Former RAW Chief’s candid remarks
On 27th August 2016, A.S. Daulat former head of the RAW in an interview to the magazine “The Wire” condemned the Modi government for its highhandedness and not talking to Hurriyat leadership in IOK. He acknowledged that there was extreme anger and hatred in IOK against the coalition government adding that Kashmiri uprising was 100% indigenous and Pakistan was taking advantage of the situation in IOK. He suggested to the government that it should resume the dialogue process with Pakistan, starting where Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh left it. He said that referring to Balochistan would not help as the problem lies in Kashmir and India will have to talk to Pakistan. Daulat’s interview is indicative of the pressure being felt by the Narendra Modi’s government, as the uprising in IOK is likely to force India to resume dialogue with Pakistan.
There is a widespread perception that the uprising in Kashmir has reached a critical stage, where a few more weeks of violence may prove to be decisive. The question is why Modi government is upping the ante? Mayawati, head of Bahujan Samaj Party in her speech in Azam Garh Utter Pradesh had perhaps the right answer. Her assessment is interesting i.e. hard liners within the Modi govt may push for a limited war with Pakistan to release pressure on IOK and to avoid the embarrassing option of a dialogue on Kashmir. A few journalists and analysts in India who have a nuanced and multidimensional approach warn their government about the consequences of brutal actions of Indian military in IOK. They also remind the present government about the commitments made by earlier governments to the United Nations; UNSC resolution especially January 5, 1949 resolution is a case in point.
They believe that Kashmiris are seething with anger and see their present phase of struggle as a “do or die” situation”. Their slogans with regard to the demand for “Azaadi” from India are louder than they were before, and the protests this time round are different from earlier ones. The present generation, born after 1990, is in complete disconnect with India, as they have seen martyrdom of thousands of Kashmiri youth and the reign of terror by Indian military. The plans for setting up Sainik Colonies (soldiers colonies), separate townships for Kashmiri Pundits, and a new industrial policy for the State have reinforced the feeling that India is working on a plan to change Jammu and Kashmir’s demography. Kashmiris had also protested against Indian government efforts to bring about the demographic change by facilitating Hindus to settle down in large numbers in Jammu and Kashmir.
It has to be mentioned that it was India which had taken the Kashmir issue to the UN under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which deals with Pacific Settlement of Disputes. The Security Council had then passed the resolution on January 5, 1949 stating: “The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”, of course under the aegis of the UN. However, the terrible massacre of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues unabatedly for the last seven decades. The catastrophe is big enough to move any conscious human being, but unfortunately the apathy and insensitivity of international community encouraged India to perpetrate atrocities on the people of Kashmir in violations of universally accepted human rights enshrined in the UN Charter.
Not that international community is unaware of repression and heinous crimes in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK); it is rather the vested interest of western governments to remain mute just to please India. Recently, a new wave of Indian brutalities has been witnessed with the martyr of an eminent Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani, who was a great voice for freedom of IOK. The planned killing of Burhan Wani in which state government and centre were hands in glove triggered protests throughout the valley as well as in other parts of Kashmir. Despite reign of terror unleashed by India, and committing murder, rape and atrocities on the people of Kashmir, the anti-India sentiment has never been in short display. With its use of brutal massive military force in the occupied Kashmir, India may have driven out the freedom sentiment from the street, but manifestly it lives in Kashmiri hearts still animatedly.
The trigger-happy Indian soldiers in the past years inflicted so much of brutality on the Kashmiris to subdue and crush their popular uprising for freedom that not a single Kashmiri home is left without family tragedy. By every reckoning, the Kashmiris’ alienation is now irreversible. When their popular uprising was at its peak in the 1990s, India had deployed over 700,000 soldiers to put it down. Even in the face of this large military force, the Kashmiris didn’t cave in. Frustrated by the apathy of the international community and non-implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, Kashmiri youth took up the arms in 1989. However after 9/11, political landscape of the world changed dramatically, and since then freedom struggles of the people the world over are considered as terrorism. Despite suffering at the hands of Indian military, the people of Kashmir have not acquiesced in the State of Jammu & Kashmir’s accession to India.
The Third Kashmir Crisis of 2016 is far worse. The valley is no longer on the boil. It is in an incipient revolt and struggle for freedom which can get worse. India’s Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, applies Article 253 of the Indian Constitution to Kashmir with one overriding proviso. It reads thus: “Provided that after the commencement of the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, no decision affecting the disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be made by the Government of India without the consent of the Government of that State. The Order of 1954 was made by the President on May 14, 1954. The very next day then prime minister Pundit Nehru had said: “India still stands by her international commitments on the Kashmir issue and will implement them at the appropriate time.” Yet, India continues to be in a denial mode.