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Destruction and Injustice
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Destruction and Injustice

The  Tribulations   Of   Kashmiri   Pandits


 

Kashmir

The Pandit Perspective

Rakesh K. Kaul  

- Part 2

 

 

 Division Of State of Jammu and Kashmir

 

Indo Pak War of 1965

  • Dictator Ayub Khan sent thousands of Pakistani infiltrators into Indian Kashmir and Gujarat
  • Indian forces retaliated and cease fire took effect in September
  • Indian forces went back to 1949 positions as part of Tashkent agreement

Indo Pak war of 1971

  • West Pakistan rejected national elections because Mujibur Rehman of East Pakistan won
  • Pakistan’s dictator General Yahya Khan killed 3 million citizens
  • Khan anticipating Indian intervention in response to the 10 million refugees that had fled into India launched a pre emptive strike
  • India retaliated and defeated Pakistan which surrendered. Captured  substantial territory and over 90000 POW’s  which was returned back to Pakistan

The Simla Agreement 1972

  • India and Pakistan agreed to the following
  • Mutual agreement to resolve Kashmir issue through peaceful dialog
  • Mutual agreement to refrain from violent means
  • No attempt to unilaterally change the Line Of Control (LOC) through territorial aggression
  • An official LOC was established in Kashmir

Jihad

  • General Zia ul Haq leads military coup, executes Bhutto and steers Pakistan towards radical Islamic State
  • Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in 1979 and withdraws in 1989 based on unchecked flow of arms and aid to ISI
  • ISI begins game on two fronts:
    In Afghanistan train and fund the Taliban to replace the Masood government 
    In Kashmir train and fund militant separatists for terrorists attacks supported by increasing infiltration by non Kashmiris into the valley
  • India responds with increased law enforcement and then activating the army
  • Delhi bound Indian Airlines Plane from Kathmandu ( Nepal ) is hijacked
    Pakistani /  Taliban hijackers used box cutters
    Plane landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan
    Terrorists killed a young Indian citizen returning from honeymoon
    Hostages are released after the Indian government releases 4 Pakistani terrorists ( including Masood Azhar and Sheikh Omar Sayeed, who is the prime accused in the Daniel Pearl case)

The Kargil War

  • India’s peace initiative
    Vajpayee took bus trip to Lahore to hold talks with Nawaz Sharif
  • General Musharraf meanwhile architects infiltration of Pakistani Army across the LOC in Kargil in violation of Simla agreement
  • Despite the provocation India did not cross the LOC but lost over 400 soldiers

Attack on Indian Democracy

  • Musharraf is invited to Agra for talks Aug 2001. Talks fail as Musharraf is unwilling to make peace in Kashmir
  • Pakistani sponsored terrorists attack J&K State Assembly in Srinagar on 10/1/01 and then attack the Indian parliament in New Delhi on 12/13/01
  • 9/11 attack on World Trade Center starts the Global US WAR ON TERRORISM. India  provides unconditional support. ISI chief Mahommed Aziz is linked to 9/11 attack and Musharraf is forced to sack him under US pressure based on Indian evidence. Pakistan does U turn in Afghanistan however-
  • In the subcontinent, Pakistan continues its shadow war and terrorists from Pakistan target Army camps and kill women and children
  • India shows restraint and takes position that cross border terrorism stop permanently and moves its troops to secure borders from Al Qaeda threat. It demands handover of 20 terrorists of which 14 are Indian citizens which Pakistan has refused to do so

UN Position

  • 50 years after the fact the non binding Resolutions are obsolete
  • Boutros B. Ghali, the U.N. Secretary General, March 1992 
    “ Unless the two sides  approach us, we cannot get involved. If India and Pakistan approach the U.N. on this ( Kashmir) issue, it will be ready to help. The best solution lies in direct contact between the two countries.”
  • Secretary General Kofi Annan ( March 11, 2002 in Islamabad, Pakistan). 
    “ Lahore declaration and not UN resolutions could pave the way for a solution to the Kashmir issue. I call upon both India and Pakistan to retain the spirit of the Lahore declaration. This will require restraint, wisdom and constructive steps from both sides.”

US Role

  • In 1948 the then US Secretary of State Gen George C. Marshall told the British that Kashmir’s accession with India was legal and final as far as the US was concerned

Engage with India on all strategic fronts
As Democracies, natural allies
India emerging power for peace and stability in Asia
Huge economic potential with its emerging markets
Global Dismantling of  terrorist network

 

India has been the most terrorized country in the world” US State Department Report on Terrorism"

 

I’ll note that in 1972, when both countries signed the similar (Simla) accord, that they both acknowledged that the question of Kashmir was a bilateral issue.” Richard Armitage, Deputy Sec of State, PBS 6/10/2002"

 

"But in 1972, India and Pakistan reached an agreement that it would be a bilateral issue. We support India and Pakistan (for settling the issue bilaterally). We are working towards getting the two countries to the table," US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca .7/19/2002"

India Role

  • Vigorously counter misinformation by Pakistan and other affiliated groups
  • Hold firm until Pakistan permanently renounces  and dismantles the infrastructure of cross border terrorism
  • Ensure that the planned elections in September 2002 go smoothly
  • Provide governance with accountability and accelerate human development with special attention to women
  • Ensure return of Kashmiri  Pandits to the valley with security, dignity, full rights and repatriation of property and assets

Kashmiri Pandit Suffering

  • Ms. Mary McGrory, a columnist for the Washington Post explained it this way (August 27, 1992): "Across the globe in Kashmir, blameless people are suffering hellish persecution not for anything they did but for being who they are. The Kashmiri Pandits, a minority Hindu sect that has lived in Kashmir for 5,000 years, would like to go home. They have been driven off their ancestral land by terrorism of Islamic guerrillas who wish to annex Kashmir to the crescent of fundamentalist countries in the area. India, which will do anything to keep Kashmir in its possession, has refused to acknowledge the existence of the Pandits in refugee camps along the border, because they do not want to add a religious element to the problem."

Kashmiri Pandit Aspirations

  • Seek political representation on the bargaining table
      2 constituent seats in the J& K assembly in Rainawari and Habba Kadal
      1 seat in Lok Sabha representing diaspora
      1 seat in Rajya Sabha representing diaspora
  • Seek Global Humanitarian economic assistance to rehabilitate the community
      National Minority commission report
      GOI support for removing barriers for international aid
  • Seek refugees return to Homeland in the valley with security, dignity, opportunity and harmony

Pathways To Peace

  • Identify forces that have vested interest in perpetuating conflict and violence
      Military  Hegemony and privilege
      Terrorists Mercenary criminals
      Mullahs  Religious cover for revolutionary ideology
  • Strengthen Interim Sanctity of line of control locally and globally
      Cross Border terrorism and apparatus has to stop permanently
      Local Kashmiri political leaders need to disassociate and distance themselves from terrorists and   
      not provide safe harbor
  • Hold free and democratic elections on both sides of Kashmir
      Provide equitable distributions and effective governance and a strong developmental focus on both 
      sides so there is symmetric focus and dialog
  • Support NGO groups to target women and children so that they can be rehabilitated
  • Overcome alienation in the valley and other parts of the state by strengthening integration via educational and other developmental institutions
  • Promote democratic elections in Pakistan and begin dialog between India and Pakistan on the basis of the Simla agreement to resolve all issues between the two countries

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