Friday, 30 May 2008

My analyses on the Kashmiri struggle after Kargil

My analyses on the Kashmiri struggle after Kargil


Ø Kargil fiasco has proved to be a turning point for the Kashmiri struggle. It provided India with an opportunity to win sympathy world wide and present India as a 'victim of terrorism'.

Ø This has provided some justification for India's actions in Kashmir and on LOC.

Ø The Kashmiri struggle was already seen by some as the one inspired by Pakistan, Kargil provided that evidence.

Ø Kargil has made LOC a sacred one, and insistence of the world community is not to breach that. This means a solution has to be found by keeping LOC intact.

Ø This supports a conspiracy theory that Kargil was a stage- managed affair to provide sanctity to LOC and pave a way for the division of Kashmir. It is believed that Indian government knew there would be an incursion in Kargil then question is why didn't they stop it?
Pakistani policy

Ø The way Pakistan presented the Kashmir issue it made Kashmir a kind of 'territorial issue', that has to be resolved bilaterally, and this has already damaged Kashmir case. This perception some what changed by the Kashmiri uprising supported by militancy. But once again Pakistani policy makers made a series of blunders, just to mention two:

1. Introduction of foreigners into the struggle which made it an 'Islamic war' or a 'fundamentalist war' against a democratic India. This also threatened many others and helped Indian strategy on Kashmir.
2. Insistence that Pakistan will talk on behalf of the Kashmiris and that Kashmiris could only decide between India and Pakistan. It was crystal clear that Kashmiris did not want to live with India, and that practically meant only one choice- joining Pakistan.

Pakistani policy makers failed to realise that their this policy not only damaged the Kashmir cause but also made the world outside to believe that Pakistan has her own agenda on Kashmir. This further strengthened Indian hand. They also failed to see that the world outside did not want to see Kashmir going to Pakistan at the expense of India. They should have known that there are not many countries that want to see a bigger and stronger Pakistan.

India at that time was desperate and could have reluctantly accepted an independent Kashmir, especially when they knew that almost all the people of Kashmir have arisen against them, and they won't live with India. India's first preference is to keep Kashmir, but if under tremendous pressure could possibly agree to an independent Kashmir, especially when they know that Pakistan is also to lose areas under her control. But at no cost they will agree to Kashmir joining Pakistan. Or allowing Muslim areas under India to emerge as an independent territory. (This could be explained in detail).

If Pakistan had allowed Kashmir to emerge as an independent Kashmir, this would have benefited Pakistan in many ways. (This could be explained in detail). What Pakistani policy makers have to see which is better: Kashmir with the present status or India losing Kashmir and a friendly and co operative independent Kashmir as a buffer state.
Indian Policy

Ø It would be wrong not to give credit to Indian policy makers, what they have done is in the national interest of India, of course at the cost of Kashmiri and Pakistani interests. Despite gross human rights violations and open rebellion of the Kashmiris they managed to turn the tide of international opinion in their favour; or at least against Pakistani stand.

Ø Indian diplomats have made strenuous efforts to present Indian case on international level. And their success could only be measured by analysing the situation in the USA and UK, especially at the annual conferences of all three major parties. Their economic strength and democracy has also helped them.

Ø They have successfully created divisions in the ranks of the Kashmiri leadership. Even, apparently Pakistani - sponsored, APHC is in tatters. After their release from prison, they are speaking in different voices and have offered different solution to the Kashmir dispute.

Ø They have even 'broken into' the militant groups. Hizb's cease -fire will have far reaching consequences. My information is that there are negotiations still going on, and soon there will be some outcome of that.

Some hard facts

Ø It is a false assumption that India will economically collapse.

Ø India is militarily paying a price, especially after Kargil, but India can continue to pay this price for a long time.

Ø But important question is, is Pakistan capable of continuing to shoulder responsibilities associated with this struggle. Responsibilities such as political, economic, international pressure about having peace in South Asia. And

Ø International pressure associated with 'export of Jehad' to various countries including friendly countries like China and Central Asian states.

Ø Another question is, will the Kashmiri people be able to carry on with the present situation for a long time. I am not talking of militancy here which is foreign dominated anyway.

Ø If we leave rhetoric aside, which is for the public consumption anyway, answer to above questions could not be positive. And in the view of this urgent actions are ought to be taken.

A way forward

Ø Before taking any decision to resolve the Kashmir dispute, Pakistani policy makers have to ask themselves some additional questions.
Ø Permanent division of Kashmir is not a solution, as it will create further problems for Kashmiris and Pakistan.
Ø Also it will endanger peace and stability of South Asia, and will give more power to Islamic/Jehadi groups who have their own agenda.
Ø Such a solution will surely lead to troubles in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan. Don't be under any allusions, and think what may happen in future- in 15-20 years time.

It is, therefore, imperative that Pakistan reviews its Kashmir policy, and let Kashmir emerge as an independent Kashmir.

But if that is not possible for whatever reason, then Pakistan should agree to trilateral talks on Kashmir, and let Kashmiris plead their own case.

If decision of entire State of J&K could not be taken as a one political entity, then Pakistan is best advised not to become part of any settlement. This will enable Pakistan to take it up again when the country weathers the present "storm".

More I can discuss in a meeting or look at Options On Kashmir.

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