Kashmir
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Asif Haroon Raja |

Kashmir was always described as the heaven on earth. Its natural beauty and scenic views are matchless. Melodies of flowing water of springs, the enchanting Dal Lake, thick green grass and foliage on high mountains and white snow on the peaks served as ornaments of the valley. The fragrance of the pine leaves mystified the environment. People from all over the world aspired to visit and revisit the enthralling valley. This paradise on earth has been turned into hell by India. The Kashmiris are languishing under the boots of Indian security forces in the biggest open prison and most militarized region in the world.

Read more: Unrest in Indian held Kashmir

The UN which came into being after the 2nd World War to maintain international peace has fallen much short of expectations. Many wars have taken place and among the unresolved disputes, the oldest is the Palestinian and Kashmir disputes which are lingering since 1948. Both disputes are the legacies left behind by the British.

Read more: Deep inside Kashmir militancy: how damaging can the cracks be for…

Kashmir: The soft underbelly of India and Pakistan

The Kashmir dispute is the bone of contention between India and Pakistan. While Pakistan considers it as its jugular vein, India which initially pledged to grant the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris, changed its stance and started parroting that it is Atoot Ang (integral part) of India. The two archrivals have fought three wars and several local conflicts over Kashmir which has now become a nuclear flashpoint. One of the reasons for rising levels of extremism is the non-resolution of the dispute and India’s atrocities.

After patiently waiting and expectantly looking towards the UN and India for 42 long years to grant them their due right of self-determination, and also getting disillusioned with Pakistan, the Kashmiris inspired by the Islamic revolution in 1979 and Afghan Jihad in the 1980s decided to pick up arms and force India to grant them their legitimate right.

It seems that the UN and the whole international community are indifferent towards this dispute. Pakistan’s stance over the dispute is in accordance with the charter of UN in which full support of the oppressed Kashmiris has been pledged and protection of human rights ensured irrespective of territory, religion or country.

Kashmir was invaded by the Indian military in October 1947, just two months after the Partition of the Indian subcontinent by the British, and two-thirds Kashmir was occupied and retained forcibly. After patiently waiting and expectantly looking towards the UN and India for 42 long years to grant them their due right of self-determination, and also getting disillusioned with Pakistan, the Kashmiris inspired by the Islamic revolution in 1979 and Afghan Jihad in the 1980s decided to pick up arms and force India to grant them their legitimate right.

Read more: Breaking inertia on Kashmir

Armed uprising in Kashmir and the brutal Indian response

Armed Kashmiri uprising erupted like a volcano in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in 1989. It rose in strength in the 1990s and peaked in the early 2000s. Thereon, in the aftermath of 9/11, the intensity of the movement began to abate. The reason was that India helped by the USA portrayed resistance movement in IOK as terrorism and new laws on terrorism put Pakistan on the defensive. Pakistan under Gen Musharraf was made an ally but made to fight the biggest inland war in the world.

Peace along the LoC in Kashmir was a ruse to surreptitiously start a covert war both from Afghanistan and Iran to initially destabilize FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Baluchistan. Thereon, spread the flames of terrorism all over Pakistan and make it lawless and a failed State. The Grand design was to disable the nuclear program.

India under Vajpayee gave hope for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue. Gen Musharraf happily signed the peace treaty in January 2004 hoping that resumption of composite dialogue would lead to settlement of core disputes including Kashmir.

Duped by India and overwhelmed by the media hype, he took steps to stop movement across the Line of Control (LoC) and to allow India for fencing the entire length of LOC. Part of APHC leaders led by Mir Waiz in IOK was taken on board. Syed Ali Shah Geelani and some others, however, refused to be part of the new scheme of ‘out of box solution’, in which the UN resolutions were made irrelevant. He knew the mind of India better than others.

Read more: Pakistan finally learns what it must do to help Kashmiris

Peace along the LoC in Kashmir was a ruse to surreptitiously start a covert war both from Afghanistan and Iran to initially destabilize FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Baluchistan. Thereon, spread the flames of terrorism all over Pakistan and make it lawless and a failed State. The Grand design was to disable the nuclear program. India could not have undertaken covert war freely with restive Kashmir, which had become a bleeding wound for India.

In violation of Indus Basin Treaty, it is feverishly building dozens of dams over the three Pakistan specific rivers to dry up Pakistan. Things have gone from bad to worse since the takeover of power by Narendra Modi in June 2014.

While India kept Pak leaders engaged in futile confidence building measures, and at the same time vigorously chased the marooned freedom fighters in IOK, it didn’t move an inch towards the resolution of core issues. By 2007 India proudly claimed that Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir had been successfully quashed and the state was ready for elections.

Whatever little progress made in dialogue was reversed after blaming Pakistan for the engineered Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Since then, India has adopted a hostile posture and prioritized terrorism above the Kashmir dispute. In violation of Indus Basin Treaty, it is feverishly building dozens of dams over the three Pakistan specific rivers to dry up Pakistan. Things have gone from bad to worse since the takeover of power by Narendra Modi in June 2014.

Read more: Changing Kashmir’s demography: India’s tactics to win Kashmir

2016 Kashmiri Intifada

High scale disturbances in IOK in the aftermath of the martyrdom of popular Burhan Wani in July 2016 together with the fast-paced development of CPEC and Pakistan’s economic revival have panicked India. Besides stepping up human rights abuses in IOK and terrorism in Pakistan through its proxies, Narendra Modi, Ajit Doval, and Rajnath Singh openly threatened to detach Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir from Pakistan.

Indo-US-Afghan strategic nexus built a narrative to brand Pakistan as an abettor of terrorism and the trio as victims.

India resorted to series of false flag operations in IOK to give an impression that Pakistan is supporting the insurgency in Kashmir. To give strength to Indian allegation, Afghanistan was tutored in singing the same song of cross-border terrorism.Indo-US-Afghan strategic nexus built a narrative to brand Pakistan as an abettor of terrorism and the trio as victims.

To hide its discomfiture over failing to overawe Pakistan, Indian military is giving vent to its impotent rage by resorting to unprovoked firing across the LoC and Working Boundary in Kashmir in violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Most casualties are civilians. India faked a surgical strike against imaginary training camps in AJK.

Read more: Kashmir on fire: Has Pakistan really helped the cause?

Likewise, Afghanistan encouraged by India and USA has been carrying out skirmishes along the Durand Line. Afghanistan has also allowed its soil for use of covert war by CIA-RAW-NDS-Mossad-MI-6 nexus against Pakistan.

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani is speaking India’s language and so is Donald Trump who has recently declared Hizbul Mujahideen leader Salahuddin an international terrorist. Trump has disregarded record-breaking human rights abuses in IOK and has displayed complete insensitivity to the suffering of Kashmiris.

Of late, Iran which has a defense deal with India and is very close to Northern Alliance heavy regime in Kabul has brought frostiness in its relations with Pakistan. The trio signed Chahbahar seaport agreement in 2016 to undermine Gwadar. RAW under Kulbushan Yadav had been making use of Iranian soil to destabilize Baluchistan and Karachi.

Egged on by the wholehearted diplomatic, political and military support of the US, and the three military agreements signed between the two militaries in 2016, India is now openly threatening to wage a limited war and to break Pakistan into four pieces. It is trying hard to diplomatically isolate Pakistan and get it declared a terror-abetting State.

Read more: Indian army officer who used Kashmiri youth as human shield praised…

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani is speaking India’s language and so is Donald Trump who has recently declared Hizbul Mujahideen leader Salahuddin an international terrorist. Trump has disregarded record-breaking human rights abuses in IOK and has displayed complete insensitivity to the suffering of Kashmiris. US Congress (John McCain, Ted Poe and Dana Rohrabacher in particular), supports separatist movement in Baluchistan.

The five anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies huddled in Kabul that had initiated hybrid war against Pakistan in 2003/04 have launched the final phase of fifth generation war to create political chaos and trigger civil war combined with the sectarian war on the pattern of Iraq and Syria. This has been necessitated to disrupt freedom movement in Kashmir, block development works and CPEC.

In Washington, there are loud calls for taking away the status of a non-NATO ally of Pakistan and to stop military and economic assistance to Pakistan alleging that it is still not doing enough. The US team led by McCain which intended to dilute the impact of Trump’s slap hypocritically patted Pak military for its commendable role in the war on terror, but reverted to its traditional hostile ‘do more’ stance when it landed in Kabul. The visitors have given the wooly idea of Pak-Afghan joint operations to eliminate terrorism, forgetting that the US is among the spoilers which don’t want stabilization of Af-Pak region.

The five anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies huddled in Kabul that had initiated hybrid war against Pakistan in 2003/04 have launched the final phase of fifth generation war to create political chaos and trigger civil war combined with the sectarian war on the pattern of Iraq and Syria. This has been necessitated to disrupt freedom movement in Kashmir, block development works and CPEC.

Read more: Is Kashmir slipping away from India?

The hybrid war is not being fought by the paid proxies alone but is augmented by electronic, print and social media, NGOs, pseudo-intellectuals, and disgruntled politicians to build choice perceptions among the public and civil society, foment rift in civil-military relations, polarize the society and create instability and insecurity.

(To be continued)

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. Takes part in TV talk shows, delivers talks and take part in seminars. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, the author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and Director Measac Research Centre. He takes part in TV talk shows, delivers talks, and takes part in seminars.

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