Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kashmir: What is India Hiding From UN Human Rights Team?

“Efforts to duck or refuse legitimate scrutiny raise an obvious question: What, precisely, are you hiding from us?....States may shut my office out, but they will not shut us up. Neither will they blind us.”   Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights at the United Nations, to India, as quoted by New York Times.

Indian Soldiers Assaulting Kashmiri Protesters Raising Pakistani Flag
Why is India refusing entry to UN Human Rights team in Indian-Occupied Kashmir? What is the Modi government hiding? Let's try and understand the answers to these question.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act:

When India's founding father Mohandas Gandhi started "Quit India" movement to seek India's independence from Britain, the colonial rulers of British India responded by imposing "The Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance of 1942" on August 15, 1942.

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 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 another video discussion on the subject:

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

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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...

Pro-India #Kashmiri #Muslim Lawmaker Quits #India's Parliament to express his anger over #Modi's "brutal policy"

SRINAGAR, India — A prominent pro-India Kashmiri politician resigned Thursday from India's Parliament and from his regional party to protest a government crackdown in Kashmir that prevented people from offering Eid prayers for the first time in the troubled region.

Tariq Hameed Karra, a founding member of the People's Democratic Party, said he quit to express his anger over the "brutal policy'" followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and the acquiescence of his party, a coalition partner.

His decision is a setback for his party in Indian-controlled Kashmir, which has been wracked by massive protests for the past two months following the killing of a popular rebel leader. More than 80 people have been killed and thousands wounded, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotgun pellets to quell the protests.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. Most Kashmiris want an end to Indian rule and favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

With the entire Kashmir Valley under a strict curfew, most people stayed indoors for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday. Usually bustling on the holiday, places of worship and marketplaces were deserted.

"For the first time in history, the people of Kashmir were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. Certain shrines and even the Grand Mosque were locked," Karra told reporters Thursday in Srinagar, the main city in the region.

"Kashmiri blood is being spilled on the walls, lanes and drains of the valley,'" he said.

He accused the Indian government of brutality and insensitivity toward Kashmir.

Separatist leaders have repeatedly urged police officers and politicians during the current unrest "to disengage from the Indian state.'"

Early this month, protesters set fire to the house of Nazir Laway, a local lawmaker in south Kashmir.

The governing People's Democratic Party is now left with two lawmakers in India's Parliament representing the region.

It emerged in the early 2000s as the strongest opponent to the National Conference, a regional rival which is now an opposition party, using pro-separatist views for electoral gains. It first came to power in Kashmir in 2002 and assumed power for a second time in 2015 in coalition with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party after failing to win enough seats to form a government on its own.

"Though I was all along feeling suffocated" by his party's alliance with Modi's party, "my conscience was shaken during the last two months," Karra said.

Singh said...

So the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant outfit designated a terrorist organisation by India, European Union and the U S is merely an activist ?

According to whom ? Pakistanis ?

Were the perpetrators of Peshawar school attacks activists too ?

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "So the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant outfit designated a terrorist organisation by India, European Union and the U S is merely an activist ? According to whom ? Pakistanis ?"

If you care so much about what the international community says, how about letting UN Human Rights Team in to see it for themselves? What are you hiding?

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Maoists insurgents world's 4th deadliest #terror outfit after #Taliban, #ISIS, #BokoHaram via @timesofindia

The world witnessed 11,774 terror attacks in 2015, in which 28,328 people were killed and 35,320 injured. India was the fourth worst-affected country after Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, with 43% of 791 attacks in the country carried out by Naxalites+ . A total of 289 Indians died in terror strikes.
Data collected by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism contracted with the US state department revealed that Taliban, Islamic State and Boko Haram were the three deadliest terror groups globally. They were followed by CPI(Maoist), a banned outfit.
The CPI(Maoist) was responsible for 343 terror attacks in 2015, killing 176 people. Taliban were involved in 1,093 strikes in which 4,512 people lost their lives, IS launched 931 attacks which claimed the lives of 6,050 people and Boko Haram was involved in 491 attacks killing 5,450 people. Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which rounded off the top five in the list, was involved in 238 strikes, killing 287.

Over half the terror attacks in India took place in four states - Chhattisgarh (21%), Manipur (12%), J&K (11%) and Jharkhand+ (10%). Chhattisgarh, which has been hit hard by Left-wing extremism, reported a doubling of terror attacks in 2015 - from 76 in 2014 to 167.
The report said there was great diversity in the perpetrators/terrorist groups involved in attacks in the country, with 45 outfits active across the country. The Naxals alone accounted for 43% of terrorist attacks in India last year. The report said the number of people kidnapped/taken hostage by terrorists and insurgent groups in India almost tripled in 2015, increasing to 862 from 305 in 2014. Of this, Naxals alone kidnapped/took hostage 707 persons last year compared with 163 in 2014. In 2014, there were no attacks in which 50 or more people were kidnapped or taken hostage while in 2015, there were seven such attacks, all of them attributed to Maoists.

Riaz Haq said...

Top Congress leader: If #India is to make Jammu & #Kashmir love India, referendum is the only way … via @IndianExpress

There is celebration in heaven when a single sinner repents. In Indian Parliament, there is little freedom for back benchers to speak their own mind. Yet P Chidambaram has boldly spoken the unspeakable about Kashmir. He is the first ranking member of any of the political parties to say openly that India (that is all except J&K) has reneged on the bargain the Kashmiris were promised. He was shot down for this by Ghulam Nabi Azad as not reflecting Congress policy. That alone guarantees that he was telling an unpalatable truth to his own party.
What was the bargain?
There were two steps for princely states to join the Indian Union. First was accession and then came integration. In Junagarh and Hyderabad, a popular vote cemented integration. Kashmir was also promised such a popular vote but it never happened because of the war and the ceasefire policed by the UN. Any plebiscite became impossible as both parts of J&K could not be got together. Sheikh Abdullah was put under house arrest for 11 years without trial for arguing for plebiscite.
Elections were then rigged and a pliable leadership found to do Delhi’s bidding. The entire issue of popular consultation was forgotten. Article 370 remained in the Constitution but the state lost its autonomy as defined therein. The mantra became Kashmir is an integral part of India, proof of its secularism.
The Congress failed in the 50 years after Independence to win over the minds and hearts of the people of the Valley. The reconciliation process began with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The issue involves three parties — India, Pakistan and J&K (plus PoK?). The solution has to be sought in a two-pronged fashion — India and Pakistan and India and J&K. It is when the small number of separatists try to join up the third side — Pakistan and J&K — that India sees red. The fear of the third connection has restricted and distorted India’s efforts to win the love of the Kashmiris.
Islamist terrorism began to infiltrate in the late Eighties and has been a nagging presence ever since. Each time someone falls victim to police or Army bullet, there is a funeral procession where young people shout ‘azadi’, which leads to more deaths. Azadi is a shout not for independence from India, but for autonomy, for the status quo ante, when the head of the government was called prime minister (as were all chief ministers of provinces before 1947) and the head of the state, Sadar-i-Riyasat.
Chidambaram has now broken the silence about the original bargain. Of course, he will be criticised.
But as a former home minister as well as a member of the Cabinet in several governments, he is well aware of all the issues. There is a bold way out. That is to conduct a referendum where all the citizens of J&K have a vote, as would have happened if the maharaja had acceded in good time before the invasion from Pakistan. Ask them if they want to be integrated in the Union or be autonomous. The latter is not the same as independence but what they had between 1947 and 1953, with Article 370 restored effectively.
If India is to make J&K love India, this is the only way.

Riaz Haq said...

بلوچستان کا کشمیر سے کوئی موازنہ نہیں: عاصمہ جہانگیر Asma Jahangir: No comparison between #Kashmir and #Balochistan

پاکستان میں انسانی حقوق کی سرگرم رکن اور معروف وکیل عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ بھارت اور پاکستان کی سول سوسائیٹز نے مشترکہ طور پر اس بات کو تسلیم کیا ہے کہ بھارت کے زیرِ انتظام کشمیر میں جو بربریت ہو رہی ہے وہ یکطرفہ اور بلا جواز ہے۔
بی بی سی اردو سروس کے ریڈیو پروگرام سیربین میں بات کرتے ہوئے عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ وہ اس بات پر بھی متفق ہے کہ کشمیر میں حالیہ عوامی احتجاج میں کسی دوسرے ملک کی شدت پسندی کا ہاتھ نہیں ہے۔
بلوچستان کے بارے میں ایک سوال پر انھوں نے کہا کہ بھارت کے زیر انتظام کشمیر اور بلوچستان کا موازنہ نہیں کیا جا سکتا اور بلوچستان میں انسانی حقوق کی صورت حال اتنی تشویش ناک نہیں جتنی بھارت کے زیر انتظام کشمیر میں ہے۔
انھوں نے کہا کہ بھارت کے زیرِ انتظام کشمیر میں ’شوٹ ٹو کل‘ یعنی دیکھتے ہی گولی مار دینے کی پالیسی جاری ہے جب کہ بلوچستان میں ایسا نہیں ہے۔ عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ بلوچستان میں انسانی حقوق کی خلاف ورزیوں کی نوعیت اور ہے۔
انھوں نے کہا کہ اس کے علاوہ بلوچستان پاکستان کا حصہ ہے جبکہ کشمیر کی نوعیت بالکل مختلف ہے اور کشمیر کے تمام حصے متنازع ہیں۔
ایک سوال کا جواب دیتے ہوئے انھوں نے کہا کہ پاکستان اور بھارت میں انسانی حقوق پر یقین رکھنے والے اور انسانی حقوق کی پامالیوں کی مذمت کرنے والے کارکنوں کو مشترکہ طور پر اس بات پر زور دینا ہوگا کہ کشمیر سے فوجوں کا انخلاءہو۔
کشمیر کے علاوہ انھوں نے کہا کہ سیاچین سے فوجیوں کو بھی واپس بلانا چاہیے۔ ان کے مطابق سیاچین میں فوجیوں کی تعینات غیر انسانی اور غیر منطقی ہے۔
کشمیر کے مسئلہ پر ایک اور سوال کا جواب دیتے ہوئے انھوں نے کہا کہ یہ مسئلہ دونوں حکومتوں کا بھی مسئلہ ہے اور بجائے اس کے دونوں ملکوں کے لوگوں کو دور کیا جائے دونوں ملکوں کو قریب لا کر اس مسئلہ کا حل نکالنا ہو گا۔
بین الاقوامی انسانی حقوق کی تنظیموں سے رابطے کے متعلق ایک سوال پر انھوں نے کہا کہ وہ بین الاقوامی تنظیموں سے مسلسل رابطے میں ہیں یہ ان کا روز مرہ کا کام ہے ۔انھوں نے کہا کہ ان رابطوں کا اثر بھی سامنے آیا ہے۔
بھارت کی سول سوسائٹی سے متعلق ایک اور سوال پر انھوں نے کہا کہ بھارتی سول سوسائٹی کشمیر کے بارے میں پوری طرح آگاہ ہے اور ان کا ردعمل بہت حوصلہ افزا تھا۔

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi #Doval policy on #Pakistan is backfiring as "chickens come home to roost". #Kashmir #UriAttacks #India …

The terrorist attack on the Indian Army base camp at Uri in the early hours of Sunday gives a sickening feeling that the asymmetric war with Pakistan, which began tapering off a year ago, is restarting. (here) What has happened to our Pakistan policy?

There are always ‘red lines’ in diplomacy and the most important ones are always the self-imposed ones. I can ‘declassify’ a vital information, namely, that in the a priori history before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, we took care not to violate the ‘red lines’ – crying hoarse over Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan or hobnobbing with Baluchi secessionists.

The present government has breached those ‘red lines’. The National Security Advisor in the government Ajit Doval openly threatened to ‘do another Bangladesh’ to Pakistan by splitting Baluchistan province. PM has now tacitly acknowledged that that threat is actually his government’s policy.

The PM’s admirers are cheering wildly. They are thrilled he is taking a leaf out of Chanakya to put Pakistan in its place – ‘Samam, Danam, Bhedam, Dandam’, et al. They are speculating in the social network sites where our training camps for Baluchi rebels could be located. Some say Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, bordering Sindh, is ideal.

Whoever advised PM to ride the Baluchi tiger must be a moron of the first order. Make no mistake, the attack on Uri army base is an act of retaliation from across the border.

I wrote only two days ago that Americans could be in possession of intelligence regarding likelihood of a terrorist strike. (See my blog Washington’s Modi blues.) There are obviously grey areas that need explaining by the government. Couldn’t the security establishment anticipate that a Pakistani retaliation was inevitable?

The public opinion should comprehend how dangerous is this shift in our country’s policies. The Indian policy consistently factored in that a realistic solution to the Kashmir problem would somehow devolve upon international recognition to the Line of Control.

Not even mavericks thought it was within the realm of possibility to annex POK. Equally, we knew that even if public sentiments in POK turned critical of Islamabad, that didn’t mean tilt favouring integration with India. As for Gilgit and Baltistan, chances of annexing those remote regions are simply non-existent.

Nonetheless, we did invoke POK now and then – never Gilgit and Baltistan, though – whenever we needed to nail Pakistani propaganda. Period.

We secretly hoped for the integration of POK, Gilgit and Baltistan as full-fledged Pakistani provinces (similar to the process currently under way with regard to FATA), hoping that would erode Pakistan’s locus standii on Kashmir. (Smart thinking today should be to encourage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.)
However, government legitimised our propagandistic stance as India’s official policy. And it took a great leap into the dark by making Baluchi nationalism the stuff of our prime ministerial diplomacy.

Had PM ever visited Pakistan, even once, he’d have known how deeply scarred that country’s psyche is even today, after four decades, that India cut open its womb once and took away one half. No matter the sound rationale of our ‘humanitarian intervention’ in East Pakistan, the fact of the matter is that no country ever did such a thing to a neighbouring country in all of modern history.

Yet, the ruling elites are strongly signalling that India planned to team up with Afghanistan to dismember Pakistan. The Indian Express newspaper commented editorially that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent visit to Delhi marked the launch of an interventionist policy similar to the saga in Sri Lanka in the eighties. (here) The Uri attack came 5 days after Ghani’s visit.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan must keep its nerve while under assault from #India and #America. #Afghanistan #Kashmir #UriAttacks #CPEC

Pakistan, even if it wanted to, can’t settle Kashmir for India nor pacify Afghanistan for the US. And so it is being blamed by both sides. India refuses to acknowledge the indigenous nature of the present Kashmir uprising and blames it all on Pakistan and that handiest of all bogeys, ‘cross-border terrorism’. And the US and Afghanistan, unable to defeat the Taliban in the field, hold Pakistan responsible for not declaring war on the Haqqani Network and other Taliban affiliates.
Pakistan has enough on its plate in the form of its own Taliban problem, the TTP (Tehreel-e-Taliban Pakistan) against which the army has been carrying out a largely successful operation over the last two years. But the Americans, understandably, are consumed with their own Afghan problem and want Pakistan to perform the miracle of defeating the Taliban which eluded them for over 15 years.
As long as the Kashmir and Afghan fronts remain unsettled Pakistan should not expect the double onslaught against it to abate. The Indians and the Americans, with the Afghans chiming in, will continue to portray Pakistan as the source of all their problems. There is little that Pakistan can do to alter these hostile perceptions or change this state of affairs. We can bend over backwards and perform other gymnastic feats but in this season of double turbulence there is nothing that Pakistan can do which will satisfy the Indians, the Afghans and the Americans.
To repeat the earlier point, even if General Headquarters and ISI wanted and all our corps commanders earnestly desired, they cannot deliver Occupied Kashmir to Narendra Modi and Afghanistan to an American administration. Alas, Pakistan’s magic and prowess do not extend that far.
We can open Kahuta to inspection and announce a halt to the production of fissile material – we can jump into the sea – but the Americans will not be satisfied. They want Afghan pacification on their terms and that not coming about the anger against Pakistan will not subside, and sundry voices in the US Congress – now that Pakistan is no longer America’s bag-carrier in Afghanistan as it was post 9/11 – will keep directing fire and brimstone at Pakistan.
This is not the failure of Pakistani foreign policy, as foolish voices in Pakistan are all too quick to assert. Pakistan hasn’t created the present unrest in Kashmir. That is India’s doing, its failure over the decades to win over Kashmiri sentiment. The Kashmiris want to have nothing to do with India…they are sick of Indian rule. A hundred ISIs could not have created this situation. This feat is India’s alone and no amount of yelling about cross-border terrorism alters this circumstance.
And if the Americans in the longest war in their history have failed to conquer Afghanistan, how is Pakistan supposed to make up for this American failure? Here’s a telling statistic. How much is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor worth? $46 billion in all, when all the chips are counted. The US drowned Afghanistan in a sea of dollars–-close to 700-800 billion, the equivalent of 14-16 CPECs–-and it all was futile, the Taliban stronger than they have ever been since the American invasion. The natural anger and frustration this failure has bred are being taken out on Pakistan.
But if the Americans lose their cool we have to be calm…we can’t afford jangled nerves. Let them raise their voices if that is what satisfies them. Let us keep ours low. In the Vietnam peace talks in Paris the North Vietnamese delegate, Le Duc Tho, would never lose his calm. It was Dr Kissinger who would feel frustrated.

Riaz Haq said...

#India needs cool heads after #Kashmir attack but #Modi is a prisoner of his own bluster. #Pakistan #UriAttacks

the crucial - and more serious - question is whether India has the capability and intelligence to carry out targeted strikes or wage a limited war inside Pakistani territory.
Most experts say that successive governments don't appear to have built these capabilities. There is media chatter on why the air force should carry out surgical air strikes inside Pakistan, but many experts believe it would not be easy as Pakistan has robust air defence systems. There are even doubts whether India has built capabilities for unconventional deterrence.
The problem with Mr Modi's government, according to defence analyst Ajai Shukla, is that it has "escalated the rhetoric [against Pakistan] but has not created military capabilities and planning structure to respond in a more forceful manner [against terror attacks] than the previous government".

Now the government appears to have become a prisoner of its own bluster. "The danger of being trapped in your own rhetoric is that you can be forced into an aggressive response and then be ill-quipped to handle the escalation," says Mr Shukla.
So is India's tradition of so-called "strategic restraint" against Pakistan the only answer?
For one, the jury is out whether the policy has worked or not. There are no easy answers.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta of Delhi's leading Centre for Policy Research think tank says strategic restraint has served India quite well. "Pakistan will be isolated, except for China, and we should call for financial sanctions," he says. Also, he believes Sunday's attack will put Pakistan on the spot and let the pressure off Kashmir at the UN General Assembly meeting this week.
"We have actually boxed ourselves into a bit of corner by our public discourse, where the clamour to do something reckless is now great. Otherwise we are winning the long-term battle," says Professor Mehta.
Cold logic
Others like C Christine Fair, defence expert and author of Fight to the End, a scholarly account of Pakistan's army, differ. "If the objective is to deter Pakistan to stop pursuing terror against India it hasn't served the purpose. Does the international community feel any more compelled to take India's side because of its strategic response? Not really," she says.
Others feel that "strategic restraint" masks a morbidly cold logic that India, a country of more than a billion people with one of the largest standing armies in the world, can absorb the deaths of soldiers in terror attacks without any major political upheaval. "India is growing economically, Pakistan is not. So we can sacrifice a couple of hundred people in attacks, without risking a war. That's what the thinking behind strategic restraint is, which nobody really talks about," says an expert.

Riaz Haq said...

14 of 17 #India soldiers burnt alive in #Uri. Why were they sleeping in tents in the 1st place? #KashmirKillings …
the death toll could have been significantly lowered had basic facilities such as fire-retardant tents, if not sturdy accommodation, been the norm.

Riaz Haq said...

Six Reasons Why Military Action Against #Pakistan Is Not An Option For #India. It Could Backfire. #Uri #Kashmir

1. Risk of War: India may mean a small strike, but there's no telling that Pakistan could escalate it. Between two nuclear armed neighbours, with one refusing to declare 'no first use', war is not an option.

2. More terrorism: Successful military action might actually increase the risk of terrorism. India helped create Bangladesh in 1971, and in turn, Pakistan took to terrorism aka sub-conventional warfare, in Punjab and Kashmir. Regaining some territory, causing more Pakistani casualties than Indian ones, or any such measure of success is unlikely to make Pakistan give up its use of terrorism.

3. No guarantee of success, risk of failure: The success of military conflict cannot be guaranteed. It might weaken India further and make it more vulnerable, if military action is unsuccessful. After 26/11, then prime minister Manmohan Singh had considered air strikes against Pakistan. But the air force chief had said India didn't have accurate digital data on terrorist camps in Pakistan, and the army chief had said the Indian Army was not prepared for a brief, surgical strike. Military experts say it would take years for India to develop strategic capabilities for targeted cross-border operations. Politically, military action that is seen as a failure would hurt the Modi government more than not doing anything.

4. Exactly what the Pakistani establishment wants: Countering that the Kargil incursion was not a "misadventure", General Musharraf maintains that it achieved the goal of internationalizing the Kashmir issue. The terrorists who struck at Uri, and their masters, know very well that such an attack could provoke India into military retaliation. They would be happy if that is the case, as it would help bring greater attention to the Kashmir issue. On 23 August, a Twitter account claiming to belong to the Jamat ud Dawa (Lashkar-e-Taiba) had said the Pakistani army was working to ensure that "Modi can only focus on Kashmir in days ahead, instead of Baluchistan, Sindh, GB, AJK or Karachi."

5. International pressure: For now, the US and UK have refrained from responding to the Uri attacks by calling for India and Pakistan to hold talks, as they used to. But if India were to pursue military action, it would alarm the world for fear of nuclear war. In such a case, there would be immense global pressure on India to not pursue military action. Any cross-border military action, whether or not you call it war, needs global diplomatic support. Without it, India may face a major international crisis. Pakistan will turn the tables and say that India is the aggressor. India cannot afford to look like an irresponsible state--that's not the image that India and prime minister Modi have been trying to cultivate.

6. It will hurt the economy. War is always bad for the economy, for both sides. In this case, India has a lot more to lose. The Indian economy is way ahead of Pakistan, so the damage will be greater for India. The uncertainties of war drive away potential investors, cause inflation and shortages. In fact, votaries of strategic restraint argue that success is the best revenge: India's economic rise is the best answer to a Pakistan whose image is that of a terrorism-sponsoring state.

Riaz Haq said...

Silence over #Indian atrocities in #Kashmir speaks volumes

nce known for its extraordinary beauty, the valley of Kashmir now hosts the biggest, bloodiest and also the most obscure military occupation in the world. With more than 80,000 people dead in an anti-India insurgency backed by Pakistan, the killings fields of Kashmir dwarf those of Palestine and Tibet. In addition to the everyday regime of arbitrary arrests, curfews, raids, and checkpoints enforced by nearly 700,000 Indian soldiers, the valley's 4 million Muslims are exposed to extra-judicial execution, rape and torture, with such barbaric variations as live electric wires inserted into penises.

Why then does the immense human suffering of Kashmir occupy such an imperceptible place in our moral imagination? After all, the Kashmiris demanding release from the degradations of military rule couldn't be louder and clearer. India has contained the insurgency provoked in 1989 by its rigged elections and massacres of protestors. The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators that fill the streets of Kashmir's cities today are overwhelmingly young, many in their teens, and armed with nothing more lethal than stones. Yet the Indian state seems determined to strangle their voices as it did of the old one. Already this summer, soldiers have shot dead more than 50 protestors, most of them teenagers.

The New York Times this week described the protests as a comprehensive"intifada-like popular revolt". They indeed have a broader mass base than the Green Movement does in Iran. But no colour-coded revolution is heralded in Kashmir by western commentators. The BBC and CNN don't endlessly loop clips of little children being shot in the head by Indian soldiers. Bloggers and tweeters in the west fail to keep a virtual vigil by the side of the dead and the wounded. No sooner than his office issued it last week, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, hastened to retract a feeble statement expressing concern over the situation in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslims are understandably bitter. As Parvaiz Bukhari, a journalist, said early this week the stones flung randomly by protestors have become "the voice of a neglected people" convinced that the world deliberately ignores their plight. The veteran Kashmiri journalist Masood Hussain confessed to the near-total futility of his painstaking auditing of atrocity over two decades. For Kashmir has turned out to be a "great suppression story".

Those western pundits who are always ready to assault illiberal regimes worldwide on behalf of democracy ought not to be so tongue-tied. Here is a well-educated Muslim population, heterodox and pluralist by tradition and temperament, and desperate for genuine democracy. However, intellectuals preoccupied by transcendent, nearly mystical, battles between civilization and barbarism tend to assume that "democratic" India, a natural ally of the "liberal" west, must be doing the right thing in Kashmir, ie fighting "Islamofascism". Thus Christopher Hitchens could call upon the Bush administration to establish a military alliance with "the other great multi-ethnic democracy under attack from Muslim fascism" even as an elected Hindu nationalist government stood accused of organising a pogrom that killed more than 2,000 Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Riaz Haq said...

Silence over #Indian atrocities in #Kashmir speaks volumes

Electoral democracy in multi-ethnic, multi-religious India is one of the modern era's most utopian political experiments, increasingly vulnerable to malfunction and failure, and, consequently, to militant disaffection and state terror. But then the west's new masters of humanitarian war, busy painting grand ideological struggles on broad, rolling canvases, are prone to miss the human position of suffering and injustice.

Indian writers and intellectuals, who witnessed the corrosion of India's secular democracy by Hindu supremacists, seem better acquainted with the messy realities concealed by stirring abstractions. But on Kashmir they often appear as evasive as their Chinese peers are on Tibet. They may have justifiably recoiled from the fundamentalist and brutish aspect of the revolt in the valley. But the massive non-violent protests in Kashmir since 2008 haven't released a flood of pent-up sympathy from them.

Few people are as well positioned as the much-revered Amartya Sen to provoke national introspection on Kashmir. Indeed, no one can fault Sen's commitment to justice for the poor and defenceless in India. Yet Sen relegates Kashmir to footnotes in both of his recent books: The Argumentative Indian and Identity and Violence.

Certainly, as Arundhati Roy's recent writings prove, anyone initiating a frank discussion on Kashmir risks a storm of vituperation from the Indian understudies of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. The choleric TV anchors, partisan journalists and opinion-mongers of India's corporate media routinely amplify the falsehoods and deceptions of Indian intelligence agencies in Kashmir. Blaming Pakistan or Islamic fundamentalists, as the Economist pointed out last week, has "got much harder" for the Indian government, which, has "long denied the great extent to which Kashmiris want rid of India". Nevertheless, it tries; and, as the political philosopher Pratap Bhanu Mehta, one of the few fair-minded commentators on this subject, points out, the Indian media now acts in concert with the government "to deny any legitimacy to protests in Kashmir".

This effective censorship reassures those Indians anxious not to let mutinous Kashmiris sully the currently garish notions of India as an "economic powerhouse" and "vibrant democracy" – the calling cards with which Indian elites apply for membership to the exclusive clubs of the west. In Kashmir, however, the net effect is deeper anger and alienation. As Bukhari puts it, Kashmiris hold India's journalists as responsible as its politicians for "muzzling and misinterpreting" them.

"The promise," Mehta writes, "of a liberal India is slowly dying". For Kashmiris this promise has proved as hollow as that of the fundamentalist Islam exported by Pakistan. Liberated from political deceptions, the young men on the streets of Kashmir today seem simply to want to express their hatred of the state's impersonal brutality, and to commemorate lives freshly ruined by it. As the Kashmiri writer Basharat Peer wrote this week in a moving Letter to an Unknown Indian, Indian journalists might edit out the "faces of the murdered boys", and "their grieving fathers"; they may not show "the video of a woman in Anantnag, washing the blood of the boys who were killed outside her house". But "Kashmir sees the unedited Kashmir."

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

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 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...

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.

Riaz Haq said...

As India's most restive region stares down the abyss of what a commentator calls another "hot summer of violence", the doom-laden headline has returned with a vengeance: Is India losing Kashmir?

Last summer was one of the bloodiest in the Muslim-dominated valley in recent years. Following the killing of influential militant Burhan Wani by Indian forces last July, more than 100 civilians lost their lives in clashes during a four-month-long security lockdown in the valley.

It's not looking very promising this summer.

This month's parliamentary election in Srinagar was scarred by violence and a record-low turnout of voters. To add fuel to the fire, graphic social videos surfaced claiming to show abuses by security forces and young people who oppose Indian rule. A full-blown protest by students has now erupted on the streets; and, in a rare sight, even schoolgirls are throwing stones and hitting police vehicles.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who leads an awkward ruling coalition with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), rushed to Delhi on Monday to urge the federal government to "announce a dialogue and show reconciliatory gestures".

Riaz Haq said...

Use of force is #NewDelhi’s state policy, says former Indian foreign minister @YashwantSinha . we have made mistakes after mistakes as far as our policy on #Indian Occupied #Kashmir is concerned”. #Modi #BJP

Former Indian Foreign Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha has said that Government of India has been suppressing the freedom struggle of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir by the use of brute force.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Yashwant Sinha in an interview with a Delhi-based news portal said that he got this impression after visiting Indian Occupied Kashmir twice during which he had discussions with a senior government official on the situation of the territory.

“I was told there is a doctrine state – Machiavelli, Chankaya, Metternich. Everybody has a doctrine of state. So we have a doctrine of state also, and that doctrine is use force to quell any rebellion,” he said without naming the official he met. “So they are using force,” he added.
Sinha added, “All the visits I made, I have travelled around. I was not confined to one place. I told you how the Nepalese hate India. But the hatred in the minds of the people of the valley is far stronger than that in Nepal.”

The former minister also said that the Government of India had “ruined its relationship with the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir, especially the valley”.
“After the official told me that use of force is a state policy I stood up and told him Nameste,” Sinha said.

In solidarity: ‘India cannot suppress Kashmiris through force’

He decried that “we have made mistakes after mistakes as far as our policy on Indian Occupied Kashmir is concerned”.

He said the current Indian government only believes in using force “to solve problems, not consensus, nor democracy, nor Insaniyat but sheer use of brutal force to kill as many as you can”.

“What happened in Pulwama recently?” he asked, adding, “Do you think that it adds to the glory of the Indian state in the minds of the people of Kashmir.”

“We are losing Indian Occupied Kashmir”, he said.

“We have lost . .….We hold on to Indian Occupied Kashmir only by the fact that we have our armed forces there,” he added .

samir sardana said...

Kashmiris need to Read the Gita !

The Gita allows the discrimination of Lower Castes ! If the Hindoos treat their own like dirt – what will they do for the Kashmiris ?

The Kashmiris are Muslims and are of a different DNA than the Dravidians,Dasyus and Central Indians ! What will they get from the Hindoos ?

“It is far better to perform one’s svadharma (prescribed duties), even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.” – Bhagavad-Gita 3:35.

“According to the three modes of material nature (goodness, passion, ignorance) and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society (Brahmin/KsHatriya/Vaisya/Sudra) are created by Me .And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.” — Bhagavad-Gita 4:13.

Riaz Haq said...

Prashant Bhushan
Chair of the Jury of Goa Film Festival says that the Jury felt that Kashmir Files was a vulgar propaganda film, inappropriate for the film festival

Riaz Haq said...

Video: Indian Film Festival IFFI Jury Head Calls 'Kashmir Files' "Vulgar"
Calling it "propaganda" and a "vulgar movie", Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the IFFI jury, said "all of them" were "disturbed and shocked" to see the film screened at the festival.

New Delhi: The jury of 53rd International Film Festival in Goa has slammed the controversial movie "The Kashmir Files", which revolves around the killings and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 from Kashmir Valley. Calling it "propaganda" and a "vulgar movie", Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the IFFI jury, said "all of them" were "disturbed and shocked" to see the film screened at the festival.
"It seemed to us like a propagandist movie inappropriate for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on stage. Since the spirit of having a festival is to accept also a critical discussion which is essential for art and for life," Mr Lapid said in his address.

The Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi starrer, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, was featured in the "Panorama" section of the festival last week.

The film has been praised by the BJP and has been declared tax-free in most BJP-ruled states and was a box office hit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah have praised on the movie.

Many, however, have criticised the content, calling it a one-sided portrayal of the events that is sometimes factually incorrect and claiming the movie has a "propagandist tone".

In May, Singapore banned the movie, citing concerns over its "potential to cause enmity between different communities".

"The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir," read a statement from the Singapore government, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

Mr Agnihotri has alleged an "international political campaign" against him and his film by foreign media.

He claimed this was the reason his press conference was cancelled by the Foreign Correspondents Club and the Press Club of India in May.

Riaz Haq said...

The Kashmir Files: Israeli director sparks outrage in India over ‘vulgar movie’ remarks
Nadav Lapid, chair of the International film festival India, spoke out against work that critics say is anti-Muslim propaganda

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the film festival, Lapid said he and other jury members had been “shocked and disturbed” that the film had been given a platform. The Kashmir Files, said Lapid, was “a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival”.
Lapid, who has taken an anti-establishment stance against rightwing elements in his home of Israel, is not alone in expressing concern over The Kashmir Files. Cinemagoers have started anti-Muslim chants at screenings and it has been accused of stirring up communal violence. In May, Singapore banned the film over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.

Vivek Agnihotri, the film’s director, said on Monday that “terror supporters and genocide deniers can never silence me”.

He added: “I challenge all the intellectuals in this world and this great film-maker from Israel to find one frame, one dialogue or an event in The Kashmir Files that is not true.”

A row has erupted in India after an Israeli director described a controversial film about Kashmir as propaganda and a “vulgar movie”, prompting the Israeli ambassador to issue an apology.

Nadav Lapid, who was chair of this year’s panel of the international film festival of India (IFFI), spoke out against the inclusion of The Kashmir Files at the event.

The film, released in March to popular box office success, is largely set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when attacks and threats by militants led to most Kashmiri Hindus fleeing from the region, where the majority of the population are Muslim.

Many film critics, Kashmiri Muslims and others, have described it as propaganda that inflames hatred against Muslims and distorts events to suit an anti-Muslim agenda.

However, the film has received a ringing endorsement from the highest levels of the Indian government, ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), who have also been accused of pursuing an anti-Muslim agenda. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, has praised the film, congratulating its makers for having “the guts to portray the truth” and it was the second highest-grossing film in India this year.


Lapid said his comments were made in the spirit of “critical discussion, which is essential for art and life”, adding he was sure they could be accepted graciously by the festival and audience as such. But his critique caused outrage.

Amit Malviya, a senior BJP leader, compared his remarks to denial of the Holocaust. “For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files,” he said.

In Goa, where the festival took place, a complaint was filed to police against Lapid, accusing him of “instigating enmity between groups”.

Fellow jurors at the film festival, which is sponsored by the Indian government, quickly distanced themselves from his comments, stating that they reflected his opinion and not that of the panel. Film-maker Sudipto Sen, who was on the panel, said: “We don’t indulge in any kind of political comments on any film.”

Some of the harshest criticism came from Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, who told Lapid he should be “ashamed” of his comments and that it was “insensitive and presumptuous” to speak on a subject that has political and religious ramifications in India. Gilon said he “unequivocally condemned” the statements.