How must India deal with Kashmir and Pakistan now?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 03 May , 2017

Kashmir on boil again, army camp attacked, stone throwing by girl students, jawans killed, youth killed in cross-firing, security forces humiliated are the headlines now days. We rarely hear of Jammu and Ladakh that constitute 84% of the State’s land area.

So why has the situation worsened in Kashmir during the last year? 

Did you know that, “Nearly 5,000 protesters were booked under different sections for stone-throwing during the 2010 summer agitation while 1,325 persons, including 95 minors, were arrested during 2013 when Kashmir witnessed widespread protests following the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru”?

Were they convicted? The answer is NO. Why?

In July 2016, “the Jammu and Kashmir police initiated the process of withdrawing cases against 634 stone-throwers, out of the several thousand who have been charged with the crime during the past eight years, following the state’s government amnesty order.”

With this amnesty stone-throwers know the State government is on their side. Subsequent to the Supreme Court questioning the use of pellet guns in Kashmir and media outcry, it appears that the CRPF has either stopped or reduced their use.

Thus, stone throwers know that neither would F.I.R’s be filed nor do they run the risk of being injured by pellet guns.

Maintenance of law and order depends on implementation and fear of the law. When neither exists one can expect lawlessness. To be fair issue of amnesty to the stone-throwers was part PDP’s poll campaign. So chief minister Mehbooba fulfilled a promise.

A second reason is asking security forces to observe restraint inspite of their being hit and attacked. Locals are smart enough to know of a July 2016 Supreme Court order that gave the “state police liberty to probe the role of armed forces in alleged encounter cases in areas where the AFSPA is in force.”

This has emboldened locals and militants to snatch guns from security forces for e.g. from a Anantnag bank on April 28 and attack security forces.

A April 29 report says, ‘The J&K police have furnished evidence to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) charging the Indian Army of wrongful confinement, and for endangering the life of 26-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar, by tying him to the bonnet of an army jeep and parading him on the roads on 9 April.” Such acts will embolden stone-throwers.

The humiliation that security forces experience can be empathised only if it happens to you. Sensation hungry channels and debates in air-conditioned studios, with a lack of appreciation of ground realities, could make a jawan ask what am I doing here, main karu tho kya karu?

Next are repeated attacks on army camps the latest being Kupwara. Could these attacks be prevented?

A just retired Col who was posted in the Valley told the author, “Conduct a security audit of army installations in Jammu and Kashmir regions. Weaknesses should be plugged immediately. Build walls around all units and garrisons in Jammu and Kashmir regions. It is expensive but needs to be done. Floodlights with generator backup is a must. Double gates at entrances with well located bunkers which can cover the gate by fire. Bypass bureaucratic delays implement now!”

Officials in the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters who delay implementation of this proposal should be made to face stone throwers in Kashmir.

The Army’s Technical Support Division must be re-established since it was getting excellent trans-border information about terrorist infiltration.

Another recent strategy is to pelt stones on security forces when the encounter is on, as seen on February 12 in Kulgam district, or after an encounter by demanding bodies of slain militants during the recent attack on army camp in Kupwara.

Protestors should be made aware that action by security forces might result in their becoming disabled. People forget that during natural calamities security forces help them. Also 30 out of the 46 Army Goodwill Schools run in J&K are in the Valley.

Forget expression of gratitude for good work, there is instead mass mobilization to thwart anti-terrorist operations. One such mobilization resulted in the death of Major S Dhaiya recently.

Coming to the State government why is no one holding it responsible for the current state of affairs. Talking of insaniyaat, kashmiriyaat, Vajpayee mean nothing. Has it filed FIR’s against law breakers or those who indulge in violence after Friday prayers? How has it utilised funds received from the Centre? How many jobs has it created and kms of roads laid across the State’s three regions.

The process of Islamization of the Valley started with the massacre and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 and is explicit now. To know what happened to Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, in their own words

Burhan Wani’s successor Zakr Mussa recently said, “Whenever we are fighting with gun or throwing rocks, this should not be for nationalism but for Islam”. To hear video

Yet the common narrative makes it appear as if development, funding, employment would change things. If that were so “Kashmir would not have the highest per capita consumption of meat in the world.”

Failure to accept and communicate the reality could be Modi Sarkar’s greatest shortcoming.

It is difficult to decipher why successive Central Governments are so defensive while dealing with Valley leaders. They could have exposed their links with separatists, failure on governance and role in exodus of Pandits etc.

Why has the Centre not challenged the myth of Kashmiri alienation? It could have explained how the number of assembly seats were manipulated around 1951 such that the maximum number of assembly seats were taken by the Valley. Every Chief Minister of J&K is from the Valley so hold them accountable. By making public data of revenue generated (including income-tax), expenditure on and number of state government employees by region i.e. Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh it could have shown complete domination of the State by Kashmiri Muslims.

If at all anyone should be complaining of alienation it should be the people of Jammu and Ladakh. When people of Kashmir say they are victims of violence, they should remember that the terrorist movement in 1989 was started and sustained by Kashmiri Muslims duly abetted by Pakistan.

Why will a bank, on the security of property in the Valley, lend to a Kashmiri when in case of default, as State Bank of India discovered recently, a bogie would be raised of outsiders acquiring property in the Valley.

Be refusing to show our Kashmiri brothers and sisters the mirror, a reality check, the people of India are doing them a great disservice.

So where does Pakistan fit into the current scenario. Unlike earlier, our neighbour has changed strategy after the new Army Chief took over in late 2016.

The Kashmir protests are being presented as spontaneous and driven by locals against the forceful occupation of region by India. Protests are a combination of fidayadin attacks on  army and by locals with strong emphasis on the latter. The intent is to demoralize the security forces and present it as a local uprising so that Pakistan is not accused of cross-border terrorism. At the same time pressure on India is kept up by cease-fire violations and killing of Indian soldiers for e.g. mutilation of two Indian soldiers in Krishna Ghati sector along the Line of Control.

Pakistani leaders have, unlike in the past, remained by and large silent on happenings and not spoken of talks with India except Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz statement of May 2, “India’s contention that the Kashmir issue is, primarily, an issue of cross-border terrorism, is a claim that no one in the world is prepared to accept today”.  The underlying message is that violence in Kashmir will fall only when India talks to us. There is a China angle too.

An April 6 OPED in Global Times warned that India could not afford to play a geopolitical game with China because amongst others, India’s turbulent northern state borders China.

The Chinese Pakistan game is to keep India off-balance, pre-occupied with internal problems so that it scales down its ambitions, geo-political and development, and does not focus on growth. Expect the unexpected. Border attacks in Barmer, intrusions in Uttaranchal and Arunachal, flash floods in Himachal, Chinese submarines around Andaman and Nicobar, revival of insurgency in Nagaland / Manipur not to forget massacres by Naxals and sharpened media attacks by leftist publications in India.

So what must India do in Kashmir?

The country needs a full time Defence Minister. If NDA cannot find a capable minister appoint a competent technocrat.

Two, weaknesses around army installations in Kashmir should be overcome on a war footing.

Implement law. File FIR’s against those involved in stone throwing and violence. If any family member of a government employee or recipient of pension is found to be indulging in stone throwing, stop payment of one month’s salary and pension

Four, withdraw facilities granted to separatist leaders. Send them to isolated corners of India says Andaman, Kutch, Manipur, Mizoram etc. The aging Syed Geelani can stay in Delhi all year round instead of only in the winters.

Airlift a group of Supreme Court judges, under Z-plus security, to witness a live encounter or stone throwing so there is a better understanding of ground realities.

Six, permit security forces to respond when the choice is between being killed and having a right to live. Intent is to disable not to kill.

Start a communication campaign to show how the Valley has cornered resources, to the detriment of Jammu and Ladakh.

Eight, the State government must allocate funds based on revenues generated by, area and population of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions.

Lastly how must India deal with Pakistan now? Briefly –

She needs a consistent approach. Baluchistan was raised on August 15 but forgotten. Ditto for the Indus Water Treaty.

Unless India raises the cost for Pakistan nothing will change. Use Chanakya’s sutra of “Saam, Daam, Dand and Bhed”. The key for these techniques to work is that Pakistan must believe India is capable of using Dand effectively.

The nation went ballistic after last year’s surgical strike. India needs the equivalent of surgical strikes on a regular basis, not one offs.

Talks can resume only after Pakistan stops using terror as an instrument of state policy.

Stop Samjhauta Express and export of all products that contribute to the Pakistani economy.

Unless India’s Hindu leadership learns to, in the mind, be in a state of perpetual war with its enemies nothing will change.

Lastly, it is only when The Followers of Dharma stop being defensive about India being a Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh country will they will be able to successfully deal with 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

Sanjeev Nayyar

Author is a strategic affairs analyst, Chartered Accountant and founder . Tweets at @nayyarsanjeev

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10 thoughts on “How must India deal with Kashmir and Pakistan now?

  1. Kabmiri muslims are past masters in manuplating greedy spineless hindu leaders at centre.Whenever the poltical families of Kashmir visit Delbi they have a habit to get pashmina shawls ,dry fruit and other Kashmiri things and present them to the tsll leaders of every party which mattered in India without any media hype.When the family of top indian leader or to officals would come go Kashmir ,they were dined and wined and showered with gifts.So Indian leadrs would always succumb to their demands and would go to any length to please them.This explains the soft policy of centrs i Kasbmir and showering of thousands of crores on Kashmiris who refuse to pay any taxes as they say money of Kafir is halal for them.

  2. the writer has said nothing new.He has suggested some actions,which will never be implemented by GOI, irrespective of party in Power.
    The international community knows the Pakistani game plan and as long as they are not affected, they have it left to the political establishment to sort out the issue.The problem for India is whom to talk in Pakistan?It has a weak political leadership who survives thanks to the support he receives from the Paki Armed Force.
    The Pakistan Military is in no mood to talk to India.They would not settle for anything less than a war.
    Let us be clear and unapologetic.War with Pakistan is inevitable and the consequence has to be faced by generations.If war in not an option,let India stifle Pakistan economically

  3. First of all whenever India tried to start peace process , pak army stuck back to stop the process.Things happened after Modi visited Pak or Jindal visited Pak.
    it is highly foolish to think about yo have notmal relations with Pak.
    The only way to conduct relations with pakistan is by hitting pak army.
    Call for talks by killing pak soldiers
    play cricket match by killing pak soldiers
    invite artists by killing pak soldiers
    attend multilateral summits by killing pak soldiers(SCO , SAARC etc..)
    Condemn terror attack in pak by killing pak soldiers
    Finally if pak ambassador hosts party then kill pak soldiers.

  4. An interesting piece Mr Naayar. A few things India must do.
    1. Shift arrested stone throwers out of Kashmir, send them to jails in other states. The second level of stone throwers mainly students who are caught should have a record which would debar them admission in any colleges in rest of India and also debar them from any job in the Government and will debar them and their families from any subsidies provided to the normal citizens of the country. Make this public and enforce it.
    2. Remove all the security forces out of the Valley. Just maintain the line of control – do this for six months, things will automatically settle down. Let there be anarchy if they want it. After sometime security forces will be very welcome there.
    3. The Army should keep the line of control LIVE. Keep the Pakistani Army on their toes – they loose their steam soon. One strike corps deployed continuously opposite the international border will have a good effect on them financially.

  5. Halting talks with separatists had brought out this situation. India has nothing to loose by talking with them. They are Indians. U don’t give them space they go the other way. It is natural. Just talk. Don’t do anything for them. Make them feel important. As long as they don’t throw granedes instead of stones they are not our enemy.

  6. This author has left out the crucial point in the context, that of the so-called “surgical strike” carried out by the army some time ago. The fact of the matter is that has not yielded the “dividend” expected. Obviously, it was meant for local consumption of the gullible “bhakts”. There is a calibrated low-level warfare going on by the Pak Army for a long time now in Kashmir, and the present PM has no clue on how to counter it effectively. He just excels in big talk (such as ‘they did not know the language Pak understands’ referring to the previous UPA). It seems, the present Army leadership is not helpful either. They are simply unable to take safeguards for their own soldiers with so many terrorist strikes on Army bases happening recently. In my eyes there is gross incompetence in Army’s functioning.

  7. While I agree with the author on the issues of FIR and pellet guns…there are some issues which can be debated. If the FIR is to be raised, only to be withdrawn later, then why waste the effort and paper and time…?? If pellet guns are not to be used, then why supply them to the security forces..?? Has not the SC overstepped in curtailing the use of the guns….without having visited the site..?? The Hon’ble Judges cannot have a true idea of the situation on ground without moving out of the safe confines of Lutyen’s Delhi.
    Yes, Baluchistan was raised on the ramparts of Red Fort, but how is the author so sure that it has been forgotten. These issues are best left un-emphasised…in fact I was quite surprised to hear it being mentioned in the first place….but later understood the raison d’etre….similar is the case with The talks on Indus Waters. Have we not started taking some action on the increased utilisation of the waters on our side…??
    Chanakya Niti…needs to be followed nojt just against Pakistan, but in other issues of governance within the country. “Dand” to Pakistan is essential….and soon the cup of patience will overflow. The time is fast approaching when India will stop turning its cheek after being slapped on one…and there is nothing about being Hindu…or secular….about it… is just that we as a nation have it in our psyche…since way back in history….it cannot be changed overnight.
    Be patient…or as they say in Hindi….Dhiraj Rakho…!!

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