Fight India’s secular British Liberals & strengthen Northwestern Frontier - II
by Ramtanu Maitra on 29 Jul 2011 15 Comments
India’s future security needs call for strengthening its porous northwestern frontier, which means strengthening Indian military and intelligence capabilities in the Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Ladakh. With the stakes becoming higher, the business-as-usual attitude and knee-jerk reactions to Kashmiri Muslims’ and Pakistani terrorists’ violent activities should now be pushed aside. What New Delhi needs to do at this point in time is set up large permanent military bases along its borders with Pakistan and China in the north and thus develop a very powerful overall physical presence in the state, which is India’s northwestern frontier. That would put an end to the continuing violence perpetrated by anti-national Kashmiris who are puppets in the hands of terrorists bred, indoctrinated, armed and under orders from Rawalpindi, to push India to the brink of yet another fruitless war.


To put this policy in place, New Delhi and the Indian population generally will have to acquire a whole new mindset. Besides acknowledging the fact that running a self-destructive, upside-down policy in Kashmir for the past six decades has brought about nothing but chaos and violence there and has allowed all Kashmiri Muslims to turn pro-Pakistan, it is time to recognize that New Delhi’s responsibility is to protect the interests of India and Indians. Since New Delhi’s practice is to tell all and sundry in every forum that the Indian-part of Kashmir is legitimate, it is time that the Indian people demand that Kashmir be treated as part of India, and not as an adjunct or a disputed area.


At the same time, New Delhi should make clear to Islamabad that the part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan, and identified by Pakistan as Azad Kashmir and Northern Territory, is in fact an illegal occupation of India’s land by Islamabad. New Delhi does not have to go to war over that, but it must make clear to Islamabad - and anyone else who would like to bring this issue up - that Kashmir is not up for negotiation and New Delhi is not interested in entertaining any discussion that is not based on the premise that the Kashmir Accession in 1947 was absolute. This should be told to the Brits, as well, and to anyone else who would like to propose a discussion on the propriety of Kashmir.


Kashmir is part of India, and Pakistan occupies a part of it


Pakistan should be told forthwith that there is no question of holding discussions on Kashmir. The state had lawfully acceded to India; Pakistan invaded Kashmir in 1947 with the intent to grab it, and that is all there is to it. When and if Pakistan breaks up, New Delhi may choose to tell the new leaders of the new country the facts of life and move militarily to get back what was lost.


The single biggest mistake that Indian leaders continue to make is to respond to Islamabad and a bunch of western countries that have a vested geopolitical interest in the region, whining that India-Pakistan relations cannot be improved unless the Kashmir “issue” is resolved. While there is no question that India-Pakistan relations must be improved, since it would help both countries immensely in many ways, Kashmir has nothing to do with it; and New Delhi must realize that no one knows this better than Pakistan’s zamindars, the military.


In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Why My Father Hated India,” Aatish Taseer, the son of slain Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, pointed out that “the primary agent of this decline (of Pakistan: ed.) has been the Pakistani army. The beneficiary of vast amounts of American assistance and money - $11 billion since 9/11 - the military has diverted a significant amount of these resources to arming itself against India. In Afghanistan, it has sought neither security nor stability but rather a backyard, which - once the Americans leave - might provide Pakistan with ‘strategic depth’ against India.


“In order to realize these objectives, the Pakistan army has led the US in a dance, in which it had to be seen to be fighting the war on terror, but never so much as to actually win it, for its extension meant the continuing flow of American money. All this time the army kept alive a double game, in which some terror was fought and some - such as Laskhar-e-Tayyba’s 2008 attack on Mumbai - actively supported,” states Taseer.


He continues: “The army’s duplicity was exposed decisively this May, with the killing of Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad. It was only the last and most incriminating charge against an institution whose activities over the years have included the creation of the Taliban, the financing of international terrorism and the running of a lucrative trade in nuclear secrets. This army, whose might has always been justified by the imaginary threat from India, has been more harmful to Pakistan than to anybody else. It has consumed annually a quarter of the country’s wealth, undermined one civilian government after another and enriched itself.”


The problem with those who occupy office at New Delhi’s South Block is that they cannot think the way Indian nationals do. Those who come to power in New Delhi, whether they are proclaimed “secularists” or “chauvinist Hindus,” are all imbued with the ideology of British liberals. British liberalism and secularism consider nationalism as a principle embraced only by “uneducated” people belonging to the lower strata of society.


Perhaps for this reason the so-called Indian leaders do not consider Kashmir an integral part of India - although they debate vigorously like British debating society members in various fora arguing that Kashmir “should belong” to India. The leaders in New Delhi cannot even say out loud that Kashmir is as much a part of India as Arunachal Pradesh is, or Sikkim is. Since New Delhi does not consider Kashmir a part of India, and that is evident in the way New Delhi’s “leaders” have handled Kashmir for 60-plus years, it follows that those who reside in Kashmir are not Indians. Hence, the Kashmir mess. Is it their mental screw-up, or are Indian leaders protecting their ideological religion, a heady mix of secularism and liberalism?


Kargil War: How to fool New Delhi 


Remember the Kargil catastrophe? At the time, India’s prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was representing the so-called adherents of a chauvinist Hindu Rashtra. The Indian secularists, who have been meticulously inculturated over the years in the thought patterns and reflexes of British liberals, hated intensely the political group Vajpayee represented.


But look what Vajpayee did when it came to dealing with Pakistan vis-á-vis Kashmir. He did exactly what a non-Indian would have done. After letting the country’s guard drop on the northwestern frontier and thus weakening India’s security position along the northern borders, Vajpayee got sucked into believing that Islamabad wanted to resolve the Kashmir issue. He dreamed he would accomplish what his mentor, Jawaharlal Nehru, could not do - “resolve” the Kashmir issue to smooth the feathers of India’s neighbour, Pakistan.


How many mistakes were involved in his assessment? Vajpayee, as well as Jawaharlal Nehru and all those others who carried Nehru’s torch in later days to project themselves as fair-minded, cricket-playing Indian secularist-liberals, never really believed that Kashmir belongs to India. Yes, Mr. Vajpayee, Kashmir belongs to India and Pakistan occupies a part of it! It is not the other way around, and it is time someone in power in New Delhi realized this fact and stopped dancing to the British liberals’ tune. You do not have to appease anyone in Kashmir, whether he or she is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Buddhist. It has nothing to do with any religion. That land belongs to India because the Letter of Accession says so.


Vajpayee did not know it. What he also did not know - and present premier Manmohan Singh doesn’t either - is so fundamental that one wonders what kind of mental damage they had incurred during their formative years of education in British India. For instance, the Pakistan military’s zamindari over Pakistan centers around the hoax - which a highly-divided Pakistani community has swallowed hook, line and sinker - that India is the mortal enemy of Pakistan. The majority “Hindus” of India never accepted the two-nation theory–based partition that the British Raj had imposed - the zamindars told their subjects in Pakistan - citing Kashmir as a vivid example. Their argument is that since Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state, it should have been a part of Pakistan. What then follows is that it is incumbent upon the Pakistani military, the zamindars, to bring Kashmir into its fold. In order to do that, Pakistan’s military needs to dominate the entire power-spectrum in Pakistan until the goal is achieved.


Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?


Vajpayee and others also did not realize what the so-called resolution of Kashmir would mean to these zamindars. “Resolution” of Kashmir  - if that pertains to partitioning Kashmir and making the borders an international border - means an end to the self-proclaimed mandate of the Pakistani military to rule that land. When that happens, even the most spineless of the Pakistani elite would be able to challenge the military. It is widely known, and one would hope the “leaders” in New Delhi are aware of this fact, that no matter which civilian leader was allowed to occupy the prime minister’s office in Islamabad, for whatever length of time, Rawalpindi made clear to these civilians that Kashmir and nuclear weapons are not part of their portfolio. Those were the red lines no civilian could dare cross. Those two issues rest exclusively with the brass in Rawalpindi.


Vajpayee was in Lahore in 1998 issuing the “historic” Lahore declaration along with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was sent packing to Saudi Arabia by the zamindars a year later, promising to bring about a “fair” resolution of the Kashmir dispute. What was the Pakistani military under Gen. Pervez Musharraf doing at the time this “historic” declaration was being touted as a solution to all conflicts between the two countries? Musharraf was busy sending “Kashmiri freedom fighters” - yet another hoax in the tradition of the 1947 Kashmir invasion, which was carried out by Pakistan military personnel wearing tribal garb under the command of a colonial left-over British commander - to occupy strategic heights in the Kargil sector of Kashmir within Indian territory. They were directing Pakistani artillery fire to the arterial National Highway 1A, which connects Leh and Srinagar.


Musharraf who dazzled the hapless simpleton, American President George W. Bush in the post-9/11 years with his lying skills, perpetrated this hoax. Later, after presiding over the Kargil disaster, he awarded two soldiers with the Nishan-e-Haider (Pakistan’s highest military honour). Another 90 soldiers were given gallantry awards, most of them posthumously, confirming the Pakistan army’s role in the episode. Notably, no “Kashmiri freedom fighter” received any award!


Later, in 2006, in his book, In the Line of Fire, this two-faced Musharraf said five units of the Pakistan Army were involved in crossing the border. The objective of the Pakistan Army was to cut off the road from Srinagar to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir, and then run over Ladakh, which was very lightly guarded by New Delhi.


What the powers-that-be in New Delhi do not comprehend that while all Kashmiri Muslims want Kashmir to be a part of Pakistan, disregarding the fact that Kashmir is a part of India, the Pakistanis also believe that Kashmir belongs to them. Feisal Naqvi, in an article, “Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?” (July 11, 2011, The Express Tribune) said: “We need to take a look at ourselves, ask how we have gotten to where we are, and perhaps reconsider our assumptions. Starting from the belief that the Kashmiris want to be Pakistanis and that the ‘loss’ of Kashmir is somehow fatal to our national existence - we have dedicated ourselves to winning back what is ‘rightfully’ ours. In pursuit of that victory, we have developed only one arm of the state: the army. And in order to justify the continued pursuit of militarism, we have distorted our ideology to the point that any and all steps taken toward the larger goal of a Kashmir restored to our anxious arms are deemed to be worthy of any sacrifice by us, irrespective of the consequences. Accordingly, we have supported the forces of hate in Kashmir because they fight our wars even though that same hate then drips back into Pakistan and poisons our own bloodstream. And all of this is because the Kashmiris can supposedly conceive of no better future than to be a part of Pakistan. Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?


Dragging the Army down


Then again, neither Kashmiri Muslims nor Pakistani zamindars are alone to be blamed for the Kashmir mess. New Delhi is perhaps more at fault, because they have betrayed the Indian people and are willing to barter away the land that lawfully belongs to India.


There are two specific aspects of India’s policy on Kashmir that have weakened the country’s northwestern frontiers. To begin with, appeasing the Kashmiri Muslims, allowing them to carry out religious cleansing in the Valley, and then creating a situation where they openly proclaim themselves as pro-Pakistan, has turned millions who are Indians residing in Kashmir into what amount to citizens of  a foreign country, Pakistan. That is the outcome of a dangerous policy that has created millions of subversives working to break up the country. It is likely that these subversives have also helped others to set up terrorist networks in other parts of India. Good job, New Delhi!


In addition, the Indian policy of using the military to maintain law and order in Kashmir has turned out to be a disaster. What the Indian military faces are unwilling and compromised Kashmiri Muslim rulers working hand-in-glove with pro-Pakistani Indians, whose sole identity is that they are Kashmiri Muslims and cherish to be Kashmiri-Muslim-Pakistanis.


Facing such an adverse situation, and not trained to deal with citizens who have been given the right to act as anti-India foreign citizens, army personnel deployed in Kashmir resort to violence. In reality, pushed into a situation like that, the army personnel were left with few options. Terrorists from Pakistan and jihadis within and outside of Kashmir consider engaging these military personnel to be by itself a political victory. They know that the killing of any Kashmiri Muslim, whether that individual is a terrorist or a civilian, by the military can be played back into the pro-Pakistan Kashmiri Muslim community evoking a high level of emotion, lay the foundation for many anti-India activities, and generate support among the British liberal ideologists with access to the corridors of power in New Delhi.


Meanwhile, the secularists, who label the military personnel as “rogues in uniform shielded by the Indian government,” will continue to do their bit to weaken the Indian military. There is, however, no question that the Indian military has been repeatedly forced into a most difficult environment in Kashmir. Unable to cope with such difficult situations, military personnel not only committed an unacceptable level of violence, causing the loss of many lives, but they also exposed the nature and viciousness of those in power in New Delhi.


The reality is that instead of implementing a concrete policy (such as recommended in Part I of this article) to stabilize Kashmir and treat it as yet another Indian state, New Delhi has forced the Indian military to do the work that New Delhi refuses to do and take the blame for all that has gone wrong in Kashmir. While Indian military personnel encounter daily attacks from jihadis and pro-Pakistan Kashmiri Muslims, New Delhi  indulges itself in “dialogues to accommodate” those who do not even consider themselves Indians.



The author is South Asian Analyst at Executive Intelligence Review News Services Inc.

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