Kashmir Under Siege
The world is trying to grapple with the risks posed by COVID-19 Pandemic since beginning of the year 2020 with partial and total lockdown hither and thither. However, the international community had remained oblivious to complete shutdown and curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) since August 2019 i.e. ever since extremist BJP government in India deprived Kashmir of its special constitutional status and its subjects of special rights by revoking articles 35 A and 370 of Indian constitution. Indian incumbent far right nationalist BJP Government being political face of extremist organisation called RSS (killer of Gandhi) has dreamed and worked for decades to achieve its goals of making India great again i.e. Maha Bharat of Ashoka times, conversion or else elimination of Muslims followed up by other minorities, construction of Hindu temples in places of mosques, gulping up all SAARC countries besides Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics are just a few to mention. India feeling emboldened by Trump and Modi’s bear hugs and paper title of new American strategic ally to contest and contain China is moving on fast track to change demography of occupied Kashmir valley by establishing Sainik/ military colonies, industrial zones for Indian investors, and most nefariously introduction of Kashmir’s domicile to Hindus from all over India. It is assessed that much before his second term expires as a prime minister, Modi and his team will try to achieve change of demography as already done in Jammu and Ladakh and may hold elections or even stage managed plebiscite in occupied Jammu and Kashmir to settle Kashmir issue on UN Security Council agenda. For over seven decades, India has remained thick skinned to all resolutions, calls, appeals and diplomatic statements coming from international community and now in its second term, BJP government is quickly undoing Indian constitution articles that took care of rights of Kashmiris and all other Muslims in India. The citizenship amendment act (CAA) depriving right of registration as Indian citizens only to Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries has created protest all over India. That has sparked a well planned genocide of Muslims, torture, rape and arson under state supervision as was done by Nazi Germans against Jews. By and large, the world powers remain once again unconcerned either due to lame excuse of focus on challenges posed by COVID-19, but more realistically due to preference for market economic interests over high morals. Ironically, Israel is supporting India shaming its own history. The Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership is behind bars on concocted allegations and struggling for life. The people of Kashmir are under complete lockdown for the last nine months and suffering from shortage of food, medical supplies, treatment for Corona virus and other diseases, media and internet shutdown and no access to anyone from outside to Kashmir valley. As a long followed ritual, more than a million Indian saffronised military forces have further increased brutal massacre of Kashmiri Muslims inside the valley as well as across the line of control putting false allegations on Pakistan. The Modi’s devil forces led by Ajit Doval have ratcheted their covert operations using Afghan and Iran’s soil, clearly stated by Doval and cronies on Indian national electronic media as well as on social media that India would use its moles in former tribal areas of Pakistan and in Balochistan to create havoc in both places.
While Indian brutalities against Muslims in IOK and all over India are reprehensible, Modi as chief minister earned shameless title of Butcher of Muslims in Gujrat and now as a prime minister, he has become even more notorious as butcher of Muslims all over India. BJP home minister Amit shah terms Indian Muslims as termites that need to be erased and rooted out. Another BJP former minister and MP declared Indian Muslims as unequal citizen and stated that article 14 of Indian constitution could not be applied on them, which guarantee equal rights to all Indian citizens. The same is perhaps true for low caste Hindus as per detestable Hindu caste system still rigidly followed up by RSS i.e. Brahmin, Khastari, Vesh and Shudaras (untouchables). After all late BJP foreign minister Shusmasuraj had been openly saying that India would convert all Muslims in India, Pakistan and in the larger region as Hindus (obviously low caste) and make them part of greater India. Not to mention that if the ancestors of Roman, Persian, Mongol, Ameer Taimur, Ottoman and more particularly Mughal Empire made similar claims, it would see India under Muslin rule again with its current strategic mentors non-existent. Nevertheless, BJP/RSS’s mad cow agenda is a ‘cat out of the bag’ case, begging the only question, what are Pakistan’s options?
History provides no evidence that a major dispute between two countries was resolved or a freedom struggle was won by mere dialogue, diplomatic statements or international lip service. Kashmir being a UNO recognized humanitarian, historical, and a political issue (five UN Security Council resolutions calling for giving right of plebiscite and self determination) remained subjected to Indian disregard with continued genocide of Kashmiri Muslims for over seven decades. Both India and Pakistan have already fought three conventional wars over Kashmir, which only paved the way for dialogue. However, India always used dialogues process as a time buying mechanism before reaching a current stage of an absolute arrogance and disrespect to UNO and other international institutions. The bravest and proud Kashmiri people have withstood Indian consistent atrocities and Kashmiri youth have given sacrifice of more than 100,000 martyrs with thousands of women widowed, raped, tortured and thousands of young kids blinded by use of pellet guns by intoxicated coward Indian military and para-military forces. These chicken hearted and immoral forces of Modi have burnt properties, crops and fruit orchards of Kashmiri Muslims to snatch away their right to live. Indian unabated and unprovoked ceasefire violations targeting civilians across the line of control and never allowing UN Military Observer Group to come close to the line of control from either side says all about shameless and nefarious game plan of Modi’s indoctrinated military forces. On the other hand, that is bound to create fissures in Indian Armed forces with serious command, control and operational employment challenges. Although BJP/ RSS’s narrow band extremist policies are a political boon for Modi as it pleases its fanatic followers; yet the sober and saner minds in India are seriously worried as BJP government is eroding the constitutional foundations of India by revoking its cunningly chosen articles that throws fake claims of Indian secularism and so called largest democracy out of the window. A Muslim minority of over 200 millions in India and in IOK (which is far more than population of many European countries combined together) has been deprived of their constitutional rights. The state is no better for Sikh, Christians and other smaller communities. The unity in diversity, non-alignment and secularism masks have been finally removed courtesy Modi and its fanatic saffron followers, exposing dangerous fault lines of India. It is assessed that more than dozen military insurgencies in India already striving for Independence from Indian shackles will get fillip and BJP foolish dream of Maha Bharat may result in meeting fate of former Soviet Union sooner than expected. The ‘Economist’ that was projecting India as an economic hub and giant in 2010, is now asking on its title pages, “Would Modi save India or wreck it”( 2014); and “Intolerant India, How Modi is endangering the world biggest democracy”(2019). At world economic forum, IMF CEO Gita Gopinath blamed Modi’s India for 80% responsible for slow down in global economy. The same was highlighted in my earlier publishes analysis, “More of Modi means less of India”. The worst performance on the economic front by Modi from 2014 onwards has made life miserable for Indian farmers and low income people. Despite that BJP lavishly spent more than US $ 71billion on military procurements, which is 37% more than in the last ten years; surely not just for hefty kickbacks but it fits in BJP/ RSS war hysteria against Pakistan that may unfold as a consequence of a stage managed Black Swan in IOK or in other parts of India; with unintended and unimaginable consequences nevertheless. A nightmare for the global peace and security both being nuclear states; therefore, earlier the UNO wakes up to its responsibility along with members of Security Council to put Modi government on leash and force it to immediately cease its anti Muslim agenda, restore revoked articles and fulfill obligations on IOK as per UN security council’s resolutions, the better for peace and security in South Asia and rest of the world.
Now coming to Pakistan’s options: It is a given that forceful diplomacy, academic discussions and lip service by domestic and international politicians, institutions and war of words on print, electronic and cyber media have its value; yet not enough to help Kashmiri Muslims to win their freedom struggle or right of self determination. The same holds good for plight of Muslims all over India now. Pakistan has to expand its base of both kinetic and non kinetic reaction. Few macro suggestions on non-kinetic response may include: one, using all available means of communication, send out sustained call to 2 billion Muslims all over the world to boycott anything made in India, cut off business commitments and find better alternative, stop imports from India, remove Indian Hindus from employment list and send them back to Modi’s India; two, Pakistani and Kashmiri Muslims all over the world should arrange organized protests, make and distribute handouts including use of social media in local languages and make host countries aware of BJP government’s mayhem in occupied Kashmir and all over India against minorities with focus on Muslims; three, Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora must embark on social boycott of Indian Hindus until they force their government back home to grant right of self determination to Kashmir and stop carnage of Muslims all over India; fourth, Government of Pakistan should measure up own weight and height, rise to the occasion, and officially request all Muslim countries and especially those dependent on Pakistan’s security assistance to cut off economic ties with India, send back millions of Hindu employees back to India till sense prevails on Modi’s Nazi Hindu government(or else response be communicated clearly without mincing of words). Suffice to point out that Afghan peace process can wait till 100% removal of Indian proxies from there.
As for Kinetic options, with experience of serving on the line of control for almost six years and many years of deployment along the international borders, I can say with full confidence that Pakistan Army and other motivated troops who prefer shahadat over life will always give a bloody nose to any misadventure by India by land, air or sea…bluff of Balakot, Kargil and shooting down of Abhinandan and Co was just a trailer to send chill down Indian spine. While Armed Forces of Pakistan are battle hardened after 20 years long successful war against terrorists and proxies unleashed on our motherland from all over the world, it is dark shadow of RAW/ Doval brigades that need to be zoomed in both home and abroad for ruthless elimination, besides paying them in the same coin in their bunkers. The people in Occupied Kashmir need our immediate physical help that may start with preparations for simultaneous multiple crossings all along the line of control by volunteers’ brigades of a million sized forces from Azad Kashmir; mere lip service is suicidal for Kashmir Cause. Lesser said the better with a reminder that fortune favours the brave and when it is law of the jungle that prevails, only Lions live with Pride.
5th February 2021
· Saleem Qamar Butt, SI (M), (R) is a senior Army officer with rich experience in International relations, military diplomacy and analysis of geo-political and strategic security issues. (Website: www.sqbutt.com )