Wednesday, September 21, 2016

700,000 Indian Soldiers Versus 10 Million Kashmiris

The essence of Kashmir issue today is not Uri or Pathankot or similar other alleged "militant attacks"; it is India's brutal military occupation force of 700,000 heavily-armed Indian soldiers being resisted by over 10 million Kashmiris. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act:

India rules Kashmir using Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same law that was created and used by the British colonial power to try and crush Gandhi's Quit India movement,

After independence in 1947, the Indian government has made extensive use of the same colonial-era British law to crush legitimate demands for freedom by the peoples of Assam, Manipur, Kashmir and other regions. The Act has now been in force in Kashmir for 26 years.

While Indian government claims Kashmir as an integral part of India, it undermines its own claim by denying fundamental rights to Kashmiris, the rights that are granted by the Indian constitution to all Indian citizens.

Basic Rights Denied:

Not only is the Indian government denying the right of self-determination granted to Kashmiris by multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, New Delhi is also reneging on the commitments made by India's founder and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Kashmiris and the international community.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge

India is deploying 700,000 troops with extraordinary powers to detain, torture, blind, injure and kill any Kashmiri citizen with impunity under Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990.

Deaths and Injuries:

In the latest Kashmir uprising triggered by the July 8 murder of young Kashmiri activist Burhan Wani by Indian military,  hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured in peaceful protests.

The extensive use pellet guns by Indian soldiers has blinded hundreds of young men and women, even children, during the current wave of mass protests.

Prior to casualties this latest round of protests, there have tens of thousands of civilians killed and hundreds of thousands injured by Indian military in Kashmir. Thousands of bodies have been found in mass graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts in Kashmir, according to The Hindu.

Kashmir Mass Graves:

Dr. Angana Chatterji, a professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies who uncovered the mass graves, reported as follows:  “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17."

Scholars, she said, refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’

Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police.

The International Peoples' Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, an independent group headed by Dr. Chatterji, alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.

Indian University Student Protest:

Many enlightened Indians like the Jawaharlal Nehru University students see the brutality and futility of Indian military occupation of Kashmir. At protests earlier this year, many chanted slogans in favor of Azadi for Kashmiris.  "Geelani bole azaadi, Afzal bole azaadi, jo tum na doge azaadi, toh chheen ke lenge azadi! (Geelani and Afzal demanded freedom. If freedom is denied, we will snatch it!)".

New Generation in Revolt: 

During the 26 years of Kashmir under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an entire new generation of Kashmiris has grown up. This generation, represented by tech-savvy youngsters like Burhan Wani, has seen nothing but repression and violence committed by the Indian military against their people. They are more determined than ever to defy and defeat the illegal and immoral military occupation of their land by India.


The essence of Kashmir issue today is not Uri or Pathankot or similar other alleged "militant attacks"; it is India's brutal occupation of Kashmir by 700,000 heavily-armed Indian soldiers being resisted by over 10 million Kashmiris. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. 

The use of brute force by 700,000 Indian troops over the last 26 years to crush the legitimate aspirations of millions of Kashmiris is backfiring.  The more Kashmiris Indian military detains, tortures, injures, blinds and kills under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the less sustainable is its hold on the territory.  It is only a matter of time before India is forced to withdraw its troops and agree to let Kashmiris decide their own fate.

Here's Human rights activist Ajit Sahi exposing Modi's atrocities in Kashmir at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Sahi says 6 people a day being killed in extrajudicial killings.


Here's another video discussion:

Did India beat Pakistan in the 1965 war from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

What if Modi Attacks Pakistan?

1965 India-Pakistan War

2016 Kashmir Uprising

Kashmir in Context

Arundhati Roy on Indian Military Occupation of Kashmir

JNU Anti-Modi Protests


Riaz Haq said...

#Indian defense analyst Praful Bakshi says #IAF in serious crisis, lacks capacity vs #Pakistan #China via @YouTube

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif UN Speech General Assembly | 21 September 2016 | #Kashmir #UNGA #India via @YouTube

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan will hit back: #Musharraf warns #India | SAMAA TV #Uri #Kashmir

Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has warned India that Pakistan will carry out a counter strike if New Delhi resorted to any military action against Islamabad in current circumstances of tension following militant attack in Occupied Kashmir, Samaa reported.

The former military ruler, in an interview with Indian channel CNN-News18, said Pakistan Islamabad will strike at "a time and place of its choosing" if India waged war.

“The persons who are talking about military retaliation - including your DGMO, your defence minister - should understand the consequences. The DGMO should learn a lesson of military that you have to wargame it till the end.”

“If think you can strike at the time and place of your choosing, we will strike back at the time and place of our choosing. It doesn't stop at your action; what will follow should also be considered,” he said in the interview from his residence in London.

About the attack on Indian army headquarters in Uri, where 19 Indian soldiers were killed, he said there are not credible evidences to say that the attackers came from Pakistan.

“The Indian government is trying to say as if the Pakistan army and the Pakistan government is involved,” he said.

He said India is directly interfering in Balochistan that is a serious matter. He also condemned New Delhi’s decision to give political asylum to Baloch rebel leader Brahmdagh Bugti, who is currently living in Switzerland.

“I totally condemn it, he shouldn’t be given any asylum. He’s a terrorist. You call of non-state actors in Kashmir, here in Balochistan it is state actor from your side, this is your state which is acting in Balochistan, which is more serious,” Musharraf said.

Brahamdagh Bugti approached the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva for filing asylum papers on Tuesday. - Samaa

sandeep rajora said...

the whole support to balochistan started because pakistan has been interfering in india's internal affairs since 70 years, like kashmir is a raw nerve for india so is balochistan for pak. we indians would not bother about your affairs if you don't in ours.

Riaz Haq said...

SR: "the whole support to balochistan started because pakistan has been interfering in india's internal affairs since 70 years, like kashmir is a raw nerve for india so is balochistan for pak. we indians would not bother about your affairs if you don't in ours. "

Unlike Balochistan which is recognized by the world as integral part of Pakistan, Kashmir is a disputed territory under international law. And Pakistan is a legitimate party to the dispute under UN resolutions.

As to your justification for Indian covert war in Balochistan, let me ask you this:

What started India's interference in other neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Sikkim, Nepal, etc?

What did Sri Lanka do to India to deserve the creation of LTTE by Indian intelligence?

Or Sikkim do to India to be forcibly annexed?

Read RK Yadav's "Mission R&AW" to learn about RAW's actions against India's neighbors.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan military prepares for a possible #India attack. #F16s flights, landing on Motorway, airspace part closure

Military officials are calling it a routine exercise, but the thunderous spectacle of Pakistani fighter jets touching down on a major highway Wednesday and Thursday, with commercial flights suspended and traffic blocked for hours, has fueled public speculation that something much more ominous is afoot.

The display of military readiness, which included a late-night jet flyover Thursday above this capital city, has come amid an unusually tense showdown with India, Pakistan’s nuclear-armed rival, following a militant attack Sunday that killed 18 Indian soldiers in the disputed border region of Kashmir. The air exercise led to the closure of commercial airspace over several regions of the country and triggered a sudden drop in the nation’s stock market.

Indian officials have accused Pakistan of sending the armed attackers across the de facto border into the Indian portion of Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under public pressure to retaliate for Sunday’s assault, vowed that those behind the “despicable attack” would not go unpunished. So far, though, his government has taken no action.

Pakistani officials have strongly denied the charges, and its military leaders have declared that they are prepared to defend Pakistani territory from any attack by India, and also to launch a “counter-offensive” in case of an Indian strike. The two neighboring countries have been adversaries for decades and have fought four wars.

On Thursday, Indian naval officials issued a high alert for coastal areas after school children claimed to have seen four men moving “suspiciously” near a naval facility near the city of Mumbai, according to the Press Trust of India. Schools and some public buildings in the area were shut while a manhunt was conducted, and security was tightened at other coastal facilities.

In New York, meanwhile, Pakistan and Indian officials have carried on a parallel war of words at the U.N. General Assembly. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivered a strident speech Wednesday, denouncing what he called ongoing Indian repression against unarmed protesters in Kashmir.


Shahid Latif, a former deputy air force chief, said it was important to remind India of Pakistan’s military and nuclear strength as a deterrent to any impulsive act. He said the air force now has upgraded F-16s and JF-17 Thunder fighter planes.

“India is very frustrated and it could do something rash, such as launching surgical strikes,” he said. “Our forces are well prepared to counter any Indian attack, our air force is doing the exercises and the motorway is also being used for that.” If India attacks, he said, “our military command knows what it has to do.”

Pakistani officials said that on Wednesday and Thursday, Pakistani fighter planes landed and took off repeatedly at several points along the six-lane highway linking Islamabad with the eastern city of Lahore, near the Indian border. Highway officials said they were informed only shortly before each landing, and that they then diverted traffic to other roads.

They said the fighter jets also landed Wednesday on another six-lane motorway that connects Islamabad to the western city of Peshawar to Islamabad. They said flights from Islamabad to the northern areas of Gilgit, Chitral and Skardu were suspended and will remain so for the next several days, with local airports being used by the air force.

Riaz Haq said...

#Kashmir Crisis Poses Major Test for #India’s Leader, Narendra #Modi. #BJP #Pakistan

The situation not only risks economic growth but could also send two nations skidding into a nuclear war.

“It could happen, and it would be catastrophic for both countries,” said Stephen P. Cohen, the author of “Shooting for a Century: The India-Pakistan Conundrum.”

India and Pakistan have been locked in a feud — it began nearly 70 years ago with their independence from Britain — mainly over the Himalayan valley called Kashmir. The dispute over its control, which has led to two wars, had appeared to be relatively dormant since 2010 as tourists returned to the scenic region and turnouts in elections were large. That led the Indian government to believe that the turbulence of recent decades might be over, says Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of the northernmost Indian state, Jammu and Kashmir.

That thinking, it now appears, was a mistake.

There were warning signs over the last two years about rising unrest among young people in Indian-administered Kashmir. Small disputes with the Indian security forces stationed in the Kashmir valley often drew enormous crowds very quickly. The killing of a 22-year-old separatist militant named Burhan Muzaffar Wani by Indian security officers in July touched off the latest protests.

“Wani should have served as an alarm bell for the government system,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, editor of The Wire, an online Indian news site. “Why would a young man, instead of taking up engineering, adopt a course that any reasonable person would tell him would end up in death?”

Now the India-controlled section of Kashmir is engulfed in a crisis. Since the shooting, the Indian-controlled area has been shut down, with curfews and strikes forcing the closing of schools, offices and markets.

Mr. Wani’s death incited violent stone-throwing protests that the security forces sought to eradicate by firing birdshot at protesters. The use of the birdshot, or tiny pellets that scatter when fired, has caused thousands to be wounded, many with eye injuries. More than 70 people, including protesters and Indian security forces, have been killed since the violence began.

The question now is whether Mr. Modi can defuse the crisis.

People close to the government, nevertheless, have been trying their hand at freelance diplomacy, including the guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He invited the father of Mr. Wani to his ashram and suggested that the elder Mr. Wani might serve as an intermediary.

“Sri Ravi Shankar expected that I can play some role in bringing peace to Kashmir,” the father, Mohammad Muzafar Wani, said in an interview. “He said, ‘To resolve the problem, with whom should the talks be initiated? With you?’ I told him, ‘No.’”

For Mr. Modi, pressure remains strong to punish Pakistan with some form of military action for the attack on the army base.

Pakistan has talked tough. In a news release on Monday, Gen. Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani Army chief, said that “taking note of a hostile narrative” from India, the armed forces of Pakistan were “fully prepared to respond to the entire spectrum of direct and indirect threat.”

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan said peace between his country and India “cannot be achieved without a resolution to the Kashmir dispute.”

There was another flare-up of violence along the India-controlled Kashmir border with Pakistan on Tuesday night, when Indian troops battled two groups of militants trying to cross from the Pakistani side into India, the Indian Ministry of Defense said in a statement. One Indian soldier was killed in the skirmishes.

Riaz Haq said...

WikiLeaks: #India 'systematically torturing civilians in #Kashmir' | via @Telegraph

The US officials in Delhi were privately briefed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2005 that Indian security forces were using methods including electrocution, physical beatings and sexual interference against hundreds of detainees.
In a detailed report back to Washington they recorded the view of the ICRC that India “condones torture” and that the detainees were not Islamist insurgents or Pakistani-backed militants, who were “routinely killed.” Instead, they were civilians “connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency.”
According to the cables, which will prove a major embarrassment for the Indian government, the ICRC interviewed 1,296 detainees of whom 681 said they had been tortured.
Of those, 498 claimed to have been electrocuted, 381 said they were suspended from the ceiling, and 304 cases were described as “sexual.”
A total of 294 described a procedure in which guards crushed their legs by putting a bar across their thighs and sitting on it, while 181 said their legs had been pulled apart into the splits.

In one cable US officials reported that “terrorism investigations and court cases tend to rely upon confessions, many of which are obtained under duress if not beatings, threats, or in some cases torture.”
Other leaked cables from US officials in India revealed that the Dalai Lama believed environmental problems on the Tibetan plateau should take precedence over a political solution there for the next five to 10 years.
The exiled Buddhist spiritual leader told US diplomats that issues such as polluted water from mining, deforestation and melting glaciers “cannot wait.”
US officials also suggested to Washington that India be encouraged to send Bollywood stars to Afghanistan to help pacify the country.
A cable, obtained by the WikiLeaks website, said “We understand Bollywood movies are wildly popular in Afghanistan” but the plan never materialised.”

Riaz Haq said...

Watch this fact finding mission report of Indian journalists who went to Kashmir and gave the report a few days ago

All Kashmiris of all ages and classes want Azadi from India. No Pakistan involvement in the current protest movement. No Wahabis involved.

Riaz Haq said...

From Sashi Tharoor:

‘isolation’ is a bigger challenge for New Delhi this time: Firstly, because Uri involved fewer victims than Mumbai; secondly, because they were soldiers, not civilians as in 26/11; and thirdly, because various countries have bilateral reasons not to isolate Pakistan.
The US needs Pakistan because of Afghanistan, and China has major strategic interests there, especially a $46 billion economic corridor that is China’s single biggest overseas development project. As long as major powers choose to stay engaged with Pakistan, overlooking its misbehaviour, diplomatic isolation will have its limitations as a policy.

‘Surgical’ airstrikes seem superficially attractive, not least because, in Eliot Cohen’s marvellous formulation, they are an option rather like modern courtship — they offer the possibility of gratification without commitment. You fly from a great height, drop a few bombs and come back home, without taking the issue any further, leaving your victims to contemplate the smoking ruins.

What about Pakistani retaliation, which is sure to be swift and perhaps disproportionate? At what point do you stop the punishment that will inevitably provoke more reprisals? And what about the international opprobrium you will incur for violating the LoC or worse, breaching an international frontier?

Above all, what about the ancillary risks of further escalation? India’s overriding priority is economic development, which requires foreign investment and a peaceful climate for economic growth. How does that square with the military adventurism being advocated by our armchair generals? Investors, naturally, do not like to invest in war zones. Can we afford to drive away the funds without which we cannot pull our people out of poverty?

The possibility of India revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty signed with Pakistan in 1960 has also aroused some strategists, and even MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup, who said pointedly that “any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides”.
Under the treaty, India has control over three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej —and Pakistan the western rivers of the Chenab and Jhelum. Swarup darkly hinted that it was in jeopardy: “For any such treaty to work, it is important there must be mutual trust and cooperation. It cannot be a one-sided affair.”
But the treaty under which the waters of the Indus and its five tributaries are distributed between the two countries is not purely a bilateral affair; it was brokered by the World Bank, whose involvement will be automatically triggered if India unilaterally abrogates it.

Nor can it be done like turning off a tap; various measures would be required to ensure that Indian cities do not get flooded with the water that is no longer flowing to Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Turning off Indus tap easier said than done
It is an idea that keeps returning to the table — but India probably can’t consider it without risks, including those of flooding its own cities and provoking even bigger waves of terror.

Amid the clamour for avenging the Uri attack, a non-military option being suggested — including by Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha (The Indian Express, September 22) — is the abrogation of the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty that defines the water-sharing arrangement for six rivers of the Indus basin that flow through both India and Pakistan. The argument is that India, being upstream, can stop the flow of waters to Pakistan and bring it to its knees.
Pakistan’s dependence on the Indus system cannot be overstated. About 65% of its geographical area, including the entire Punjab province, is part of the Indus basin. The country has the world’s largest canal irrigation system, thanks to its development of the basin, which accounts for more than 90% of its irrigated area. Its three biggest dams, and several smaller ones, are located here. These are sources for hydroelectricity, irrigation and drinking water for millions of Pakistanis. If the tap could indeed be turned off from the Indian side, Pakistan’s capitulation is expected to be swift.

In stark contrast to their dealings in other matters, India and Pakistan have managed their shared river waters quite amicably, thanks to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. The Treaty has survived wars and innumerable phases of frosty relations. So much so, it is cited as the global model for cooperation on the use of trans-boundary river waters. The success of the Treaty also lends weight to the theory that when it comes to water, nations tend to cooperate rather than get into a conflict.
The Treaty, which came after a decade of World Bank-brokered negotiations, classified the six rivers of the Indus system into ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ rivers. Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were eastern; Jhelum, Chenab and Indus itself were western. The categorisation was relative — the western rivers flow almost parallely to the west of the eastern ones. Indus, the largest river, originates in China, so does the Sutlej. The other four rise in India; all enter Pakistan from India.
The Treaty gave India full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers, while it had to let the western rivers flow “unrestricted” to Pakistan. India could use the waters of western rivers as well, but only in a “non-consumptive” manner. It could use it for domestic purposes, and even for irrigation and hydropower production, but only in the manner specified in the Treaty. With the eastern rivers, India could do as it pleased.
A Permanent Indus Commission was established to implement the Treaty. Each country has an Indus Commissioner, and they meet regularly — every six months these days — to exchange information and data, and to settle minor disputes. Meetings of the Indus Commissioners have never been suspended — more than 110 rounds of meetings, held alternately in India and Pakistan, have taken place so far.


Indeed, the Treaty allows India to construct storage up to 3.6 million acre feet on the western rivers. But India has developed no storage capacities; nor has it utilised the water it is entitled to for irrigation.
Sinha also argued for India’s greater engagement with Afghanistan on the development of the Kabul river that flows into Pakistan through the Indus basin. “This again can make Pakistan extremely nervous. It is in our strategic interest in any case to enhance our engagement on developmental issues with Afghanistan,” he said.
Stopping the waters of the Indus rivers, on the other hand, can be counterproductive, Sinha said. “We have water-sharing arrangements with other neighbours as well. Not honouring the Indus Treaty would make them uneasy and distrustful. And we would lose our voice if China, decides to do something similar.”

Riaz Haq said...

A Military Attack on #Pakistan Will Lead to #India's Worst Nightmare. #Kashmir #Modi … via @thewire_in

The key to peace in the region is to tackle the roots of the tension, which is the dispute over Kashmir.

Delhi’s decision, in the aftermath of the Uri attack, to ‘go on the strategic offensive’ against terrorist attacks launched with the support, if not connivance, of the Pakistan government has been noted all over the world. Few commentators had expected any other reaction. But unless it is planned meticulously with a precise definition of its objective and a careful appraisal of the alternatives for achieving it, such a shift is fraught with danger.

Indian TV has been baying for blood, but the goal of the Modi government should not be to ‘punish’ Pakistan for its sins, but to force it to give up using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy altogether. Such an effort is long overdue, but cannot be made by India alone, for the circumstances of Pakistan’s birth ensure that the entire nation will willingly commit suicide rather than bend its knee to India.

India can achieve this goal only in concert with other nations and heads of government. As the almost empty UN General Assembly hall to which Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave his address so eloquently showed, the time for a concerted effort to get Pakistan off this track is ripe. So the relentless, ugly, jingoistic drum-beating that is being indulged in by TV channels vying for TRP ratings, and the threats of disproportionate retaliatory strikes being voiced by RSS/BJP functionaries, is not only unnecessary, but is also likely to prove self defeating because it is arousing dormant fears in the rest of the world not only of a nuclear war in South Asia, but of the prolonged nuclear winter that will follow in its wake.

Lest this sound fanciful, we need only remember that a mere 20,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide spewed into the stratosphere by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1990 brought down the global average temperature in 1991 by half a degree Celsius and caused a severe drought in sub-Saharan Africa. We have no precise idea what a full-scale nuclear war will release into the atmosphere, but it is also worth remembering that 650,000 years ago, during the coldest ice age of the past million years, the global average surface temperature was only five degrees below what it is today.

Riaz Haq said...

A Full-Blown Guerilla War Is Developing In #Kashmir that #Army Can Not Fight: Ex #India Justice Markandey Katju:

I think the people of India, the government of India, and the Indian army must now be told the truth: a full-blown guerilla war, still in its nascent stage , is fast developing in Kashmir, and we are being misled by our jingoistic media having anchors whom I call Don Quixote, Lord Haw Haw, and Dr. Goebbels.
The truth is most of the Kashmiri youth have been thoroughly alienated, and are intensely hostile to India.

A guerilla war, to be succesful, must have popular support. "The people are the sea, and we are the fish who swim in them." said a famous Red Army leader in the Chinese revolutionary war. Without popular support, a guerilla war cannot be long sustained, as Che Guevara realized too late in Bolivia.
But there is definitely popular support of the militants in Kashmir. We canot hide this truth. It is true that not all Kashmiri youth are trained and armed militants (at present only a very small number are). But the sympathies of most of the Kashmiri youth are with the militants, and they will therefore supply information, sanctuary, food, etc to them. The large crowd of lakhs of people in Burhan Wani's funeral has demonstrated this.
To say that all the militants have come across the border is again not correct. A large section of them, like Burhan Wani, are local people, though they are getting weapons from China and Pakistan.
The Kashmiri guerilla war, though still in its nascent stage, is bound to develop rapidly in the days to come, and I may explain why.

I have many relatives who were in the Indian army, and who were posted in Kashmir or in the North-East where there was militancy. They explained to me the psychology of our soldiers.
Suppose a patrol of 10 or 20 of our soldiers is going in some area in Kashmir, and is fired upon by some militants. If in this firing 2 or 3 of our soldiers are killed, the rest of them tend to go crazy, seeking revenge for their fallen comrades.
They may then enter a neighbouring village, thinking it harboured these militants ( and may indeed have), and shoot at innocent civilians, despite all instructions to the contrary from higher authorities.. Sometimes even their officers cannot control them.
Also, a soldier who has stayed in militancy-affected areas for long periods, as many Indian soldiers have to do, is often no longer psychologically normal, expecting death at any moment. Hence he sometimes tends to do crazy things, like firing at civilians.
The American experience in Vietnam testifies to this.

Riaz Haq said...

World cannot remain indifferent to #Kashmir issue: #NATO Commander. #India #Pakistan …

Chairman Military Committee NATO, General Peter Pavel, Thursday said the scale of counter-terrorism campaign by Pakistan was quite large with impressive results, and mentioned that the country had shown great progress against militancy in last couple of years.

According to a statement issued from the PM House here Thursday, General Peter Pavel in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here at PM House, termed Pakistan an important and traditional partner of NATO.

The Chairman Military Committee NATO said by the virtue of its size, Pakistan could play an important role in the region.

“We expect a broader political framework agreement between Pakistan and NATO to unlock further mutual military cooperation,” General Pavel said.

PM Nawaz Sharif said his government had a stated policy on Afghanistan, which he expressed from the day first on assumption of his office.

“We have conveyed to the leadership of Afghanistan that the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan and we have stood by our words,” he said.

The Prime Minister said even yesterday Pakistan announced an assistance of $ 500 million in addition to an earlier assistance of $ 500 million for Afghanistan to help them overcome problems and achieve stability.

“We genuinely believe that stability in Afghanistan is crucial for achieving stability in our own country and the region,” added the Prime Minister.

General Peter Pavel said his meetings with all the services Chiefs and others were highly satisfactory.

“I am highly impressed with the state of affairs, professional standards and approach of Pakistan Armed forces. I would like to acknowledge the comprehensive counter terrorism strategy which has achieved a lot and there are many lessons for NATO to learn from it,” Chairman Military Committee NATO said.

The Prime Minister said that India was creating problems and has resorted to double standards on the issue of Indian occupied Kashmir.

The Prime Minster said that India unfairly blamed Pakistan for Uri attack without investigating into the incident.

“India does not realise that the youth of IoK have re-energized the freedom struggle. We want peaceful relations with all of our neighbours. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause.

The atrocities by the Indian forces have resulted into the loss of precious human lives and blinded hundreds through the use of brutal force,” the Prime Minister said.

The Pakistani armed forces had rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism, he said. This war is immensely backed by the entire nation, government and political leadership of our country to guarantee a peaceful homeland for our future generations, he added.

“The ongoing military operation Zarb-i-Azb is the largest military counter terrorism offensive by any single country, which has broken the backbone of terrorists,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

On the issue of eastern border, General Peter Pavel said that the world and the UN have to be consistent on principles and rules.

“I have listened to your yesterday’s speech in the Parliament where you eloquently expressed the issue of Kashmir. The Kashmir issue has to be addressed as two nuclear powers are party to it and the world cannot remain indifferent and must be concerned,” Chairman Military Committee NATO said.

Riaz Haq said...

Listen to BBC Urdu's #India occupied #Kashmir-born Aliya Nazki talk about #Indian Army's brutality against civilians …

Indian-administered Kashmir has been living through some of the worst violence for years. It is a dispute that goes back almost seventy years, and the latest trouble follows the recent killing of Burhan Wani, a 22 year old militant with a huge social media following. Mobile communications have been cut, landlines are unreliable, and contact with the local BBC reporter has been intermittent. But BBC Urdu presenter Aliya Nazki, herself from Kashmir, has been following developments closely.

Aliya talks about massive demonstrations and protest marches and extended curfews.

you get stopped and searched at checkpoints where ordinary Kashmiris are humiliated by soldiers.

Nowhere do they fire live ammunition or pellets against civilians in India.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Occupied #Kashmir Is Paralyzed by an ‘Adored’ Band of Just 200 "Militants" fighting for freedom #FreeKashmir

Relatively few in number, about 200, roughly half of them from local villages, Hizbul Mujahedeen is the larger of two militant organizations and has widespread support from a populace that has lost faith in dialogue to resolve differences with the Indian government.

“They are adored,” said Sridhar Patil, the head of the regional police in Kulgam district, where crowds have burned a courthouse and a police station. “The younger generation of Kashmir is searching for a good leader, a good role model,” he said, and it has settled, for better or worse, on these young men.

Daily life in Kashmir has come close to a standstill since July, when Indian security forces killed the 22-year-old leader of the local militancy, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who had attracted a broad following through videos he posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. He started the trend of young, charismatic militants, dressed in military fatigues and carrying assault weapons, revealing their names and faces on social media in efforts to spread their message to a wide audience.

The killing of Mr. Wani touched off four months of violence, including bombings, shootouts and attacks by stone-pelting youths, as well as protests by tens of thousands of people.

In a lengthy interview, the young man’s father, Mohammad Muzafar Wani, said he had tried hard to influence the path of his son, a handsome youth who gelled his hair and changed his outfits twice a day, preferring Western-style T-shirts to traditional kurtas.

But in 2010, three weeks after Burhan and his older brother were beaten up by security forces, the brainy boy who got top grades at school dropped the original plan to train as a doctor and instead joined Hizbul Mujahedeen.

“He was not a small child; I couldn’t have confined him to home,” his father said. “I could have stopped him for a day or two, but not all days.”

The Kashmir police have counted 2,400 clashes since July. Schools remain closed, more than 30 of them burned, and public transportation is almost entirely shut down. The state’s education minister was holed up in his home for days after receiving a threat.

Seventy-six people have been killed in the violence, the police in Kashmir say, while local activists put the toll at closer to 100. At least a thousand protesters have been struck in the eyes by pellets fired by police officers, and some have been blinded.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan can’t be faulted for #Kashmir unrest: Ex CM Omar Abdullah. #India #Modi

With tensions simmering between the two rival states, former chief minister for Indian Occupied Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the unrest in Kashmir cannot be blamed on Pakistan but was a result of mistakes made by New Delhi for not engaging with the people.

“Do not be under this false impression that the fire you see in Kashmir has been ignited by Pakistan. It is a result of our mistakes,” Press Trust of India quoted Omar as saying at a National Conference in Baramulla.

Kashmir unrest: OIC calls for immediate halt to Indian atrocities

“To blame Pakistan alone for the political situation or the current unrest in the valley is a distortion of the truth,” he said adding that the people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir had sentiments against the Indian government even when there was no external interference,.

These sentiments, he stated, were a result of the ‘historic blunders and broken promises by successive dispensations’ in New Delhi.

“This political sentiment forms the basis of the state’s special status that has since been eroded by extra-constitutional machinations,” Omar said.

The former chief minister stressed that the current situation was because of the incumbent Indian government’s refusal to even acknowledge that a problem existed in Kashmir.

The statement comes at a time when Pakistan’s Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is in Amritsar for the Heart of Asia Conference.

Iran willing to mediate on Kashmir

Two days before the conference was due to start, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup categorically ruled out any possibility of talks between Indian officials and Sartaj on the sidelines of the conference.

Earlier, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Wednesday had stated that Islamabad was ready for a bilateral dialogue with Delhi at the Heart of Asia summit.

Riaz Haq said...

People in #Kashmir have lost their fear of #India as they demand separation: report

SENIOR BJP leader and former Indian foreign minister Yashwant Sinha is among those who prepared the report.
AS India turns its focus to a clutch of make-or-break state polls starting next month and while the world lives in suspense over the arriving Trump presidency in the United States, the trauma of the people in Jammu and Kashmir festers on.

A report from October and December visits to Jammu and Kashmir made available to Dawn on Saturday involves important individuals from different institutions and political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The group was facilitated by Rajmohan Gandhi’s Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation and has specifically hinted at what lies ahead if New Delhi doesn’t curb its callousness in Kashmir Valley. Young Kashmiris have lost their fear of Indian forces, and they are ever more eager to die resisting routine high-handedness than submit to a life of discrimination and humiliation, it points out.

The report supports resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Kashmiris, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. It suggests without stating it directly that talks between India and Pakistan, though part of a political solution, are predicated on “several other issues”. This appears to point to terrorism that India cites for stalling talks with Pakistan.

In its own way, as far as humanitarian gestures go, the report by the five-member group spells out a few stark facts even if it falls short of offering a clear path to a political solution, possibly as it would imply criticism of the Modi government’s current stance towards Pakistan.

In its description of the mood in the Valley, there is palpable transparency and some of the report’s observations about the humiliating lives the Kashmiris lead are invaluable as an eyewitness account.

The report was prepared by former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, former chairman of the National Minorities Commission, an old Kashmir hand Wajahat Habibullah, retired Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak who happens to be a Kashmiri Pandit, Bharat Bhushan (journalist) and Sushobha Barve, executive programme director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.

Its basic findings are that Kashmiris believe that there is a “crisis of acknowledgement” of the Kashmir problem with the Indian state. They feel that India refuses to recognise that Kashmir is a political problem and, therefore, requires a political solution.

Almost every Kashmiri the group met said that there was a need for a one-time political settlement and that unless the basic political issue was resolved, death and destruction would continue to visit the Valley with increasing frequency.

“Kashmiris claim that they have lost faith in India because India has failed them,” the report says. “Now the trust deficit is widening. Some Kashmiris believe that the Indian state looks at Kashmir only within the framework of national security.”

People interviewed all harked back to the Vajpayee proposal of resolving the Kashmir issue “within the ambit of humanity” as something that had offered a ray of hope. However, they do not believe that the present dispensation in New Delhi is interested in that approach.

Listing “the most important findings” from visiting the militancy-affected rural areas of Kashmir, the report speaks of anger against India.

“The anger in the rural areas is palpably greater than in Srinagar and raw. A persistent sense of discrimination against the Kashmiris pervades the minds of vocal sections of the population.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian soldier kills four senior officers over 'leave row'

A paramilitary soldier from one of India's elite security units shot dead four of his senior officers on Thursday in an apparent row over leave, police said.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) soldier fired indiscriminately at the officers at the barracks in Aurangabad district in eastern India's Bihar state before trying to flee.

"Three died on the spot while one injured officer succumbed to his injuries at a hospital," Satya Prakash, Aurangabad police chief, told AFP.

"He shot 32 rounds before he was overpowered by his colleagues and is suspected to be suffering from some mental illness."

Prakash said the dispute appeared to be over leave.

All the victims were unarmed and were off-duty when the incident took place at a thermal power plant where they were stationed.

The CISF guards the country's most vital civil and government installations including airports, atomic plants and government buildings.

India's security forces have historically had a high incidence of suicides and killings linked to long hours, poor working conditions and inadequate time off.

In 2014, a soldier killed five colleagues before shooting himself in Indian-administered Kashmir after a superior denied him leave.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian Soldier Yadav on Insufficient Amount & Poor Quality Food. #India #Modi #Kashmir via @YouTube

Tej Bahadur Yadav serving with India's 29th battalion of Seema Suraksha Bal (BSF) in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir says,: “From morning to evening we work, standing in all weather conditions. No matter the rain, no matter the snow, in all conditions we do our duty, but neither the media nor any minister pay heed to our problems. This dal just has turmeric and salt, but no taste. There are times when we are forced to sleep off empty stomach. We get one paratha for breakfast in the morning and we have to eat it just with tea. We have been getting this same food for 10 days continuously. Can a BSF jawan do 10 hours of duty after eating such food?"

Riaz Haq said...

#Maoists support call for #Kashmir’s independence, condemn 'state #terrorism' #by India … via @IndiaTVNews

e CPI (Maoist), officially designated as a terrorist organisation, has once again challenged India’s unity and integrity by supporting the demand for Kashmir’s secession from the country.

According to a report in ‘The Week’, the CPI (Maoist), in its central committee meeting held at Dandakaryna in December last year, adopted a resolution to support the call for independence given by the Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan-based terror groups.

CPI (Maoist), founded on September 21, 2004, after the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), People’s War (People's War Group), and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), is designated as a terrorist organisation in India under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“Let us declare to the people of Kashmir, ‘you are not alone’. Oppose the Indian occupation in Kashmir and also oppose the state terrorism by the Indian armed forces. We support the struggle of the Kashmiri nation for Azadi!” the statement issued by the party said.

The report further says that the CPI(Maoists) statement also asked India to stop war mongering and aggression against Pakistan.

“We demand to stop the war mongering, chauvinism and aggression against Pakistan by Indian forces and by Hindutva fascists to further their expansionism. We also demand to stop threatening and intimidating Pakistani artists and their citizens living in India,” the statement added.

The CPI(Maoists) also condemned the Narendra Modi government for carrying out ‘surgical strikes’ inside Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

“Babu Hatao, Fauji Bachao”: Trifling With The Fauj And National Security
in India — by S G Vombatkere — December 31, 2016

The reason for disquiet is that government appears not to understand that Lt Gen Rawat is not superior in merit to his two seniors whom he has superceded, and if his experience in counter-insurgency is the criterion for his selection, it glosses over the fact that the army is deployed in counter-insurgency only because of the decades-long failure of the bureaucracy-police in its primary role of internal security. If however deep selection was a political decision, this could seriously compromise the army (the military, in general) remaining as India’s last bastion of secular practice, and encourage sycophancy among officers to the permanent detriment of military professionalism.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's "evidence falls apart". #Uri ‘terror guides’ are #Pakistan kids who strayed across #LoC … via @IndianExpress

by Praveen Swamy

TWO Pakistanis arrested by the Army on charges of facilitating the attack on the 12 Infantry Brigade’s headquarters in Uri are Class 10 students who strayed across the Line of Control (LoC), the family of one and the principal of his school have told The Indian Express. The Ministry of External Affairs said the two had confessed to facilitating the “infiltration of a group of four Jaish-e-Muhammad cadre who carried out the Uri army camp attack.” Faisal Husain Awan, a resident of Potha Jandgran near the village of Koomi Kote in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and his school-friend Ahsan Khursheed, from Khilayana Khurd in Muzaffarabad’s Hattian Bala tehsil, were arrested on September 21, three days after the attack which claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. Both these villages are an hour’s walk from the LoC near Uri.

Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Faisal Awan’s brother and a Lahore-based physician, says the two were at home on September 17, the date GPS data recovered from the terrorists by the National Investigation Agency and published by this newspaper last week, shows the Uri terrorists crossing the Line of Control.
“I don’t want any controversy or recrimination,” says Tabassum, “which is why I hadn’t contacted the media. I am his older brother, and I am supposed to protect him. I do not know what to do. I can only hope someone powerful in India reads our story and sends these boys home.”
Basharat Husain, the principal of the the Shaheen Model School in Muzaffarabad, said Awan was a science student who had just graduated from Class IX with a first division.
The official marks-sheet shows Awan secured 328 out of a possible 525. Husain described Awan as “a model student, respectful and friendly.”
“For the six hours he was in school each day,” Basharat Husain said, “his behaviour was exemplary.”
Both boys, according to school documents provided by Husain, were 16 years old which — if these documents are authentic — makes them juveniles under Indian law and entitled to special protections, irrespective of their nationality.
“I did not know the two were friends,” Husain said, “but it is not surprising, given that they were in the same school, and from similar backgrounds.”
The Army, which on September 24 said the two were “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir nationals who have been working for Jaish-e-Muhammad terror outfit” said, in an e-mail response to the The Indian Express, that this determination was based on what it described as “spot interrogation.” However, the e-mail did not answer whether the Army had obtained the ages of the two while arresting them. The Army referred this newspaper to the NIA.
An NIA spokesperson said the agency “is in the process of analysing the available evidence in the case before we submit the Final Report to the court.” He said “the age (of) the two arrested persons was recorded as per statements given by them after their arrest,” but did not specifically state if they were known to minors.
However, sources said that no evidence had been found to support the contention that the two were linked, in any way, to the Uri attack.

Riaz Haq said...

#India occupied #Kashmir civilians aiding militants fighting #Indian soldiers, say Indian Army Chief

India Army losing more soldiers than earlier years as peoples' resistance grows stronger after Burhan Wani's murder.

In the last three days, as many as six soldiers have been killed in three separate encounters in Handwara, Bandipore and Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir. Worryingly, there were reports of these terrorists getting cover from civilians, who attacked armymen while these encounters were underway. Prime Minister and the Army Chief led tributes to the soldiers today but the Army Chief also talked tough saying it was local support to terrorists that was leading to these higher casualties. He also had a warning that local boys will be treated as "overground workers of terrorists" if they obstruct operations. On The Buck Stops Here, we debate: civilians 'helping' militants - is this the new challenge for the Army and the government?

Riaz Haq said...

Farooq Abdullah: Wake up #India, talk to #Pakistan or lose #Kashmir … via @indiatoday

National Conference chief and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Farooq Abdullah today said the violence and loss of lives during the Srinagar bypoll "are a tragedy and a failure of the government of the day."

National Conference chief and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is contesting the state by-elections from Srinagar, said that the violence and loss of lives during the bypolls in the state "are a tragedy and a failure of the government of the day. They could not provide security to the people, and further, it is the present dispensation which the people reject."
"Why am I playing with fire? Is that not true? Are the stonepelters fighting for MP-ship or MLA-ship or some ministerial post? Wake up, before it is too late," said Abdullah, demanding that the youth deserved to be heard.
Here are some excerpts from the explosive interview.

Rajdeep Sardesai: You said - Kashmiri youth are picking up guns for the freedom of Kashmir, and not for becoming legislators. As a senior statesman, shouldn't you be bridging the gap, but almost endorsing azadi and Kashmir is lost to India?
Farooq Abdullah: Sometime ago, a Parliamentary delegation came to Kashmir under the leadership of the home minister. The delegation was told that we will talk to the youth, and all the stakeholders. Have they done so, in a single step, in the last two years? Why do you blame me?"

Q: Because you want votes, you are stirring the pot..?
A: Wake up, wake up. The situation is quite bad, and don't tell me Pakistan is not a party to this problem. Whether you like it or not, you have to talk to Pakistan. If you want to beat the threat of the terrorists, then you better start talking now.
Q: With what end result? All the talking, and yet terrorists are sent across border, and violence continues?
A: Let us start mending our fences, and start controlling present problem. Let's not burn, let's talk to the youth, Hurriyat, other leaders and come to a solution.
Q: How are talks are going to be different this time?
A: You have 8 people dead, and God knows how many injured. How long will you keep on doing this? You think it's all law and order? Or, you think by development you can change the mind of people?"
Q: Your critics will say that this is theatrics. When you are in power you speak differently, and now you seem to be catering to separatist sentiment?
A: You are losing Kashmir. You better wake up, and start thinking on not a military solution, but a political way. And come down from your high horses...I am seeing a very bad situation. The youth is on boil. Which I have not seen before.
The situation remains tense in the Kashmir valley a day after violence and a historic low voter turnout, at 7 per cent, marred bypolls in Srinagar.
The Election Commission has postponed the bypolls in Anantnag Parliamentary constituency to May 25, 2016.
The decision came after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's brother Tasaduq Hussain Mufti, who is contesting a Parliamentary bypoll in Anantnag, appealed to the Election Commission to postpone his election.
On Sunday, 8 civilians were killed and school set on fire in Shopian, in incidences of poll violence in Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Cruelty and Cowardice of #India's military in Occupied #Kashmir -

APRIL 21, 2017
Members of India’s armed forces reached a new low in the long history of alleged human rights abuses in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir when they beat and then tied a 24-year-old shawl weaver named Farooq Ahmad Dar to the front of a jeep on April 9, using him as a human shield against stone-throwing crowds. As the jeep drove through villages, Mr. Dar said, “I saw people breaking into tears on seeing my state.”

The incident, which came to light when a video spread on social media, provides a gauge of an insurgency that has waxed and waned over nearly three decades in Kashmir, an area also claimed by Pakistan, which supports the rebels. Unrest surged last July after Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a charismatic, 22-year-old separatist militant, was killed by Indian security forces. The police responded by firing on protesters with pellet guns, killing scores and injuring thousands, many of whom were blinded by pellets lodged in their eyes.

The abuse of Mr. Dar occurred the day Kashmiris voted to fill a seat in the local Srinagar assembly. Following a call by separatists to boycott the election, only 7 percent of local Kashmiri voters turned out to vote, a low not seen in 27 years. Eight people were killed amid reports of widespread violence. A new vote was held on April 13, but only 2 percent of voters showed up. Mr. Dar, who says he never supported the separatists, complained: “I voted, and this is what I got in return. Do you think it will help India in Kashmir? No. It will give Kashmiris another reason to hate India.”

India’s army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, has vowed action against those responsible for tying Mr. Dar to the jeep. But he has also thundered against Kashmir’s stone-throwing youth and separatist militants, saying in February: “They may survive today, but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue.”

Such posturing will only doom Kashmir to a deadly spiral, where more brutal military tactics will feed more despair and more militancy. In January, a team of concerned citizens presented a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Citing strong feelings of discrimination and a “complete lack of faith” by Kashmiris in government promises, it pleaded for improved human rights and a multiparty dialogue aimed at a durable political solution.

Mr. Modi’s government would do well to follow the recommendations of the report, before Indian democracy loses its credibility and Kashmiris are robbed of a chance to dream, along with the rest of India, of a peaceful, prosperous future.