Who is running Pakistan? Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PMIN)? Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM)? Or is it the Pakistani Army and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)?
We know that Pakistan is now governed by Nawaz Sharif who, reportedly, is very serious about making peace with India but, while we can accept his sincerity in all good faith, we learn that the Prime Minister’s brother and Chief Minister of Punjab has gifted millions of dollars to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the front organization of Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organization if ever there is one. And if anyone has any doubts about the status of terrorist organisation in Pakistan, this was dispelled by yet another such organisation, the Hizbul Mujhahideen which claimed responsibility for the attack on an Indian Army convoy on 24 June in Srinagar that killed eight soldiers and wounded about a dozen, in broad daylight. More notably, the attack was made a day before Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh were scheduled to visit Srinagar.
Was it meant to tell Dr Singh that even if Nawaz Sharief is in power, it is the terrorist organisations that, in the end, rule the roost? It is also stated that Hizbul Mujahideen had warned Nawaz Sharif not to come to terms with India until and unless the so-called (Kashmir issue’ is resolved? It is interesting that on the day the Hizbul attacked an Indian Army convoy, the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry ws in Delhi. Was the Mujahidden also sending a message to him that Sharif or no Sharif, the Islamic terrorists will be the ones who will dictate Pakistan”s foreign policy? What is significant is that Kerry at his press conference did not so much as mention Pak terrorism as a destabilising force in the region, during his Indian visit. What lesson should be take from his studied silence? If an assault on an Indian Army convoy can be carried out impudently in Jammu and Kashmir’s capital, is there another message the Mujahi-deen intended to convey?
The 32-paragraph Joint Statement issued following Kerry’s talks in Delhi makes no mention of Pakistan’s nefarious role in Afghanistan. If messages have any meaning, then, immediately following the attack on the Army convoy, India should have bombed some of the known Jihadi terrorist camps in the Pakistan side of the India-Pakistan border to convey its own message both to Pakistan and to Kerry that enough is enough. The message must go that in future India cannot be taken for granted and that any attack on India soil will be instantly met by a counter-attack on Pakistan soil. Delhi is showing that it is incapable of taking hard decisions. The UPA government’s cowardice is there for all to see.
The question will be asked: if we make a counter-attack, won’t it, in the end lead on to and result in a major, full-size conflict? Is that what the jihadis want? Is that what the jihadis are striving for? And, in the end, would that also be in India’s best interest? On this issue there needs to be a full-fledged public discussion. The time has come for India to face grim reality in all its repercussions. But if the Mujahideen insists that Kashmir is “a core issue” and there can be no peace between India and Pakistan till that is resolved, there is a way to face it.
But first of all, India must see to it that all the 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pundits who had been viciously driven out of the Vale, at pain of death if they didn’t leave, are rehabilitated and fully compensated. Towards that end Pakistan must pay right down to the last penny for full rehabilitation. A minimum of five to ten townships should be set up at Pakistan’s cost. Further-more to see that their safety is fully assured a couple of large-sized Army campus must be set up on a permanent basis. If this disturbs the demographic composition of Kashmir, that should be matter of no debate.
China will understand this better than anyone else given its record in Tibet, which is there for all to see. Tibetan exiles claim that 7.5 million Chinese now live in Tibet alongside a Tibetan population of six million. In addition, it was estimated that in 1992 there were 44,000 Chinese troops throughout Tibet. Unofficial figures convey the truth that the Chinese by now have out-numbered domestic Tibetans 3 to 1. In 1953 it was estimated that there were approximately 100,000 Chinese in the province of Qinghai, most of which is made up of the Tibetan province of Amdo.
The point to be immediately stressed is that the 3,50,000 Pundits are pure Kashmiris who had Kashmir as their home even long before Islam made its way into Central Asia. Their rehabilitation can under no circumstances be a matter of debate. Justice demands it and India must implement it. And if the Kashmiri Muslims insist on treating the Pundits with disdain and reckless abandon, it is the sacred duty of India to see that the original inhabitants of Kashmir, the Pundits, get all the protection they need plus more. Any violence on the part of jihadis should be met with ruthless determination. And let it be known that this is the very policy observed by China in Tibet, illegal as it is. In all these years India has shown utter cowardice vis-à-vis Kashmiri fundamentalists. Two young men recently came to be shot in Srinagar. It would seen that they were mistaken to be militants. The Indian media was quick to condemn it and to even demand that the Indian soldiers be punished. But what should one say of Kashmir militants who destroyed Pundit homes, looted their shops and raped their women? A book written by Rahul Pandita on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pundits entitled Our Moon Has Blood Clots is recommended reading for all our pseudo secularists. The time has come to tell Kashmiri Muslims, Pakistani militants, the United States which set up jihadis in the first place and now backs the Pakistan Army to the hilt, not to mention China with its own record in Tibet, that if the Mujahidins repeats their attack they will be paid back in their own coin, no matter what would be the consequences.
Kerry, who is Pakistan’s closest friend and has been frequently having secret talks with Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani outside of Pakistan must know that any further military assistance to Islamabad will further distance India from the United States. We have had enough of double talk. Letting Pakistan take over Afghanistan is slapping India on the cheek. Kerry must know that it is unacceptable.