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October 11, 2016

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Results of ‘state terrorism’ in IHK begin to dawn on Indians

Results of ‘state terrorism’ in IHK begin to dawn on Indians

ISLAMABAD: There’s no evidence that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are involved in the uprising in Kashmir, says India’s former National Security Adviser and West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan.

After nearly 100 days of curfew in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), with more than 110 Kashmiris reported to be killed, including men, women and young boys, 15,000 reportedly injured, 850 Kashmiris struggling with pellet injures with nearly 200 who have been blinded, the ‘inhumanity’ of the Indian forces appears to be never ending, but slowly and surely better sense appears to be prevailing amongst the intellectuals and a former National Security Adviser that this savagery cannot continue.

M.K. Narayanan on Monday commented that the basic causes (of continuing strife in IOK) were much deeper and the presence of over 200,000 people at Wani’s funeral needed a satisfactory explanation”.

The AP reported that it has been more than two decades that such a huge number of civilian protesters, nearly 8,000, have been arrested by Indian security forces this summer which include 400 who were picked up in nighttime raids last week alone. “Almost a hundred days of a daily diet of violence, more than seventy days of curfew across the state, very high figures of individuals killed and injured, including security personnel, all point to an extraordinary situation. No evidence has surfaced that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are involved in the violence, though Hizbul Mujahideen cadres are present in sizeable numbers. The vast majority of those involved in the agitation are, to all intents and purposes, ‘unattached’. Many come from the ranks of the educated unemployed. Some of the agitators are hardly ten or twelve”, he comments in The Hindu.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah had earlier commented: “Burhan’s ability to recruit into militancy from the grave will far outstrip anything he could have done on the social media.” Pakistan at the UN once again sought the world body's attention to the continued killings in Kashmir, saying, “the brutalization of people struggling for their legitimate right to self-determination constitutes ‘state terrorism’. “

Narayanan appeared to be almost echoing what saner elements have been warning ever since Kashmir spoke with one voice at Wani’s funeral. “This is turning into a battle for the minds of the Kashmiri youth. Using force of the kind employed against the Lashkar, Jaish and Hizbul against today’s 10 and 12-year-old schoolchildren would only inflame passions further. India has decisively won the battle against the foreign-based militants and terror outfits from Pakistan, but it now confronts a far graver problem of winning over the youth of Kashmir before an entire generation gets detached from India, a most frightening prospect”, says the former NSA.

He advised the Modi government to try to retrieve this situation, as it was necessary to recognize that, in marked contrast to earlier phases of trouble in Kashmir, the present movement is almost entirely home grown. 

The spontaneity of many ‘mini-uprisings’ demands a different explanation from earlier ones, for it smacks of near total alienation of an entire generation of young Kashmiris angry with the present state of affairs. Many are even willing to commit suicide to vent their anger.

“The ‘unattached’ militant involved in the current violence is a new phenomenon — and a far cry from the erstwhile ‘foreign’ militants. Kashmir had become accustomed since end-1988 to the presence of foreign militants and their involvement in stoking violence”, the former NSA cautions.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Pakistan’s combined efforts led by the Foreign Office, the Pakistan media and the ISPR, paid dividends when General Peter Pavel, Chairman Military Committee NATP, said in a statement after meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, “I have listened to the Prime Minister’s speech in Parliament where he eloquently expressed the issue of Kashmir. 

The Kashmir issue has to be addressed as two nuclear powers are party to it and the world cannot remain indifferent and must be concerned”.

Never before says the government has such direct support been stated by a visiting foreign dignitary on the dangers of regional turmoil if stability was not returned to the people of Kashmir.

Meanwhile, after acting like the regional bogey man, Modi appears to be rather quiet on his September 28 decision that he would review the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status given to Pakistan  after the Uri terrorist attack. 

After the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) review decision, the prospective MFN status review will seek to send a strong message to Pakistan regarding India’s intent to isolate it internationally. Indians like Prabhash Ranjan from South Asian University say if this goes through then the result will be escalation of tensions without much benefit.

“Given the negligible economic impact and potential legal problems, suspending MFN to impose trade sanctions on Pakistan will only escalate tensions without much benefit. Instead of weakening trade ties, India and Pakistan should pay heed to this famous claim that ‘when goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will,” he commented.

He pointed out that free trade connects countries, and thus incentivises peace.  “Empirically, it has been shown that higher levels of free trade reduce military conflicts. India and Pakistan should boost free trade amongst themselves, Pakistan should honour its MFN commitment to India in the WTO, and India should use the Saarc platform to push for deeper trade ties”, says this Assistant Professor of Law.

 

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