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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Prime Minister speaks it out

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee deserves to be congratulated for having spoken something in very plain words in his public speech at Jalandhar. This is what the nation had been looking for many years. It indicates that now there is clear and precise understanding of Kashmir issue at the centre.

What is the justification for the PMís contention that we shall not rest till we have regained that part of Kashmir, which is under Pakistanís illegal occupation? We are more than justified. The entire State of J&K acceded to the Indian Union in 1947. Pakistan conducted an aggression against us and illegally retained a part of the State territory. We have every right to throw her out physically. On December 31, 1948 only a cease-fire agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. It was not an agreement by virtue of which Pakistan got the right to retain her possession of PoK for all times to come. By the UNCIP resolution of 1948 and 1949, Pakistan was supposed to withdraw its troops and fighting men from the part of Kashmir it had occupied illegally. This would have paved the way for a plebiscite for deciding the future of the State. India could not wait indefinitely.

Pakistan did not only not withdraw the fighting men on her side, but integrated two-third of the occupied territory (now called Northern Areas) into Pakistan. It was done without seeking the consent of the people to whom the land and its resources belonged. It was done in secretive manner in Karachi. What is more, some of the signatories to the Karachi accord today deny having signed the accord. This has given rise to a big controversy on the validity of incorporation of Northern Areas into Pak territory.

Furthermore, Pakistan ceded more than five thousand kilometers of Kashmir territory to China in Aksaichin in order to facilitate China to build the Karakorum Highway providing overland link between Beijing and Karachi. This highway passes through Kashmir territory and has been constructed illegally without the permission of India. The Government of India reserves the right to strike at this strategic road link and destroy it because it poses security threat to Indiaís sovereignty and territorial integrity. China and Pakistan are reported to have installed missile bases along this highway.

For last couple of years Islamabad has been trying to bring about a drastic change in the demographic complexion of Northern Areas. People from NWFP are brought to Gilgit and Baltistan for permanent settlement. They are generally recruited in the police cadres and constabularies and are provided many facilities to get themselves settled down in the area. Thousands of families are reported to have already settled down. This formula is being extended to the remaining part of PoK as well. The idea is to increase the numerical strength of the settlers who would suppress the locals and their aspirations. Tension and clashes between the settlers and indigenous people have been reported in Pakistani media.

There are no fewer than six political organizations in the Northern Areas and an equal number in PoK who have been vociferously demanding freedom from Pakistanís occupation. They claim and rightly so that Gilgit and Baltistan are the integral parrot of the territory of the State of Jammu & Kashmir as under the Maharaja of Srinagar.  As such, they are the masters of the land and not Pakistanis.

One important grouse of the people of PoK including those of Northern Areas is that their natural resources are being looted by Pakistani investors and entrepreneurs without adequate compensation and share for the locals. Take for instance the use of water resource. A number of major rivers in the area originate and flow through Northern Areas. The people of these areas are entitled to the royalty for production of hydroelectric power or for utilizing the water for irrigation purposes. The same is the case with Mangla Dam.

Apart from this ground reality that reveals the measure of discontent among the local population in PoK, India has every right to strike with full force and take back the entire territory that belonged to the original State. The main reason is the establishment of dozens of terrorist training camps throughout the PoK and even close to the cease fire line. Here in these camps, Islamic fundamentalists are trained and indoctrinated and the pushed into Indian Territory to foment troubles and carry out subversive activities. A grand conspiracy of destabilizing India is undertaken in these camps. India has every right to strike at these camps, destroy them, take them into her possession and establish her sway over the entire PoK.

What Indian military planners should do is to capture Chitral, which has been part of the protectorate of the State of J&K under the rule of the Maharaja, and establish her Northern Frontier Command with all the possible military strength. This is needed to break once for all the colonial and imperial concept of creating buffers along the Himalayas. This will also be the most effective and result-oriented tactics of securing northern frontiers of India.

What India must take into account is the need to deny the lawless people of the frontier areas the usual opportunity of making armed forays into her territories, subject her citizens to loot, plunder, arson and strife. The backbone of this uncivilized and barbaric monster needs to be broken. Eventually, when Indian troops take possession of these territories and govern them as part of the Indian Union with a secularist, pluralistic and democratic dispensation, the local populace that has been tied down to religious fanaticism, economic backwardness and myopic visions will find an opening. They will become the rulers of their land in letter and in spirit by ensuring devolution of power.

Indian military and civilian planners must join heads to devise a blueprint for retaking PoK in a blitzkrieg. Doing so will have tremendously rewarding results. It will eradicate once for all the menace of forging intrigues and conspiracies in the area; it will bring an era of new thinking and new life for the people of the area; it will reinforce and cement the communal harmony among people of different faiths, cultures and ethnnicities. It will change the map of Central Asian strategies which, unfortunately, has become too exposed to the inroads of the Islamists on the one hand and the exploitative capitalists on the other.

In global strategy, India taking back PoK will cut China to her size. Beijingís clandestine hobnobbing with Islamabad in the matter of containing India will be dealt a serious blow. It will also enhance bilateral relations between India and the Central Asian States. May be it provides an overland link between India and Central Asia. It will give India a vantage position in the Central Asian political strategies.

Apart from all this, a step in this direction will resolve Kashmir question for all times to come. It is a natural and logical resolution of the ethno-religious cleansing of minorities in Kashmir. It is also a solution to ambivalent Kashmiri leadership and its blackmailing of the Indian State. It will establish India as the leading power in the region and China will think twice before embarking on any adventure in future. About Pakistan, it is a foregone conclusion that that state, having arrived at the stage of lawlessness and theofascists dispensation, is very close to her dismemberment. One major thrust by India into PoK will shatter her to pieces and the world powers who passionately want to get rid of the menace that Pakistan is, would never interfere. The time is ripe for India to strike hard and quick

But some analysts might be disposed to call the conclusions too sweeping and removed from reality. After all this means a full-fledged war with Pakistan, and perhaps a nuclear war as well.  It also means incurring the wrath of western powers and the OIC. The world press will cry at the top of its voice that India having called for peace all these years is now embarking on a massive war with unforeseen consequences.

Well, we cannot ignore these realities. A war has to follow Indian action in PoK, and Pakistan will respond using her nuclear option. One would have liked Islamabad to follow suit when India declared self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing. The second difficulty is that the area is lawless from times immemorial. Would India be doing a good thing by inviting confrontational policy with the local warring groups?

The fact of the matter is that Pakistan deliberately kept these areas backward and dependent. Her political interests lie in that policy. On the other hand India, a progressive and democratic state, would provide them the self-governing mechanism so that they do not fall into the hands of the forces inimical to their interests.

In final analysis, great nations do take certain big decisions in order to ensure the security and perpetuation of a system of governance people have given unto themselves. India has to move towards a definitive northern frontier policy not only in the context of Pakistan but also in the context of China and the western powers inching towards carving a strong foothold in Central Asia.



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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference, 1993
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