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)


in Neelum Valley
are awaiting
to swarm the Vale
in hordes
to devour of what remains.
Armed with scourge of sycophancy
on a path of sublime salvation
of virgins and vistas
to bequeath apocalyptic wrath
on non believers of lesser Gods.
Permeate they will loC
“Facing fearful odds
Trample ashes of their fathers
Rout temples of their Gods”
submit soil sterile
coercive cordite
sinisterly slaughter saplings
bleach brotherhood barren
Deliver demonic design
Hope is Handicapped
snows on shamshabari is melting fast

(contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

Radcliffe Wrath

who were we
little children of lesser gods
to be cursed by Radcliffe Wrath
a masterstroke of deceit which left a million dead in a tsunami of blood bath
and sowed the seeds of hatred
between who were brothers once

who were we
gullible ignorant children of lesser logic
who did not understood the underpinnings of the GREAT GAME
and greed for global gold
black gold
yellow gold

who were we
arrogant and self centered demons of greater devil
who demanded to divided this land for HINDUS and MUSLIMS
He who dwelt in the land of Hind is a HINDU
and he who has a clear conscious is a MUSLIM
we all are HINDUS
we all are MUSLIMS
so why we still stand divided
INDIA is as much mine as it is yours
INDIA is PAKI STAN ( a pure land)
who was Radcliffe to tear our heart
we must ponder now
till how long will we suffer from Wrath

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

Perspective on Pakistan

Terrorism is a global scourge.

Pakistan is a nation which is suffering the most. As per SATP 8235 Civilians, 3081 Security force Personnel’s and 16410 Terrorists (Most of them Pakistanis) have been killed since 2003. There have been 218 Suicide attacks in the period between 2002 and 2009. In 2010, so far there have been 28 suicide attacks.

The operations launched by Pakistani Army in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) (consists Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Orakzai Agency, Kurram Agency, North Waziristan Agency, South Waziristan Agency) ( Operation Rah E Nizat) and North West Frontier Agency ( Amb,Swat, Dir, Chitral, Bajaur, Phulera) (Operation Rah e Rast) resulted in mass internal displacement. As per latest UN OCHA update, some 1.9 million Internally Displaced People, (IDPs) has so far been confirmed by Pakistani authorities. About 260,000 IDPs are living in 27 camps and the remainders are with host families.

Pakistan is torn with internal strife and sectarian Violence. (116 People Killed in 26 Incidents in 2010), The Shia- Sunni Divide is enlarging day by day. Pakistani Economy is in tatters. It is needless to say that the county is undergoing a crisis situation.

Agreed, the Pakistani establishment and ISI are to be blamed. But it is the common people who are facing this wrath. They are being grinded d between the terrorist and the Government.

The Anti India Obsession is a state function. The common people of Pakistan have no time to engage in this rhetoric. They have more crucial issues to fight for. (Inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 7.7% in 2007 to 20.8% in 2008, and 14.2% in 2009…CIA World Fact Book).

We should, see the things in clear perspective. There are three variables here: - The Pakistani Establishment (ISI, ARMY, and Politicians), the Fundamentalists and the Common People. The majority i.e. Common People of Pakistan are being misguided by Establishment by use of Fundamentalist as an effective deception for their failed policies.

We should stand for People of Pakistan.

We should expose the deceit of the Pakistani Establishment by directing our protest against it directly. No reference to Nation of Pakistan should be made directly in loose term.
We respect sovereignty of our Neighbour Pakistan. We want Peace, stability and Harmony. We are prepared to work for it. But we stand against those in Pakistan who pose challenge to Indian sovereignty.

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

Pipe Pipers of Jihad…

In the apple orchard of
Pahalan, Pattan Kashmir
young and tender
Terrorist –Army
Sharik and Umer were Mujahidins
They established a Hide in the Barn
And Army
Ilakh,Abdu,Yakub and Salim
Were informed to
Spin a fool proof yarn
The hide was cordoned
Mujahidin opened fire
With planks of apple chest as mock guns
The army fired too
And Umer was judged shaeed
But Sharik escaped to
Continue his deed
Cheater said Sailm
We fired at you
We killed you Goon
You cannot escape alive
Said Sharik
a Cat has Nine lives…

Friend they were
Thick bum chums
They played,
They wandered around
They bunked the school
Till one day the headmaster
Caught them loafing around
He reprimanded them
He told them to
Come to school with parents

The friends were shocked
How to tell their parents
They were not attending school
What to do
How to get out of this impasse that ruled

Lets tell them the truth
Said Yakub
And plea for mercy this time
Sissy you Said Salim
We will not bend nor beg
Umer said there is no way
Lets tell our parents and see
Whatever will be will be
Whatever will be Abdu retorted
We will be beaten to pulp and blue
This is certainly not the thing
I will agree to do
What is the way out?
Said they together in doubt

There is one way Sharik said
Wit twinkle in his eyes
But you all are a bunch of softies
For you it holds no tie
I will at dawn tomorrow
Cross LoC at closest
and reach Pakistan
Will become a Mujahidin then
And return with Gun and fame
You kids will see
My Charisma and my name

Ha said Umer,
is it easy as you said
The snow on hills is Fresh and deep
Soon we will be dead

No, replied the Wise Sharik
Do you think I am naive?
We will cross Not from Gulmarg
But Tangdhar and get save
I overheard my uncle who
Works over ground
Lot of gaps in LoC fence
Are there to be found
But all this will cost some money
Said Yakub
We have nothing
… it is funny

Hold, said Sharik
Tuning his pockets out
Fished currency notes
Now is there any doubt
From where you got so much of money
Asked all his friends together
I help few Mujahidin
Sharik Replied
With beaming Proud In his eyes
When they were in rough weather
I guided them
From village to Jungles
Away from army camp
I even carried an AK
And held it close to my heart
They smiled at me
And hugged me close
And gave this to me
Did when we part

The boys watched him
With surprised gaze
Their eyes lit
With hopeful Rays
Sharik Asked
Who all are Men Enough?
To come with me
And who is a eunuch…
One by one
all agreed to go
early morning tomorrow they shall leave
it was decided so….

Journey from Pattan to Kupwara
Coasted fortune they had
They sat on the main market
Hungry heartbroken and sad

Now what shall be done?
was there any way
to cross the Samshabari
they asked Sharik in Dismay?
Sharik replied with conviction
We will go to the nearest Mosque
And when people come for namaz
Implore them
that we are holy warriors
And ask for Zakat

They walked to the Mosque
And found no one there
It was 9 30 in Moring
So no one offered prayer
Sharik in zest to prove him
Gave premature Azaan
And Maulvi Sadakat
Came rushing with chagrin and disdain
But when he saw these children
He was perplexed as can be
Who gave the Azan he inquired
Without asking me
The boys confused by now
Pushed Sharik ahead
And frightened, told the Maulvi
What he had sad
Amazed was the Maulvi
And told them to sit down
Walked out to arrange some food
With an anxious frown
After the children had eaten
He asked Sharik the reason
To lead this group of novices
For an act of treason
Treason! Shouted Sharik
You are a man of faith
How dare you dissuade holy warriors?
Who tread the path of Jihad

The maulvi smiled
He told Sharik to sit down
And ask the children
Why they had quit their homes
When he came to know
Their plight
He spoke to them
“You are running away from you primary duty
This is to obtain education
And grow up as responsible Humans
This is your Jihad
Islam stands for Brotherhood
Islam stands for belief
Islam teaches Compassion
Islam teaches Peace
What brings you here is not pious
Go back to your homes
You children
And spread smiles
Spread hope
Be Allah the Merciful be with you
The children were sent back home
Their parents were amazed
A thousand Questions in their conscious
Were raised

This is a true incident. These children ran away from their home to escape from punishment at the school. What is unusual here is these children wanted to go to POK (Azad Kashmir, Whatever you want to call it), and get enrolled as Mujahidin. This is a sad situation, wherein the children who should be groomed as future of Kashmir are made to think such things.
The Kashmir movement now is fully controlled by Pakistan. Mostly Pakistani terrorists operate within the valley with impunity. Most of these are criminals, who have been given an option to choose between Gallows or Kashmir. They come here, stay for two to three years, enjoy what all can be pleasured. Some are killed and some go back. What is left behind is for Kashmir to suffer.

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

Now Or Never

British were always obsessed with their superiority. Their failure in Second World War gave them a bloody nose. To sustain the empire “Where the sun did never set,” become economically unviable.
America was the new God, Basking under the glory of its victory in Europe. Together, the Brits and Yaks feared the neo Devil, Communism.
Oil was important for the recovery of war torn Europe. It was Middle East from where the oil came from. At this juncture ceding independence to India was a strategic risk. But if India was not liberated, it would have been direct pronunciation of Hypocrisy of western ideology of Liberty and Freedom. After all it was this philosophy for which Americans have fought the war.
Churchill administration was certain that an India under leadership of Mahatma will not allow them to operate military bases in South Asia. And these were needed.
So the conspiracy of partition of India was hatched. What all they needed was Baluchistan and NWFP. Since Baluchistan was technically Afgan territory and Pathnas were allied to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan it was a difficult task.
The Idea of Pakistan saw light of the day.
It was a result of ambitions, distrust, misunderstanding on both sides; the Congress and the League, that partition of India became viable.
Radcliff did a brilliant Job. On close observation one can decipher the sinister design of the boundary. Kishangarh Buldge, juts into Pakistan where it is narrowest. Chicken neck, threaten Indian communication with Kashmir, Siliguri corridor is 80 Km wide and the Bay of Bengal is just 60 Km from Lungetlai salient.
The events during partition left a stigma which will take generations to wane. Who so ever stated it; both nations suffered, and are still suffering. To top it all Kashmir was invaded. Now if the British Commanding general of Indian and Pakistan army pleads ignorance, he is a liar. The nascent Pakistan was convinced by British that Kashmir or Part of it is necessary for their existence. One way it was. But the method employed in haste entangled the two nations in a 63 years old animosity.
We were Brothers and we could have settled it amicably.
If a policy for 63 years has produced no result. The policy has resulted in four wars. It is high time we need to relook at it. 63 years of hatred, why not give chance to love?

Now let us have a look at some facts.
In 2008-09 Pakistan allocated a sum of Rs 296 billion for defence. India laid down a defence budget 1.42 trillion rupees (28.4 billion dollars) in year 2010. Over the next 12 years, India is set to spend a whopping US$200 billion on defence acquisitions to replace its outdated inventory. This Money can be utilized for better purposes.
Here are some more recent comparative indicators:

One out of every three illiterate adults in the world is an Indian, according to UNESCO. Pakistan stands fourth in the world in terms of illiterate adult population, after India, China and Bangladesh.

One out of very two hungry persons in the world is an Indian, according to World Food Program. Pakistan fares significantly better than India on the hunger front.


Population living under $1.25 a day - India: 41.6% Pakistan: 22.6% Source: UNDP

The reason for higher levels of poverty in India in spite of its rapid economic growth is the growing rich-poor disparity. Gini indexmeasuring rich-poor gap for India is at 36, higher than Pakistan's 30. Gini index is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 100: A low Gini index indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini index indicates more unequal distribution. Zero corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 100 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).


Underweight Children Under Five (in percent) Pakistan 38% India 46% Source: UNICEF


Life expectancy at birth (years), 2007 India: 63.4 Pakistan: 66.2 Source: HDR2009


Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, male Pakistan: 80% India 87% Source: UNICEF

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, female Pakistan 60% India 77% Source: UNICEF


GDP per capita (US$), 2008 Pak:$1000-1022 India $1017-1100

Child Protection:

Child marriage under 15-years ; 1998–2007*, total Pakistan - 32%India - 47% Source: UNICEF

Under-5 mortality rate per 1000 live births (2007), Value Pakistan - 90 India 72 Source: UNICEF

The time has come for us to make a choice. Weather we continue our attitude of mutual distrust and spend money preparing for a battle that is costing future of our nation.Or we reconcile our difference and work together for progress.
It is not that difficult also.
We start with India taking the initiative. Revamp Indus water treaty to establish Joint Hydro Electric Projects in Kashmir. India will provide Investment and Expertise and Pakistan will get Electricity and water. With a Hydroelectric potential of 28000 MWin Kashmir, Pakistan can easy get up to 8-10 Thousand Watts.
This should be followed by Pakistan closing its terrorist infrastructure. A joint commission for investigation of Anti India and Pakistani activities should be established hereafter.
Pakistan to provide India the status of most favored Nation. India should provide soft lone for revitalization of economic activity. India should invest in Pakistan. This should be followed by establishment of common free market, and if possible unified currency.
The visa regulation is next. Like EU a common citizenship card should be established for both nations.
During this period Military to military interaction should increase. Exchange program for Military establishment should take place. Further a joint command should be established for UN operations. Later this can be extended into joint South Asian Command.
We should aim at field a Joint team in 2023 Olympics.
Then we can talk about Kashmir.

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)