Kashmir: Wake up Pakistan

By Inayatullah

The Kashmir Youth Movement for the liberation of Kashmir is gathering strength by the day. It has, by now, continued for more than three months. More than 100 young men have given the supreme sacrifice of losing their lives.

Brutal repression including curfews and siege of homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and bazaars, besides point blank shooting of protesting teenagers, has failed to stop the indigenous uprising. In fact, it has further boosted it. What has all the more irked the Indian government is the way the world is beginning to take notice of the flagrant violation of human rights and unabashed use of force. New Delhi has further come under pressure from the voices rising within India against the oppression inflicted on the protesting people. In this context, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says that he is deeply worried and distressed. Sometime back he had advised the Indian security forces to deal with the protesting youth humanely. But his advice and concern fell flat on the army and the police. Then much was expected from the all parties post-Eid conference. The meeting did take place without arriving at any meaningful decision.

Hit with bullet from Indian troops still shouts FREEDOM and down with oppression and tyranny

Even the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was not withdrawn, despite an appeal by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. And all that the conference yielded was a move to send a fact-finding group to the “occupied” state. In other words, the meeting was a damp squib.

Although the international media has woken up to the unresolved decades-old festering problem in Kashmir, there is a little of positive reaction on the part of major world powers. This almost criminal neglect is mainly due to the influence India increasingly wields internationally. Indeed, the international community overwhelmingly accords more importance to their economic and strategic interests than human rights and state excesses. (Washington’s latest statement about the nature of the current resistance in Kashmir is totally disappointing).

Indian version of democracy in occupied KASHMIR

Linked to these considerations is the general feeling after Nine Eleven, in the world capitals that agitations or uprisings even for legitimate causes should be discouraged or ignored, as such activities could grow into acts of terrorism and violent behaviour. But in the case of Kashmir – India’s 63 years of occupation, holding of fake elections in the occupied territory, preventing and repulsing of Pakistani attempts to intervene (particularly after the Kargil misadventure), plus the rising stature of the so-called largest democracy with its rapidly burgeoning economy, as well as mounting military prowess – all these factors have served to consolidate its stand on the disputed state.

Till the start of the current movement, India had also managed to convince the international community that the resistance in Kashmir was engineered, to a large extent, by Pakistan. However, this is no longer the case. It is recognised that the present demonstration of the Kashmiris’ struggle is not only totally local and indigenous, but it is also more or less peaceful. The only weapon used by the youth during their protests is pebbles and small stones. It is generally accepted that the intensity, continuity and spreading agitation and unrest has turned it into a formidable challenge for the Indian government.

What indeed is disconcerting is the attitude of the Pakistani government. It has been mostly rhetorical, lacking substance and seriousness of purpose. A few statements have come from the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the opposition leaders. Even the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, has not met. The civil society too has been slow and lukewarm in expressing its concern.

On the other hand, for the first time the Indian society is stirred up and the government has come under severe criticism for its inhuman and unacceptable conduct in the occupied state. Not only are known human rights activists like Arundhati Roy highlighting India’s criminal conduct, but also columnists like Kuldip Nayar are openly asking India to hold talks with the Pakistani and Kashmiri leaders to resolve the issue. Mention may here be made of the statement issued by The Indian People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) which has also condemned the Indian authorities for inflicting “collective punishment” on the Kashmiri people. One may further quote from a recent The Hindu editorial: “By talking big while having little to offer, New Delhi has unwittingly fanned the flames in J&K….Jammu and Kashmir is poised on the edge of an abyss. Firm, generous-spirited action to win over the people is needed, not post-dated promises and grandstanding.”

Hopefully, the new trail blazed by the brave Kashmiri young men should jolt the so-called ultra liberals and peaceniks’ of Pakistan to realise that Kashmir is vital for Pakistan’s economy and even survival. Although they never tire of referring to Quaid-i-Azam’s August 11 speech; however, they remain shy of recalling his perception of Kashmir as the “jugular vein” of Pakistan. Can one ignore India’s building of dozens of dams on the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir?

Pakistan, as a “party” to the question of the disputed state, has obligations to discharge, especially when the other party has turned the state into a veritable hell by posting lakhs of trigger-happy security forces there. Read more of this post

“Off The Net” Kashmir Freedom Movement

By Raja G Mujtaba

Hamid Rajput has a sharp eye to pick between the lines, he always has something interesting to say. Not only that he has a good way to explain and express himself. I find him very interesting and always like to discuss with him.

Dead body of a woman is paraded to establish the Indian ruthless rule

When discussing over many issues, Kashmir had us fixed for the barbaric, inhuman and humiliating atrocities being committed over the Kashmiris. Thus our discussion developed in to deeper groves of the issues related to human sufferings there. Be it children, young, old women or anyone that dares to stand before the Indian authorities is crushed in every conceivable manner so as to break the will of the people. Least that the Indians realise that everything can be destroyed but for the will of the people. Now Kashmir movement has entered into a phase of no return, the violence will increase so will the killings who will check and intervene is a million dollar question. To pin hopes on the powers in the West including the UNO would mean living in a fools’ paradise.

Here see how the Indian women have come out of their clothes and asking Indian army to rape them is slap on the face of the world conscience but who cares. Likewise is the Kashmir issue, who cares.

Indian women protesting against rape by Indian army - can someone answer

Kashmir is a burning issue not from the near past but since the freedom of the sub-continent. The British played their cards and India fell trap to that; India accepted what was not hers hence the British succeeded so they have a permanent buyer of their weapons. Wasn’t that what David Cameron had come to visit New Delhi for? He could not see any state terrorism in Kashmir or elsewhere within India where Maoists and many more are fighting for their political rights and freedom from the yolks of India. If he had not kept his eyes close to these problems, how could he have bagged contracts worth 1.5 billion dollars? After all what’s a human value, what does it mean to few rich and powerful, nothing more than an ant that gets trodden under the feet without even being noticed.

Going back a little, during month of April, he wrote a paper, “Who attacked Mumbai” quoting Indian writers and intellectuals, that Indian thinker now realize that the fault lines lie within. Here some visible factors could be mentioned to think who is behind uprisings on the Indian side of Kashmir. Kuldeep Nayar in his recent article jog Indian memory that Nehru made promise with Kashmiri nation that they would be given an opportunity to decide what they wanted to do with their territory and later he backed out his words. Arun Dhati Roy a well respected journalist from India portrays Kashmir uprising in these words: “Not surprisingly, the voice that the government of India has tried so hard to silence in Kashmir has massed into a deafening roar. Raised in a playground of army camps, checkpoints, and bunkers, with screams from torture chambers for a soundtrack, the young generation has suddenly discovered the power of mass protest, and above all, the dignity of being able to straighten their shoulders and speak for themselves, represent themselves.” She has a very loud and strong voice compared to her frail body and structure. May be if asked, she

Kashmiri Women raped abducted and never to be seen again

could also turn around like Mr. Jinnah who was questioned for his loud and firm voice said, “Do not forget that I am a Rajput from Sahiwal.” But admirably this lady has the courage to say it loud and clear without mincing her words. The tragedy is that Indian leadership has no wish to read or hear such words that may bring them closer to peace.

B. Raman, a former Indian bureaucrat views the recent Kashmir uprising in these words: “We are facing an Intifada of the Palestinian model in J & K for the first time. It is a spontaneous outburst of anger by sections of the youth over what they allege is the disproportionate use of force by the police and the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).” I took these words as a confession of thousands of killings inside Indian Kashmir. Ban Ki Moon the Secretary General of the UNO also observed similar developments in Kashmir.

Amnesty international‘s report on Indian atrocities on Kashmiris reminds the Indian authorities that they have an obligation to protect the right to life in accordance with international law and it includes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Law Enforcement Officials, can only use firearms when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. I leave it to readers to decide that who could be behind Kashmir movement, the infiltrators or internal fault lines? To protect the right to life is a far cry for the Indian leadership in power at any given time but their killings, rapes and humiliations of the Kashmiris is a routine matter that has no parallel in history. Just to prove the point, here is a video clipping of the Indian security forces herding the unarmed Kashmiri youth stark naked and abusing them. It has some very derogatory language that has been used in it. It’s a complete shame to humanity who are in a position to influence the Indians and yet they look the other side. This a serious cause that develops vengeance amongst the aggrieved who later over a period of time resort to violence and other means that are then termed as terrorism.

Click on the following links to watch the videos.

Read more of this post

This happens only in kashmir-Attack on Hospital

Indian Democracy eating DUST in KASHMIR!!!
Armed Forces attack Hospital in Srinagar, Indian held Kashmir!!!

Indian occupied forces attack the hospital and beat the staff and patient their.

Kashmir: Curfewed in the vale

Indian Occupied Kashmir Is Worse Than Gaza, Why Is The World Sleeping Over It?

UK and USA Just To Sell Their Weapons Have Turned a Blind Eye; Shame On You

In Kashmir, civilians are being pushed to the brink of disaster amidst protests, curfews and killings. Anger is hurt turned inside out, as Dilnaz Boga explains.

Wounded on 26th August lying in hospitals

It’s been almost two months since we’ve been under curfew in the Kashmir Valley. It’s not the echoes in the empty streets decked up with razor wires that are disturbing, it’s the rising of the sun that brings with it the news of deaths by tear gas shells or bullets.

As journalists we are issued curfew passes by the government. Sometimes, the local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), India’s paramilitary, rip the passes to bits and prevent us from working. Getting past every street is an achievement, with the police and the paramilitary playing God. Last month, when the government imposed a media gag, the CRPF stood outside media offices, preventing us from moving out. Journalists were beaten and fired upon.

Since this January, the police and the CRPF, for ‘stone-throwing’, have gunned down over 60 unarmed protesters – mostly children as young as eight and teenagers. Doctors say that the injured have been shot mostly in the head and chest. No security personnel have perished in the fierce clashes. In the past month, the violence has intensified, with up to eight deaths a day. Just as the people mourn for one death, another one follows. What will happen next is a question on everyone’s minds.

Funeral processions, ambulances and bystanders have been shot at – their weapon of choice is an AK 47. Their reason: self-defence.

The killings have caused even more people to pour out on the streets to protest, because the justice mechanism is not in place.

Certain sections of the local press have reported that in the last month, 1,400 people, mostly teens, have been booked under draconian acts that the state uses as an instrument of suppression. Kashmir does not have juvenile homes, so the minors share cells with hardened criminals far away from home.

Nightmares follow them upon release, a lawyer tells me.

Misunderstanding Kashmir

For journalists, to confirm a death and report it is tricky. The Police Control Room rarely shares information. The authorities block the cellular phone signals of the area where the killing has taken place. The government has banned SMS service for the last two months. Busy doctors in hospitals, who have their hands full, help us confirm the killing. Law enforcement authorities withhold information, fearing a backlash.

On a recent trip to a village where a young protester had been shot, we managed to accompany his body from a city hospital. As the car swerved to avoid rocks put up by protesters on the road to south Kashmir’s Pampore, we did our best to try and keep up with the ambulance that was carrying the body of 24-year-old Rayees Ahmad, who had been shot by police and CRPF during protests. At that point, we were unaware of the fact that 19-year-old Nayeem Shah, shot in the same protest, had succumbed to his injuries.

Groups of young boys, with their faces covered, guided our three-car convoy to the hometown of the deceased. In the ambulance, Rayees’s friends wailed from the back of the vehicle, screaming to the pedestrians that his death must not be forgotten.
Indian media attributes this stone-throwing to Pakistan and the militant Islamist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. My compatriots, because of this propaganda, have always misunderstood Kashmir

Protestors at night in Srinagar

We entered the town to find streets lined with wailing women and angry men waiting to receive his corpse. Young boys reached out to walk with Rayees on their shoulders for one last time. The town rallied around them, chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

As helplessness turned to rage, residents threw stones and burnt tyres to vent their sadness at the death. Indian media attributes this stone-throwing to Pakistan and the militant Islamist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. My compatriots, because of this propaganda, have always misunderstood Kashmir.

Anticipating retaliation by the forces, we decided to turn back before the violence trapped us. We changed our route as we heard reports of the forces firing on an ambulance. We finally made it out of the picturesque village and into the city, bearing witness to yet another day of grief. Read more of this post

Kashmir Observes Black Day on India’s Independence Anniversary – Shoe Thrown at Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, August 15 (KMS): Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over are observing the Indian Independence Day, today, as Black Day to convey to the world that the people of Kashmir continue to be deprived of their birth right to self-determination.

Call for the observance of the Black Day has been given by the APHC Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani. Complete shutdown is being observed in the occupied territory with all shops, business establishments and educational institutions are closed while traffic is off the road.

The occupation authorities have made unprecedented arrangements to thwart anti-India protest demonstrations on the day imposing curfew in several cities and towns.

A shoe was thrown at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the Independence Day function by a Policeman but it missed him.

Click here to watch the video

Abdullah later diluted the incident saying” Throw shoes, not stones.”

Black flags were shown to the chief minister and slogans of “We Want Freedom” rented Srinagar as Kashmir continued to remain on the boil.

The shoe thrower, a suspended head constable according to police, was whisked away by security personnel.

The world wants to think the best about India. So we turn our back on Kashmir | Telegraph

Kashmiris run for cover as Indian paramilitary soldiers fire teargas shells (Photo: AP)

Dean Nelson | Telegraph

Think of India and it’s all Gandhian saintliness, Ravi Shankar’s sitar, a whiff of incense and the feel-good beats of Bollywood Bhangra. These memories, sounds and smells conjure images of the world’s largest democracy, where tolerance and spirituality supposedly reign over realpolitik.

We don’t think of it as a country whose troops are jailing opposition leaders or placing them under house arrest, denying people the right to gather in prayer, beating children to death, or massacring stone-throwing protesters. The words “shoot to kill” are a grim relic from our own recent past, and certainly nothing we ever associate with India.

That’s why India is the world’s first “soft superpower”. It can barely do wrong for doing right, and if it does we don’t really want to know. As David Cameron made perfectly clear during his recent visit, we’re interested in India as the world’s second fastest-growing economy and by its contribution to the war on terrorism, but not how it treats its own people.

So despite the fact that 50 mainly young men and teenagers have either been shot or beaten to death in the last eight weeks in Kashmir; the two main separatist leaders have been jailed or placed under house arrest; that the Kashmir Valley has been locked down and the streets of Srinagar occupied by swaggering Indian troops who threaten housewives with big sticks, our leaders have remained completely silent.

Had these incidents been in Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan, or had the victims been Tibetans revolting against Chinese rule, we would have called it a massacre. But India’s great “soft power” is that the world wants to think the best of it.

To that end, our leaders overlooked the 53 young men and teenagers who were treated for bullet wounds in just one hospital in Kashmir’s state capital, Srinagar, last week. They had been shot either for throwing stones during protests against killings by Indian security forces in Kashmir – or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time in their own city.

This present wave of protests began after Indian soldiers shot dead three young Muslim men in the hope of passing them off as Pakistani terrorists and themselves as war heroes. They had lured them with the promise of jobs. A few weeks later a 17-year-old schoolboy was killed when Indian police fired a tear gas canister at his head.

Last week I interviewed Fayaz Ahmad Rah, a Srinagar fruit seller, as he mourned the death of his nine-year-old son, Sameer. Neighbours told me they had seen members of India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force beat him to death with sticks and then dump his body in stinging nettles. The CRPF claims he was in fact a protester and that he had been trampled by other demonstrators as they fled a police advance.

Fayaz said his son had been walking through their usually safe tiny back lanes to his uncle’s house 100 metres away after stopping to buy sweets. When he washed his son’s body for burial, there was a half-chewed toffee still in his mouth, he said.

Over the last eight weeks a round of teenage civilian deaths, protests and more shootings followed by further protests has sucked Kashmir into a bleak vortex. But since it began, not a single member of India’s security forces has been shot or killed. It couldn’t be a more unequal contest.

Luckily for India, it happened in Kashmir where the words “Muslim”, “Pakistan” and “militants” shield what is either bad marksmanship or a shoot to kill policy from scrutiny and criticism.

This decision to look the other way only fuels the anger in Kashmir. From his home where he was being held under house arrest last week, separatist spiritual leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told me India had turned Kashmir into a “police state” and that British politicians and others were turning their back on it.

He had not been allowed to go to his mosque for more than six weeks, while other separatist Hurriyat leaders were also in jail or under house arrest. In many mosques throughout the state, only men over the age of 50 – regarded as beyond their stone-throwing years – have been allowed to meet to pray.

“It’s a direct interference in our religious affairs, a situation in which in a muslim state, if we’re not allowed to pray, the Muftis will say we have to call a war on the state,” he said. Read more of this post

World urged to stop Kashmiris’ genocide

Death toll of martyred protestors reaches 58

Srinagar: Hundreds of thousands Kashmiris attending funeral procession of a Kashmiri youth Iqbal Ahmed Khan martyred by Indian troops.

Srinagar – (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani has appealed to the world community to impress upon India to stop genocide of Kashmiris and resolve the lingering dispute in accordance with the aspirations of people.

Addressing newsmen in Srinagar after his release from illegal detention, Syed Ali Gilani urged India to withdraw all its troops from the territory, release all the illegally detained pro-liberation leaders and activists and revoke the draconian laws before initiating meaningful dialogue to settle the Kashmir dispute.

He appealed the people of Kashmir to participate in the protest programmes in large numbers to make them a success.

On the other hand, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a letter to the Secretary General of United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon appealed to him to appoint a representative for Kashmir in view of the grave crisis on the territory.

A civilian was martyred last night when Indian troops fired upon a demonstration at Nund Rishi colony in Bemina, Two persons succumbed to bullet injuries in local hospitals in Srinagar. They were fired upon by Indian police personnel during a protest in the city, yesterday. The fresh killings brought the number of martyred Kashmiri protestors since June 11 to 58.

Thousands of people participated in a mourning gathering at Zadoora-Newa in Pulwama to pray for the soul of a young man martyred in the firing of Indian police on peaceful protestors in the area. Read more of this post

Pro-freedom demonstrations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (Pictures)

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KASHMIR – The Dispute That Continues to Rock South Asia

By Shahid R. Siddiqi

The Conflict

A cartoon published in an American newspaper in 2002 showed former president George Bush sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, utterly confused by a news report he was reading about India and Pakistan going to war over Kashmir. “But why are the two countries fighting over a sweater,” he asked Dick Cheney who stood by with his usual sly smile on his face.

Besides reflecting the intellectual capacity of the American president of the time, the cartoon was a realistic portrayal of the understanding that American leaders have generally shown of this longstanding dispute between Pakistan and India.

The unresolved Kashmir conflict has rocked South Asia for six decades. It has created an environment of distrust and acrimony, forced the people to sink into poverty with bulk of the resources consumed by the war machines and claimed lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians as well as soldiers who died in the three wars fought between India and Pakistan. India, whose forcible occupation of Kashmir in 1947 created the conflict, refuses to settle it. The other stake holders, the Kashmiri people and Pakistan, insist on a fair solution. The international community including the US and the United Nations played little or no role in diffusing it either. Consequently, the conflict has developed into one of the most intractable problems of international politics that remains a continuing threat to peace of the region.

Indian Brutalities & The International Reaction

India has not hesitated to use brutal force to maintain its hold on Indian occupied Kashmir and suppress revolt. The US, UN and other international organizations failed to take note of grave human rights violations. They failed to provide any specific, actionable proposals for a permanent solution. All they extended were diplomatic courtesies, suggested vague formulas and generalities that are open to multiple interpretations.

Although the US considers South Asia to be a sensitive and strategically important region from its geopolitical, security and economic standpoint and has expressed the desire to see peace prevail, yet it has so far paid only lip service to finding a permanent solution. It would not chastise India for human rights violations, which would have attracted its immediate attention if these were taking place in a country that it had chosen to punish, for fear of displeasing or alienating India which it has aggressively been courting in recent years.

This situation was compounded by the Indian dreams of regional hegemony that led it to dismember Pakistan in 1971 and go on to become a nuclear power, which forced Pakistan to develop its own nuclear deterrent for safeguarding its security.

Consequently, India has consistently and blatantly refused to honor the will of the people, negotiate Kashmir’s future status and stop the use of brutal force.

The Conflict Leads To The First Kashmir War

In the wake of the August 1947 partition of British India that brought into existence two sovereign states of the Indian Union and Pakistan, the British left after having midwifed the Kashmir dispute that has since bedeviled peace between the two countries. Essentially, the agreed principle that governed partition was that Muslim majority states to the east and west of British India would form Pakistan, while rest of the subcontinent was to form Indian Union.

Decisions by several Muslim rulers for accession of their states to Pakistan that had Hindu majorities (Hyderabad, Junagadh and Manavadar being cases in point) were rejected on the grounds that a Muslim ruler did not have the right to overrule the will of the Hindu majority population. But the decision of the Hindu Raja of the princely state of Kashmir, which was predominantly a Muslim majority state and should have acceded to Pakistan, was immediately accepted by the British viceroy and the Indian government, despite a popular Kashmiri revolt against his decision. Although an agreement of non-intervention in Kashmir had been signed between India and Pakistan, the new Indian government sent troops into Kashmir at the request of the Hindu ruler to enforce the instrument of accession and forcibly occupy the territory, in disregard of the agreed principle of accession applied elsewhere.

This led to the first Kashmir war in 1947 between India and Pakistan. In 1948 India sought cease fire, taking the issue to the UN Security Council, which passed resolution 47 on 21 April 1948 that imposed an immediate cease-fire along the line of actual control of territory by both parties and called on them to withdraw their troops. It also ruled that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” The cease fire was enacted in December 1948, with both governments agreeing to hold the plebiscite in areas under their control. Ever since, India has been rejecting all resolutions of the Security Council and the proposals of the UN arbitrators for demilitarization of the region – all of which were accepted by Pakistan.

The Security Council Steps In

Although the resolutions of the Security Council were regarded as the ‘documents of reference’ for a durable and internationally acceptable solution, no steps were ever taken for their implementation. This was because in technical terms these were not mandatory – not having been based under Chapter VII of the Charter. This allowed India to get away, dashing the false expectations of the Kashmiris as to the possible role of the United Nations as facilitator of a solution to the Kashmir problem.

This injustice to the Kashmiri people was intrinsically linked to the veto privilege of the permanent members of the Security Council and the lack of unanimity between them for enforcement measures according to Articles 41 and 42 of the Charter. Their plight is similar to that of the Palestinians, in whose case also resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) that call upon Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories are not based on Chapter VII and have hence enabled the occupying country, Israel, to ignore them.

That the United Nations Organization follows double standards was clearly visible when it adopted compulsory resolutions in other conflict situations, such as in case of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990-1991, where the US – a permanent member, having an interest in the matter, was able to force the hand of other permanent members to do its bidding.

The cease fire line between the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir has since become the Line of Control and continues to be monitored by UN observers. Read more of this post

Running out of steam

Massive Protests against Indian Occupation Forces in Srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir

Soumitro Das,
Hindustan Times

Journalism is not about patriotism. It is not about ‘my country right or wrong’. Journalism is about the Truth. In India, however, far too often a journalist’s first commitment is to his country rather than to the truth. Nowhere is this more evident than in our reportage on Kashmir and Pakistan. To talk about Kashmir first, we are in complete denial, we toe the government’s line unquestioningly: that everything in Kashmir would be hunky-dory if Pakistan stopped meddling; that Kashmir is actually madly in love with the Indian Army and it is only Pakistan which is holding Kashmiris back from expressing their true feelings about the army, the paramilitary forces and the J&K Police in good measure; that India has done nothing to deserve the violence and turbulence in that state; that the stone-pelters are just paid agents of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.

What is the truth? The truth could be that many Kashmiris are sick and tired of the Indian security forces; the truth could be that Kashmiris are looking for deliverance from the cycle of brutality in which they are caught. The truth could be that India had for years foisted corrupt and venal regimes in Srinagar through rigging and other acts of skullduggery. The truth could be that India had a chance to redeem itself when it brought in Sheikh Abdullah as chief minister of the state, but apart from fostering yet another political dynasty, the Abdullahs have had little impact on the climate of political feeling in the state. The truth could be that the stone pelters are the vanguard of a ‘revolution’ whose immediate political expression is the rejection of India and everything that India has come to represent in Kashmir.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, our media are even more slavishly patriotic. All the usual clichés and stereotypes are summoned whenever our journalists and intellectuals write on the subject. Pakistan is a rogue nation; it is a failed State; it is almost a criminal enterprise; its democracy is a sham…

Everything we say about Pakistan speaks of our hatred and resentment against the country. And yet, we see that Pakistan does not disappear from the map of the world and definitely won’t in a hurry. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may not be accountable, but how accountable is India’s Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the Intelligence Bureau?

It’s also the naivete of it all. I remember a journalist on national TV saying, “We (India) are better than them (Pakistan).” What does that mean? That Pakistan is an Islamic republic and India, even with its pogroms against Sikhs in 1984 Delhi and against Muslims in 2002 Gujarat is a shining example of democracy? It is India, if my figures are right, that has more than 50 per cent of its children suffering from various effects of malnourishment. India’s regular free-and-fair elections may be the only thing that should genuinely make us proud as citizens.

History has been kind to us. It has provided us with a stick with which to beat Pakistan: cross-border terrorism. So, we can use it as a pretext for not talking about Kashmir where our position is weak. Take the ruckus over Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Sayeed. We want him gagged, arrested, tried and, ideally, executed, no matter what the legal position might be in Pakistan. We insist that Pakistan knows everything about Sayeed’s involvement in 26/11 and that Pakistan is resorting to lies and deception to evade taking responsibility. However, now, according to Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s recent statement, it’s not Sayeed but the ISI “from start to finish”. What is germane is that no court in the world will convict a mass murderer only on the basis of what two major felons have to say about him. Ajmal Kasab’s and David Headley’s statements need corroboration. Read more of this post

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