Pakistan must close terror infrastructure
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Issue Courtesy: | Date : 30 Dec , 2017

India was partitioned in the midst of bitter riots in which thousands of innocent people lost their lives, millions lost homes and their roots. Pakistan gained independence on 14 August, 1947 and India on 15 August – the next day. India declared its tryst with its future destiny of progress, development, a pluralist society, a constitutional democracy and the rule of law. Pakistan promoted feudalism, a hate India narrative and continues to be in perpetual socio -political turbulence and economic crisis within and the parity syndrome with the India is bugging the political and military class.

The people of the Kashmir valley rejected Jinnah’s two nation theory and booted him out of the Valley when he asked Kashmiris to opt for Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of J&K state was keen to keep his state as an independent nation. Hari Singh had dreamt of making J&K another Switzerland by promoting tourism. His vision was to keep J&K independent and out of the newly formed Indian Union which was not acceptable to Pt. Nehru, Patel and even Mahatma Gandhi who had personally counselled Maharaja not to dither and decide the future status of the State urgently. Maharaja instead asked for stand still with both the dominions.

Meanwhile Pakistan waged a proxy war through armed tribal militia backed by its regular army with agenda to annex Kashmir. Maharaja Hari Singh’s army was unable to stop the Pakistani irregulars and was soon outnumbered. He sought India’s help and asked Mountbatten for military assistance, to blunt the Pakistani attack. The Instrument of Accession was signed like all other states and immediately the Indian Army landed in Kashmir to prevent its forceful occupation by Pakistan irregulars. Pakistan’s ‘incursion’ was repelled despite its advantage of surprise, speed, timing and uninterrupted access to the Valley. The Indian army, despite many operational disadvantages skillfully managed to ‘save’ Kashmir from Pakistan for Kashmiris.

The Jammu & Kashmir state, consisted of five separate regions which had nothing in common with each other. The hill areas of Gilgit, Baltistan and Skardu and the Punjabi-speaking areas of Muzzaffarabad are with Pakistan. Most of its area has been bartered to China by Pakistan.

In the Indian part of the state, are three divisions- namely Hindu dominated Jammu Sunni Muslim dominated Kashmir with a small Shia community, the Pandits, the Sikhs and the Gujjars; Ladakh is predominantly Buddhist with a small Shia population. The political leadership in the past and efforts by the army integrated these diverse divisions as a mosaic of different ethnic, religious and tribal groups and united these together in a culture of mutual tolerance and creative interaction in a pluralistic and democratic J&K state. Unfortunately, J&K has got engulfed in its worst phase of terrorism, intolerance and distortion of heritage because of self-serving and competing political interests.

From 1989 onwards, Jammu & Kashmir is gripped in unabated terrorism. Pakistan has launched terrorism as new instrument for its war against India. The propaganda is going on and on to refer it as conflict for 69 years and the same is destined to continue as long as the Pakistan State and its armed forces continue to dream of its annexation by all the dirty ticks.

Troopers were sent in the guise of Raiders in 1947, full scale armed conflicts in 1965, 1971 and Kargil war. Not content with defeat and loss in conflicts and war, Pakistan has launched a low cost proxy war through terrorist violence . Thousands have been killed so far. Death and destruction phenomenon is unleashed particularly in Kashmir since 1989.

The Kashmiri Pandit Community has been hounded out by ethnic cleansing. A concerted plan of killing one and scaring a thousand was the militant’s tactics executed to exile the Kashmiri Pandits who are now are on the verge of disintegration. Tragedy of violence is being inflicted on the innocent people of JK State, its infrastructure being destroyed, the schools are torched and the threatre of mayhem and instability is being enacted to dismantle the idea of India in Kashmir.

Kashmiris are yearning for peace and wish to have an exit root from the mayhem of death and destruction. They strive for peaceful life for the future generations, say the civil society activists. Dependence on Pakistan by Kashmiri militants and the non mainstream leadership is like chasing the dew. It has led to death and destruction in the Valley and brought about the societal agony and colossal miseries. Almost a generation has been lost in grave yards and perpetual cynicism is creeping in the social psyche. The Kashmiri civilisation is in constant peril.

It is well known by now that, the young Kashmiris and all others those crossed over to Pakistan for receiving arms training and for waging anti India campaign are totally disillusioned. These elements have realised that Pakistan has no strength and interest in freeing Kashmir. Pakistan just wants to bleed India and Kashmiris. It is the grand intelligent realisation with Kashmiris of all hues living in Kashmir and the Kashmiri diaspora that “secession is not possible”. Pakistan may have created limited terrorist space in the Valley. With radicalism spreading the vicious narrative, the rich and lasting political legacy of Kashmir is fast becoming a casualty – say the Kashmiri intelligentia. Therefore the dialogue and engagement with New Delhi is the way forward to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio.

The dire requirement therefore is to mainstream the Valley’s polity with the guarantee of upholding the geographical and constitutional distinct entity of Kashmir.

The relations with Pakistan have been defined by the partition of India in 1947, the Kashmir conundrum and the military conflicts between the two countries. The relations have always been plagued by conflicts, hostilities and suspicion, despite the fact that the two South Asian countries have linguistic, cultural, geographical and civilisation linkages.

Pakistan’s use of terrorist groups as part of its security and foreign policy is function of its obsession with India, which it perceives as existential threat. Pakistan’s paranoia is unfounded.

Pakistan’s belligerence continues qua India, despite extension of olive branch from time and again, by India for good and friendly neighbourly relations. Her Kashmir rants echoes in UN Human Rights Council at Geneva and at UN GA. India fiercely replies by describing “Pakistan as a terroristan “and says JK State is an integral part. The bilateral issues can be addressed through talks and negotiations. The bilateral dialogue ceased because a red flag was raised for Pakistan High Commissioner’s meeting with Kashmiri separatists elements. India has always made it clear that She is not willing to renegotiate Kashmir’s territorial status and Pakistan has to end support to terrorists in Kashmir.

There have been military wars, continuing undeclared war, numerous skirmishes and stand offs. Many successful attempts to improve relations through Shimla agreement, Agra and Lahore summits etc. have fallen apart. The relations soured after Saichen conflict of 1980,Kashmir insurgency of 1989 onwards, Kargil conflict of 1999. Terror attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 almost brought two nuclear nations to a brink of war. Mumbai terror attack of 2008 by Pakistani terrorists and killing hundreds and continuing support to terrorists in Kashmir to delegitimise Idea of India.

US has always been helpful and concerned about the regional security in South Asia.US experts feel that India-Pakistan tensions will complicate and spoil US’s interest in the region. In India, the foreign policy experts have counselled Prime Minister Modi about the implications of China-Pakistan close relations as Beijing is trying to remake geography by launching huge infrastructure roads and bridges on the borders. Pakistan despite having started to reboot its diplomatic ties with US to end the stale mate of last few many years .Pakistan relations have been on the downside because she lied to the whole world about the presence of Al-Qaeda chief the most wanted Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. The Americans nailed these lies by an” operation finish Bin Laden” and he was found in Abbottabad near elite military School in Pakistan and was liquidated. Pakistan is on notice and has to come clean and stop breeding terrorists in its back yard and root them out. She has received billions of dollars from US so far that is in public domain.

By now Pakistan is diplomatically exposed world over for harbouring and promoting terrorism particularly in Afghanistan and India Recently US Vice President Mike Pence has issued stern warning to Pakistan that – “Pakistan has lot to gain by partnering with the US, and She has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists.”

US President Donald Trump had voiced in his maiden speech at UNGA, his strong arm policy against terrorism. Pakistan has to take it seriously if she wishes get financial aid from US. President Trump has said it is the time to expose and hold responsible those countries who breed, ups. Trump administration has charted South Asia policy in which it has sort a larger role for India in Afghanistan and in South Asia and has put Pakistan on notice.

Pakistan’s temper tantrums and petulance responses will not convince the US and other nations. Pakistan has to take a hard look at options. She has to shutdown Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar, Jaish, Haqqani net work and all other groups. The Afghan Government suspect,the newly surging IS in Khorasan is getting support from Pakistan and are allowed free operations from its soil,raise funds, march in raucous rallies and openly support terror export to other Countries with the help of handlers in Pakistan establishment.

Courtesy: First published on

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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

Ashok Bhan

is Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Distinguished fellow USI and Chairman-Kashmir (Policy & Strategy) Group.

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