Search

The Truth about Kashmir

A lot has been said and written about recent events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and about the dissolution of the state legislative assembly and imposition of President’s rule.
In my opinion all these analyses were superficial and do not explain the inner realities. So let me explain step by step:
The truth is that due to the short sighted policies of the Central Indian Government over decades almost the entire Kashmiri population has now become alienated and bitterly hostile to India, and more and more young men are steadily joining the ranks of the militants. No doubt the number of Kashmiri militants are still probably not more than a few hundred or few thousand, but their numbers are rising, and their sympathisers would be a large section of the Kashmiri population (I am not talking of Jammu ). Whole villages become stone pelters.
The militants use guerilla tactics of hit and run, and are now resorting to new tactics e.g. sniper firing, which is very difficult to deal with, as the Germans learnt in Stalingrad during WW II.
The Indian security forces consist of 3 groups, the Indian army, the paramilitary forces (CRPF, BSF, etc) and the J&K police. Of these, while the first two consist of non-Kashmiri personnel, the third, i.e. J&K police consist of local people of the state (though many senior officers are outsiders). Personnel belonging to the J&K police, especially Kashmiris, are the most vulnerable targets for the militants, for they have their families in Kashmir. The Kashmiri policemen are therefore in a very unenviable position: they have either to become secret informers to the militants, or take the risk of becoming targets, being branded as Indian agents and/or informers to the Indian security forces.
There is a massive deployment of about 500,000 Indian army, para-military and other armed forces in Kashmir. Thus in theory while there is a civilian government, the truth is that, it is the army and para-military forces who are the real power in the Kashmir valley. The civilian government is just a phantom, like the South Vietnamese Government, which was really a puppet, the real rulers being the U.S. Army
An army does not like to fight with its hands tied behind its back. So the Indian army’s higher command must have told the Indian Government that it does not like politicians complaining about atrocities by the army.
However, when there is such a huge deployment of security forces in such a small area as Kashmir, there are bound to be atrocities.
Consider the following scenario: a group of 10 or 20 Indian army or para-military troops are on a patrol somewhere in Kashmir. From a distance some militants fire at them, and then disappear (a classic hit and run operation). Suppose in this process 2 or 3 jawansare killed. What do the rest do? They go crazy at the killing of their comrades and then they will go to the nearest village and slaughter any civilian who is seen. This is the normal reaction, and in fact this is what people who have operated in Kashmir have told me.
Also, a soldier operating for long periods in such a deadly hostile terrain, where every moment may be his last, cannot be expected to be psychologically very normal, and can become unhinged on slightest provocations, committing atrocities, as happened in My Lai in Vietnam. The UN Committee report has referred to these.
The guerilla has the advantage of surprise. He chooses the date, time, place and duration of attack, and normally makes meticulous preparation before launching it. Thus, the Indian security forces are often caught napping. The Kashmiri militants may be small in number, but they have a huge number of sympathisers who supply them not only food and shelter, but also intelligence about the Indian security forces, its deployment, numbers, etc. Consequently many Indian security personnel have been killed in Kashmir, and the number is increasing.
This being the ground situation, the army commanders must have told the Indian Government that as it is the army is facing huge problems in Kashmir, and it does not want a further problem in the shape of politicians who publicly accuse the army of atrocities. The approach of the army seems clear: either withdraw the army from Kashmir, but if you want to keep us there, turn a Nelson’s eye on whatever we do.



--!>

Pakistan mull ways and means to lift team’s morale

--!>