Table of Contents
   Index
   About the Author
   Preface
   Territorial & Political Analysis
   Heritage And Legacy
   Crudities And Contradictions
   Prelude To Proxy War
   Terror And Horror
   Tears And Trauma
   Political Treachery
   Nation in Crucible
   Ekta Yatra
   Violation Of Human Rights
   A Peep Into Macabre

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Matrimonial

 
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Chapter 1

Teritorial And Political Analysis

"When speaking is duty, silence is guilt"

Maharaja Gulab Singh, one of the most remarkable, soldier-statesman that India had produced in the nineteenth century, was the founder of the State of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed in 1947 before the Pakistani invasion in October that year. One of his distinguished Generals, Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh, Baltistan and Western Tibet. General Zorawar Singh's expedition began in 1834 and culminated in 1841. Since Kashmir Valley was not under Gulab Singh at that time, the route to Ladakh and beyond followed by Zorawar Singh was through Kishtwar, Padar and Zanskar. It was more difficult but much shorter than the route passing through Kashmir Valley. The Valley of Kashmir had been under the Sikh kingdom of Lahore. Consequent to signing of two treaties: Treaty of Lahore (9-3-1846) between Sikh kingdom at Lahore and Gulab Singh and Treaty of Amritsar (16-3-1846) between Gulab Singh and the British, Maharaja Gulab Singh was recognised as an independent ruler of all territories already in his possession together with the Valley of Kashmir, which till then formed a separate province of Sikh kingdom of Lahore. Kashmir Valley was then controlled by Sheikh Imam-ud-Din as Governor appointed by the Lahore Darbar (administration). He was secretly instructed by Lal Singh, the Prime Minister of Lahore Darbar, who had personal enmity with Gulab Singh, not to hand over the possession of the Valley to Gulab Singh. Therefore, Gulab Singh's army faced stiff resistance when it reached Kashmir to occupy it in terms of the Treaty of Amritsar. Lakhpat, one of the top Generals of Gulab Singh, lost his life during the unexpected encounter. Thus, Gulab Singh had to resort to superior and effective force to get the Kashmir Valley in spite of his claim to it under the Treaty. On behalf of the Lahore Darbar one Nathu Singh was controlling Gilgit. He transferred his allegiance to Gulab Singh, who now became the master of Gilgit as well. By 1850, Gulab Singh had become both de facto and de jure master of entire Jammu region including Poonch, Rajauri and Bhimber, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Baltistan and Dardistan including Gilgit. The States of Hunza, Nagar and Ishkuman adjoining Sinkiang were added to the State by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh.

Maharaja Gulab Singh welded together such diverse and far-flung areas as Jammu bordering on the Punjab, Ladakh bordering on Tibet and Gilgit bordering on Sinkiang, Afghanistan and Central Asia across the Pamirs. The events and circumstances leading to the birth of Jammu and Kashmir State made a heterogenous conglomeration of diverse and distinct areas devoid of any type of unity, geographical, social, cultural or linguistic except obedience to a common over-lord - the Rajput Maharaja. From linguistic and cultural point of view, this vast and varied area, whose only unity lay in a uniform and unified administrative system under the Dogra rulers, could be divided into six distinct peoples with a distinct past. A proper understanding of this basic distinction, among the peoples and regions, is essential for a proper understanding of the Kashmir problem, as it developed after partition of India in 1947.

 Jammu region: This is the homeland of the founder of the State as also the Hindus popularly called the Dogras. It is directly contiguous to Himachal Pradesh (a state of India). The language of the region is Dogri, which includes some Pahari dialects and is written in Devanagari (Hindi) script.

 Ladakh: To the North of Himachal Pradesh lies the extensive plateau of Ladakh. The people of Ladakh are Buddhists. The Kargil district of the region contains Shia (Muslim) population. The language of the region is Bodhi or Ladakhi.

 Baltistan: This is the third distinct region inhabited by the Balti people. It lies to the West of Ladakh. Baltistan was conquered by Maharaja Gulab Singh along with Ladakh between 1834 and 1841. People of Baltistan have a distinct social and cultural life and speak Balti language. The region was over-run by Pakistani troops after a protracted war (with India) in 1948.

 Gilgit: The fourth distinct in the region is Gilgit which is known as Dardistan. The region includes the tributory states of Hunza, Nagar, Chilas, Punial, Ishkuman, Kuh and Ghizar. The people belong to the Dardic race and are closely connected with Chitralis in race, culture and language. They are mostly followers of Ismaili sect headed by the Agha Khan (Muslims). This region was conquered by Maharaja Gulab Singh's son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh between 1846 and 1860. Thousands of Dogra soldiers lost their lives in the campaigns that led to the conquest of this inhospitable but strategically very important region. The whole Dardistan including Gilgit has been merged with Pakistan and is governed by the Pakistani Central Government. This area has not been included even in the so called Azad-Kashmir (literally means liberated Kashmir. That is what the Pakistanis call the portion of Kashmir under their occupation). Pakistani President General Zia-ul-Haq had declared that these territories which includes the Silk Route that connects

Pakistan to China, might have once been part of Jammu and Kashmir, but now they are a part of Pakistan. The Northern areas, which include Dardistan and Baltistan, have already been integrated fully with Pakistan. In a quiet behind the scene announcement the Pakistani Ministry of Kashmiri Affairs and Northern Areas has divided these areas into five civil districts - Gilgit, Skardu, Chilas, Gohkoch and Khalpo. The administration of these districts is under Pakistan's direct control and now Pakistan's laws are applicable. During the peak period of cold war when Pakistan was an active member of Western military bloc, Gilgit had been kept at the disposal of the United States of America, who had established here a most modern and big-air base. Subsequently, when India-China border differences developed, Pakistan, to exhibit her inherent enmity to India, handed over to China important territory in the Northern portion of this area and also opened the Silk Road which passes through this region and connects Pakistan to China. Gilgit had come under Hindu and Buddhist influence very early. It was part of the Khotan province in Ashoka's (3rd century B.C. Indian emperor) empire. A recent find of Buddhist and Sanskrit books near Gilgit confirms this view. A class of people is held in high esteem even now. The people belonging to this class are expected not to eat beef and to remain clean. They were the Gilgit brahmins before their forced conversion to Islam. Aman Ullah Khan of the JKLF (Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front) belongs to this area of Dardistan. This is his homeland. He is not a Kashmiri. He is an intruder in Kashmir affairs. His own homeland has been fully and forcibly merged into Pakistan. Even basic and primary human rights have been denied to the people there. They are not even considered fit for local self-government. Aman Ullah never talks of his kith and kin, who have been enslaved in the manner like of which has never been imagined. Aman Ullah had long left his homeland and had settled in the U.K. He was picked up by some Western agencies as a might be needed person and provide all facilities in U.K., America and Pakistan. It was part of cold war stategy to take up the Kashmir issue, in isolation of India and Pakistan, in case exigency of situation demanded. Otherwise he is not even remotely linked to Kashmir and Kashmiris. His own homeland has ceased to be distinct identity and even a mention of his area sends shiver into his body.

 The Punjabi region: The Punjabi speaking districts of Mirpur, parts of Poonch and Muzaffarabad form the fifth distinct region. This corridor type belt is culturally, linguistically and socially part of Punjab. It is this small area which is called Azad Kashmir. As apolitical and diplomatic strategy and to have a distinct base for harassing India, Pakistan has provided a symbolic administrative set-up here. There is a President, the Prime Minister, Assembly and other propaganda stuff but actual strings are pulled by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs of the Pakistan government. The area has remained very backward. The people especially the youngsters here are fed on the promise that sunny days will come when they will have free access to the Kashmir Valley for enjoying the good things of life and having everything in plenty. But people here have no affinity with Kashmiris. There has been centuries old tussle between tough and rough Punjabis and peace loving Kashmiris. They contemptuously call the Kashmiri Muslims as hatoes. These areas, even before 1947 (year of Indian independence), had earned much notoriety as the area perennially infested with bandits. Many of them used to be hatchmen of rival landlords. There were no land reforms there. Numerous landlords became front-rank politicians. The area provided fertile soil for the growth of new generation of Mafias during the Afghan war in the early eighties. Narco-terrorism and kalashnikov culture made the area as armed camp/base. Political grip of the Pakistan army is a fact of life in this area. To call this area Azad Kashmir is scandalous. Its correct description would be Pakistan occupied Punjabi speaking areas of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state. A large number of people from this area especially from Mirpur have settled in U.K., U.S.A. and other foreign countries. These people mislead the world by calling themselves Kashmiris and with huge oil funds (from Saudi Arabia) at their disposal, disinform the West by claiming to be fighting for self-determination of Kashmir. In this regard they talk of North and South Korea, North and South Yemen and even mention the Berlin wall. Some Westerners do take this patently wrong assertion on its face value. These Mirpuris like Aman Ullah Khan, who is a Dardi, take the name of Kashmiris. Now more about Aman Ullah Khan. As a student, he did cross into the Kashmir Valley and studied in a school in the border tehsil (administrative sub- division in a district) of Kupwara, which was then part of Baramulla district. This was to take advantage of free education and all other facilities which were available on this side. During the hey days of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad (ex Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state of India), hundreds of young boys crossed over this side not only to get free academic education but also get nominated to medical and Engineering Colleges in India. After getting professional education free of any cost, they migrated to the United States, the U.K. and Arab and Gulf countries. For this the modus operandi was simple. They had to cross the border illegally as strayed individuals, get arrested and then issue a long statement to the effect that living conditions in the Pakistan occupied areas were apalling and that people were fully disillusioned. They declared their full faith in the leadership and idealogy of the National Conference (the ruling political party in J&K state). This was enough to see them through. The same lot have organised themselves against the Indian nation.

Before partition of India in 1947, these areas had a mixed population of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. But in 1947, Hindus and Sikhs were massacred and those who could escape had to take shelter outside the State. Muzaffarabad district was blooming with Sikh population. They were made special targets of Muslim wrath. Thousands of Sikh women jumped into the river Jhelum and got drowned to save their own honour and that of womenhood. The refugees who escaped form Muzaffarabad district came to Kashmir valley for shelter. But Sheikh Abdullah, his National Conference and particularly the Communists did not allow these refugees to keep their foot in the Valley saying that they belonged to the Punjabi speaking areas of the State and had no links with Kashmiris or the Kashmir Valley. These people were State subjects, first class and bonafide residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. But since they did not belong to the Kashmir Valley they were called non-Kashmiris. Thousands of such people who had per force to pass through the Valley to escape the Pakistani fire and terror behind, were pushed beyond the Pir Panchal range across the Banihal pass. On the contrary, Muslims from Tibet were welcomed with open arms and special arrangements were made for their settlement in the Srinagar city (capital of Jammu and Kashmir).

 Kashmir valley: The sixth region is the Valley of Kashmir. This home of sage Kashyap who made a breach near Baramulla and thus turned a lake into a valley, has been called the crown of India. The medieval historian Al Beroni has recorded that the Vale of kashmir was considered as high school of Hindu conscience like Varanasi. The Valley begins at Verinag in Anantnag district and ends at Khodanyar in Baramulla district. Once a seat of Sanskrit learning and nandanvan, where saints and yogis (ascetics) used to come for contemplation and meditation and learning, is now a predominantly Muslim area.

 Racially, the Kashmiris belong to the Aryan stock. The Kashmiri language originally written in Sharda script, a form of Devanagri script, has a rich literature. But under the influence of Islam, this ancient script has been discarded and the language is now without a script. In the absence of a natural script of its own, this language has ceased to be used anywhere in any form. It has been reduced to a spoken dialect only. Time is not far off when this ancient language will be wiped off altogether. Although the Government of India has included this language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and has adopted it as one of the national languages, yet due to the state government's religious prejudice the language is dying. The officially recognised Persio-Arabic script has been adopted to placate the Muslims at the cost of the age-old Sharda script. This Persio-Arabic Sharda script. The Persio-Arabic script is defective and incapable of rendering Kashmiri sounds correctly. It is solely dependent on scribes and calligraphers who are becoming extinct now in the valley. This script has failed to take advantage of even elementary typography not to speak of advanced technology. There has been persistent demand for recognising Devanagari as an alternative script. Devanagari, in fact, has been in use for writing Kashmiri for a long time now not only by Kashmiris who had been forced to migrate from Kashmir, some young and upcoming Kashmiri writers in the valley have also appeared on the scene. The demand for Nagri script has met with stiff opposition from the fanatical elements among the supporters of the Persio-Arabic script. Strangely, these very elements pressed for and succeeded in getting Persio-Arabic script adopted as an alternative script for Dogri and Punjabi in addition to officially accepted Devanagari and Gurmukhi scripts respectively.

 Kashmir has a continuous recorded history of more than two thousand years. The great Kashmiri historians, Kalhan and Ratnakar have written beautiful stories about Kashmir which apart from their historical value are great pieces of Sanskrit literature. Lalitaditya and Avantivarman have been among the famous kings of the Valley. When in October, 1947, Pakistan invaded Jammu and Kashmir, its well-planned thrust was on the Kashmir Valley. But Kashmir was saved from Pakistani marauders by the gallantry of a handful Dogra troops led by legendary martyr, Brigadier Rajendra Singh and the swift action of the Indian Army and Air Force. They are real saviours of the Kashmir Valley and they are still the only guarantee of its safety, which is under continuous attack from Pakistan.

 It is thus clear that the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was a house built by Maharaja Gulab Singh, the scion of Dogra dynasty and remained intact hardly for one hundred years. The unity of the house that Gulab Singh built, came to an end the moment Dogra raj disappeared. The total area of J&K state is 2.22 lakh (222,000) sq. kms. Of this, Pak-occupied area accounts for 78,114 sq. kms. China-occupied area is 37,555 sq. kms and another 3,180 sq. kms. has been illegally gifted by Pakistan to China. The area of the present state left free under India is thus 1.01 lakh (101,000)sq. kms. Ladakh is the biggest division in area with 49,146 sq. kms.; Jammu division occupies the second position with 26,293 sq. kms. and Kashmir Valley comes last with 15,948 sq. kms. It is a wrong statement and a lie when some people say that Kashmiris have got divided due to India-Pakistan conflict. The Kashmir Valley where Kashmiris have been living for times immemorial, is intact. However, a small, about ten kilometer wide area, Tithwal to Uri and Uri to Rajouri-Poonch is a non-Kashmiri belt inhabited by Gujjars and Bakarwals. It is a buffer between Punjabi speaking people of Pak- occupied areas and the Kashmir Valley. People living in this belt do interact with each other on both sides of the Line of Control (de facto border between India and Pakistan) as the latter cuts across this belt. Area is mountainous and people are mostly sheperds. They live in make-shift mud hamlets an the slopes. Ever since cease-fire was agreed upon in 1949, the Indian Army had been helping these people to have contacts with each other. But when Pakistan sent armed infiltrators in 1965, some restrictions had to be imposed on the free movement across the line of control.

 Of the three regions - Jammu, Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley - which are in de facto and de jure control of India, there is no problem about Jammu and Ladakh. These regions should have been fully integrated with the rest of India by giving them the status of a fill-fledged statehood to Jammu and Union Territory status to Ladakh, as desired and demanded by the people of these two regions. As regards Kashmir Valley, Muslims constitute overwhelming population there. A very serious problem has arisen in the Valley. Under the Pakistani plan of religious cleansing of the Valley, three lakh (300,000) Hindus have been driven out from here. They are the original natives of the Valley. They have the primary and valid claim over a part of the Valley where they may be resettled. These Kashmiri Hindus have staked their claim to the East and North of river Jhelum stretching from Jawahar Tunnel to Zoji La pass. They have demanded this `homeland' to be given the Union Territory status with the application of the Indian Constitution in full. All Kashmiris were Hindus. A good number of them were converted to Islam by force by Muslim invaders in the 14th century. Many foreign Muslims, Khurasanis and Afghans also settled in the Valley. But that does not negate the fact that seven lakh (700,000) Hindus who stuck to their original religion against all odds and who preserved the Kashmiri's culture, language and way of life, through the centuries of foreign rule and have primary claim to its soil irrespective of being in minority. India and Pakistan have accepted the cease-fire line between Indian part of J&K and Pakistan-occupied part of it, under the Shimla agreement of 1972. The cease-fire line was given the name of Line of Actual Control (LAC). Cease-fire line was demolished and LAC was modified as a result of agreement between the Army heads of the two countries. Kashmir ceased to be on the U.N. agenda and U.N. observers, who were watching the cease-fire were withdrawn. Kashmir ceased to be an international issue and became a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. The two countries agreed to solve the issue by mutual discussion and peacefully and in no circumstances use force. The Shimla agreement was endorsed by the United nations, the Indian parliament and the Pakistani National Assembly. It is, therefore, too much to expect Pakistan to agree to part with the area, which is under its firm control since 1948. Therefore, all talk of `new concept', `unified Kashmir' or third alternative and the like is neither realistic nor practicable. While presenting the Shimla agreement to the Pakistani National Assembly for approval, Z.A.Bhutto (the then Pak President) told the Assembly that the right of self-determination had been virtually lost in 1948 when Pakistan accepted the U.N. resolution providing for withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the area. under their control while India had been required to withdraw only bulk of its forces. He reminded his countrymen that in 1964 the U.N. had given a consensus, not a resolution on Kashmir and in 1965 it had refused even to mention Kashmir by name speaking instead of political problem underlying the conflict. Further, Bhutto said if the U.N. had not been able to implement any of its resolutions how could people expect it to solve the issue which had been on its agenda for 25 years. It was after this speech that the Pakistani National Assembly ratified the Shimla Agreement by an overwhelming majority.

 The people of Jammu and Ladakh regions and native Pandit population of Kashmir Valley cannot be deprived of the benefit of principle of autonomy and democracy, which is considered sacrosanct for the Muslims of the Valley.

 There are two reasons why`Kashmir', `Kashmiri' and `Kashmiriat' overshadowed every other thing in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. One reason was the Abdullah factor. Sheikh Abdullah had an unsatiable desire to carve out a Sheikhdom for himself and his dynasty. He got massive support from the Communists to achieve this aim. Communists had a long-term plan to turn Kashmir into another Outer Mongolia. Communists in those days were working through the National Conference. The Communist leader, G.M.Sadiq, who was also senior National Conference leader himself paid two visits to lahore and Karachi to seek Jinnah's (the creator of Pakistan) endorsement to independent Kashmir under the National Conference, led by Abdullah. Jinnah flatly refused to go by this line and warned Sadiq that Abdullah and his party must close their shop as they had no role. Jinnah expressed confidence that Kashmir was in his pocket. Disenchanted with Jinnah, Communists advised Abdullah to persuade India to agree to an independent Kashmir. Pakistani invasions forced them to agree to some weak link with India. This was due to sheer necessity of escaping from forced annexation by Pakistan.

 The Communists who had opposed `Quit India' (massive agitation led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 for the British to leave India) movement fully supported and participated in the `Quit Kashmir' movement. While Quit India slogan was for British to quit and hand over power to Indians, the absurdity and foolishness of Quit Kashmir was quite patent. Maharaja Hari Singh was as much a native of the State as Abdullah was. He should have been asked to abandon the throne and hand over power to the people. But asking him to quit Kashmir was mysterious. It only meant that he along with Dogra Hindus should leave Kashmir and go to Jammu. Sheikh was wise enough to appreciate that his Sheikhdom could be restricted to Kashmir only. As regards native Kashmiris known as Pandits, he had already warned them in 1931 and given them three choices: Raliv, Chaliv, or Galliv: (Get converted to Islam; or leave the State or get killed).

 Sheikh's uncompromising demand was that the Dogra Maharaja quit the terrain of the Valley for him and yet it was the same Maharaja who had done tremendous work for development of Muslims. Abdullah, who was better educated and well informed, never told his innocent audience that their oppression and suppression was the result of uninterrupted rule of Muslim tyrants for five centuries. He deliberately by-passed the truth that the brief spell of Sikh and Dogra rule had resulted in ending most of the economic atrocities, which had been inflicted on the Kashmiris by pleasure seeking Pathan tribal rulers from Afghanistan.

 After the circumstances made the Sheikh overlord of not only Kashmir Valley but also of Jammu and Ladakh, he fully utilised the opportunity to create Muslim hegemony, which he called Kashmiri aspirations and psych. He treated Jammu and Ladakh as conquered colonies. The communists, who had attracted to their cadres many intelligent young persons, poets, writers, and artists, launched propaganda blitz throughout the country about Kashmir's identity and personality. The Cominform, the communist apex forum provided enormous funds to various Associations, Societies, Councils and Fronts in India for the purpose. Later on, when the Communists realised that Abdullah was in touch with some American officials for carving an independent Kashmir under Western hegemony, they became bitter opponents of the Sheikh. They gloated over and publicly celebrated his dismissal in 1953. For Abdullah, Kashmir's identity and aspirations meant Muslim identity and Islamic aspirations. Like other states the only identity Kashmir could have was linguistic identity. But Sheikh Abdullah killed the Kashmiri language when he declared Urdu to be the official language of the State. Thus, he not only killed Kashmiri language but along with it Dogri and Ladakhi

languages also. The propaganda has so stuck that even today many political parties, intellectuals, media men talk of Kashmir's identity. Every state in our Union and every region in our states has its identity and the people have their psych. India is having unity in diversity. It has been our great misfortune that our country has been a victim of dynastic and monopolistic rule after independence. This has resulted in frequent aberrations in the implementation of our Constitution. In spite of the fact that the Constitution lays down well- defined procedures and spheres of activities of both Central and State Governments, people in many states had to resort to agitations on certain vital issues. But the Sarkaria Commission has studied the whole problem and given its recommendations. What is urgently required is the implementation of these recommendations.

 Another reason for Kashmir's overshadowing influence was Lord Mountbatten's commitment to Sir Winston Churchill that he would protect the Muslim interests in India even after partition and creation of Pakistan. This was evident in the way he pushed Jammu and Kashmir into the arena of cold war and later left no stone unturned to try the same in the case of the then princely State of Hyderabad. Had Sardar Patel not taken over the affairs of the Hyderabad State along with other States well in time, after Mountbatten's exit, Nehru- Mountbatten nexus would have inflicted upon the nation a special Article in the Constitution ensuring preservation of Hyderabad's identity. Even after Hyderabad's accession to India, for which India had to send army there, Jawaharlal Nehru repeatedly and persistently talked about preserving Hyderabad's identity, integrity and psych. In substance, it meant the same thing as Muslim identity and Islamic aspirations as in Kashmir. What constituted the State of Hyderabad? It consisted of Telangana, Marathwada and Northern Karnataka which included the districts of Raichur, Bidar and Gulbarga. Had not the States' reorganisation Commission in 1956 strongly recommended the division of Hyderabad State, we would have witnessed the Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, Shivaji Patil, Speaker of the Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) and Virendra Patil ex-Chief Minister of Karnataka being called Hyderabadis and asked to work for preservation of identity of Hyderabad. Had they not done so they would have been labelled as communalists. SRC's recommendations were so convincing and forceful that Nehru, though surprised and unhappy, could do nothing to stall these recommendations.

The territorial analysis made here is not just a geographical and physical phenomenon. In a restricted sense, the Himalayas form the Northern mountain wall stretching from Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal, Naga Hills and Manipur. Poet Kalidasa has said in Kumarsambhava:
 
 

Astyuttarsyam dishi devatma
himalayo nama nagadirajah
Poorvaparav toyanidhee vagahaiya
sthitah prithvya eva maandandah

(In the North of our country stands the lord of mountains and very embodiment of divinity the Himalaya. Like a measuring rod of the earth spanning the eastern and western oceans.)

 Swami Vivekananda expounds this shloka (Sanskrit verse) as follows:-

 Important words in the verse are Devatma (ensouled by divinity) and Manadanda (measuring rod). The poet implies and suggests that the Himalaya is not a mere wall accidentally constructed by nature. It is ensouled by divinity and is the protector of India and her civilisation not only from the chill, icy blasts blowing from the Arctic region but also from the deadly and destructive incursions of the invaders. The Himalaya further protects India by sending great rivers such as Sindhu, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra perennially fed by melting ice and irrespective of the monsoon rains. Mandanda implies that the poet affirms that the Indian civilisation is the best of all human civilisations, and forms the standard by which all other human civilisations past, present and future must be tested.

 Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu are in the extreme North of the country and border China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Muslim Republics of erstwhile U.S.S.R.

 Karakoram range lies in the North of the Himalayas. The glaciers of Karakoram are some of the largest mountain glaciers in the world. Siachen, the largest glacier is 70 kilometres long. Siachen has assumed great significance because Pakistan has been trying its best for the last several years to overcome this area. In the hostile confines of this glacier, our troops are trained as much for countering the elements of weather as for combating the Pakistanis across the frontier. In a region that taxes both man and machine to the hilt, survival itself becomes a challenge. The gruelling posting is considered a credible method of heightening the patriotism of our forces. Those who serve in Siachen develop a certain pride of having participated in the most distinctive disposition of troops deployment in the world. Nowhere in the world are troops deployed at such great heights and such a difficult tract. Acclimitisation is induced through week-long road journey from Pathankot to Leh and onward to the Siachen base camp, the trek involving the crossing of three mountain ranges. Another accesss to Leh is from Pathankot via Manali, Patsio, Sarchu, Upshi and Karu in the Kangra Valley. Both these roadways are open a mere four to five months during the summer time, remaining snow-bound for the rest of the year. Thus, there is a terrific urgency and hurry to rush over adequate stocks of and ammunition every summer. The mode of air transport is basically from Chandigarh to Leh or from Chandigarh to Thoise by helicopters or airdropping from fixed wing aircraft. In the onward trek, one finds that the ground underneath is shifting and breaking into clods of ice as each step is taken. On the right side is the trickle of a river and beyond that massive peaks rising vertically to twenty thousand feet and which cannot be seen unless one takes the load off one's back to be able to look up. One trudges on sombrely, concentrating on the footprints of the man ahead, as a wrong step would invite a descent into a crevasse and eternity. The coloured pennants have the effect of a puff of oxygen. One takes a deeper breath, gives an upward jerk to the rucksack, moves the goggles up the forehead and willingly increases the steps to keep pace with the lead soldier. Then when one least expects it, on a turn of the ripped path, the column suddenly stops and down there are the flags and that small abode of stone and mud structure. Memories of pain, successes, failures and of friends who perished come flooding in, with tears and gratitude to the Divine Master. The loads are off the back, weapons are neatly stacked. Each man gets up, chooses a right-sized stone and places it on the wall that shields his group from glacial winds. The fluttering pennants and the glacier provide the only sound in that primeval scene as the soldiers lift up their rucksacks and weapons. The troops are accommodated in fibre glass huts and dug-in-bunkers or snow huts carved into frozen cliffsides. Water is a major problem - it has to be melted out of snow over kerosene stoves and used before it is deep freezed again by winter temperatures of -25 to -40 degrees Celsius or summer temperatures of -5 to -20 degrees Celsius. While a daily wash is well-nigh impossible in these frigid heights, there are occasions when jawans feel like having a brisk-scrub. Initially burns sustained through negligent contact with lighted stoves and hot kerosene is rather frequent. Since water is scarce, one of the many methods the troops have evolved to conserve it is to abstain from shaving. consequently, all our forward troops in this region bristles and very often it is difficult to make one out from other.

 In these forbidden conditions, even a mundane chore like answering the call of nature becomes lethal. Probably, this is the only activity which draws the jawans out of their quarters for as little as five minutes a day. But often they are forced to flee on account of the snipper fire from Pakistani pickets across the Line of Control. One big problem is how to dispose off the human waste. Chemical treatment is used in Antarctica, but there the team strength is smaller and more manageable. Biodegradation is also out of question as Siachen is far too cold for microorganisms to be effective. Incineration by kerosene or petrol is also possible but these resources are needed for their more conventional uses. However, we are sure our scientists will soon be able to evolve viable alternatives. Government is reported to have decided to reduce the number of regular infantry troops and replace them with newly-raised units of Ladakh Scouts. This is a welcome decision. It will save on acclimitisation process. Ladakhis are better prepared to face the elements. Acclimitisation is far easier for them. Frequent rotations can also be avoided. Traffic to and from the posts, which is causing serious problems at present, will be comparatively easy.

 The strategic areas in the Northern parts of Ladakh are Valleys of Nubra and the Shyok. There is another area called Lingtzi Tang south of Depsang. Here in these high cold plains, the last spurs of the Karakoram gradually subside. In between them are the shallow Valley of Chip Chap, Galwan and Chang Chin Mo, all falling under Shyok. There are numerous lakes scattered here. They contain much salt and soda deposits. Another portion of this region is also called Aksai Chin. A caravan route follows Nubra and Shyok to pass over to Sinkiang over the Karakoram Pass, which is the highest pass in the world. Between the Shyok and the Sindhu, there is the range of Kailash, which extends into Tibet where the famous dome-shaped Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva is situated, north of Lake Mansarowar. Along the Sindhu runs the Ladakh range. South of Zaskar is the great Himalayan Range, which in a mighty curve goes into the South-East into Himachal Pradesh. On it there are number of important passes across it, namely, Burzil, Zoji La, the latter leads from Kashmir Valley to Leh and Bara Lacha La and again leads to Leh from Lahoul in Himachal Pradesh. South of Central Himalayan Range is the Pir Panchal Range. Inside this Range is the Valley of Kashmir. The Range merges with the Himalayas near Deo Tibba in Himachal Pradesh. It touches the high Valley of Lahoul, which is drained by the rivers Chandra and Bhaga, which join to make up the river Chandrabhaga or Chenab. Rohtang Pass cuts Pir Panchal. In Jammu and Kashmir there are at least ten parallel ranges as follows:-
 
 

  • The Aghil

  • The Karakoram

  • The Kailash

  • The Ladakh

  • The Zeskar

  • The Great Himalayas

  • The Pir Panchal

  • Dhaula Dhar

  • The Lesser Himalayas and

  • The Shivalik

Ladakh's strategic importance for the country is paramount. But for the last 45 years, governments have concentrated on pampering the minisicule Valley of Kashmir. The nation at large appears not only unaware but apathetic to the sacrifices being made by the personnel of our armed forces, Indo-Tibetan Border Force and last but not the least the Border Roads Organisation. The 85 km. snow covered stretch of the Srinagar-Leh highway from Gund to Drass in Kargil is dotted with memorials of the brave BRO men and officers, who were buried alive under the avalanches during snow clearance operations undertaken every year to keep the major road link between Ladakh region and rest of the state open. The BRO has to launch snow-clearing operations every year atop Zojila - one of the world's highest roads bearing about 56 major avalanches. Zojila experiences the heaviest snowfall in the region. Our intellectuals never find any time to study the problems of this region. Their vision gets blocked in the Kashmir Valley particularly the city of Srinagar where they find wazawan too delicious to think of anything else.

 The obscurantist policy of the Indian Government in regard to kashmir has endangered the security and defence of our country. Looking at the Islamic crescent from East to West, it is clear that the fundamentalist zealots are attempting to create a nucleus of an Islamic block extending from China to Turkey and Morocco to Malaysia. Iran's megalomaniac ambition to spread its fanatic philosophy is a major threat. Kashmir is very important to them for this axis. Even without taking into account Islamic axis threat, the real threat exists on account of Pakistan-China border link. Pakistan-China alliance is overlooking the entire northern frontier of India. Mr. James Clad, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has stated following his discussions with senior officials in New Delhi that the Indian Government was under tremendous pressure to cede further territory in Kashmir, so that Pakistan and China could feel secure about the road linking the two countries. India is in occupation of Saltoro Ridge of The Siachen Glacier and Pakistan forces are only a little distance away facing them. In the Siachen area the demarcation of the Line of Control ends abruptly at Point NJ9482. India's position is that the line must be extrapolated North to Siachen glacier, which is located in the Karakoram range to the North-West of Nubra Valley. Pakistan's contention is that the line should extent to North-West of Karakoram Pass. This will enable Pakistan to link up with the Chinese forces who are at the Karakoram Pass.

 There are reports from China emanating from official sources that China is setting up direct air links from Beijing and Hong Kong to Lhasa and other Tibetan towns. This daring reform was aimed at ending ethnic separatism and seems to be intended to accelerate the transfer of Chinese settlers to Tibet and drown recalcitrant Tibetans in a sea of Chinese. It is estimated that Chinese settlers already out-number Tibetans by 1.5 million in the regions of Amdo, Kham and Uitang taken together. Under the covering policy of opening Tibet to foreign investment, hordes of Chinese themselves will swarm Tibet and convert it into a real province of China. China is exporting M-9 and M-11 tactical technology to Pakistan. She is contemplating formal transfer of weapons as well as sale of systems engineering and production information to Pakistan. China is not a member of Missile Transfer Control Regime (MTCR) which prohibits such exports. Although informally she has agreed to adhere to these restrictions but there are indications that ultimately she will affect the transfer of these missiles as well as nuclear missiles to Pakistan. Pentagon may perform the post-mortem subsequently but finally the U.S. will also acquiesce.In fact, China is currently engaged in arms build-up and acquisition of advanced technology to further its aim of regional dominance and power projection that may change the balance of power in the region. China has also purchased heavy transport aircraft MI-17 (Hip) helicopters and air to air refuelling capabilities. China has also recently bought 26 SU-27 Flankers. She has also made other military purchases with the aim of changing the balance of power in the region. While immediate goal of China is arms build-up but the underlying aim is to gain expertise to develop her own arms.

 Both China and Pakistan have become beneficiaries from the break-up of the Soviet Union. The old Red Army's machine guns, rockets, tanks and jets and other weapons are being stolen and sold by the officers and men to whosoever may pay them cash. AK-47 assault rifles and spare parts for vehicles are openly available and shipped to all sides through Serbia. In the Caucasus, one of the largest military districts of the former Soviet Union, there have been innumerable thefts and weapon sales. An entire ammunition depot was stolen and resold. Russia's defence Ministry reported hundreds of thefts from its arsenals during the year 1992. In early 1993, a quasi-private firm in Kharkov, Ukrain, advertised millions of dollars worth of planes, tanks, submarines and rockets. China and Pakistan due to geographical contiguity have laid their hands on bulk of these arms and equipment. China and Pakistan are having close military collaboration. With active Chinese assistance, Pakistan is developing four ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 600 km. The Brazilian SS-300 missiles' design has influenced them. The Chinese M-11 Project, which in turn assisted Pakistan's HATF-2 intermediate range missile programme with a range of 300 km and a 500 kg warhead. China is aiding Pakistan in intermediate range missile programme HATF-3 which has a range of 600 km. When Pakistan was active member of Western military bloc against China, the latter had developed deep friendship with Pakistan. China was convinced that Pakistan's anti-China stance was only for getting arms from U.S. and in reality it only wanted to destroy India. It was during India-China honeymoon that the Beijing-Islamabad highway was built through Karakoram which now hangs like Damocles sword on India's head.

 China has developed good working relationship with Western countries mainly via its strong relationship with the U.S., the Jewish lobby and Israel. Israel is being used as a conduit to supply Western weapons to China. With the help of the West, particularly the U.S., (via Israel), China for the first time has been able to deploy short range missiles tipped with nuclear bombs in Tibet. She is also working towards manufacture of long-range missiles. After the Sumdong Chu episode in 1986-87 and exposure of its military weakness after its dismal performance against Vietnam in 1979, China is taking all possible steps to become a major super power in the world. Actually, China is preparing an arms spending spree to turn itself into a military giant, with a previously weak navy being beefed up to operate beyond her own coastal waters. The airforce is also set to benefit through the import of highly modern fighting planes from the former Soviet Union. An aircraft carrier is also planned to be put on stream, which would boost the power of air force by giving it a sea base. China is also working on acquiring cruise missiles. She wants to fill the maritime vacuum left by the dissolved Soviet Union on one hand and the withdrawal of U.S. 7th Fleet from Philippines on the other. Mr.Yang Shangkun, Chinese head of State, while addressing the military, told them that "enemy forces in the international arena could burn their fingers over China if they do not behave well". An article in the army paper Yiefangyunbao spoke of a strengthened army being "like a tiger with wings and cannot be defeated by any enemy". After the Gulf War in 1991, the Chinese leadership concluded that the most modern technology available should be imported and developed to catch up in areas where they were lagging behind. Beijing is also interested in snapping up MIG-31 planes, as well as rocket ground defence with radar systems. She is also reported to have received Patriot defence technology from Israel, while Iran apparently delivered technology acquired from the U.S. on refuelling in mid-air. China entices Russian arms and nuclear experts with cash offers to do business and the Russian President spoke on a visit to Beijing of good prospects for further weapons deliveries to China. China which until recently was not a sea power of any significance and which could cover only its coasts has now set in that field also, developing new frigates and destroyers armed with rockets. China is planning to develop three large marine bases. She has also built up island of Hainam near the Spartly Islands. China wants to control international shipping routes in the region. It is also the sole nuclear power in the region. China is aggressively wooing Myanmar and has been granted a base by the Yangon regime in the Bay of Bengal.

 It could be a great contribution to mankind if India, Pakistan and China could live as friendly neighbours and develop a similar kind of relationship that countries of Europe have with each other. This can only be achieved if India maintains a military capacity so as to take on both China and Pakistan at the same time. The West uses our inconsequential neighbour, Pakistan as a bait to neutralise India and also push it to sign the N.P.T. so as to make India an impotent country. India must maintain a well-prepared supply of nuclear weapons at all costs. A couple of thermodynamic explosions appear advisable to make China and Western sponsors of Pakistan more friendly to us. India should not remain in-waiting for a catastrophe. In 1962, it was our humiliation but now it will be our destruction.

 Part of the military headquarters for southwestern China is to be shifted to Tibet. A construction project 10 kms. south west of Lhasa has become the new headquarters for the Tibet military district, which was earlier based near Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, 1300 kms. to the east. The size of the headquarters stretching for more than a kilometre in length suggests that part of China's south western command headquarters - the Chengdu military region - may also be moving to Lhasa. The new site along the road to Gongkar airport consists of about 40, three storeyed buildings each containing about 40 rooms, suggesting it will house upto 15000 men. The new site will not be devoted only to barracks and weaponry facilities, several of which are already stationed around Lhasa, but to the command and administration structure. China has already developed a rapid deployment system to move soldiers into Tibet from inland Chinese provinces at great speed. The military construction outside Lhasa is part of a wave of civilian and military development activity apparently, designed to cater to thousands of Chinese migrants seeking new opportunities in the region. In order to facilitate the new developments, Chinese officials had replaced local Tibetan administrators in some rural areas. China is reported using Tibet as a dumping ground for nuclear and chemical waste endangering the ecology of the Himalayas from where the rain-water washes over India and from where major rivers of India begin.

 In this context the strain on Indian defence positions in the Siachen Glacier complex has increased manifold. Pakistan has already ceded to China the Sahaksgram Valley. This area dominates the Shyok river approach connected to Pakistani Khapalu Garrison. It has become increasingly difficult for India to vacate the glacier and expose the northern area of sub-sector West to future Khapalu and Dansum threats. Ladakh Scouts are confronting Chinese border guards in northern Indira Col-Siachen Complex. Indian troops in this sector are wedged between Pakistan and China. Contrary to the declared policy of the United States, military links between her and Pakistan are continuing. A 63 member U.S. Army Rangers Team held in March, 1993, a joint military exercise with the Pakistan Army commandos of the Special Service Group (SSG) at Peshawar. The exercise was ostensibly dedicated to mastering high altitude warfare techniques. The S.S.G. has developed an expertise in high altitude warfare and is most regularly developed in the Siachen theatre. Coupled with the U.S. interest in understanding the dynamics of high altitude warfare is the S.S.G.'s need to fully grasp the deployment parameters for a special operations force in terrains like Siachen. With S.S.G.'s critical role in Siachen, the possibility also exists of a fall-out in operations there. Unlike India, which is conservative in using its special forces, Pakistan has consistently used the S.S.G. as a spearhead. India has to always keep reality into consideration. China's military capabilities are increasing. Sino-Pak strategic links are strengthening. Our Army's internal security responsibilities are also on the rise. Therefore, even a thought should never arise for shrinking of assets within formations. The man- power reduction process which began in late 1989 must be abandoned. The imbalance between recruitment and retirement must be corrected. Washington, Bonn, Paris and Tokyo, who are pressing for cut in India's defence expenditure, must be convincingly apprised of India's defence requirements. China has a standing army of three million men.

 India is the only major country that is faced with genuine security threats. She needs nuclear option to constraint both Pakistan and China. India has to develop nuclear weapons and Agni missile to deter China in Tibet. India has been marginalised in the global order while its great neighbour China has been able to create a visibility, because of its belligerence backed by military power. Pakistan seems to have persuaded many Americans that Kashmir is the core issue between India and Pakistan and is connected to the nuclear issue. With the growth of its nuclear capability, Pakistan concurrently raised the level of tension and after nearly three decades raked up the Kashmir issue by waging a proxy war. Pakistan has been able to influence America to link her nuclear proliferation as an India-Pakistan problem. Pakistan's military bureaucratic complex, which largely controls her power structure, has succeeded not only in acquiring legitimacy for its nuclear bomb, but also made it credible. The U.S., which kept one eye closed when Pakistan was pursuing its clandestine weapon programme, seems to have reconciled to a nuclear-armed Pakistan, noise about Pressler ammendment not withstanding. One way to deprive Pakistan of the nuclear bomb is the Israel way, destroying Pak nuclear weapon facilities by bombing. The other and the only possible way is to have a double deterrent. Pakistan has been suggesting to have a nuclear weapon-free zone in South Asia. The SARC countries are also supporting it. America has been pressing India to sign N.P.T. Pakistan has also made India's signing the N.P.T. as a condition for doing so. Thus, India is presented as villain of the piece. India's dilemma is not understood and cannot be understood by the West and other advanced countries like japan. India has to confront a treacherous Pakistan. The very mention of this may be considered ridiculous. But hard experience has taught this to India. In early 1948, Pakistan firmly denied in the U.N. Security Council its Army being involved in the war in Jammu and Kashmir. But when the U.N. Commission was about to visit the situation on spot, Pakistan unashamedly officially informed the U.N. Security Council that her army had been fighting the war with India in Kashmir. In 1965, Pakistan sent its Army personnel in disguise and called them Mujahidden and later openly pushed its army into Kashmir, violated its ceasefire line and international border in Chhamb on 1st September, 1965 and simultaneously denied any involvement . Its propaganda was so fierce that even the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson blamed India for violating the international border in the Lahore sector while Pakistan had already done it six days before. But ultimately truth prevailed and Wilson regretted his statement and felt sorry for spoken a lie. Wilson confessed that he had been wrongly briefed by his Commonwealth office. Later Lt. Gen. R.H.Nimu of Australia, Chief of U.N. Observer Group in Jammu and Kashmir sent his report to the U.N. Security Council blaming Pakistan for violating the cease-fire line. But all this happened after tremendous harm had been done to India's interests. No harm was caused to Pakistan for speaking lies. Even earlier in 1948, Sir Owen Dixon, a jurist of international repute was sent by U.N. Security Council to the sub- continent with wide powers to bring about peace between India and Pakistan. This is what he said in his report:

 "Without going into causes or reasons why it happened, which presumably formed part of the history of the sub-continent, I was prepared to adopt the view that when the frontier state of Jammu and Kashmir was crossed on, I believe October 20, 1947 by hostile elements, it was contrary to international law and when in May, 1948 as I believe, units of regular Pakistani forces moved into the territory of the State, that too was inconsistent with international law".

 Did violation of international law on three occasions affect Pakistan in any way? Not at all. On the first two instances, Pakistan was made a party to the Kashmir case instead of being named as aggressor. Suppose Pakistan violates the treaty and uses nuclear weapons against India, Indians will die, what harm comes to Pakistan? Will the world countries join India to find out what Pakistan was having or doing inside its territory? It were America's nuclear teeth which made the United Nations Organisation to rally round her to find out what was happening inside Iraq. Desperation can result in anything. Did not Iraq indulge in chemical warfare against Iran? Thousands of people got killed. Have they been revived? In their weaker moments, Americans also used napalm bombs in Vietnam and that also on civil population. It is naive and futile to think that Pakistan will abide by any agreement if it is required to save its Islamic pride when defeated in future war. The U.S.-Pakistan arms treaty signed in mid fifties, under which Pakistan got massive U.S. arms free of cost, contained a specific clause that those arms will be used only against Communist China and in no case against India. But Pakistan used these arms openly and freely against India during India-Pakistan conflict of 1965. When the U.S. government protested, Pakistani President Gen. Ayub Khan bluntly and publicly announced that Pakistanis were not bloody fools to keep these arms in cotton slabs while she was fighting a war with India. What was the U.S. reaction? Supply of more and more arms and massive spare parts for earlier ones. Fate of N.P.T. or South Asia Nuclear Free Zone Treaty cannot be different. Fanaticism and frustration will not allow Pakistan to see the futility and danger of using the bomb. The only deterrent can be for India to have ten for Pakistan's one and let Pakistan know that India will retaliate. It should not be difficult for Pakistan to understand that any nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan may result in partial and sporadic harm to India, it will mean doom and total destruction of Pakistan. Has not North Korea repudiated N.P.T.? In regard to possession of nuclear arsenal by India, a retired General has rightly said: Prepare or perish. Some experts are of the view that the nuclear issue is only and India-Pakistan problem and China's being a nuclear power need not concern India. They contend that China's nuclear might and nuclear proliferation consequent to Soviet disintegration are no threats to India. According to them China has attained its objective when it acquired Indian territory in the 1962 war and it has no ambition left now vis-a-vis India. This is a mere illusion. When China annexed Tibet in 1950, the same opinion was held by India's Neroes at that time. They preached us that China wanted that much and no more and shouted Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai (Indians and Chinese are brothers). India and China signed the Freindship Treaty in 1954. But what was the result? China launched an invasion on India in 1962. India was defeated, humiliated and lost strategic territory. Had not United States of America, U.K., Canada, West Germany and Australia responded generously to Nehru's pathetic appeal, China would never have announced unilateral cease-fire. The spectre of friendship and enmity is not permanent. Interests of nations go on changing. India's security concerns transcend Pakistan and extend to China and beyond. Policy makers in the U.S. should appreciate that twisting India's arms will be harmful for all. India's legitimate threat perceptions are not confined to the sub-continent.

 We should not forget that when in 1965, we had to face Pakistani aggression, China gave us 72 hour ultimatum in support of Pakistan. Kashmir outside India or its weak links with India would enable China to take over the entire Ladakh region and make the Kashmir Valley its base for penetrating into India as deep as Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, to keep Indian troops tied up in Himachal Pradesh and Garhwal and Kumaon Hills in U.P. and then cut off North Bengal, Assam and the entire North-East. The enemy will get tactical and behind the lines support from various terrorist outfits, which have already been sponsored in various border States. This is not a mere imagination but a real possibility and is based on our experiences in 1962 and 1965. How can we forget that at the height of China's offensive in November, 1962, India's Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, virtually abandoned Assam when he spoke over All India Radio. It is a sad fact that there is a marked apathy in many parts of the country about the looming disaster. Our history is full of instances when historic battles were being fought in one part of the country, people in other parts stood aloof, thinking that they were far away and safe. What happened? The entire country was enslaved for many centuries. And we were able to free ourselves only after we agreed to cutting our two limbs and creating two Islamic countries both on the East and West. Lakhs among us were massacred, abducted and raped, houses destroyed and belongings looted. Millions of people were forced to abandon their hearths and homes and turn refugees.

 Kashmir Valley is the base for the defence of this entire northern region of this country. Therefore the country must seriously think how to deal with our progressives and intellectuals who feel great pleasure in propounding the absurd theory of a third alternative in Kashmir by handing it over to the same elements, who have been raping it in the past. The first act of the desperadoes used to be to demand from Kashmiris Zar biddam; Zan Biddam. (Give us money give us women). However, adequate realisation has begun to dawn on the Western powers in regard to importance of Kashmir to India's nationhood and to its very existence as an independent sovereign country. The British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr.Mark Lennox-Boyd condemned militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir and voiced support for India's efforts to deal with the terrorist threat. Mr.Lennox-Boyd spoke in the House of Commons on 20th February, 1992 after the question was raised in a debate by Mr.Terry Rooney a newly elected M.P. from Brandford North - a constituency populated by a large number of Mirpuri Muslims calling themselves Kashmiris. Mr.Lennox-Boyd briefly outlining the history of Kashmir, said, much has happened since India and Pakistan originally agreed to a plebescite covering the entire princely State as set out in the U.N. resolutions in the late 1940s, and 1950s. The issue then was whether Kashmir should accede to India or to Pakistan, not independence, he said in his reply to Mr.Rooney's question. Mr.Lennox-Boyd said that since then India and Pakistan had reached a fresh agreement in 1972 pledging to settle differences peacefully and bilaterally and committing themselves to a final settlement of the issue. so, the earlier agreement was superceded by the 1972 agreement, he said. The Minister said Britain had consistently condemned those who resort to terrorist tactics for political ends. The bomb and the bullet are no substitute for the ballot box. "We support the Government of India in their efforts to deal with the challenge from terrorist violence in Kashmir."

 Mr.Robert Toricelli, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and also of the House Sub Committee on Asian and Pacific Affairs in the U.S. Government, speaking about Kashmir in February 1993 said, "The United States fought a deadly civil war that killed hundreds of our people for the single proposition that this Union would stand and that no one has the right to divide it. The people of India have the same right."

 In this wide world everybody is free to discuss anything or hold any views. This applies particularly to the people in the West. But in our country some people take a very casual view and think aloud about the future of Kashmir. They care two hoots for the country's law and the Constitution. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an autonomous organisation set up by the Act of U.S. Congress and is part of Federal Government. There is hardly a thinktank in the U.S. that does not have a CIA smell in it. The Carnegie Institute as also the East-West Centre at Honolulu are also suspected to be like that. It is very difficult if not impossible to confirm such accusations. In early seventies, Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then President of Indian National Congress used to make such charges very often with full sense of responsibility. Mrs.Indira Gandhi had set up a Commission if Inquiry headed by Justice P.D.Kudal of Rajasthan High Court to investigate the wrong doings in the Gandhi Peace Foundation. Justice Kudal, after several year's labour submitted his report and indicted the Foundation on several counts, among them charges of spying, of harbouring anti-national militants with allegations of corruption and of waging bacterial warfare against the country. In mid-January, 1993, USIP held a four day discussion on Kashmir in Washington, D.C. The convenor of the meeting was Robert Oaklay, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. Discussions were conducted by Ambassador Sam Lewis, who heads the State Department's Policy Planning Council. Seven Americans, eight Pakistanis and seven Indians took part. What they discussed is irrelevant so far as India is concerned. India's Prime Minister, P.V.Narasimha Rao was not barking as Bhutto's proverbial Indian dog when he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August, 1992 that Kashmir was an integral part of India and said that this was the bottom line so far as India is concerned. From the American side there was, among others, James Clad, who has figured increasingly in recent going-on about Kashmir. He happens to be fellow of another think-tank, Carnegie Institute for International Peace. There was another man from East-West Centre, Honolulu. Why is C.I.A. interested in Kashmir or rather in taking Kashmir away from India and setting it up as an independent State of its own? Carnegie did a study in India during 1992, which received a great deal of publicity in the U.S. The Carnegie Endowment Study group has presented another report titled India and America, the cold war. In this report it has been suggested that India unilaterally withdraw from Siachen as a stimulus to broader dialogue on confidence building measures. It has also been suggested that both India and Pakistan cut one armoured division, which may lead to force reduction and deployments. The Study Group's recommendation that Indian troops withdraw unilaterally from Siachen overlooks the history of Kashmir theatre, which is that Pakistan has always sought to fill any vacuum. Had India not pre-empted the Siachen forward movement in 1984, Pakistan may well have occupied the glacier. While India would welcome confidence-building steps for reducing border tension, Pakistan has repeatedly violated them. Parity between India and Pakistan seems to have become a dogma with the Americans. And like all dogmas this one too flies in the face of reality and clouds one's vision.

 In a large country like India there are always some sections asking for one thing or other. And none can prevent any person or group or even governments of other countries from doing what they might like to do. After getting fully disillusioned with the going-on in the U.N. Security Council about Kashmir, Jawaharlal Nehru was once constrained to call its functioning as international gangsterism. Some media persons and others have made it a habit to malign the country's security forces who are facing foreign sponsored insurgency in Kashmir. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Whenever the Government of India, takes a step forward in regard to Kashmir, it immediately takes two steps backward. It now seems determined to further mess up things in Kashmir. It has brought back to the helm of affairs the very people whose ineptitude had virtually resulted in handing over the State to Pakistan inspired secessionists before Mr.Jagmohan set his shoulder in salvaging the situation in January, 1990. If Farooq Abdullah's tenure as Chief Minister was an unmitigated disaster for the State, Mr.K.V.Krishna Rao had done nothing to show that he can cope with the kind of situation that now prevails in the Kashmir Valley. It appears that the environment in which Mr.Krishna Rao will have to work has been pre-determined by Pilot-Farooq combine. To hound Mr.G.C.Saxena and bring back to power the very people who had brought disaster to the Valley, amounts to a cavalier gamble with the future of Kashmir, which deserves severe condemnation. It will be too much to believe that the Centre does not know of all this. The only rational explanation for its launching itself on a palpably disastrous course can be that Mr.Rajesh Pilot, the junior but high profile Minister of State for Home Affairs, who has been constantly meddling in Kashmir affairs, has had it orchestrated to add a feather to his deceptive political turban which he puts at prime occasions. Equally deplorable is the conduct of other Ministers, particularly the Prime Minister, Mr.P.V. Narasimha Rao, who have gone along with him. This new Rajesh Pilot-Farooq Abdullah accord has, among other serious fall-outs, plunged into a state of uncertainty the trans-Himalayan territory of ladakh. Government's approach to Kashmir problem is marked by total immaturity, tactlessness and recklessness. What Jammu and Kashmir needs today is political reorganisation especially in the Valley. No political process is possible unless the fundamental necessity of making the writ of law run and of a political reorganisation of the State is undertaken keeping in mind the political aspirations of all the three regions of the State and the religious minority of the kashmir Valley. After the writ of the government is accepted and the gun politics is crushed, the first priority is to enable the minority community of Kashmir to return and live in their homes which were theirs for millennia. It has been Kashmir's misfortune that everytime the situation showed promise of improving under a particular policy and style of functioning, the Central Government promptly put the brakes on, removed the crucial personnel and replaced them by a soft outfit and thus gave the terrorists all the time and encouragement to regroup and launch fresh and deadly assault. There can be no beginning of any kind of political process till the proxy war unleashed by Pakistan in the Valley is won decisively and normalcy is restored. For the last 45 years India has been banking on others. First it went to the U.N., leaned on the U.S.S.R. and now finally hopes that U.S. would declare Pak as a terrorist state. The U.S. will not oblige.

 It is a curse for our nation that we are being forced to carry over our shoulders the remnants of some families which have caused tremendous harm to the country. Look at that balloon, Farooq Abdullah. In an interview to the BBC on 12th March, 1993, he has said: "Restoration of pre-1953 status with irrevocable guarantee against any erosion could be a starting point in resolving the 45-year Kashmir crisis". He has added that a dialogue with Pakistan at the same time was necessary. According to him there should be no hesitation in involving mutually friendly countries like America, Britain and Russia with the Kashmiris as an essential party to any talk on the issue. The major thrust of Abdullah's interview was that the pre-1953 status should be restored to Jammu and Kashmir with "Delhi keeping only defence, foreign affairs and communication with it. The rest of the affairs should be allowed to be handled independently by the Kashmir Government." On the fulfillment of these conditions, he said he would return to Kashmir politics. On the day Farooq made the above statement to woo the terrorists, the latter removed the last sign of his existence in the Valley. He was dismissed from the Auqaf Trust which has an annual budget of nearly Rs. 3 crores. It is great misfortune of our country that a brief chameleon like Farooq Abdullah is considered a political leader. The hi-fi man, Rajesh Pilot has executed the whole drama. In his crusade and unrelenting bid to move central stage, this man whose megalomania is now well known, has been delegated such Powers as will further enhance his aforesaid trait. Perhaps Mr.Narasimha Rao does not know where this person, demonstrating his absolute faith in Mr.Rao, will one day land him and the nation. The murder of cardiac surgeon and one of the pioneers of subversion and terrorism, Dr.Abdul Ahad Gooru on 1st April, 1993 by one of the terrorist outfits, has blown to smithereens the unrestrained fervour of Rajesh Pilot. The terrorists' designs behind this murder conforms to a pattern. Earlier, prominent Human Rights leader, Hriday Nath Wanchoo was brutally murdered. Mr.Gooru's murder is the latest instance of how overground leaders have been dumped to death by terrorists after making use of them. Mr.Rajesh Pilot and those who share his views seem to think if they close their eyes, the whole world becomes dark. They must abandon their cosy assumption at once.

 Some people keep their eyes closed and concentrate their mind on fixed points. And what is worse they think that they have the monopoly of all the wisdom in the world. According to them, Jammu and Kashmir is still governed by the Constitutional Order promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh in the year 1939. According to these intellectuals Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in three subjects only, viz.Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications. This issue was raised by some other people also in the early fifties. Therefore, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India made an official announcement in Parliament of India on 7th August, 1952, He said:

"There still seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding about Kashmir's accession to India. The other day I said in this House that this accession was complete in law and in fact in October, 1947. It is patent and no argument is required because accession of every State in India was complete on these very terms by September in that year or a little later. All the States acceded in three basic subjects, namely Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications. Can anybody say that accession of any State in India was incomplete simply because they acceded in only these three subjects? Of course, not. It was a complete accession in law and in fact. When United Nations Commission accompanied by legal advisors and others came here, it was open to them to challenge it. But they did not because it was quite clear to them and to their legal advisors that there could be no question about the legal validity of the accession."

 In his autobiography Atish-e-Chinar, Sheikh Abdullah has said:

 "The Instrument of Accession signed by Hari Singh was the same as those signed by the rulers of other Princely states. According to it, once accepted, accession was full, final unconditional and irrevocable."

 These designated intellectives take shelter under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. They refuse to listen when they are told that this Article is purely temporary and provisional and should have disappeared by now. In February 1964, Pandit Nehru had assured the Lok Sabha that Article 370 would get eroded in due course and vanish ultimately. Mr.M.C. Chagla who was Education Minister in Pandit Nehru's cabinet at that time and who had represented India in many Security Council debates on Kashmir said in the Rajya Sabha in the tone of exasperation:

 "The Prime Minister the other day spoke of the gradual erosion of Article 370 of the Constitution. I hope that this erosion is accelerated and I also hope that very soon that Article will disappear from the Constitution of India. After all, it is transitional and temporary. I think transitional period has been long enough."

 Sri Chagla had been Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and was jurist of international repute. He was Education Minister of India and later India's Foreign Minister. His speeches in the U.N. Security Council on Kashmir are treasures of law, constitution and jurisprudence. He was surely more eminent to understand the genesis and status of Article 370 than some of the noted journalists who, after all, were employed as Information Officers in different Government Departments, during Pt. Nehru's Government and later. Pandit Nehru was for early annulment of this temporary provision in our Constitution. He, however, preferred an initiative to come from the State Government. G.M. Sadiq, who had just taken over as Chief Minister of the State, had assured him in regard to this initiative. He had already written an article in the Hindustan Times suggesting annulment of this Article. However Pt.Nehru's death, Pakistan's aggression of India in Rann of Kutchh and subsequently on Jammu and Kashmir itself, caused the postponement of such a step. And soon political detractors of Sadiq in his own party, impatient to usurp power, played the communal card by propping up Jammat-i-Islami. This made Sadiq's job difficult and he died very soon. By then Indira Gandhi regime got stabilised and only personal loyalty and devotion to Indira mattered and all other issues were put on the back-burner. This loyalty and sycophancy she got in abundance from Kashmiri leaders belonging to her Congress Party.

 The former princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in terms of Indian Independence Act and the Mountbatten Plan. The settlement about partition and transfer of contiguous Muslim majority areas to Pakistan applied to British India alone. It had no relevance to the princely States.

 The United States has been treating Pakistan with velvet gloves. Besides providing assistance worth billions of dollars to her, U.S. and its allies turned a blind eye on the successful effort of the Pakistani military establishment to acquire nuclear weaponry. The Reagan and Bush administration permitted Pakistan to acquire U.S. nuclear technology and then broke the law by hiding from Congress what they knew about Pakistan's pursuit of nuclear warheads. Pakistan is not being declared a terrorist State in spite of all evidence, on the plea that Pentagon has a deep linkage with Pakistani military establishment. President Bill Clinton has promised more job to Americans and is, therefore, sure to use economic or other power to expand American trade at the expense of countries like India. His administration appears to be a votary of bilateral pressure to increase American exports. Super laws and human rights are kept zooming round the world like U-2 planes of earlier days.

 America has begun to use the stick of human rights against India. This method has two-fold advantages. It will give respectability to its anti-India moves and also attract many supporters within India. India has not to learn lessons from U.S. on human rights, given its track record in Vietnam. India has its own security environment, its political, economic and social conditions, priorities and its own judgement of what needs to be done. People of India have basic character and traditional trait of courage of their convictions and to fight resolutely and relentlessly for their countries territorial integrity and other national interests unmindful of adverse international opinion. Linking of U.S. aid to India with its human rights record and taking objection to the laws which India has been compelled to enforce for its internal and external security will not brow-beat India into submission. Armed insurgency in Kashmir ought to be seen in the background of rising crescendo of Islamic fundamentalism and the theocratic regimes which are extending moral and material support to the terrorist movement. Islamic countries with pronounced fundamentalist orientation have their centres of subversion in various places in the country. The Kashmir insurgency is closely linked with the Afghan Mujahideen activities and Iranian export of Islamic revolution. Afghan and Sudanese mercenaries have already been active in the Valley and their number is likely to swell in the near future. Sections of the Indian civil society and some American experts and sections in various Indian political parties like the left, Royists, self-styled human right activists etc. are lending implicit support to the secessionist movement in Kashmir. The ISI has its active and passive agencies in the Valley. India needs to take two urgent steps in Kashmir. One is to enable the local population to get fed up with the insurgency and the second is to ensure that the enormous funds, which the government is pouring into the Valley, do not wholly become available to the terrorists. If this diversion of funds is not stopped at once, the Valley will prove to be a bottomless pit for India's resources.

"What is left undone in one minute is restored by no eternity"

Kashmir: Distortions & Reality

 

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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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