Comments on: U.N. plays down “guidance” on Kashmir Beyond the World news headlines Mon, 21 Nov 2016 19:38:01 +0000 hourly 1 By: nvrforgetmbai Thu, 26 Aug 2010 06:27:18 +0000 India has over a period of time developed a standarized response to insurgency well described by Shekhar Gupta in Indian express. Let me summarize as below:

Step 1) Throw full military might at rebels with exception of leaders of the rebel movement who are treated with kid gloves.

Step 2) continue with full military pressure till rebels realize that violence will just result in more pain no gain.

Step 3) At that point sit down and negotiate with plenty of generous concessions. Integrate rebels into polictial mainstream and democratic process. Praful Mahanta of Assam, Akali party from Punjab, et al were erstwhile rebels now full integrated.

In Kashmir, we are at Step 2. So lets wait and watch.

Several people especially Indians often assume that India is a weak and soft state given our tradition of giving generous concessions. But we are neither. We are like the bamboo that bends with the wind and survives the storm rather than the upright oak that falls down in a storm.

Our strength comes from two factors:
1) We have the advantage of large numbers – 0.5 million feet on ground in Kashmir and if we need more, we can deploy more. :)
2) Our ability to handle body bags without political fallout. No one has lost an election over death of soldiers in kashmir/Punjab/NE etc.

So holding on to status quo as long as possible works in our advantage. Patience and Fortitude.

By: Seth Fri, 20 Aug 2010 05:16:04 +0000 Great comment Keithz!

By: kEiThZ Thu, 19 Aug 2010 14:30:50 +0000 The best thing for both Kashmir and India is to restructure the security forces there. Push the Army and all the assorted security forces out to the border areas and then create a completely indigenous security force for Kashmir.

Under that situation the dynamics will change considerably. When its mostly Kashmiris dying at the hands of Kashmiris, their tolerance for violence will decrease dramatically.

A rough copy of this game plan worked quite well for the Americans in Iraq. The militias they created took on the Sunni insurgents. And as soon as it became Iraqis killing Iraqis, violence rates started tumbling. Communities stopped harbouring terrorists. Indigenous and local security forces knew the terrain better and were better able to target violent extremists. And with self-preservation a concern, the local forces went after the insurgents with far more zeal than the Americans would have. It also improved the human rights issue. By the local forces knowing everybody in their areas, they were less likely to commit mistakes and target the wrong people by accident.

This is a blueprint that would serve India well. Offer the Kashmiris a chance to have an independent constabulary/gendarmarie entirely responsible for the security of the state. Heck, let them draft young Kashmiris into that force if they must. But there shouldn’t be anybody but Kashmiri residents in that force.

Then push the Army, CRPF, BSF, etc. out to the borders and put them on overdrive to cut off infiltrations. The plus side for India in this, is that troop density along border areas dramatically increases under this plan. If Pakistan wishes to then maintain its current rate of infiltrations, the amount of resources it would have to expend would be massive. This now becomes a mini-version of the Cold War strategy the Americans used against the Soviets. If the price of Pakistan’s “thousand cuts” strategy were to increase exponentially, how long would they be able to sustain it?

As it stands, using heavily armed infantry in Kashmir, is like using a hammer to swat a house fly. And all it amounts to is treating the symptom not the disease. India can’t eliminate training camps in Pakistan (not without sparking a potentially nuclear war). But it can most certainly keep the border as tight as possible and make it incredibly expensive for Pakistan to keep its current course. Just like the US-Soviet contest, India could potentially make it so expensive that Pakistan would have to choose between putting in so many resources to keep up the competition that it could end up disintegrating on its own, or to give up the contest and come to a sound long term solution that works for both sides.

All this, of course, rests on India being able to trust the Kashmiris with being able to police and secure themselves without any additional assistance from the centre (other than picking up the cheque). A little trust here could go a long, long way for India.

I have seen some writings from lower ranking Indian Army officers advocating such a strategy (the Captains, Majors and Colonels actually fighting in Kashmir). But there’s seem to be no evidence that such thinking has caught on at the top. The national security institutions in India, need to heed the advice of their officers on the ground, who understand the situation quite well and know what it takes to solve it.

By: G-W Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:40:19 +0000 Ganesh, you said:

“Remember that India’s one-time arch-enemy Musharraf came close to inking a peace deal that would have formalised the LoC as the international border.”

–>Ganesh, you know, it would not be a good idea actually for the sake of the Kashmiri’s to make the LOC the defacto border without addressing the Kashmiri situation fully.

By that I mean, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir must be discussed fully, its implications, the legality of Pakistani’s being on Kashmiri soil. It is unfair to focus entirely on India to work on the Kashmiri grievances, there must be an organized and sustained focus on pakistan occupied Kashmir, if there is to be a comprehensive agreement on Kashmir.

Pakistani’s have occupied Kashmir and claimed it as their own territory without any regard for the Kashmiri’s on the Pakistani side and Pakistan is hijacking the Indian Kashmiri cause to make another landgrab on the Indian Kashmiri side….all in a gradual extensive effort to expand the Sunni Empire, through any means, even the small nation of Kashmir is being spared, they will swallow that up too to make it a part of Pakistan.

Pakistani’s care damn about kashmiri’s but are using that hollow ficitious sympathy as a trojan horse to further Sunni empire expansion.

That is why everybody has a duty to question the legitimacy of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, with regards to the right of Self determination of Kashmiri’s.

Purely focusing on India with regards to Kashmir, is actually killing the Kashmiri cause, the focus has to be of an all encompassing nature and comprehensive to include all of the land violations and 1948 UN Kashmir resolutions that Pakistan continually evades.

The legitimacy and legality of the Pakistani occupation of Kashmir must be openly questioned, the same way the Indian side is being constantly questioned.

If India is to vacate Kashmir, so must Pakistan fully and wholeheartedly, to do anything else is a complete and utter waste of time and unfair to India and mostly Kashmiri’s themselves.

The biggest humour about Kashmir is Pakistani’s yearing for Kashmiri freedom, then why don’t Pakistani’s, Punjabi settlers, the Pak Army, proxy terrorist camps, jihadi’s….all of them, why don’t they just get the fxck out of Kashmir as well? Why is India the only bad guy here?

Why the fxck do Pakistani’s have double standard here?

Pot calling the kettle black.

By: Mortal1 Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:59:33 +0000 Ganesh,

One thing that I take from the Guardian article, is that in his narative of the 2 decade-long agitation in Kashmir, the authour has not mentioned the role played by Pakistan & it’s proxy armies, even once. If I hadn’t checked his name, I would’ve bet my house that he’s a Pakistani. Having said that, the fact that he’s a hindu of Indian descent, does not give him automatic credibility on the issue, in my book.

There’s no doubt that civil rights violations have taken place in kashmir & that the Indian Govt needs to closely moniter the activities of the army there & provide speedy justice to the bereeved. I agree with you that we, as Indians need to do more & put pressure on the Indian Govt to improve the law & order situation in Kashmir & do more for the betterment of the kashmiris. I’ll be the first one to sign off on any letter/petition to the Indian Govt, demanding the above.

By: prasadgc Sat, 14 Aug 2010 16:27:52 +0000 Here’s a brutally frank write-up on Kashmir in the UK’s Guardian that should give us (liberal, educated Indians) pause. The author is not a Kashmiri Muslim. Nor is he a biased Pakistani or ignorant Westerner, as our convenient stereotypes go. From his name (Pankaj Mishra), he is Hindu and of Indian origin. 10/aug/14/silence-over-kashmir-conflict

I suffer great moral pangs on the issue of Kashmir, and articles like this only reinforce them. My only quibble with this otherwise powerful article is its complete silence on the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus (the Pundits). The author should have followed his own advice and dealt with that additional “messy reality concealed by stirring abstractions”, as he put it. But that omission should not cause us to sweep the larger issue under the carpet.

As Indians, we all know we have a certain wariness towards men in uniform (the police more than the army, which is generally invisible in daily life). How many of us would enter a police station with a jaunty step? One of the luxuries of being part of the middle or upper classes is our relative ability to lead our lives without ever coming into contact with the police. But we have all read stories in the Indian press of “death in police custody” and “encounter killings”. There is probably more than a grain of truth to what is being said about the behaviour of our men in uniform in Kashmir. False notions of patriotism should not prevent us from speaking up about it. We are humans first and Indians second. We shouldn’t go on the defensive and refuse to look seriously at the issue just because Pakistanis are raising the Kashmir issue for their country’s own opportunistic reasons.

It would be good if Indians themselves could bring pressure on the Indian government to dramatically improve the situation in Kashmir. Even if we believe that a plebiscite or independence for part of the region (the Kashmir Valley) is a bridge too far, we can at least insist on greater press access and more honest reporting on Kashmir. That may shame the authorities into providing a lighter touch and better administration.

It’s the least we can do.

Ganesh Prasad

By: prasadgc Sat, 14 Aug 2010 05:08:45 +0000 G-W,

It is probably just the Pakistani military that has a victory-or-death mentality, not ordinary people. But the military sets the tone for the whole country. While it is frustrating, it is also a source of hope because we only need to tackle the perceptions of a small group of people to effect more widespread change.

Remember that India’s one-time arch-enemy Musharraf came close to inking a peace deal that would have formalised the LoC as the international border. I think he saw the writing on the wall, that Pakistan could not sustain a hate campaign into the future given the growing disparities in economic clout and the change in world opinion in favour of India.

I think a similar mindset change needs to occur in Gen Kayani and his coterie. Once the military top brass decide to be less belligerent, the mood of the country will follow. So peace initiatives have to come from the hawks in order to be credible and sustainable.

As the Vulcans would say, “Only Nixon could go to China.” 😉

Ganesh Prasad

By: G-W Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:43:45 +0000 @Ganesh Prasad,

As I said earlier, I think India is always willing to share with Pakistan, as long as Pakistani’s unclench their fists and open their hearts and minds and put the guns down and discuss the issues.

Pakistani’s are too proud and would rather die than accept help from India. Friendship with India would destroy the national Pakistani psyche and they would not know who to hate anymore. Friendship with India may actually create chaos in Pakistan and remove the tools needed for national unity.

It is such a pity that a nation remains so defiant towards Indians, even in the face of death. Perhaps, that is what they want and let God give what may or may not come, that is up to God.

By: prasadgc Sat, 14 Aug 2010 01:26:29 +0000 mirusmtupsha said:

> – your assumption is flawed. kashmirs don’t want autonomy, they want freedom in the form of independence.

I would be interested in hearing your response to the whole of my post and all the points I made in it, rather than the one statement that you disagree with.

I developed an argument and led up to that conclusion. I would like to hear a critique of that reasoning.

Ganesh Prasad

By: prasadgc Sat, 14 Aug 2010 01:16:47 +0000 Black_Sabbath3:

There is no point in rubbing Mohammad Anjum’s face in it by referring to the 1971 surrender photograph. We can see that the image has been seared into his consciousness, which is why he made that statement. I don’t believe he is the only Pakistani who feels that way either.

I find myself marvelling and shaking my head on seeing such a naked expression of desire for vengeance. India underwent a similar military humiliation at the hands of China in 1962. Most Indians do see that as a humiliation even though it happened before most of them were born.

However, the difference in the Indian and Pakistani attitudes towards military humiliation is instructive. Indians predominantly have only two feelings about the Chinese:

1. We need to learn from the 1962 experience to be militarily strong so China cannot grab Arunachal Pradesh.

2. China has made fantastic economic progress. We should try and match that.

And perhaps a third feeling in those who have thought about it deeper:

3. We need to have deep economic and trade ties with China so that China has more to lose than to gain by attacking India in the future.

I have not heard Indians say they want to see their army defeat the Chinese on the border and humiliate them. Not do they say they want to liberate Tibet in retaliation for the loss of Aksai Chin.

Why have Pakistanis chosen to react in such a negative way?

G-W is probably right in that India should leave Pakistan alone and concentrate on its own progress. The danger is that having such hatred simmering in the hearts of so many people right next door cannot be good for our health. We need to address that, and I’m not sure how it can be done.

The nightmare scenario is if some people there feel they cannot bear to see India continuing to progress while their own country is sliding backwards, and decide that a nuclear holocaust that destroys both countries is a preferable option. We can’t rule out that possibility. Pakistani ill-feeling is therefore India’s problem. I am not suggesting that appeasement is the answer. But we need to be creative in tackling this problem, because it is our problem.

Ganesh Prasad