Thursday, November 4, 2010


Centers move in Kashmir depict one thing, sheer ignorance.

Counter insurgency is an intricate business. It begins with basic understanding of the subject. In a worst case scenario, at the apex of insurgency cycle, 40% to 45% people are pro Insurgents. 20% to 25 % are pro government too. Remaining 20% to 30 % are neutrals. Out of these 5% to 10% are fence sitters. Common counterinsurgency sense says that the effort has to be made by Govt and insurgents alike to , cajole ,influence the fence sitters. Add 5% to the insurgents influence and the revolution is ripe. The critical mass… Prevent these 5% from join the revolutionaries and the conflict extends.

As the conflicts get extended the insurgent support begins to wean. The supports start questioning the legitimacy of cause. Their faith in projected end state starts to wilt.

On the other hand the addition of the the 5 percent towards the government marks the reversal of the process. This creates precedence for the others to follow.

This results in frustration for the terrorist organization. As a result the tempo of terror increases which further intimidates the public. This creates a desirable situation for the government. This situation can be dexterously handled by government to create ground swell for peace.

The battle is to influence the fence sitters.

The four pronged strategy focuses at destruction of terrorist combat potential, containment of fence sitters, increase own support base and create groundswell for peace.

The military component of the strategy aims at separation of the military potential from support base and its subsequent destruction. The political process focuses as marginalization of the hardliners and creating new pro peace political structure. A Simultaneous addressing of the root cause of alienation puts things back in shape.

The Government of India has approached this problem in an inverted manner.

It is trying to appease the hardliners and alienate the common mass.

It must be understood that spending time and money on hardcore separatists is useless. What is more pertinent is taht Gilani Sahab, Masarat Alam Bhat et all do not represent common Kashmir masses.

The so called Kashmir Movement is restricted to parts of Kashmir Valley Only. It is limited to one section of the community, Kashmir’s. It enjoys negligible support from Gujjar, Bakkarwal,Paharis, Baltis and Laddakhis. So it cannot classically be termed as movement. Adding up people participating in engineered protest in a day maximum 5000-8000 people protest all over the Kashmir. For a state with 80 Lakh populations this figure works out to 0.1 per cent. I wonder how it could be called Insurgency.

News channels report the protest. One fine day let these people go to Uri, Kupwara, Lolab, Gures,Sonamarg, Gulmarg and report what is happening there. Ask common kashmiri who is suffering day to day what Gilani Sahab means to them their perception about all this chaos will change. In a nut shell the nation is being misled about Kashmir. The crux of the issue is to keep the conflict alive.

Too much of attention and too much of money has been pumped in without visualizing its use. Centre has impelled the tax payer’s money at the cost of development of less privileged states of the union. This money has been siphoned off by the power brokers to keep the Kashmir Terror Industry Alive. Of course they distribute the spoils amongst themselves.

The so called Media Mavericks should conduct sting on politicians and officials involved in this conflict and explain to the country their Rag to Riches stories. Go to the villages beyond NH1-B and see what people have to say about the Huriyat,Kasmiri Politics and Army.

Army has gained substantial goodwill ground by spending money from Defence budget on development work (What the state government should have), no wonder MR Abdulla feels threatened about it.

Army has been able to decapitate the military potential of the terrorist. Time is ripe for the center to realign the approach.

--- Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whose Kashmir Is It Anyway IV ----- GEOSTRATEGY

The Geostrategic location of Kashmir is Unique.
The southern Silk Route from China crossed Karakoram at Haji Langare in Ladakh, or At Karakoram Pass and through the state of Kashmir, entered the Indus Plains leading to warm water ports of Arabian Sea.
In late 19th century and early 20th century it was the pivot around which the Great Game (made Popular by Rudyard Kipling’s KIM) revolved.
(The Panjdeh Incident when Russians seized the oasis of Merv in 1884 brought interests of British Empire and those of Russia to clash in central Asia. Without any Afghan say in the matter, the Joint Anglo-Russian Boundary Commission agreed the Russians would relinquish the farthest territory captured in their advance, but retain Panjdeh. The agreement delineated a permanent northern Afghan frontier at the Amu Darya, with the loss of a large amount of territory, especially around Panjdeh
In 1890–91 the British suspected Russian involvement "with the Rulers of the petty States on the northern boundary of Kashmir". This resulted in the Hunza-Naga Campaign was fought in 1891.)
Kashmir through out the British Raj was a buffer between the Russian and them. (Tsarist Russia prior to 1917 and Communist Soviets thereafter). It could have well been integrated into Dominion of Pakistan or Union of India at time of Independence, but the British realize that its exclusion will yield better policy results. (This aspect will be dealt separately).
Pakistani Stakes
The State of Kashmir lies in the upper riparian of Indus River. The water scarce state of Pakistan is insecure about its water resources. For Pakistan Kashmir means water security and additional land to settle its Punjabi population. As a Muslim Majority state it gives credibility to the two nation theory. It gives Pakistan a lager open boundary with Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of longtime ally China. It increases the standing of Pakistan with the Islamic republic and makes Pakistan a stronger contender for Islamic Caliphate.
Chinese Stakes
For China Kashmir is a vital link for a all weather link to the Arabian Sea port of Karachi. It gives boost to energy security of China. Kashmir under Chinese influence means Rail and Road link with Karachi along Indus River, Oil pipe line from Iran. It makes Straits of Malacca redundant. It will assist in bringing development of Xinxiang Autonomous Region (XAR) and western TAR. It will assist in integration of TAR, XAR in China. The Kashmir dispute keeps into Pak brinkmanship alive keeping them engrossed. This leaves enough room for China to yield its influence on Central, South Asia and Middle East. It keeps the burgeoning Pakistan defense Market Alive.

Anglo- American Stakes
The Anglo American synergy is directed to control of energy resources in Middle east. The Indo Pak conflict fueled by Kashmir dispute gives them a rally point to cajole Pakistan in their favour. The bases that have been rewarded to them in Gilgit and Hunza keep the Chinese and Resurgent Russians under surveillance. Kashmir especially Ladakh with India aids them as it blocks Chinese access to Arabian Sea. Northern Areas with Pakistan prevent indo Russian link up. It checks Indian influence on Afghanistan. In nutshell the Kashmir dispute is a vital constituent of maintaining global hegemony. India and Pakistan are major arms importers.
Russians Stakes
Resurgent Russia wants an unprecedented influence in Central Asia. Kashmir keeps India and Pak, two major contenders confined south of Pamir tract. Ladakh with India keeps Chinese energy stakes vulnerable. The Weapons market is a major contributor to economy.
Indian Stakes
India gets no water from Kashmir. It stands nowhere in competition with China for global energy stakes. Less Kashmir Indian borders are strategically more compact. Indain forces gain overwhelming ratio over Pakistan Army. It has free money to invest for progress in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and North East. It annually spends US$ 824 Million on keeping Kashmir afloat.
It is cradle of Indian Philosophy. It is a matter of Belief in Sufism, Islam and Buddhism. For India Kashmir is the cornerstone of its secular existence.

It is unfortunate that we have lost reference to 3000 years of heritage and history of Kashmir. If revived it could well prove to be the vital link to integrated India.

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


He was barely a teen
his oversized Phiran concealed his true age
along many of his age
he stood defiant on the Cement Bridge
in Baramulla Old Town.
It was a Medieval war Zone
With Gladiators from Kashmir Police
and Ragdo- Ragdo paladins
stood facing each other in uneasy silence
often rattled with Hindustan Murdabad War cries.

The stones rained like wrath
and partisan phalanx persisted
over the retracting steps of the police
a smile blossomed on his face
and his eyes twinkled
he has earned his day.
He set from his house in the morning
to stroll at dusty banks of Jhelum
when a Jamite entrepreneur
promised him Rs 100 for the day.

Huriyat budget for the days Armageddon was
Rs twenty five thousand
for fifty stone palters at Rs five hundred each
and Rs Ten thousand for the stones
The pimp hired 30 children for Rs hundred each
And made a staggering profit
stone were locally available.

The crescendo of victory was deafening
the Police was retracting
the bridge was theirs.

Then the charioteers arrived
the armored jeeps with tear gas dispensers
fired a salvo on the champions
as smoke bellowed
some canisters were thrown into Jhelum
some hurled back at police
amidst cheers of defiance.

He was on the front line
Cheering and shouting
When He felt an impact on his chest
And pain shot through his body
And he fell down on the bridge
A smoke canister had hit him on his chest.

He gripped his hand tight
To clinch the hundred rupee note
He tried to get up
And run away
To his home
And shove his earnings
Into the jam tin piggy bank
But failed
He looked around the retracting footsteps of his peers
and menacingly advancing charioteers
and made another effort
to crawl to his father
but his limbs failed
his eyes were wet with helplessness
he prayed
to be carried back
to his mother.

He remained there
on the cement bridge

"If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind"
[Al-Qur’an 5:32]

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)