Will the Army's retreat from J&K be suicidal ?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Singh, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Kashmir, I admit, is my fixation, for I am a victim of its two-decade-long dalliance with death and destruction. The latest spark adding insult to injury is the reported acceptance by the Union home minister, P Chidambaram, of a proposal from the J&K state leadership seeking the suspension or revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA). However, even talk of its revocation could spell doom for the return of normalcy to the violence-ridden valley. Pakistan's ruinous internecine battle within may have its ramifications across the LoC, not by chance but by design.

    It was Chidambaram's first visit to the valley after he became home minister. Let him lead by example. If he looks soft by the exterior, let it not be mistaken as a sign of weakness. Flexing the iron hand in the velvet glove, I believe, is the need of the hour. If financial wizardry is his forte, strategic planning ought to be his bible in his new role. It is far too pre-mature at this stage to even think of putting on hold the AFSPA let alone its revocation. In any case, the unified Command - which comprises the Army brass, the governor, the chief minister and the Cabinet Committee on Security - has to deliberate the issue before a decision in this regard is made.

    Legend has it that Kashmir is the land of Kashyap rishi (seer), the eponymous saint who lent the 'vahr' (bowl-shaped) valley its name and identity, exterminated the 'asuras' (demons) who would devour the God-fearing aborigines. Mark, the first syllable is common to both - Kash-yap and Kash-mir. Born and brought up in the paradise-turned-cauldron, like tens of thousands of other Kashmiri Hindus - to be precise Kashmiri Pandits - I have been driven out of my motherland for no fault of mine by none other than the jihadis, brainwashed at a tender age by the scourge-on-earth - the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's supra-constitutional 'international-sabotage institution'.

    Americans have realised it post 9/11 - much, much after we Indians fell victim to Pakistan's machinations and the gory violence it unleashed in a bid to wrest control of the land which never was theirs. For 20 years we suffered at their hands in Punjab, and for the last two decades in Jammu & Kashmir in what is euphemistically termed a low-intensity conflict (LIC). What they failed to attain by outright aggression in 1947, '65 and '71, has been attempted by sowing the seeds of internal strife and secession.

    Only the Cowboy has gone the whole hog after them as he has the wherewithal and the will to exterminate the scourge.

    The grand old American democracy has introduced a plethora of all-encompassing legislation, including the Homeland Security Act and US Patriot Act, which permit the DNA profiling of people suspected of terrorist activity against the US or its interests and subjects abroad. That's what nations are legitimately supposed to do to protect their territorial integrity and national sovereignty aimed at securing the life, liberty, business and property of its citizens and allies.

    Alas, the weak-kneed Indian government has, unlike Americans, failed to stem the tide of home-grown militancy and Pakistan-sponsored insurgency in the state. India, under whichever political dispensation at the Centre, has abysmally failed to turn the adversity into opportunity on many an occasion. The high point being Pakistan's Kargil misadventure, although a godsend for us, we missed the bus again for we failed the nation by not declaring a full-fledged war on all fronts, including the western front and the Karachi harbour. What do we maintain for the Naval behemoth in the Arabian sea? Are we content in letting it be an augmentation of the Coast Guard? There we failed, too, in the wake of the enemy's cloak-and-dagger operation when so-called non-state actors surreptitiously sailed across the high seas to carry out the 26/11 terrorist mission in Mumbai under explicit directions and logistic support by their agent-provocateur across the Radcliffe Line.

    On November 27, 1997, then Chief Justice of India J S Verma and four other judges of the Supreme Court on a review petition of the AFSPA (in the context of the north-east) observed, "The power to make a law providing for deployment of the armed forces of the Union in aid of the civil power of a State does not include within its ambit the power to enact a law which would enable the armed forces of the Union to supplant or act as a substitute for the civil power in the State. The armed forces of the Union would operate in the State concerned in cooperation with the civil administration so that the situation which has necessitated the deployment of armed forces is effectively dealt with and normalcy is restored."

    It is explicit in the judgment that the Army will act "in aid of the civil administration of the state"... until "normalcy is restored." Keeping in view the recent successful bids by the battle-hardened militants to infiltrate into the valley under heavy arms fire-cover provided by the Pakistan army coupled with the melting snow at the high mountain passes, the situation does not warrant any lowering of guard by the armed forces which alone are trained and equipped to fight the Talibanized insurgents. However, Rashtriya Rifles, which has borne the brunt of militant attacks and in turn broken the backbone of the insurgency in J&K, does act hand in hand with the state police and the paramilitary forces. In any case, it is the local police and the paramilitary forces which maintain security in Srinagar and its outskirts. The Army, to all intents and purposes, has since been ordered to the barracks. But any inference that the situation is fast returning to normal and warrants the revocation of the AFSPA would indeed be a retrograde step fraught with dire consequences.

    Hard Copy:Ramesh Khazanchi's blog-The Times Of India
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    this is the worst move India can make, 26/11 repeats waiting to happen with this stupid move.
     
  4. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    I'm sure the government is not stupid enough to even contemplate making such a move, maybe some token gestures just for an eyewash for the Americans... else, why should we move troops out of our legitimate territory ???

    Kashmir is part of India and we have every right to keep troops there...
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    trusting obama is an invitation to disaster.
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    26/11 happened not because of Kashmir as David Milliband would have us believe.

    I don't see any reason why would frequency of attacks like 26/11 increase or decrease if armed forces are removed from cities and towns of J&K.

    Eye wash for Americans ?
    I am wishing on a star :wink:

    Did you happen to ignore the violent protests in Kashmir, again ?


    That means Kashmiris are Indians, and have all rights to protest against what they see as a problem.
     
  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Obama and America are not involved in this internal issue.
    The army is being asked to do what is expected of it that is man the borders and play a supporting role in CT and COIN ops while J&K police plays a bulk of the role.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    'Men in uniform are Kashmir's problem, not solution'

    Those who use the media filter to try to understand what is happening in Kashmir should realize they're looking at a shadow play. A curtain lies
    between events and us. What is played out on the screen depends on who manipulates the sources of light.

    Last summer, the Valley was overwhelmed by several months of unprecedented non-violent public protest. It was triggered by the complicated Amarnath land issue, but on the streets the people were saying "Hum kya chahte? Azadi!" We are hearing this again this summer, triggered by the rape and murder of two young women from Shopian in south Kashmir. Only the stone deaf could miss the cry.

    Between these two summer uprisings came the Assembly elections of December. As everyone braced for a boycott, people did turn out to vote. This surprise turnout was presented as nothing short of a miracle and we were informed that this was "a vote for Indian democracy". Those who wondered why people who had braved bullets only a month ago should suddenly queue up to vote were reminded that Kashmiris were an unpredictable, even contrary, people.

    In fact, there is a frightening consistence about the Kashmiri chant for decades: "Hum kya chahte? Azadi!" Protests have begun for all sorts of reasons but they are a manifestation of the simmering anger always close to the surface.

    The current round of protests were given a head-start by the distinctly amateur vacillations of the state chief minister, not least his puzzling shifts on what may have actually happened to Nilofar, 22, and her sister-in-law Asiya, 17, on the night of May 29. Well-intentioned though he may be, Omar Abdullah seems very badly advised, or else possessed of a political death-wish.

    In its election campaign the National Conference made a point of underlining that it was seeking a mandate for development, for bijli, sadak, pani. It made no claim to settling masla-e-Kashmir or the Kashmir issue. But once the elections were over, they went along with the Indian establishment, which trumpeted the turnout as a decisive mandate in India's favour. The inability of Omar Abdullah's government to reach out to the people of the Valley in the past fortnight is a timely reminder of the dangers of that delusion. In just a little over 10 days, the protests have damaged the patina of normalcy that the election 'success' painted on a deeply troubled situation.

    In the middle of all this, but almost buried by events, the J&K police announced the arrest of Constable Nazir Ahmed of the India Reserve Police battalion for allegedly raping a minor girl in Baramulla in north Kashmir. (They admitted the constable was a former Personal Security Officer of Ghulam Hassan Mir, legislator and former minister). Days after the incident, a scuffle between the families of the victim and the policeman led to the tragic killing of the victim's grandmother.

    Both incidents of the past fortnight must be placed next to one from a few years ago, when the infamous "sex scandal" led to huge protests, bringing Srinagar to a grinding halt. That was a tawdry tale of the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women, including the prostitution of minors. It was on a massive scale, with the involvement of politicians, senior bureaucrats, police and paramilitary officers. The scandal exposed the ugly networks of power and oppression, which prop up the structures of control in Kashmir. It also laid bare the vulnerability of women all over the Valley, prey to the brutal arrogance unleashed by 20 years of intense militarization and unbridled power.

    It's a good time to remember that the acquisition of land for the Amarnath yatra was only the spark that set off last summer's protests. But the real fuel was widespread resentment about the fact that thousands of acres of agricultural, orchard and forest land is under occupation by the army and paramilitary forces, housing their feared camps and cantonments and vast logistics bases. The Kashmiris' behaviour then turns out to be underpinned by a fairly straightforward political reason: we don't need to delve into their fragile 'psyche'.

    This week, the lights behind the curtain are being moved around to give the illusion of change: the CRPF's duties are to be handed over to the J&K police. If true, this will need massive local police recruitment and give a disturbing new twist to the Indian government's promise of employment to young Kashmiris. (However, from the Establishment's point of view, a policeman in every home may well be a solution to Kashmir's troubles.)

    But this change of guard will not alter the lives of ordinary people. They do not care if the oppressive figure of the soldier wears the uniform of the Indian Army, its paramilitary forces, or is their neighbour in brand new fatigues. Such shallow transformation is not new: people remember the 'disbanding' of the dreaded Special Operations Group, which was simply merged into regular police operations; or the highly public way in which the CRPF replaced the BSF in Srinagar, leaving the countryside in the Army's iron grip.

    This summer's protest is not just about the rape and murder of two women, the violation of human rights, or even the repeal of some draconian law. The shadow play must not distract us from the real issue, which is the extraordinary and intolerable militarization of Kashmir.

    'Men in uniform are Kashmir's problem, not solution' - Special Report - The Times of India
     
  9. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Will Kashmir be safer, happier without Army?

    SRINAGAR: Kashmir's young will not remember it but once upon a time, the Valley was green and peaceful and not so fragile that anything - a
    stone, a bullet or a barb - could make it boil with rage.

    The Valley became one of fear and fury only in the late-80s. The militancy started after rumours that the elections of 1987 were rigged. That was when the Indian forces - army and paramilitary - arrived in large numbers. Could that phase of militarization be ending, now that Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke on Thursday about the possibility of reducing the number of Indian army and CRPF troops in the state? Will young Kashmir, the generation born in 1989, ever see a Valley that is not angry and on edge?

    It is a generation that sees violence, even in its dreams. Afsana Bashir, 20, speaks for many: "My own childhood in Kashmir was turbulent with a lot of memories of deaths and screams in the background.I grew up hearing gunshots. I can still recall the killing of two brothers in my locality at the Court Road in Srinagar. It was 5 in the evening, when two bodies draped in white shrouds were taken down from an ambulance. All hell broke loose as the entire neighbourhood began wailing and crying." Afsana was just three at the time but says "those traumatic memories are still fresh in my mind". It turns out she is describing the deaths of two young men who ran a bicycle repair shop. They died when the CRPF fired on pedestrians near Magharmal Bagh.

    Strikingly, Kashmir's young seem to have almost no happy memories. Tabinda Hilal describes the small pleasures of a life she knows only at second-hand: "I have heard from my mother about taking long strolls along the scenic boulevards in her early life; eating ice cream in the evenings...I have heard from my elders that there used to cinema halls in Srinagar. It's difficult to believe."

    Tabinda's incredulity is understandable. The Valley currently has just one functioning cinema hall. In 1990, JKLF militants shut down about a dozen theatres in a bid to "cleanse society of the waywardness".

    No movies. No music. No games. That is the life Afsana, Tabinda and anyone young has ever known in Kashmir.

    Fayaz Ahmad Wani, 20, recounts that even "the playground where I used to play cricket has been added to a nearby graveyard". Life in the Valley of his childhood was "pretty horrible. It was even unsafe to walk on the roads. As firing broke out very often, the pedestrians had to take shelter inside the shops or any other safe place."

    Kashmir's young have a kinship of memories. Like Fayaz, Sharifa Jan of Nowhatta in Srinagar remembers bloody gun-battles in every town square. "The alleyways were filled with young boys wielding guns, and the Indian army was ready for combat. Soldiers huddled in bunkers that were pushed shoulder-to-shoulder against unlucky houses at the end of the lanes," says the 20-year-old girl.

    But the trauma of the young is not limited to the Valley. Irshad Nabi, 20, belongs to Baramulla. He still trembles with fear when he remembers how militants harassed his family one night and Army interrogators badgered them next day. Irshad says his life has been impossible ever since. "I was denied a passport by the authorities because of my cousin's affiliation with some militant outfit".

    The young are united in another way. All of them want the Indian troops to go ‘home'. They believe the army's presence in civilian areas has created an army-civilian conflict rather than staving off the militancy.

    Samina Bashir of Nishat in Srinagar says the men in uniform are prone to harassing Kashmiri girls. "The local police too are involved in crime against women. The laws empowering the security forces to conduct house-to-house searches need to be reviewed."

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-happier-without-Army/articleshow/4653282.cms
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    this will be interpreted by the state sponsored jihadi infrastructre in pakistan as a sign of weakness, obama should dismantle the infrastructure first then talk about this i hope it is just rhetoric, i don't see it as a good move at this point in time.
     
  11. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Time and again people choose to see the protests on the streets as the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiris... the fact is that the violent protests are all organised by the hardline factions of the Hurriyat which is in a very small minority and only chooses to make a large noise....

    Just because the noise is large doesn't mean that the whole of Kashmir is protesting, it is only a small minority making a big noise and hoopla about the issue...
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    these protest are nothing more than to get attention than anything else, when things get quiet, they protest to keep the focus on the region, why don't these protesters just croosover and go live in pakistan, there are more protests against Americans in Pakistan daily but they don't make news or are ignored by the media.
     
  13. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The govt was planning on reducing troops in line with the reduced terrorist attacks in Kashmir, mainly cause of the arrests of commanders all over India and the intelligence they provided.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    The Evolution Of The ‘Azadi’ Manifesto

    1940s-60s
    Dominant player: Sheikh Abdullah
    Dominant theme: Self-determination and secession
    Key demands: A plebiscite on whether to join India or Pakistan.
    Abdullah, the architect of J&K’s accession to India, was reluctant to surrender “Kashmir’s partial sovereignty” , described by some as "quasi-separatism".
    Kashmiri groups unhappy with the Centre and sympathetic to Pakistan, wanted the state to secede if not "assured a place of honour and dignity in terms of safeguards provided under Article 370".

    Beating The Retreat: Will Kashmir be safer, happier without Army? | Hype, hope and horror | 'Men in uniform are Kashmir's problem, not solution' | It's a war, keep the Army

    1970s
    Dominant players: Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Butt
    Dominant theme: Independence
    Key demands: Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Butt formed the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front in the UK in 1977. They claimed to be Kashmiri nationalists, not Islamists, fighting for the independence of their homeland.
    Opposed the merger of the territories of Jammu and Kashmir into either Pakistan or India.
    Later, the front spearheaded the armed insurgency to "fight for Kashmir's independence".

    1980s-90 s
    Dominant players: Syed Salahauddin of Hizbul Mujahideen and Yasin Malik (JKLF)
    Dominant theme: Armed struggle for 'Azadi'
    Key demands: They aimed to militarily defeat the Indian army, force India to withdraw from the state and declare independence or join Pakistan.

    2000s
    Dominant player: Sajjad Lone. All Party Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of 26 political, social and religious organizations
    Dominant theme: Elections and development
    Key demands: Formed in 1993 to further Kashmiri separatism but it also tried to talk to the Centre, promote development work and tourism.
    It eschewed violence and some of its leaders, including Sajjad Lone of People’s Confernce have contested elections to “raise Kashmir’s voice in the state assembly and Indian parliament”.


    The Evolution Of The ?Azadi? Manifesto - Special Report - The Times of India

    ---------------------

    Shouldn't this change in separatist tactics, should be met with a change in goi policy in Kashmir .... Demilitarized cities, policed by locals could go a long way in this battle of hearts and minds..
     
  15. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Singh. I guess you have a big list of Bookmarks on Kashmir?:D
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    there is simmering anger and tensions and a minor spark ignites the region.
    One must understand the cause of it and address it for they are our own countrymen.

    Its because kashmiris are natives of kashmir, a part of India.
     
  17. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Yep, the dominant party is Sajjad Lone, but the Gilani faction which is hardline is the one organising most of the violent protests and making a lot of noise...

    Empty Vessels tend to make more noise... I hope you guys take into account this phrase before drawing any conclusions...
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    India is planning on reducing troops because they are deeply resented by an average Kashmiri, for a multitude of reasons.

    The arrest of commanders all over India and the intelligence they provide could've certainly helped in reducing the number of terrorist attacks but by no means can India afford to be lax as the border is porous and the camps across the border.
     
  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Sajjad Lone's assassinated father was the dominant player in APHC. His father was anti-terrorism hence was assassinated. His father-in-law is the head of the JKLF Pak branch, which still supports terrorism.

    JKLF headed by Yasin Malik is pro-independence so is Mirwaiz(titular head of sunni muslims in Kashmir valley).

    Geelani is a pak agent.

    Abdullah family is pro-India. Mufti Muhammad Saeed and family are opportunists.

    APHC has many open rifts, and has no mandate to represent the people, India just humours these clipped wing separatists.

    Ever visited SriNagar ? Ever met Kashmiris ?

    had.
     
  20. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    See, separatists try to excite the passions of local Kashmiris by highlighting the tales(some true and many not) of rape, murder, pillage......etc. Presence of army in main cities is couter-productive in the long run. The police is the best organisation to monitor law and order situation. Separatists cant play outsider vs locals card, if cops are used increasingly. But for such a thing to happen, the pre-condition should be that the timing is right. If hastly decisions are taken, they can backfire. We can slowly easy police into the role that army is doing right now in Kashmir.
     
  21. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    you can fool some people all of the time, all the people some of the time but you can't fool everbody all the time.

    quite correct

    Border mgmt, and certain coin ops are for the army only.

    I would suggest a largely local kashmiri paramilitary unit for coin ops, largely local kashmiri cops, indian army manning the border and playing a supporting role.
     

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