Volume 23 Issue 3, March 2019


By S. M. Hali

Twelve days after the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force’s 12 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft flew across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. Pakistan Air Force fighters scrambled to intercept the threat and forced the intruders to beat a hasty retreat after jettisoning their external fuel tanks. Indian media claimed that IAF fighters targeted and destroyed a terrorist training camp in Azad Jammu Kashmi, but the Indian Defence Ministry distanced itself from the claim.

Following the September 2015 Uri attack, the Indian leadership had raised its jingoism to a level from where it could not back down. To appease the belligerent Indian nation baying for Pakistan’s blood, Bharati military planners orchestrated a fake surgical strike. It was claimed that 9 terrorist training camps were destroyed across the LoC in Azad Jammu Kashmir and 34 terrorists killed. India failed to back its false claim with any videos or stills of the alleged strike and even the Indian media started asking awkward questions.

This time around, the stakes for India are much higher. General elections are due and the BJP is facing a trust deficit since it has failed to live up to its tall claims of raising the economic level. Extremism and intolerance have permeated to a point that even international human rights organizations and academics are taking cognizance of Indian brutalities against the minorities.

Unable to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, India is seething with anger at Pakistan’s initiatives. Pakistan’s opening of the Kartarpur Corridor has endeared Pakistan to the Sikh community in India and across the globe while international observers have also applauded the move.

In a desperate attempt to divert international opinion away from its brutalities in IOK and mass genocide of the Kashmiri youth as well as to garner support of the Indian masses, first Modi choreographed the false flag operation in Pulwama in which more than forty Indian security personnel were blown to kingdom high. Any sane observer would question the madness in blaming Pakistan for the heinous attack. Adil Dar, the alleged perpetrator of the assault was a local Kashmiri.
The over 300 kgs of RDX explosives used in the attack originated from the Indian Army. The movement of the CPRF convoy was supposed to be confidential. It got delayed by two days and there was no way, the movement could have been leaked. The car used in the attack was local. Moreover, India claims that it has fenced the LoC and no cross-border incursion could have taken place.
India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir has been challenged by the UN. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had made it clear in parliament on August 07, 1952: “We want no people in the territory of India against their will and with the help of armed forces… …we want no forced marriages or forced union of the states of India”. Nehru also declared on September 17, 1953: “Whether it is Kashmir or any other part we are not going to hold it by the strength of arms….”

Nehru reneged from India’s international commitments and wreaked havoc in the occupied territory. India has never succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris. Former Indian spy agency RAW chief AIS Dulat, in his 2015 book 'Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years,' says: “Under the surface, there has been a lot of anger, hatred and alienation. Never before has it seemed so much in the open”. He further states: “Now, you have slogans put up: ‘Indian Dogs Go Back!’ It’s bad and the common Kashmiri is suffering.”

BJP veteran leader Yashwant Sinha has stated: “India has lost people of the valley emotionally”. The Government of India has passed the emotional barrier in Kashmir and has driven the people into a cul de sac of helplessness. Even if India increases its military footprint from seven lakhs to 70 lakhs in Kashmir, it wouldn’t be able to wrest Kashmir where it matters, that is in the hearts and minds of ordinary Kashmiris.

Arundhati Roy states: India is an “occupying force” in Kashmir and is wielding power through the barrel of the gun. “Kashmir is in the process of being isolated, cut off from the outside world by two concentric rings of border patrols – in Delhi as well as Srinagar – as though it's already a free country with its own visa regime. Within its borders of course, it's open season for the government and the army. The art of controlling Kashmiri journalists and ordinary people with a deadly combination of bribes, threats, blackmail and a whole spectrum of unutterable cruelty has evolved into a twisted art form.”
On July 8, 2016, when popular youth leader Burhan Wani was brutally murdered, another mass uprising commenced. To protest the assassination of Burhan Wani, IOK was in flames. To quell the revolution this time, India started using pellet guns.

On February 27, 2019, only a day after India’s fake surgical strike, Pakistan Air Force shot down two IAF intruding fighters. After the 26 February intrusion, this writer was on Indian TV channels where former air and army chiefs, drunken with the stupour of arrogance, were trying to talk me down. Only a few hours later, PAF gave a befitting response to India.
It is hoped that the Indian leadership will shelve its jingoism and accept Pakistan’s offer of negotiations and take a step back from the brink since both adversaries are equipped with nuclear weapons and any conflict can lead to mutually assured destruction of both.

The writer is a practicing journalist. He contributes to the print media, conducts a TV show and produces documentaries.He can be reached at sultanm.hali@gmail.com

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