Kashmir: The Basics Tuesday, Nov 21 2006 

The basics of Kashmir row are that simple unless you give a spin to them.

It’s on these basics that India and Pakistan have fought three wars and came so close to another all out war during “Kargil War” in 1999.

It’s on these basics that unending bloodshed continues in Kashmir and the terrorists have taken the fight to almost all corners of India targeting innocent people.

It’s on these basics that the two adversaries have been readying for a final showdown in a nuclear battle field.

These basics had been summarized 55 years ago by a lesser known wise Indian, A.D. Gorwala.

Says the Pakistani Government: The bulk of the inhabitants of Kashmir are Muslims. It is a Muslim province. Pakistan is a Muslim State. Kashmir is contiguous to Pakistan. Its people wish to belong to Pakistan. It must belong to Pakistan.

Says the Indian Government: The fact that the majority of Kashmiris are Muslims has nothing to do with the country which Kashmir joins. The ruler of Kashmir acceded to India and the real leaders of the people of Kashmir, Muslims themselves, have clearly stated their desire to remain with India. Kashmir, therefore, must come to India. It is, in fact, a part of India. The part held by Pakistan is wrongly seized by aggression and must be vacated in favour of the real government. Then, we shall have a plebiscite to let the people of Kashmir decide their future.

Says the Pakistan Government: What is the use of such a plebiscite? The result will be a foregone conclusion. For a proper plebiscite, take away your soldiers, remove the government, have a neutral authority in power.

Says the Indian Government: Don’t be silly. Who are you to talk anyway? You let raiders into the land to loot and rape and helped them with your own troops. You are the worst type of aggressor. Get out of Kashmir and stay out. We are not going to let you interfere.

Says the Pakistan Government: But this is absurd. You plotted with the Maharaja. The people you call leaders are really your stooges. There must be a proper plebiscite. Our people are getting very impatient. We clench our fists at you. If you don’t listen and the United Nations don’t make you, we shall seek the arbitrament of war.

Says the Indian Government: Your allegations are false. If you restart fighting in Kashmir, prepare for an attack on Pakistan. In order to show that we are in earnest, we are moving troops very near your borders.

Says the Pakistan Government: This is fantastic. You are preparing for aggression. This is really terrible. Withdraw your troops.

Says the Indian Government: We won’t. It is time you learnt to behave.

Should these arguments be allowed to continue? Haven’t both sides paid dearly for sticking to their respective unrelenting stand? In what terms can we count the cost?

What a tragedy!

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Terroristan Saturday, Sep 2 2006 

The Musharraf dictatorship doles out ostensible support in
the war on terror to keep it in the good graces of Washington, while it
presides over a society that fuels and empowers militants at the
expense of moderates. And the political madrasas,…flourish and grow
under the military dictatorship. Why is it that the terrorist trail
always seems to lead back to Pakistan? Why are second-generation
Pakistani emigres far more attracted by this pattern of terrorism than
other disillusioned Muslims in the west? What is it about Islamabad
that puts it at the centre of terrorist plots?

In fact I’ve been thinking of posting a blog on this topic, but Benazir
Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan, has done it better than
anyone like me could have imagined. Of course she argues her case, but
the indictment is damning.

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Terrorism and Pakistan Friday, Aug 11 2006 

Since the British Authorities succeeded in unravelling the ‘airline bomb plot’ and arresting the suspected Islamist terrorists in London, Pakistan is painstakingly portraying itself as playing a key role in the operation that averted a huge tragedy.

Pakistan wants to be seen by the international community as a front-line country fighting terror along with other nations and thereby gloss over the fact that its soil is still being used by terror groups.

Two of the arrests made in Pakistan in connection with the ‘airline bomb plot’ are Britons of Pakistani origin. Two of the British Muslims involved in London tube bombings last year had visited Pakistan prior to the bombings. Al Qaeda kingpins are believed to be hiding in Pakistan or on the Pak-Afghan border. Forces fighting Taliban in Afghanistan are aware of the bitter truth that Pakistan is slack in containing the Taliban menace.

And more than anybody else India knows that Pakistan is the breeding ground for Islamist terrorism. Because India is a victim of Pakistan instigated terrorism and has been left alone to fight it without any international support.

The latest major terrorist strike in India was on July 11th (7/11) this year. A series of seven well coordinated and precisely executed explosions in railway stations and on passenger trains that evening killed about two hundred people and injured thousands.

I don’t know whether Mumbai blasts made headlines in the rest of the world as the ‘airline bomb plot’ did.

But Pakistan held a series of press meets to deny its role and lecture India. Pakistan accused India of making baseless allegations and gave Indians some advice!

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