under Prophet Muhammad)in Kashmir. Pakistan sponsored jihadis in Kashmir reiterate the same. It is another matter that Pakistan itself steers clear of Nizam-e-Mustafa, which the TTP demands. Butshikan had also appointed a Sheikh-o-Islam (the apex authority of Islam). Today, Pakistan fancies itself as the Sheikh-o-Islam of the entire region. India is the worst affected country with this form of Pakistan sponsored jihad. India can only be secure if it insulates itself from this variety of jihad at the levels of theology, politics, and warfare.

There are commentators in India never tire of dishing hackneyed analysis that the spurt in killings in Kashmir is in view of the approaching snow-season, and to garner international attention. These are perfunctory arguments. The security situation in the country demands that security planners internally and externally are informed, sensitive and candid about the threats at both ideological and military levels. Geopolitically and strategically, India has never been in a stronger position. Without India there can be no QUAD.  In the Indo-Pacific region, India is indispensible in the Indian Ocean. India is the only country amongst QUAD members, which has borders with Tibet (China), thus a countervailing force on land as well.

The Arabs have moved far away from Pakistan variety of Islam. Europe has suffered enormously on account of China and Jihad, prompting a country like Austria to carry out mapping or tagging of footprints of political Islam and its nexus in the country. This period is ideal for India to snuff out jihad with all its historical and political antecedents, and compel the international community to sanction the progenitor, Pakistan.  

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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, The Military Factor in Pakistan and The Unmaking of Nepal. His latest books are Know the Anti-Nationals (English) and Know the एंटी-नेशनल्स (Hindi).

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2 thoughts on “Yet another attempt to force an ethnic exodus from Kashmir?

  1. Ethnic cleansing has been prevalent since the 14th century is well detailed : Aurangzeb’s, Tipu Sultan’s regime and surprisingly now happenining in a secular democratic country.Only we Indians keep talking about the concept of Kashmiriat , in fact the present generation of Kashmiris are far from it. Kashmir for the past several centuries is known for enrichment of the Sanskrit language and its literature but again only we take pride in this fact. The Kashmiri jihadis enjoy ethnic cleansing in a systemic manner to their masters time of choosing their Paki ISI handelers .Psuedo HR Organisations keep their mouth shut to condenm the killings of minorities and outsiders in Kashmir. The problem is the general populace of Kashmir is yet to come out in the open and speak against these killings they are all scared of the Terrorst bullets. For decades the tourimm dependent industry continues to bear the brunt for their living of their disturbed state due to thear own misled people being controlled from across.

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