Monday, 16 August 2010

India Again Looking for a Magic Bullet in Kashmir

By Shael Sharma on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 7:44pm

Instead of looking for a magic bullets, the policy wonks in MHA, Intelligence Agencies and PMO, should be doing what is real: ensure the credibility of the Indian state and ensure Law & Order.

While the intense focus of the Media and the resultant perception is creating confusion and obfuscating reality. Everyone in the UPA2 "Strategic Thinking" team seems to be in a state of silent freak out and alarm.

The wonks in MHA & PMO are looking for some exotic strategy, almost paralyzed by the wave of media hostility and disinformation on some districts of the Kashmir valley, in what was essentially petty criminals and OGWs (over ground workers) and out of work militants indulging in stone throwing and criminal arson.

What is really the news? To start with we managed to let the intelligence guard down and did not see this coming.

We have also let this happen before, and then the slow murderous crawl of the Indian Army in bringing Kashmir back in 1989!

The attack on 48 RR of the Indian Army and their subsequent neutralization of 3 terrorists in Rajouri today clearly brings home this point.

What is a multi-pronged assault, needs to be countered back on multiple fronts-soft and hard, economic and counter-terror but before all of this the supremacy of the state and its authority must not be allowed to be compromised, as seems the current aspiration of the current play by malcontents and their Pakistani backers in the Pakistan Army' Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The use of women and innocent children on the front line is an old ploy in such protests and the sensationalism value especially to media, and ensuing perception is highly calculated in its social engineering, which needs effective counter insurgency and terror strategies. The MHA and other security apparatus have not effectively countered this information warfare, and this has created a perception gap between reality and disinformation, where an ambulance chasing media has amplified bad news either by design or mistaken liberalism.

There is no magic solution to the insurgency or to infiltration. Economic integration of J&K is a first step, followed by abrogation of Article 370, ensuring the iron handling of security, and ensuring Law & Order. There can be no compromise with secularism or with territorial integrity for that is the bedrock of the Indian sovereignty, the plinth of the Indian dream.

Make no mistake: acts of omission or commission aren't really different in the 5 or so scamp districts led by Srinagar. Those who don't condemn stone throwing are as guilty, just as they were complicit when the genocide against Kashmiri Pandits was perpetrated.

The Muslim-Buddhist violence and tension in Ladakh again is a symptom of this covert militancy shrouded under religion. Kashmiri Muslims may be a majority in the valley, but regions of Jammu, Ladakh (glad the PM is finally visiting Leh and hopefully some good may come off it to the suffering people of Ladakh!) are not, both with a good sprinkling of Hindu, Buddhist, Shia and Sunni, who do not support the insurgency.

What is being glorified as Intifada and Azaadi (freedom) is sophistry and propaganda localized in 5 odd districts including the Srinagar valley only. This needs effective media management, and currently the initiative is not with our security or strategic set-up, who have failed in this area miserably.

In India, as anywhere else in the world, if you go and try to indulge in what is essentially criminal arson and assault, and stone throwing, expect to be shot at after due warning, law & order needs to be maintained with a iron hand, for the might of the state and its authority can not be undermined for essentially a whimsical and secessionist agenda.

Talks against real or imagined grouses can come, when things are calmer and never with a gun to the head, for the best negotiation comes from a position of strength and the last few statements by the UPA including the PM's statement of 15th August have done more harm than good, as they seem made under duress rather than with a welfare mindset.

The partition of undivided India was clearly on religious lines; any revisionist moves are nonviable to India and anathema to its idea of secularism, sovereignty and should be put down by force if necessary, especially if resulting from a frequent foreign sponsored religious mutiny by traitors and scamps.

Pakistan has lost every time in its designs persistently since 1947, 1948, 1965, 1971, Siachen, 1989, and Kargil, have borne witness. And it is this demon that Indian strategy has to slay again and not let down its guard or history will repeat!

Instead of looking for a magic bullet, if everyone in the strategic set-up and state administration do their job, and the political leadership in J&K became truly representative and not a monarchy! The leaders today are either legacy family scions or secessionist plants of Pakistan and do not seem to represent the malcontent youth's economic and other political aspirations.

The Indian Army in isolation and with great cost in blood and privation certainly has delivered, again and again, and remains an institution that today can claim to be the sole guardian of India's freedom and security, despite the bureaucratic, intelligence and political follies, and frequent bad judgment practiced in Kashmir for decades.

That then is a solution and we will ensure peace harmony and the dream of an India, that lives a multi-cultural existence, with multi-religious tolerance, and banish the two-nation theory once again! The answers are all there, in the words of the founding fathers, only if we cared to look.

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