Kashmir dispute not treated as core issue
21 October, 2013
By Asif Haroon Raja
It is frustrating to see our gullible leaders going an extra mile to please India, even when it insults them and Pakistan by leveling all sorts of unfounded allegations. Pakistan has been constantly ceding ground by agreeing to various formulas put forward by UN representatives and also granting concessions. India on the other hand has remained inflexible and refused to reciprocate even in a small way. Having run out of excuses, India now sticks to the farce of terrorism, which acts as a shield to cover its crimes in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and to keep Pakistan on the defensive. It has linked terrorism with resumption of talks and keeps referring to Mumbai attacks even though the Indian officials including Indian Home Minister Sushal Schinde and Satish Varma have exposed India's falsehood. They revealed that the event was stage-managed by the incumbent government to pressurize Pakistan and to defame Kashmir freedom movement.
Earlier on, IK Shukla, Hemant Karkare, Swami Aseemanand and others had made startling disclosures that all acts of terror in India between 2001 and 2008 including attack on Indian Parliament and Samjhota Express blasts pinned on Pakistan were in-house affairs committed by Hindu terrorist groups with the connivance of incumbent government and Indian military.
While India unashamedly blames Pakistan for the crimes it commits and continues to spin stories and devise false flag operations to mortify Pakistan, it brazenly wants Pakistan to grant it MFN status and land access to Afghanistan through Wagah without giving equivalent or near-equivalent benefits in reciprocity or addressing the trade imbalance. The US, EU, World Bank and IMF are exerting pressure on Pakistan to expedite extending MFN status to India. No country picks up courage to ask India to stop human rights violations in IOK and to settle the long standing dispute which lies at the heart of Indo-Pakistan antagonism.
India made consistent efforts since 1990 to project freedom movement in Kashmir as terrorism. Laws on terrorism enacted by USA in the aftermath of 9/11 enabled Indian military to make use of its draconian laws in occupied Kashmir freely and to further intensify its vile propaganda for the accomplishment of its goal. Hindu terrorists have infiltrated in most Muslim Kashmiri freedom fighters groups in IOK to breakup freedom movement. These include Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen. They have adopted Muslim names and pretend to be Mujahideen and anti-India but are busy assassinating freedom fighters, Kashmiri notables, innocent Kashmiri Muslims and raping their women.
Regrettably, no government in Pakistan from 1988 onwards made any effort to shed away the misperception about Kashmiri freedom movement or to highlight India's atrocities and unholy designs against Kashmiris. The reason is that successive governments including Gen Musharraf's regime placed Kashmir issue in low priority and dealt with it as an ordinary bilateral issue rather than a core issue. Musharraf helped India in taking the steam out of Kashmiri resistance movement, while Zardari described Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists. Only the religious groups in Pakistan and Islamists have kept the issue alive and condemned illegal occupation of Kashmir by Indian occupying forces.
India has been consistently violating international law and UNSC resolutions to which it is signatory and committed to hold plebiscite under UN supervision. The international community and the UN are equally guilty of turning a blind eye to India's defiance. No concern has been expressed from any quarter over ruthless killings of over 100,000 Kashmiris by Indian forces and unearthing of so many mass graves in IOK. Countless numbers are languishing in secret dens. Rapes, fake encounters, night raids, house searches and abductions are order of the day.
After pinning hopes on Musharraf, India is now expectantly looking towards Nawaz Sharif whom it considers simpleton and easy to deceive. It sees Pak Army and ISI as the only two obstructions in its way to get Kashmir dispute settled on its terms. Indian and American leaders had advised former government to rein in ISI and are now reminding Nawaz that military establishment is not under his control which doesn't bode well for democracy. No one reminds India that Indian military is the chief impediment in the way of resolution of disputes and it over rules any move made by political government to settle even less contentious disputes like Siachin.
It is now an established fact that Indian military and Indian military intelligence have got aligned with BJP which is the mother hen of RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and VHP. Their common goal is to establish Hindutva in Bharatmata. BJP's nominee Narindra Modi for the seat of prime minister in next elections indicates the resurgence of Hindu extremism and rising popularity of BJP in India. Interestingly, large numbers of retired generals, air marshals and admirals in India are getting enrolled in BJP. None have joined Congress. This trend was on full display in recent rally organized by Modi in which notorious Gen VK Singh and others were present. Main plank of BJP's electioneering campaign rests on Pakistan bashing.
If Nawaz thinks that appeasement will help in winning over India and in settling disputes, he is living in fool's paradise. The US and India are strategic partners and are on one page. This reality has again been proven after the two countries agreed to prevent financing to LeT and affiliated Jamaat-ud Dawa allegedly involved in Mumbai attacks in 2008. The former is IOK focused and the latter is purely a charity outfit engaged in education and welfare projects and its leader Hafiz Seed given a clean chit by Pakistani courts. LeT has never struck US-western target or any target in India, and yet the US on the advice of India brands it as a terrorist and most dangerous outfit. As regards Kashmir, the US will not act as an honest mediator to resolve the issue. Rather than pressing India it would continue to push Pakistan to settle the dispute on Indian terms. Its stance will always be pro-India and anti-Pakistan on any issue where interests of the two neighbors collide.
Undoubtedly Pakistan is the biggest victim of terrorism and RAW's involvement in FATA, Balochistan and Karachi is without an iota of doubt. India has twice been furnished heaps of proofs of RAW's involvement in Balochistan. Relief work in earthquake affected Awaran District is being hampered by BLF at the behest of RAW. Maulana Fazlullah's led militant group based in Kunar and Nuristan involved in cross border terrorism against Pakistan is aided by RAW. Several terrorist groups in North Waziristan are on the payroll of RAW. Indian origin weapons were recently found in MQM's unit office in Karachi. Indian weaponry in huge quantity was located during Swat and South Waziristan operations in 2009.
No country involved in counter-terrorism has suffered as much as Pakistan. ISAF's casualties in Afghanistan are little over 3000, while India which cries the most, its fatalities are in few hundreds. Indian casualties are the result of home-grown Hindu terrorists. Pakistan has lost well over 40,000 since 2002. CIA, RAAM, MI-6 and Mosad intelligence agencies have been consistently aiding RAW for the attainment of their common objectives of destabilizing, de-Islamizing, denuclearizing and further truncating Pakistan. Afghan Territory is being extensively used for the covert war.
ISI has concrete proofs of involvement of foreign agencies in all our troubled regions. The US and India on the other hand have no proofs of Pakistan's involvement in terrorism in Kashmir, Afghanistan and India. Allegations leveled are on mere assumptions and suspicions. And yet Pakistan is blamed and India not even questioned because the Indo-US joint agenda is Pakistan focused. Pakistan has no place in the US carved New World Order, but our tunnel-vision leaders keep day-dreaming that their self-defeating policy of appeasement would impress Washington and might agree to give a small berth to Pakistan in its security paradigm.
The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst. email@example.com