Friday, October 7, 2016

Editorial, "INSURGENCY AND 'SURGICAL STRIKES'," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 September 2016, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 18 issue

With the understanding of, and to an extent even an admission of, the saying: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very peculiar in that only about 16% of our controlled state area falls in the Kashmir valley, and only 5-6 districts in it are heavily insurgency-infested. Jammu envelops 26% and Ladakh more than 50%, and are relatively peaceful, shun such militancy and moreover are eager to fully integrate with India. True, population-wise Kashmiri Muslims form about 50% of the total – that due to India’s credit which never disturbed the population proportion in the valley; rather it is the so-called azadiwallahs who ethnically cleansed the valley of Kashmiri Pundits in the 1990s itself. Then, as Tarek Fatah asserts, the people of POK too don’t seem enamored of their Paki connection and there is an agitation in Gilgit-Baltistan for its ‘azadi’. As such, Justice Katju’s comparison of the militancy in the valley with the Vietnamese guerilla war is quite misplaced; the Kashmiri Muslims’ cries for azadi is just an infatuation with fundamentalist Islam and not the love for any ‘Kashmiriyat’, and a real danger exists of their being reduced to a slave status in any ‘Mustafa Raj’. However, the Indian Government and Army too have not done it well by shouting from housetops about the so-called ‘surgical strikes’ carried out in retaliation for the Pakistan inspired, if not directed, attacks; such audacity can be termed a most stupid measure for any wise statesman or military strategist. Surprisingly, Pakistan has also bungled by refusing to admit any such strikes happening, and just tries to degrade those as repetition of the longstanding LoC violations and blames India for not letting UN military observers inspect and report on the same. At the same time, the manner the Pakistani politicians including their prime and defence ministers as also the fanatic Hafiz Saeed and other leaders of the terrorist outfits nurtured by them reacted, shows that something very damaging to their plans, forces and dependant terrorist circles occurred due to these ‘surgical strikes’ and for some reasons, perhaps including avoidance of public disgrace, they cling on to denials. However, it should also be noted that any armed force or terrorist group planning well and carrying out surprise attacks always has the initial advantage but that should not be taken as a decider in any war or longstanding conflict. As repeatedly asserted in this journal, only a wise and sane course – building bridges with China to neutralize any danger from it, negotiating with Pakistan to come to an underhand deal for any rational partition, and, by conduct of region-wise plebiscite, lending it an official and international stamp of approval – could be the real solution for this Ravanasura Kaashta-like conflict. §§§

No comments: