CIRCULATED ENGLISH MONTHLY OF J&K
A News Magazine of Kashmiri Pandit Community
|| Home | August 1st-31st, 1999 ||
VOL. 5, NO: 13-14
Part 2 of 2
Go Back to Part 1 of 2
Political CorrespondentMufti Mohammed Syed, the Veteran Congress leader of Kashmir resigned from
Congress on July 25 and announced the formation of a regional party,
christened as J&K People’s Democratic Party. This was not an unexpected
development, with intense factionalism plaguing the state Congress and
Kashmir affairs being back in the hands of Ahmed Patel-Ghulam Nabi Azad duo.
Both are pro-Dr Farooq Abdullah and want a marginalised role for Congress in
the state, a line not acceptable to Mufti Syed.
In the recent period, Congress was playing the main opposition role mainly
due to the efforts of Mufti Syed and his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti. They
maintained high political visibility. Any situation involving the people
anywhere in the state, inevitably brought them to the political scene. Under
their leadership the Congress was regaining its role as a democratic
opposition in the local politics of Kashmir.
Explaining his decision to resign from the Congress, Mufti Syed said that
Congress does not have any forum where decisions could be taken. He
described it as “a party of rootless people ”. While praising the Lahore
visit of the Prime Minister Vajpayee, Mufti deplored “the lack of attention
towards the problem inside”. Mufti pleaded for “unconditional” talks with
separatists. He also criticised what he called Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s
indifference to people’s miseries. “They think only in terms of the number
of Lok Sabha seats,” Mufti added. Before resigning he had a lenghthy meeting
with Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Earlier, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, while resigning from
Congress had written an angry letter to the Congress President. She had
asked her, “you want the land of Kashmir or also the people”. However,
barring Mr Muzaffar Beg, no senior leader of any consequence has joined
Mufti Mohammed Syed’s launching of the new party cannot be seen simply as a
factional split in the Congress. It has far-reaching ramifications for
politics of the state, besides National Conference, Congress and the Centre.
With the only leader having a popular base deserting the Congress, its role
in Kashmir is virtually finished. For National Conference, hitherto it did
not have to contend with a serious regional party having the same agenda.
Rapid erosion in the social base of NC caused by the total misgovernance and
the murmers of emerging factionalism are creating a political vaccum, which
is sought to be filled by Mufti Syed’s new regional party. From Centre’s
view point healthy competitive politics between two popular regional parties
offers better choice. Not only can it arrest the drift of alienated sections
towards extraconstitutional outlets, but it can also act as the restraining
influence on the illogical demands of the local politicians. Rajiv Gandhi -
Farooq accord of 1987 left no democratic space for alienated sections - and
the rest is history.
Mufti Syed had rejoined Congress two years ago at the instance of Mr
Narsimha Rao and Mr SB Chavan. He was asked to revamp the organisation by
carrying all factions with him. However, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad never allowed
him to function. A situation was created in which even the seven MLAs did
not rally behind him and his daughter. When the PCC(I) was reconstituted,
Mufti’s position was further weakened. He wanted to launch a regional party
six months ago but was restrained by senior collegues. He could have further
waited Azad’s interfernece but the Parliamentary elections were announced.
AICC, influenced by Mr Azad had indicated that Dr Mehboob Beg and not Mufti
Syed would be fielded in Anantnag. This was to finish him politically.
Mufti Mohd Syed has been described as a habitual deserter, with personal
animus against Sheikh family. It is also said that Mufti’s politics is
driven by an ambition to become the chief minister. In 1977, 1984, 1990
Mufti Syed is alleged to have played a crucial role in destablising National
Conference. He carried the Congress flag on his shoulders for years in the
valley and fought virtually single-handedly against the mighty Sheikh
Abdullah and his son Dr Farooq Abdullah. He had to pay a heavy price for the
hostility. NC ensured that Mufti could never win an election. Mufti
continued to battle for political existence. Many of his collegues in the
Congress e.g. Messers Ashraf Khan, Abdul Ghani Lone, Ali Mohd Naik, Mohd
Shafi etc had joined NC to enjoy the fruits of power.
No politics survives on personal hostility. Mufti Syd’s persistent
opposition to National Conference symoblised by the Abdullah has to be seen
in the context of attempts by new rural elite to challenge the hegemony of
urban based political leadership. During the last two decades upwardly
mobile groups among the rural middle class have established complee
deminance over administration, professions, and trade. It is not a
coincidence that the main political rivals of NC i.e Ghani Lone, Shabir
Shah, Prof Ghani, Syed Ali Shah Geelani represent the rural gentry. The
other dissenters include either traditional anti-Abdullah elements like Mir
Waiz Farooq or those urban groups not coopted by NC in power structure.
In 1968, when the former chief minister, late Sadiq began the process of
reconciliation with Sheikh Abdullah’s Plebscite Front, it was the rural
faction of Congress led by Mir Qasim, Ghulam Rasool Kar, Abdul Ghani Lone
and Mufti Syed which voiced serious opposition. Mrs Indira Gandhi overruled
Syed Mir Qasim decided to shift to Centre. Ghani Lone joined NC government
for some time but soon left it. He floated his own outfit ‘People’s
Conference and tried to play anti-NC role. As this failed to enlarge his
social base, he switched over to secessionist politics. It is interesting
to note that when Mr Lone was a Congress Minister, he had called for
abrogation of Article 370 and sat on dharna for party implementation of
Mr Ghulam Rasool Kar’s politics has been simply dictated by personal
expediency. Mufti Syed continues to battle against NC. In early eighties,
when he had full backing of Mrs Indira Gandhi, he forged a social
combination of Shias, Gujjars, Pandits and a section of rural Sunnies to
challenge NC in the electoral arena. However, Mufti’s concern was not to
voice the selecive discrimination against these groups or building Congress
as a healthy secular opposition. His priority seemed destabilising of NC. So
once Mufti thought that this social combination was not a winning
combination, he fell back to challenging NC on a different agenda.. To
counter NC, he is alleged to have patronised Qazi Nissar, the rabid preacher
of communal hate against Kashmiri Hindus. Mufti’s pleas for unconditional
talks” with separatists and nonemphasis on secular politics is an extension
of this approach.
Mufti Syed’s decision to float regional party has basically three
objectives. One it wants to cash on alienation, created by NC misgovernance.
Second, it wants to woo those separatists who intend to participate in
democratic power-politics. Thirdly, it intends to cash the “isolationist
psyche of Kashmiris”, to build its legitimacy as a popular regional party.
Mufti Syed’s present political line has sinister implications for those
Indians who want to see Kashmir as a part of secular nation-building
exercise. Mufti’s approach strengthens the legitimacy of separatist and
Muslim-subnationalist politics. This politics has also the potentiality of
building an agenda whereby Mufti’s rivals can try to outmatch him. Mr Ghulam
Nabi Azad’s recent statements in Srinagar strengthen these fears. He was
trying to out herod the herod. Mr Azad lashed out at SoG and accused the
state government for being responsible for human rights abuses. Congress - I
Manifesto has also called for dialogue with separatists provided they shun
CHINA’S SUPPORTIVE STANCE ON KARGIL
Diplomatic CorrespondentBy virtue of their size, power, aspirations and geostrategic importance
India and China are bound to play adversorial role. Since late forties they
have history of bitter relationship. Despite supporting China’s membership
for UN and its annexation of Tibet, China has harmed Indian interests time
and again. It has consistently backed Pakistan against India on all issues
including Kashmir. China has grabbed our territory in the north-east and
Ladakh, totalling nearly 40,000 square milies. It has also been backing the
diferent secessionist groups questioning the sovereignity of India. China
has sown distrust among India’s neighbour states.
China’s supportance stance,even if not a shift on, Kargil has surprised
many. The impact of Chinese neutrality played a decisive role in
facilitating Clinton-Sharif deal. China emphatically maintained that there
should be no outside intervention in bilateral affairs or internal disputes.
It refused to lend support to Pak move to activate UN and its Security
Council for discussion on Kargil. Chinese cautioned Nawaz Shrif against US
intervention and laid stress on resolving conflicts through bilateral
discussions. They feel India and Pakistan tensions would draw US into
regional power play along its borders. President Jiang’s reference to
“increase in unstable elements” threatening world peace is of particular
significance in this context. Though China did not pass value judgements on
branding Pakistan as an aggressor or asking for respect for LoC, yet they
conveyed their non-approval of Pakistan’s Kargil action by executing Pak
gang leader in Sinkiang, just before Sharif’s visit.
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told the visiting Pakistan Foreign
Minister, Sartaj Aziz, “the Kashmir issue is a complicated affair with a
long history and should be, and could only be solved through peaceful means
.. China hopes Pakisan and India will find an effective approach to bringing
about a political solution to the Kashmir issue through negotiations and
consutations.” Chinese leaders stress in general was “to exercise patience
and resolve the crisis through peaceful and candid dialogue” and “seek a
political solution by reviving Lahore process.”
There was also a new semantic shift in China’s stand on Kashmir. Mr Zhu
Rongi, the Chinese Prime Minister called Kashmir, “a historical problem
involving territorial, religious, ethnic and other elements.” Earlier
Chinese stand was that Kashmir was a problem left over by history. New
stance could indicate recognition of the dangers of religious fundamentalism
and ethenic separatism flowing out of the Kashmir dispute.
The recent visit of Mr Jaswant Singh of China was also significant from
India’s view. Both countreis reiterated statements that they were not threat
to each other. Mr Jaswant Singh disowned statements of Mr Fernandes and Mr
Vajpayee in 1998 which were not liked by the Chinese. To reassure Chinese he
told them that the different voices emanating from India about China were
“transitory occurances” and said “Pokhran chapter is behind us”. Later
speaking to an elite gathering of Chinese ... and ex-diplomats Mr Jaswant
Singh stressed the need for opposing “dollar imperialism”. Expressing
concern at the developing countries, Mr Jaswant Singh said “India and China
should cooperate in facing the difficult Urisation in the name of
Chinese reciprocated by telling Mr Jaswant Singh that India and China must
stand up with equal might against hegemonism and unipolority. The message
was that in these circumstances China and India cannot afford to be mutual
threats. China and India also agreed for a security dialogue and a Joint
Working Group was formed to settled boundary differences.
China’s role in Kargil has to be seen in the context of growing misturst in
Sino-US relations, its concern over role of Pakistan and India’s emergence
as a nuclear power in the neighbourhood.
Sino-US discord:Chinese policymakers feel strategic partnership with US is over. They have
apprehensions of US led containment of China, particularly with Republicans
ground.The Clinton administration’s decision to widen its security umbrella
in Asia by providing Taiwan and Japan with Theatre Missile Defence Systems
has made Chinese to have a second look at their security. This system is
primarily directed against China and will give US the capability to
intervene militarily anywhere in this region. Washington’s new policy is to
gain access to places in South-East Asia in order to upgrade US Naval
security and Air superriority without having to set up and operate new
military bases per se.
Chinese are also worried about growing US military presence and its
interventionist role in Central Asia. A full elite US division, 82nd will be
paradropped in Uzbek’s Ferghana valley in September, 1999 as part of NATO
sponsored “partnership for peace” exercise. This division is part of US’s
Rapid Deployment Force for immediate trouble shooting in any global hot
spot. China feels that this initiative can turn Central Asia into yet
another bridgehead for its containment.
US’s action in Kosovo has demonstrted Washington as an aggressive and
hegemonic superpower. Many senior Chinese officials fear that in the post
Kosovo scenario, internationalisation of Kashmir could set a dangerous
precendent for Tibet as well.
Cox report on the Chinese stealing of classified US defence technology has
affected credibility of China in US. Cox report tries to inculcate in the
American mind the suspician that every Chinese student who comes to the
American University Campus is a virtual spy, Chinese argue.
Chinese have reacted very strongly to the bombing of its embassy in
Belgrade. China immediately suspended all military cooperation, and stopped
dialogue on non-proliferation, disarmament, international security and human
rights with US. It banned US warships visiting Hongkong. Chinese
policymakers believe US bombing was prelude to an atempt to trample Chinese
sovereignity and an exercise to test China’s resolve. Chinese feel that US
is likely to remain a superpower for the next seventy years. They believe
that strategic partnership between India and Russia and China can checkmate
US hegemonism in the Asia and the process towards multipolarity can be
Concern over Pakistan’s role:For China Sinkiang region is of great economic and strategic importance. It
occupies a large proportion of Chinese land mass. China’s nuclear test site
is in Lop Nor and there is also considerable mineral wealth including
Uranium in this province. Pakistan has been patronising Islamic
fundamentalists to create trouble in Sinkiang. The Front organisation of
Snikiang Muslims “Asian Muslims Human Rights Bureau” operates from
Islamabad. Pakistan press reports regularly highlight how Sinkiang Muslims
pursue their objectives of achieving separate homeland. Chinese are also not
happy over Pakistan’s role in destablisaton of Central Asia. China has
strong apprehensions that Pakistan is turning into an irresponsible nuclear
state and giving undue leverage to US in this region. Chinese, reports say,
had advised Pakistan not go for Chagai blasts in 1998. It wanted Pakistan
to have its nuclear umbrella.
Engaging India:After India became a nuclear state, Chinese were convinced that balance of
power has changed asymmetry. With increased emphasis by BJP leaders that
Indian nuclear programme was Chinese specific, Chinese decided to engage
India to curb arms race. China has ambitions to become a super power in next
two decades, so it wants to buy peace with India for concentrating on
China has fears that US may be goading India into a strategic alliance and
striking a nuclear deal. M Albright on her visit to China has repeatedly
queried about a secret deal over India’s signing of CTBT. Sha Zhukang, a top
Chinese expert, speaking to an audience in Washington even advised US not to
engage itself in discussions with India on what constituted a minimal
nuclear deterrence and to stand by the tough Security Council resolution No.
1172, which demands complete nuclear and missle disarmament from India and
Chinese even while remaining stridently critical of India’s nuclear and
missile weaponisation programme have come to the conclusion that reverting
to a hostile relationship with India would not serve their strategic and
economic interests in Asia.
India has to tread cautiously in its relations with China. In view of the
growing ecnomic stakes, relations between US and China are not going to
slide down much. Secondly China is not going to sacrifice its strategic ties
with Pakistan, even while being critical of its role. China’s stand on
Kashmir is not supportive of India but only “detached” and “nuanced”.
Relations with India are not a priority for China. Normal relations with
India is an incremental foreign policy aim, particularly in the context of
India’s nuclear and missile weaponisation. It is imperative for India not to
neglect strategic aspects of security vis-a-vis China, despite supportive
Chinese gestures on Kargil END
US SHIFT ON KARGIL - THE UNDERTONES
Diplomatic CorrespondentVery early in the Kargil war, Karl Inderfurth, US Assistant Secretary of
State stated that, “the Indians are not going to cede this territory. They
have to depart, and they will depart either voluntarily or because the
Indias will take them out,” Indian media described it as the first outspoken
statement by US in the last fifty-two years. Washington also admitted
involvement of mercenaries and the role of Pakistan army regulars. US
President in his joing statement reiterated “the line of control in Kashmir
be respected by both parties, in accordance with the 1972 Shimla accord.”
American Government also issued a statement condemning cross-border
There is virtually euphoria among the Indians over US role in Kargil. They
have started perceiving it as a paradigm shift in the US strategy in South
Asia. Mr Jaswant Singh, Minister of external affairs has seen “strategic
shift taking place towards India.” The union home minister, Mr LK Advani
said Kargil was a turning point in Indo-US ties. He cited bus diplomacy and
the statesmanship displayed by Mr Jaswant Singh for this change.
Indian policy makers, perceiving shift in US attitude towards India argue
that cold war certitudes which defined US relations with Pakistan and China
are beginning to disappear. New concerns about an Asian balance and rise of
religious terrorism in Pakistan have begun to impinge on US thinking. For
explaining the theory of paradigm shift at economic level, India’s
impressive economic performance as contrasted with Pakistan’s deepening
economic crisis are also cited. It is stressed that US is perceiving
Pakistan as a failed state. It is also argued that US has realised that
economic sanctions against India cause direct export losses as well as the
loss of clientele to its other business, hitting economic growth.
Changing in polarities in the Afghan region are also mentioned for decline
of Pakistan’s role in US foreign policy perceptions. For tapping Central
Asian oil and gass reserves, US no longer looks to Pakistan as the
favourite, it is rather a liability. US is trying to mend relations with
Iran and is also pressurising Taliban regime to reach an agreement with the
opposition alliance. Even Saudi-Iranian relations are improving. Pakistan’s
role in this scenario gets gradually marginalised. There is also growing
reputation criticism of Clinton’s appeasement policy towards China and bias
against India. India becomes US’s new favourite. Reports are quoted the US
shared sensitive intelligence data with India and acquiesced in India’s
decision to make it public.
Is there really a positive shift in America’s policy towards India? Why did
US take so forthright a stand.
US’s positive sand towards India was only Kargil specific, restricted to
restoring status quo ante at LoC. Even on Kargil, though US and UN Military
observers group (a US shadow group) were well aware of what was happening in
Kargil for the last two years. It did not inform India unlike in 1987 when
US gave full details to Pakistan about Operation Brasstacks and warned New
Delhi against any escalating measure. Not only that US role in escalating
Kargil has not been above board. A report carried by the prestigious news
agency, ADNI is alarming. It says, quoting reports, that around the time Gen
Mushraff was visiting Skardu, preparatory to the massive infiltration, a
special US commando team was seen in Pakistan. “The team may well have been
assisting the Pakistan Army assemble Pusto-speaking guerrilla fighters many
of whom are known to be in the pay of CIA since the days of the war against
the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.This suspicion arises from the fact
that the infiltrators used much the same tactics as did the CIA-trained
Afghan fighters in the highlands of Afghanistans,” the report adds.
Stephen Cohen, a US think-tank says that end of stalemate in Kargil was
limited victory for India and limited for Pakistan, “Both sides won and
lost”. US took no hostile or damaging steps against Pakistan. America forced
a committment on India that it will not cross LOC. India soldiers suffered
huge losses because of this.
US may not have taken even a forthright stand on respect for LoC, but the
aggression was too blatant. Also in the absence of minimalist position it
could lose mediatory role. Even while not criticising Pakistan, it has
gained positive leverage in India. This has dangerous implications,
considering that despite end of cold war there has been persistent American
diplomatic activism on Kashmir indicating consistency in US position.
Second gain for America has been that it has pushed Kashmir to the centre
stage with itself as the mediator. The joint statement of Clinton and Sharif
was emphatic on this. It said, “he (Clinton) would take a personal interest
in encouraging an expeditious resumption and intensification of those
bilateral effors, once the sanctity of the Line of Control has been fully
Prof Robert Wirsingh, a US think tank and a collaborator of Kashmir study
Group report said with Kargil US has acquired the status of a mediator.
“This (the Kargil conflict) will be dragged out with formal additional
participant in Washington. You may not call it mediation but facilitation of
mediators. Kargil has given gains that Siachen never acquired,” he adds.
Karl Inderfurth made two significant statements in an interview to
Washington Post in the aftermath of Kargil. He said that Vajpayee had said
recently “we want to permanently resolve the Kashmir problem”. Inderfurth
added, “we hope at appropriate time India will sign CTBT because India has
determined it is in its national interest to do so”.-------------- Inder
Malhotra, a leading political analyst says that US wants a quid pro quo for
better relations most probably in nuclear field especialy in the form of
signature on CTBT.
US has been persuing its agenda on Kashmir and CTBT, irrespctive of Indian
interests. It has sent Joan Rohlfing, senior advisor for national security
to US energy secretary on a six month deputation to its embassy in Delhi
with effect from September 1. She has been working on non-proliferation
issues for the last twelve years. She will be supporting Ambassador Celeste
on non-proliferation issues and her first step on non-proliferation is to
get India sign CTBT. She comes to India, a month before the important
Vieanna Conference on CTBT. The indications from US are that its second step
after CTBT would be to force India and Pakistan to reach a settlement on
Kashmir in accordance with Shimla accord and UN resolutions. This is US’s
real gameplan while playing a supportive stance on Kargil. For Indian
policy-makers it is important to bear in mind that US will not allow
Pakistan to collapse or even come under the shadow of a military dominant
India. Thus any US mediatory role will likely seek to safeguard Pakistani
interests vis-a-vis India. For the sake of India it is not going to armtwist
it to accept a Kashmir settlement on Indian terms. Despite its blatant
aggression, US administration showed its readiness to bail out Pakistan
economy by offering it the IMF loan and make extra political effort to lift
US sanctions against India END
KARGIL - FROM PEACE TO WAR
By S.M. PanditKargil district which is the centre stage for Pakistani misadventure falls
on otherside of Zojila pass in Ladakh region. I first visited it in 1985.
Unlike Kashmir’s lush green forests, Kargil has sky touching naked mountains
and deserted area still having natural beauty. The district has majority of
Shia population with Sunni majority in Drass block and Budhist in Zanaskar
sub-division. Majority of the population is back ward, conservative and
innocent but loyal to the nation from core of their heart. Pakistan is
looked as a hostile nation and populace have always stood by Indian forces
and take pride in being Indians.
People talk about troublent experiences of wars with fear and the victory of
Indian forces with pride and describe how Pakistan was pushed back from
Hathimatha, which they identiy a hill lock in vicinity of Kargil town, a
strategic position over looking Kargil town and national highway. They talk
about a revered AGA (clergyman) who issued Fatwa (orders) to his followers
to give all out support to Indian forces during Indo-Pak war to frustrate
the nefarious designs of Pakistan. People obliged their religious Guru by
providing all possible help to India forces in the hostile terrain. This
nationalist gesture of the AGA was reciprocated by Indian army as he enjoyed
hospitality of Indian army till his death in late 80’s and army people
visited him regularly for blessing and guidance. There is usually no talk
about plebescite or refrandum as in Kashmir and to the best of my knowledge
the fundamentalists like Jamat-Islami have no strong base in the district.
When militancy sprouted in Kashmir in 1989-90, militants failed to establish
a foot hold in Kargil. The militant friendly Kashmiri Muslims, including
government employees, tried their best to indoctrinate them and exploit
their religious feelings but in vain. The rumours were floated that Islam
is in peril in Kashmir. The local population was being misinformed by the
vested interests about snatching of religious freedom by Jagmohan and Co.
that resulted in people’s rebellion against Indian establishment in favour
of Azadi and Pakistan. One Aga asked me if the mosques were open and if the
people allowed to offer Nimaz in Kashmir? Such was the level of
indoctrination. He was surprised to hear from me that the mosques were
being used by these very people as political platforms and Pro-Azadi
slogan’s were being raised from mosque loud speakers round the clock.
The Kashmiri Muslims also organised corner meetings but the local response
eluded them, however, connivance of some minisicule elements cannot be ruled
out. Though there were no militancy related incidents in Kargil and there
was peace still it did not remain unaffected. In October 1990, I along with
4 other friends boarded a taxi from Jammu to Sonamarg to avoid night stay in
Kashmir as same was unsafe. But surprisingly, taxi driver refused on onward
journey to Sonamarg and dropped us at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar
against our wishes. The arrival of Kashmiri Pandits to this place was an
unusual event and was not out of danger as it was also hub of militancy. We
mustered courage and fortunately could arrange a taxi to Sonamarg. On
reaching Sonamarg, we boarded trucks for journey to Kargil heaving a sigh of
relief little knowing that we may have to go through a night”-marish
experience. On reaching TCP (Traffic Check Post) Drass at 9:00 PM, the
traffic was stopped against usual practice. Usually traffic was allowed on
forward journey once crossing Zojila. So we were left with no option but to
stay in trucks. Unfortunately, due to some misunderstanting, we were
mistaken as terrorists by our truck drivers who called in army to our
surprise. Within no time army reached targetting their weapons. We
established our identity with identity cards and escaped army fury but were
not allowed to stay in trucks. Ignorant of the ground realities, we decided
to proceed to Drass town which was 2 kms away from TCP to stay in some
hotel. On the road, we saw unusual calm and contrary to our experience no
hotlier responded to our knocks. Then we reached police station Drass for
help and police force rushed out putting their fingers on the triggers. On
listening to our stroy, they expressed surprise on our survival and stated
that shoot at sight orders were in force from 8 PM onwards but declined to
comment about the reasons. They arranged our stay in the Dak Bungalow and
next day we boarded a bus for Kargil only to go through unprecedented
checking enroute. We came to know that a big group of teenagers who had
returned after military training in Pak and were trapped in Gund, Sonamarg
in Sep-Oct 1999 had reporedly first tried the Mushkoh pass. Observers feel
that Mushkoh may have been used by the terrorists for infiltration
afterwards also for its topographical advantage before the recent full scale
Pakistan couldn’t digest India friendly approach during Indo-Pak wars and
non cooperation in militancy that the civilian population became target of
Pak army. The champions of Muslims did not spare even mosques, hospitals and
religious schools. Peaceful Kargil was pushed into turmoil END
BEFORE AND AFTER KARGIL
By Sumer KoulThe Prime Minister said the other day that “we have learnt a lesson from
Kagil,” that we won’t let “such a situation arise again,” that “the supreme
sacrifice of our soldiers will not be allowed to go waste.” Ringing words
these. But do they ring true? Only time can tell. As of now the restraint
with which we combated the invasion and the magnanimity with which we
allowed the enemy to go home( and lay mines in the vacated areas) do not
encourage optimism. Nor does history.
The lesson from Kargil is a lesson we should have learnt in 1947 when
Pakistan first invaded us. Then as now, at the sacrifice of hundreds of our
soldiers, we had them on the run and by all accounts, would have reclaimed
the entire state if only we hadn’t rushed to a fraudulent court of justice
called the United Nations. This was to prove the mother of all our blunders
vis-a-vis this congenitally hostile neighbour.
That we learnt nothing from that war was proved when Pakistan did an encore
in 1965, and again six years later. On both occasions and especially in 1971
when we had them completely on their knees, we did not drive home the
advantage on the political plane. Instead, we returned to them on a platter
large areas including strategic points in Kashmir (along with more than
90,000 prisoners of war) and all in return for two predictably dubious
agreements, first at Tashkent and then at Simla.
These blunders were made by the Congress governments, but the underlying
infirmities in resolve and vision seem to afflict the entire political
spectrum. The non-Congress governments did nothing to repair the damage and,
in fact, it was under one such regime that Pakistan unleashed the so-called
proxy war in Kasmir, a war which has gone on for ten years and taken a toll
of 18,000 Indian lives. And now Kargil.
Even as our Prime Minister was sincerely bear-hugging a visibly reluctant
Nawaz Sharif at Wagah and we were applauding the “historic breakthrough”,
Pakistan was invading Kargil! The ink had not dried on the Lahore
declaration when Sharif threatened to exercise “some other option”. The
belligerent statement should have dented our unilateral euphoria but it
didn’t. While our politics ignored the intimidation, MEA put benign
construction on it, dismisssing the threat as merely aimed at “some fringe
elements in Pakistan.”
Not only did Pakistan actually thrust a war on us, it also decided when to
stop the fighting. That the latter decision had much to do with the lack of
overt support from its patrons abroad, particulary President Clinton, is
undeniable. But in our desire to celebrate this as a triumph of our
diplomacy, we must not underrate the decisive role played by the raw
courage, deep commitment and victories of our soldiers.
Four hundred young lives snuffed out. Scores disabled for life. At the end
of the day we have to ask ourselves: All this sacrifice for what? To throw
out the invader and recapture our land, yes - but is that all there should
be to it? Even when a bandit enters your house, you don’t merely throw him
out; you want to ensure that he is punished for his crime. Why should it be
different if the bandit is a country and a habitual offender, as Pakistan
is? In other words, the pertinent question is not whether we have learnt a
lesson from Kargil but whether we have taught a lesson to Pakistan. There is
little evidence that we have.
On the very day it began the withdrawal and we stopped “air action and use
of certain weapons so as not to impede the withdrawal” - in other words,
gave them safe passage - Pakistan continued heavy shelling from across the
LoC, felling more of our men. It has since stepped up terrorist killings in
the state, attacking even our army camps. According to an official
spokesman, “ISI and Pakistan army have lined up 2,000 terrorists to be
smuggled into J&K as a follow-up to the Kargil intrusion.” We let them off
the hook in Kargil and they are back at their bloody deeds in Kashmir.
Throughout the war we did and said things which were utterly uncalled for
and added up to confirming Pakistan’s (and the world’s perception of India
as a sponge state. Pakistan invades us and we publicly debate whether it is
the government or army or ISI or foreign mercenaries who are behind the
invasion. Our deep-set reluctance to call a spade a spade makes us describe
the blatant aggression variously as intrusion, incursion, war-like,
near-war. It is a planned invasion and occupation and Pakistan army’s
involvement is abundantly clear but we still call them infiltrators and
intruders. Pakistan’s “perfidy” notwithstanding, we let their foreign
minister come over for talks. Then we say ‘no talks till the aggression is
vacated’, and yet we receive another Pakistani emissary and send our own
there - secretly.
As the Indian army gets into action, Pakistan talks of a bigger war and of
using nuclear weapons, but our leaders are at pains to say ‘no, no we do not
want a bigger war.’ Given the facts, the world would have thought it would
have been the other way round! Pakistan says the LoC is not defined. Any
other country would have seized on this and gone on to destroy their bases
and camps in PoK, which in any case we claim as our territory. Instead, we
rush to produce the maps signed at Simla! They shoot down our plane and kill
the captured pilot in cold blood. All we do is to tell Pakistan that
murdering a PoW is against the Geneva convention - and an official spokesman
actually “appreciates the gesture” of Pakistan returning the body! A young
lieutenant and five jawans are fiendishly tortured to death. We are content
merely to call it “a barbaric act”. On our part, we wrap their dead in their
flag and bury them “with all respects.”
Yes we are not like them; we are a civilised people. But there is nothing
called a civilised war. It is a matter of killing the enemy before he kills
you, of avenging the killing of your comrades, of punishing those who attack
your country. More than ever before the people of India have genuinely
grieved with the families of the martyrs. Going by the innumerable surveys,
they are angry and fed up. They ask that we hit Pakistan so hard that it
gives up its devilish designs. The government’s reluctance to retalitate in
full measure and the Opposition’s petty and election-oriented politicking
altogether put the Indian people and army on one wave length and the
political and bureaucratic establishements on quite another.
Given the way we have handled the aftermath of India-Pakistan wars, one
sometimes wonders if we deserve the magnificiant army we have. Every great
performance of our jawans and young officers has been considerably nullified
by poor performance at the political and diplomatic levels. Is this because
“our govenments have been timid,” as former army chief VN Sharma says, or is
it “the victim syndrome” at play, as security analyst Brhma Chellaney says?
It is both and something more: an egregious mindset that seeks good-boy
certificates from the West, particularly from the US.
This mindset has to go. We must do things only and entirely in the interests
of the country, as our army does, and not be obessed with international
opinion. The time to get into the right gear is now. Even while maintaining
high vigil on the border, we must turn our guns on the terroristts in the
state. There should be no pussy-footing about this. Unfortunately but
typically our response to post-Kargil terrorism has been weak-kneed and
reactive - rather than pre-emptive and punitively retaliatory. We must
eliminate them (and their local collaborators), not by employing minimum
force as hitherto, but decisively by whatever means necessary.
We must also prepare to deal with a soon-to-emerge concerted western
“advice” to respond to Sharif’s calls for talks. Let us make no mistake. He
wants talks as a facade to impress the world even as ISI and the
military-mullah complex enlarge and intensify their machinations against us.
If history is not to repeat itself yet again, we should agree to talks on
three conditions: they must pay war reparations; they must hand over for
trial those who committed the destardly torture on our captured soldiers;
and they must at once cease and desist in Kashmir (and elsewhere in India).
Only when we secure these conditions can we claim not to have let the
sacrifice of our soldiers go waste END
PAKISTAN'S REAL INTENSIONS BEHIND SUCH AN ADVENTURE
By Yoginder KandhariIN the haze of victory in the Kargil that has enveloped us, not many have
yet analysed India's response. It would be incorrect to term Pakistani
intrusion in Kargil sector a total fiasco. Pak leadership both political and
military, would have taken limited sustainability of such an intrusion into
account while planning the Kargil operation. Pak aim, therefore, would not
have been to solely annex territory but obviously have larger
On political plane, the objectives possibly were, firstly to bring Kashmir
issue back into sharp international focus, secondly, to expand area of
conflict to Ladakh region which thus far had remained untouched and lastly,
to silence Nawaz Sharif's domestic critics and Islamic fundamentalists. For
any operation to be successful, it is imperative that there has to be a goal
congruence at political and military levels. This principle obviously would
have been followed by the military planners. However, the operation offered
the military leadershiip certain strategic spin offs like tying down of
additional Indian Army formation in thus, thus restricting their alternate
strategic operations, pushing in more battle hardened trained and militants
in the state of J&K and, attempting a subtle psychological warfare against
Indian security forces by engineering tething acts of sabotage in their
rear. Pakistan has partially achieved its aims. That in no way is a mean
Now let us examine the India's response to the Kargil incursions by the
Pakis. Firstly, our whole intelligence network miserably failed to gain any
information about this military adventure by the Pakistan.
This intelligence failure has multidimensional aspects. It is not limited to
gathering of information, there also has been a huge failure in proper
assessment of threat in Kargil sector by the highest in the military
hierarchy. Intelligence activity is not limited only to collections of hard,
information. The most important aspect of this sphere is balanced
assessement of options available to the enemy commanders given the available
strengths and constraints. In this our military leaders failed to pick up
the enemy intentions from loud and clear battle indicators. Firstly, it is
no secret that Kargil sector had been considerably thinned of troops by us
during intial stages of militancy in J&K in 1991-92 leaving just a brigade
to look after the heights of Kargil stretched over about 150 kms. A full
division strength of troops, less a brigade, was moved from the sector to
Kupwara for anti-infiltration duties. Did it not occur to the military
generals then that it amounted to exposing our rear to unchecked intrusions/
infiltration and adventures like the present one by the Pakis? Secondaly,
Kargil sector has two important military aspects to it. One, it is flanked
by Siachin a permanent battle field between the two countries and two, a
strategically important highway passes through it which had regularly been
interdicted for last three to four years by the Pakistani artillery. These
inputs should have been enough for our military planners to focus some more
tactical attention to this area. Instead we procrastinated and paid a heavy
price in terms of loss of about 400 gallant soldiers. Reports about purchase
of cement from Kargil town by Pakistani intruders for construction of
defences in our area and visits to Kargil by them add insult to injury. One
wonders where were those highly paid, Jet flying and high profile
intelligence seleuths when all this enemy activity was going on in our
territory for, almost a year. Many heads have to roll if we have to arrest
the increasing trend of criminal negligence to national security. Even
militarily we failed to carryout our basic tactical routine in an LC
environment. It is just not acceptable to shift blame to non-availability of
latest surveillance equipment for we could easily have detected this
intrusion much before first weak of May and had we been professionally
honest with accepted practice of long range patrols especially during winter
months. Just removing a brigade commander and a unit commander would not be
enough. Every one up the chain has to accept a portion of blame since LC
management continues to be joint responsibility of commanders at all levels.
How can one otherwise explain that Northern Army. Commander's assessment in
third week of May, about intruders strength being just 150-200 when two
thousand plus were already positioned in our territory.
The failure of intelligence to forewarn the military commanders of an
impending hostile move by enemy puts a fresh spanner into our war
moblisation planning. Basically, all moblisation planning is based on the
premise that two to three weeks of advance warning about enemy intentions
would be given by the intelligence agencies to the defence forces.
Obviously, military planners will now have to look outside the realms of
sand model discussions for there is no guarantee that even satellites can
fully be depended upon especially since even US could be fooled by our own
men during Pokhran-II. This shows human brain cannot be replaced by any
artificial intelligence gadget.
Kargil intrusion also caught us off guard as regards our actual execution of
defense plans. Build up for our counter offensive took too long than would
actually be permitted in a fluid operational time frame. Our response was a
nervous one. A mountain division, thickly involved in counter insurgency
operations, was moved to Kargil leaving a large security void in the valley.
As militant activities in the valley increase consequent to this pull out,
Director General of Rashtriya Rifles was summoned to the Valley to take
charge of counter insurgency operations and local corps commanders were
spared for border management. There has been a talk about counter insurgency
grid deployment by Rashtriya Rifles in order to relieve Army for their
conventional role for too long now but without actual implementation
Knee jerk reactions as we witnessed in our military respose recently
indicate not enough thought was given at the highest levels to such an
eventuality. One could see artillery build up for our counter offensive
taking place till as late as mid June. Obviously, a massive artillery effort
was put in Kargil. One wonders if such a luxury would have been available in
case complete Indo-Pak border had been activated. This necessiates fresh
appraisal of our tactical plans and consequent equipment requirement.
Shortage and inadequecy of basic war like equipment in armed forces too has
been exposed by the Kargil operations. Here the blame lies mainly with our
narrow visioned political leaders. Defence perspective planning has sadly
been missing from our political monitors. It surely cannot be given due
attention if we have political leaders like Mr Mulayam Singh at the helm of
defence establishment. Such leaders other than favouring a far from their
own state or from their own caste can do precious little in casting a
durable defence policy. Arming defence forces is not an overnight process.
It requires foresight and years of planning to keep armed forces
technologically abreast. Typical facet of Indian defence planning is that
GSQRs (General Staff Quality Requirements) get obsolete by the time an
equipment is introduced into the service. However, Kargil episode did also
expose our weak under belly in this respect. We were found wanting in basic
war like equipment like LMGS, radio sets etc. Surely, this shortage has not
been created by our political leaders. Army has been living on austerity of
critical equipment for last about three decades. Commanders have been wary
of declaring units unfit for war on account of critical deficiencies in war
like equipment lest their own professional carriers would suffer. In such
an organisation environment excellent results at best appear dreams only.
Kargil intrusions have put paid to our claims of waning insurgency in the
state of J&K and return of near normalcy. Pakistan by one clever manoeuver
has pumped in a life booster to the proxy war in the state. Firstly, it has
extended its area of influence to hithertofore untouched Ladakh region thus
projecting entire state of J&K a disputed area. Secondly, by drawing
security forces attention to Kargil, it has sent in additional 2000
militants out of which, it is estimated, 500 odd have been sent in with
specific instructions to take on the security forces and their camps.
Hence, for the first time we see daring attacks on security forces camps, at
times lasting for upto an hour. Even the militant engagements since Kargil
operation have seen a qualitative change. Their engagements have graduated
from stand off ones and avoidance of direct contact to pitched engagements.
Recent militant attacks have shown signs of mature military accumen thus
protending a protracted combat for own securty forces. All these daring
actions by militants are likely to be a psychological tonic for local
Kashmiris to resist the Indian state further.
Pakistans Kargil intrusion has increased manifold , Indian security forces
protracted involvement in exacting internal security duties. In fact,
Pakistan is fighting Indian army at psychological plane in order to render
it weaker for any conventional engagement. With Kargil hights now likely to
house a division plus permanently, Indian Army's commitment in the Valley
has tremendously increased thus restricting our strategic options
else-where. This one has been a major gain for Pakistan.
Not withstanding Indian political leaderships statements to the contrary,
Pakistan has been able to bring focus back on Kashmir internationally. Whole
Kargil operation thus requires a fresh appraisal by our defence thinkers, in
order to evolve suitable responses for the future END
PAK INTRUSION IN KARGIL
WHAT CAUSED THE ‘SHIFT’ IN US POLICY?
By M.M. KhajooriaLONG time back, when I was a probationer in the Central Police Training
College, Mt. Abu (since renamed as SVBP National Police Academy and shifted
to Hyderabad), the veteran diplomat, Girja Shankar Bajpayee delivered a
brilliant discourse on Indian for-eign policy its underlying philosophy,
contours and dynamics to a spell-bound group of IPS probationers sitting
erect stiflly in highly startched Khakhi. It was a great experience to
listen to him. The end of his speech was greeted by a thunderous applause.
And then began the question answer session. I stood up and asked “Sir, what
does, in your opinion dictate the foreign policy of a country”? He looked at
me for a while, as if making up his mind and said. “For this question I will
give you an undiplomatic answer. Yes, the foreign policy of a country is
dictated by her National Vested Interest and nothing else. Rest are elements
of icing on the cake.” That day I learnt the unvarnished and undi-luted
truth, the touch stone on which foreign policy initiative and response
should be tested and comprehended.
Since the very inception of the ‘Kashmir issue’, the United States has been
partial towards Pakistan. In its perception Pakistan was a better bet in
enabling her to complete the encirclement of the USSR. More over, even when
Islamic Ummah adopted Kashmir and fundamentalists started playing games of
subversion and sabotage in Kashmir, the US was unmoved. It con-tinued to
treat Kashmir problem as ‘Pakistan specific’ despite clear indications of
‘Afghan connection’ and pan-Islamic funda-mentalist dimensions that not only
bracketed Kashmir and Afgha-nistan together for the purpose of determining
strategy of take over a part of enforcing Nizam-i-Mustapha world-over. The
Islamic fundamentalists recognise no national boundries and believe in the
indivisibility of the Ummah. And history is witness to bloody wars between
the Muslim and Christian fundamentalists. The pan-Islamic fundamentalist
made no secret about their taking on the ‘Christians’ after the communists
were humbled. Despite all this, the USA in its single minded commitment to
drive the Soviets from Afghanistan, recklessly poured money and military
hardware through a regime in Pakistan that was headed by a dictator
Zia-ul-Haq known as “the Mullah in Khaki”. The USA turned a blind eye to the
diversion of money and weapons meant for Afghanistan to J&K for stoking the
‘proxy war’ and utilising the training facil-ities in Afghanistan by the
Kashmiri terrorists. She did not object to the allocaton of critical role to
Pakistan Jamiat-i-Islami in promoting Jehad in Afghanistan by the Pak ISI.
It was only after Najib was tricked into abdication Zia-ul-Haq perished in
an air crash and the Afghan groups began to jump at each others throat that
the mist cleared some what and the US policy planners recognised in
Hikmatyar less of a crusader and more of a narcotic peddler. The horrors of
narco-terrorism in which the core agency Pak ISI was an active participant
and benificiary and the repercussion back home compelled them to alter
course. Hikmatyar was discarded. However, the remedy engineered in the
formation of Taliban under the stewardship of Moulana Fazal-ul-Reman of the
Jamiat-ul-Ulmai-Pakistan proved worst than the disease. The Taliban soon
left no one in doubt that they were the worst fundamentalists,
obscurantnists and fanatics. The last nail in the coffin of the US policy
was hammered in by the friend turned foe, Osma Bin Laden, the Saudi
billionare. The bombing of American embassies in Africa and the American
counter attack from which Osma, a guest of the Taliban in Afghanistan
survived along with his four wives and fifteen children left the Pentagon
and the CIA red-faced. The Taliban refused even to discuss the extra-dition
of their ‘guest’, who they said was innocent. The world-wide activities and
direct assault on the American interests by pan-Islamic fundamentalists thus
forced the USA to review its policy in the global conext.
In the pan-Islamic strategic planning, the JEHAD in Kashmir was to be
launched only after the grip in Afghanistan had been firmed up. They were
unhappy with the precipitation in Kashmir premature and even accused JKLF,
the pioneers in unleashing militancy in Kashmir in 1988 as “acting at the
behest of India”. It was some-time in August-September, 98 that the
ISI,-Taliban axis started working on Taliban intervention in Kashmir. About
that time, Bin Laden was also busy working on participation in Kashmir by
his men. The only route from Afghanistan to Kashmir lay through the
so-called northern areas, a part of J&K state forceably occupied by
Pakistan. It was inaccessable to the outside world. But these advatanges,
the strategists felt, were more than offset by two forbidding
considerations. Firstly, there was no scope of local help or sympathy for
the extremists Sunni Taliban from a predomi-nently Shia population. In fact,
there were apprehensions of sabotage by “Indan Shia agents”. Secondly, the
US would be hos-tile to any intervention by the Taliban. The option was
there-fore discarded. I had written about this in an article titled “Are the
Afghan Taliban Comming?” in the daily Kashmir Times (4, Nov. 98). I had,
“Realisticaly speaking, the Pan-Islamic fundamentalists be they the Taliban,
Bin Laden or other mercenaries of Arabic or Afghan origion, have very little
choice but to persist with smuggling their goons across LOAC. Unfortunately,
the Indian government has failed to come up with appropriate preventive and
Till the “gouri” was test fired, Pakistan government was avoiding any open
contact with fundamentalist organisations. It left the dirty work to the
ISI. But to everyone’s surprise a high level delegation led by the Pakistan
Information Minister, Mushahid Hussain and including the governor of Punjab
and atleast four ministers of the Punjab government openly visited the
headquar-ters of the notorious Dawat-al-Irshad in Murdike, which
indoc-trinates, trains and equips terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toyba,
presently active in J&K. The Lashker has since been declared a terrorist
organisation by the USA. Mushahid Hussain expressed total agreement with the
concept of Jehad being taught in the Dawat and showered praise on the
contribution being made by them to the sacred cause of the Islamic Ummah”.
Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the Markiz boasted of the victories of
Lashkar-e-Toiba in Kashmir and declared “As soon as the Jehad in Kashmir is
cmplet-ed, his organisation will launch a Jehad in India, where 20 crore
Muslims were living as second class citizens”. “It will be naive to dismiss
the intent to launch Jehad in whole of India for which ground is alreayd
being laid, as mere rehotoric. In any case informa-tion of an impending
Pak-Islamic Fundamentalists intrusion via Notheren areas was in abundance
and the Indain intelligence agencies just could not have missed it. That the
American knew can safely be persumed. As for India is concerned, former spl
secretary RAW, Balchanderan was perhaps right when he wrote, “The probem may
not have been so much as absence of intelligence as inadequate stategic
assessment”. The bits of intelligence that flowed were not put together to
form the larger picture that would expose enemy strategic plan. The rest if
The Pak incursion through her own troops with a smattering of ‘Mujahideen’
made headway in Drass-Kargil-Batalik-Turtuk sector and occupied some very
strategically important heights. Though late to respond, Indian army and
airforce hit with ferocity, Pakistan had lest expected. They were
particularly taken aback by the involvement of Indian Air Force. Armies soon
confronted each other all along Indo-Pak borders as Indians Army began to
write a new glorious chapter in the military history. The world ‘police man’
had, if nothing else reason to justify his role as such and react to a
possible all out confrontation between two nuclear powers. And react it did,
in a manner that Pakistan had not anticipated.
The USA disapproved of the armed intrusion violating the Line of Actual
Control drawn as part of the 1972 Shimla agreement between India and
Pakistan and demanded that the intruders return to their side of the LOAC.
She refused to go along with a string of lies doled out by Pakistan from its
non-involvement in an “indi-ginous” Mujahideen war of independence to
allegations of atroci-ties by Indian troops. She appriciated the restraint
shown by India in not crossing the LOAC, even though it cost the Indian army
precious human lives. Similarly, they were also praise for the Indian Air
Force resisting the temptation to hit across despite extreme provoation of
torture of a piolt after capture to the extent of causing his death through
inhuman and brutal means. Indians once again demonstrated complete
solidarity in the face of external aggression and our jawans and officers
exhibted unsurpassed valour, highest sense of duty and heights of
patri-otism, untouched any where by any one lese. They recaptured peak after
peak taking unthinkable risks and making unparalleled sacrifices. They died
as heroes and martyres and inflicted heavy casualties on the well
entrenched, better equipped and well stocked enemy. The world including USA
watched with awe and admiration. The Indian Republic had come of age.
But the ‘shift’ in US policy has to be viewed in the context of her own
national vested interest in seeing the Pan-Islamic funda-mentalists, who
were calling the shots in the Kargil conflict, defeated. Thier success would
severly endanger American vital iterests and encourage them to further
extend their influence in “religiously sensitive areas” around the globe.
Even China, a long time friend of Pakistan and no friend of India, refused
to go along with Pakistan on Kargil for fear of escalation of Islamic
fundamentalist uprising in her own Muslim majority back yard. Same was the
case with Russia, who after a bitter experience in Chechaniya was anxiously
watching fundamentalist forays into erstwhile Soviet republics in Central
Asia especially those bordering Aghanistan. The recent developments in
Dagistan hase proved them right. The assessment of the European community
was the same as that of the USA. Thus the misadventure in Kargil at the
behest of her Pan-Islamic fundamentalist left Pakistan isolated and
friendless. She had to bow before the world opinion in the diplomatic
circles and superior battle worthyness of the Indian Army in the field and
agree to withdraw the intruders even though clinging to the myth that her
army and citizens were not involved.
The change in American perceptions in respect of India, her mounting
commercial interests in this country and recognition of her long term
problems with an economically and militarily growing China out to benefit
from economic globalisation and liberalisation without imbibing democratic
values and system does open, as they say a ‘window of opportunity” in
improving Indo-American relations in variety of fields, for mutual benefit.
But let us remember that the ‘shift’ in our favour in Kargil conflict does
not mark the dissolution of Pak-America friendship or even a dilution of the
crucial role that American long term policy envisage for her in central and
South Asia. The opposition from fundamentalist groups and parties in
Pakistan and threats to his life have, infact reasserted Nawaz Sharifs
position as a ‘modern’ political figure’ in American mind. His position has
further been strengthened by his ability to carry his party and the Pak army
along. But then we need not relate the positive movement towards better
Indo-American relations to Pak-American relations. There is a vast area of
mutual benefit in which Pakis-tan is no factor. What is really necessary is
that we tread the path of improving relations between the two countries with
dire care and caution from a position of equality. There is certainly no
need to bend backwards as foreign minister Jaswant Singh has recently done
by saying that India policy post cold war was un realistic as far as America
was concerned END
RELATION BETWEEN PAK LEFT AND FUNDAMENTALISTS
By Mubashir HasanIt is most unfortunate that the governments of India and Pakistan and the
Mujahideen in the Indian occupied Kashmir, by their policies and actions,
have brought about a situation that doesnot serve the interests of a billion
plus people. It forebodes ill for the two countries, the entire region and
perhaps for Asia and the world.
It is obvious that each of the three parties are convinced that the actions
taken by them were politically that the actions taken by them were
politically and militarily correct. Why should not the Mujahideen have
occupied strategic points in the Kargil and Drass area? Obviously they had
the full support of the people and they were in a position to throw out
whatever Indian troops charged with the defence of that part of the sector
were there. To the Mujahideen it was an opportunity they could not afford to
miss. They have successfully caused immense problems for the Indian Army and
in a way humiliated it. That is what their struggle is all about.
It is worth recalling that not too many years ago, an Indian Colonel,
Chibber by name, had the occasion to discover that a certain high altitude
area, lying beyond the point up to which the Line of Control had been
demcarcated, was approachable from the Indian side and that the area was not
guarded by the Pakistan Army. The Indian military command rejected Chibber’s
request that he occupy the area. Years later, Lieutenant General Chibber,
the General in command, moved in the area he had wanted to occupy for Indian
since he was a Col. When some Pakistani mountaineers saw Indian troops where
they had not been seen before, the Pakistan Army woke up and mounted the
operation and the struggle started which is known as fight for the Siachen
Compared to what Chibber did in Siachen, the Mujahideen’s occupation of some
heights in the Kargil area is a minuscule action. One is glad that the
Pakistan Army did not think it proper to violate the Line of Control and
occupy strategic heights which it must have coveted for the defence of Azad
Kashmir. On their part the Mujahideen, who seem to have full support of the
people of the area, were militarily correct in their action.
Just as Pakistan had felt the need to mount a bit action to repel the
Indians from certain heights on the Siachen glacier, so have the Indians in
the present situation. Apparently, they were taken unawares by the
Mujahideen. However, in order to redeem their lapse, they should not have
called the Air Force and helicopter gunships for assistance--quite
unchivalrous for the fifth largest Army in the world pitted against a few
hundred guerilla fighters. This amounts to escalation for which the
responsibility lies with the Indian political command. But what could the
political command say when the Army General tells it that the job cannot be
done with infantry and artillery and that the Mujahideen are much too well
So the Indians brought out the Air Force and helicopter gunships. In the
proceedings, according to them, their jets strayed across the Line of
Control. So what could the Pakistanis do except shoot down the Indian jets.
The Pakistani Prime Minister says that the Indians had been forewarned of
Unfortunately, for the one billion people of the subcontinent, the net
result of the Indians, Pakistanis and the Mujahideen acting “correctly”, in
their own wisdom, is that the subcontinent stands on the brink of a
disaster. Their so-called actions at this point of time and place can wreak
havoc on the teeming humanity.
There should only be one goal before the armiers and the Mujahideen, namely,
that nothing should be done that can possibly be a hindrance in the peace
negotiations. Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Vajpayee should proceed with
their agenda a peace without discontinuity.
Courtesy: The Dawn END
KARGIL AT A GLANCEMay 12: Daily Excelsior reports intrusion of 200 Pakistani militants.
May 13: Army confirms death of 17 Indian soldiers and 10 Pak militants.
May 14: Shelling continues as Defence Minister visits Ladakh and asks
people not to worry on Kargil issue.
May 16: While satellite pictures confirm intrusion of 300 ultras, Defence
Minister says that infiltrators will be pushed back in 48 hrs.
May 18: Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah visits Kargil, Drass to review
situation as government claims to have evicted mercenaries from 5 positions
in Kargil. Meanwhile, Teherk-e-Jihad-Islami (TJI) confirms death of its 70
members in Kargil.
May 21: Prime Minister asserts to prevent Pak sponsored infiltration.
May 25: Vajpayee asks Sharief that India won’t allow infiltration in Kargil
and does not rule out air strikes as army claims death of the infilitrators.
May 26: India launches air strikes in Kargil sector as UN, UK, US and China
appeal for exercising restraint.
May 27: Vajpayee briefs president as tension hightenes in wake of Pak
gunning down MIG-21
May 28: IAF chopper shot down by Pak infilitators killing 4 personel while
Vajpayee-Sharief hold talks.
May 29: GoC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen HM Khanna, describes Kargil
situation near war like and confirms support of Taliban to intruders as
troops are put on high alert as Pak army moves close to the borders. Vapayee
rejects Sharief’s appeal to stop air raids as recovery of identity card
confirms presence of Pak army regulars.
May 30: PM rejects UN offer to depute envoy to India as air strikes
continue. Sqd. Leader Ajay Ahuja, who was reportedly killed by Pak army
after capturing him alive was cremated.
May 31: India accepts deputation of Pak foreign minister as India presses
into service Mirag-2000 in Kargil operations.
June 1: George offers safe passage to infiltrators as intense fighting
June 2: Vajpayee rules out full scale war with Pakistan as government asks
intruders to voluntarily move back. Hong-Kong based weekly confirms that Pak
PM was in full knowledge of Kargil intrusions.
June 3: Govt back tracks from safe passage as Flt. Lt. Nachiketa is
released by Pak authorities amidst high drama.
June 4: Clinton asks Pak to respect LoC as India rejects Pak claim on LoC
demarcation while fighting continues.
June 5: President KR Narayanan first time reacts to Pak stupidity and says
that Pak is hoodwinking the world on question of LoC. India gets proof of
Pak army participation as it recovered 3 bodies of Pak army personnel and
documents confirming its participation.
June 6: Indian army hands over bodies of 3 jawans to Pak as air strikes
resume after a days gap.
June 9: Pak hands over 6 bodies of army personnel including Lt. Kalia to
Indian authorities. The army personnel were tortured to death after
capturing them alive.
June 12: Aziz-Jaswant talks fail as Aziz struck to its stand on LoC
demarcation and his any assurance fails short of calling back intruders.
June 13: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits Kargil addresses army
and civilians and Pak continues shelling and targets DCoffice complex, the
venue of Prime Ministers meeting with civilians which was already changed by
authorities. Sharief again phones Vajpayee requesting stopping of air
June 14: Prime Minister Vajpayee makes it clear that operation Vijay will
not stop till last intruder is pushed back as India recpatures 2 key
postions in Kargil. Fernandes asks infiltrators either surrender or get
June 15: Clinton asks Sharief to vacate Kargil sector and praises Vajpayee
for demonstrating restraint.
June 16: India appreciates US stand on Kargil as army is set to gain
control of strategic Marpola post. Pakistan deflected US President call to
withdraw intrusion as Aziz says it did not hold command on infiltrators.
June 17: Indian troops kill 15 Pak army men, recover i-cards, pay books as
major assault is launched to recapture Tiger hills. Army Chief visits Jammu
and reviews situation.
June 18: Indian troops hit a Pak camp near LoC in PoK which was
coordinating infiltrator’s operations in Kargil. India declares that it
holds right to target any base in PoK helping intruders. Mr Vajpayee writes
to Clinton on Kargil situation.
June 20: India achieves a major diplomatic victory as G-8 leaders condemn
Pakistan for violation of LoC. Vajpayee rules out any talks with Pak untill
intruders are evicted. Indian troops achieve yet another major success as
they recapture “Point 5140” and clear Tololing ridge.
June 21: The Indian government strongly criticised Nawaz Sharief’s remarks
of “Kargil like fronts” and said that they will be waiting blody nose. Army
was closing on Tiger hills and other 2 strategic points as Indian forces
kill 22 intruders. German demonishes Pak for its direct involvement in
June 22: Indian forces smashed an intruders’ logistic camps in Muntho Dalo
and killed 5 army men. UK supported Indian stand on Kargil as Blair asks
Nawaz Sharief to use restraint.
June 23: Army re-captures ‘Point 5203”. Arms recovered from Pak intruders
exhibited at Delhi. Army Chief Gen Malik, Defence Minister George Fernandes
and PM’s Principal Secretary today hinted that government may decide of
crossing LoC at appropriate time.
June 24: 28 Pak intruders were killed in Batalik and Drass sector while Pak
army has reportedly taken control of Gilgit for clandestine offensive.
George Fernandes asserted that intrusion will be cleared by September.
June 25: PM ruled out any dialogue till Pak respects LoC. India was gearing
up for final show down in Tiger hills.
June 26: PM asserted that decision to cross LoC will be taken at
appropriate time as Indian tolerance was reaching thresh-hold. Army
destroyed many camps and bunkers of intruders and killed 20 intruders, 5
Indian including a Capt. also sacrificed their lives in the operation.
June 27: India expands air force opertaions and kills 17 Pak intruders as
US Assistant of State Gibson Lampher briefed Indian authorities about
outcome of US teams discussion with Pak authorities. 500 Bin Landen’s
body-guards are reportedly fighting in Kargil.
June 28: 15 Pak soldiers killed as their attempt to capture a ridge line in
Saichen was foiled by Indian troops. Indian government confirms visit of
former Foreign Secretary Pakistan Niaz Naik but PM rules out any secret deal
with Pakistan at “all party meet” which was convened to discuss Kargil
situation. Farooq Abdullah opposes crossing LoC.
June 29: Troops recapture “Black Rock” and “Point 4700” and kill 45 Pak
intruders. 21 Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in the operation.
Washington states that US and China were working to defuse Kargil crisis.
June 30: Troops recaptured 4 strategic positions killing 50 infiltrators.
26 Indian soldirs including 3 officers sacrificed their lives in the
operation. Advani visited Kargil to boost the morale of troops. Pakistan
army spokesman asserted that Pak army will not withdraw from strategic
positions come what may.
July 1: Ladakh scouts recapture key position in Batalik as 6 Indian and 7
Pak soldiers die in Kargil skrimshes. LK Advani announces that centre will
bear the expenses of Kargil refugees.
July 3: 23 Indian and 21 Pak soldiers were killed as India launches final
assualt to recapture Tiger Hills.
July 4: Troops recapture Tiger Hills. President describes it “the moments of
pride”. PM Vajpayee turns down Clintons invitation to visit US as US rules
out mediation on Kargil.
July 5: India achieves a diplomatic win. In a joint statement of
Sharief-Clinton, Sharief agrees to pull out from Kargil, respect LoC and
Shimla agreement and restart the process of Lahore declaration.
July 6: Indian soldiers recapture 3 more strategic points-Khalubar, Point
4812 and Dog Hills killing 55 Pak soldiers, 5 Indians also lost their
lives.Pak observes black day in protest over government decision to pull
out. Nawaz Sharief calls on UK PM Tony Blair who asks Nawaz to pull out from
July 7: 15 Pak soldiers killed as Jubar and 3 other strategic points-4812,
4927, 4268 fall to Indian troops. PM rules out any 3rd party mediation or
compromise on military operation in the Chief Ministers meeting convened to
July 8: 92 Pak troops killed as Indian soldiers recapture 3 more points
including 5287 and 4927. 38 Indian soldiers also sacrificed their lives. Lt
Gen Krishan Pal says that there are no signs of withdrawal but the signs of
reinforcement from Pak side.
July 9: Pak makes veiled appeal to Mujahideens to withdraw from Kargil as
Indian troops clear entire Batalik and as per agreement reached between
Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan. In the Drass
sector 108 Pak soldiers, 23 Indian lost their lives in the operation. Indian
troops discover graves dumping Pak soldiers.
July 10: Fierce war to capture Mushkoh heights as PM says that intrusion has
been turned back. The umbrella of 15 militant groups ‘United Jihad Council’
dismisses reports of pull out.
July 11: Pak forces and infiltrators start withdrawal from Kargil. National
Security Advisor to PM Mr Brijesh Mishra says that with drawal will be
completed in 7 days.
July 12: IAF suspends air strikes as shelling still continues in Batalik and
Drass sectors. 12 Pak soldier and 7 Indian jawans were killed.
July 13: As guns fall silent on Kaksar, Mushkoh, G.O.I. refuses to accept
July 14: While India asked intruders to vacate till the dead line of 16th
July morning, Pak insisted that there was no such dead line. Indian troops
are moving close to LoC in Batalik and Drass sectors.
July 15: India extends pullout dead line by two days as Indian troops reach
LoC at 3 places. Finance minister rules out imposition of Kargil tax.
July 16: Kargil war ends as last intruder withdraws.
The war is over but the crisis is not yet over. Indian forces have reported
reached the LoC. But, the exchange of fire still continues and Pakistani
army is targetting army as well as Civilian locations and esclation of
situation cannot be ruled out.
According to Major General (General Staff) Northern Command Mr PPS Bindra,
487 Indian army personnels-25 officers, 19 JCOs and 443 other
ranks-sacrificed their lives while 1190-71 officers, 75 JCOs, 10 44 other
ranks-were injured in the Kargil operations.
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 25: “HARBAH” (Ashad Dwadashi) was celebrated with religious
fervour at Swami Pushkar Sewa Ashram Chinore (Jammu). A Maha Yagya was
performed and large number of community brethren attended the Ashram END
BHAGWAN GOPINATH JYANTI CELEBRATED
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 25: The 101st birth anniversary of Bhagwan Gopinath was
celebrated at his Ashram at Bohri (Jammu). Thousands of devotees thronged
the ashram and took part in functions and Havan organised by the Gopnath
Trust. The Mahajayanti was also celebrated at Pamposh Enclave New Delhi,
Mumbai, Bangalore, Jyoti Puram (Reasi) and Baroda END
NC FINALISES LIST
KS CorrespondentSRINAGAR, July 26: National Conference has finalised the list of its
candidates for coming Lok Sabha elections. Mr Omar Abdullah has again been
given mandate from Srinagar constituency. Messers Ali Mohd Naik, RS Chib and
Ram Paul are candidates for Anantnag, Udhampur and Jammu constituencies
respectively. Mr Mohd Shafi Uri and Aga Sayed Hussain may be the candidates
for Baramulla and Ladakh constituencies respectively END
CONG (I) IMPOSED TOUTS: FAROOQ
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 15: Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah charged Congress (I) for
encouraging political instability and always imposing “touts” on Kashmiri
Addressing a function, organised to pay tributes to Bakshi Ghulam Mohd, he
said that Congress (I) ruled centre instead of ensuring political stability
imposed touts on masses.
Paying tributes to Bakshi, he desribed him as an able administrator END
CONGRESS BLAMES BJP FOR KARGIL INTRUSION
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 15: Congress launched today scathing attack on BJP led Central
government, holding it responsible for Kargil intrusion and said that Kargil
will be a poll plank for the Congress.
Addressing a convention, the Congress leaders, held responsible government
for present tension on LoC and international border. They said that the
government was caught unaware when infilitators including Pak army regulars
occupied a huge area of Indian soil END
KARGIL TAX A MEDIA CREATION: SINHA
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI, July 16: Union Finance Minister Mr Yashwant Sinha has made it
clear that their is no proposal under government to improse Kargil tax and
described it just a media creation END
BSF KILLS ARMY JAWANS, INQUIRY ORDERED
KS CorrespondentDELHI, July 19: The government has ordered a high level inquiry into the
killing of 3 Indian army personnel including a captain, who were shot dead
reportedly by BSF in Pallanwala sector due to mistaken identity and lack of
It was earlier reported that the 3 army personnel were killed in the firing
across the border. However, later it was established that they were shot
dead by BSF personnel, as they were mistaken as intruders as reportedly army
had not informed about the patrolling END
“POINT 13620” PROVES COSTLIER
KS CorrespondentKARGIL, July 18: Army sources have described handing over “Point 13620” to
Pakistan in earlier years by policy makers as a great blunder as the point
over looks strategic Srinagar-Leh national highway and was used by Pak army
to note important locations in and around Kargil. The part was captured by
India in 1965-66 twice but was returned to Pakistan on negotiating table.
However, Indian troops again recaptured it in 1971 war and is still held by
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI, July 20: The Union government has today approved the promulgation
of an ordinance to enable Kashmiri migrants and other such people to cast
their vote through post in coming Lok Sabha elections END
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 20: Militants struck again meticulously and eliminated 15 people
of VDC families at Lehota Thatri and 4 GREF employees at Sheedra in Mandi
The unspecified number of militants armed with sophisticated weapons
attacked the village in dead of night and massacred 15 people including 5
The militants didn’t spare women or children. The dead include wife and four
sons (all VDC members) of Dina Nath, and 4 minor daughters of another VDC
member Sh Panna Lal. The VDC members reliated but in vain. Surprisingly,
government has not described the incident as a massacre but an encounter
while the militants entered the houses of the victims and shot them dead in
In yet another incident, militants struck at a GREF camp at Sheedra in Mandi
area and liquidated. 4 GREF employees and injured 1 another. The militants
reportedly gunned down the employees after confirming that they belonged to
Meanwhile, army claimed to have liquidated 5 militants responsible for the
killing of GREF employees.
Mr Lal Krishen Advani, Home Minister and Farooq Abdullah visited carnage
site at Lohita and announced that government will frame out a comprehensive
strategy to fight internal subversion. Mr Advani also visited GMC Jammu and
inquired about the welfare of injured victims END
DEHLVI DEMANDS BAN ON HURRIYAT
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 21: Chairman of Anjuman Minja-e-Rasool, Moulana Syed Akhter
Hussain Dehlvi has demanded ban on Hurriyat Conference and exhorted
Kashmiri Muslims to make Amarnath yatra a success.
Addressing a press conference, he advocated peaceful co-existance among
Hindus and Muslims in confirmation with our rich traditional heritage. He
denounced killings by militants and congratulated Indian army for victory in
He said that J&K is integral part of India and no power on earth can annex
an inch from it.
Mr Dahlvi emphasised for immediate ban on Hurriyat Conference END
GOVT TO PURCHASE NEW HELICOPTER
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 23: The State government is planning to purchase a new
helicopter as the old helicopter was damaged beyond repair during a crash
landing in Sonmarg area.
The helicopter made crash landing while it developed a snag while rescuing
heli-sking team and made crash landing. The helicopter has been damaged
beyond repair as the repair may involve more funds than the cost of the new
The government had purchased the helicopter on pretext of immediate
“security operations”, however, it is alleged that it is being used more for
political trips than security operations END
STATE JANATA DAL SPLITS
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 23: Vertical split of Janata Dal at national level today cast
its shadow on the state unit as larger section of the state unit headed by
Mr Mohd Maqbool Dar, the state president, toed the line of of national
president Sharad Yadav to allign with National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
While senior Janata Dal leader Mr Danraj Barogtra along with two other
activists were expelled from the party for following the path of Dave Gowda.
Mr Maqbool Dar, accused Dave Gowda for earlier splits and harming party
interests in the state of J&K by joining hands with National Conference END
PACKAGE TO IMPROVE DD, AIR SERVICE
KS CorrespondentDELHI, July 27: The Union Cabinet today approved a package of Rs 430 crore
to improve Doordarshan and All India Radio Services in J&K to counter Pak
propaganda. This was disclosed to media by Information and Broadcasting
Minister Mr Pramod Mahajan. He said that DD will set up high power
transmitters at Nowshera, Tithwal, Kupwara, Gurez, Samba, Turez besides
mobile LPT’s at twelve places and new VLPT’s at 60 places. AIR will set up
nine relay transmitters and upgrade three existing transmitters END
ENEMY TROOPS FIRE 6308 TIMES IN 4 YEARSKARGIL, July 27: During past nine years Pakistan has been continously
attacking our installation and civilian population. The Pak army reportedly
fired 6,308 times at Indian troops deployed along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir
from January 1996 END
LADEN SHIFTS HIDEOUTDUBAI, July 27: As per news paper reports, the dreaded militant Osama Bin
Laden has abondoned his Jalalabad hideout for some other safer place for
fear of an eminent US attack. US is reportedly pressurising Talibans to
either handover Laden to them for the trial or face the military attack END
AUTHORITY FOR KASHMIRI MIGRANTS
KS CorrespondentSRINAGAR, July 27: The State government plans to constitute an empowered
authority for coordinating functioning of various agencies involved in
improving facilities at migrant camps. The Revenue Minister and Advisor to
CM minority affair will be the chairman and vice chairman of the proposed
The meeting which was chaired by Farooq Abdullah was attended by Revenue
Minister Ali Mohd Naik, Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly, Minority Affair
Advisor Mr Satish Raina, among others. The meting took stock of medical and
educational facilities in the migrant camps.
Taking stock of the return issue, Farooq Abdullah said that Kashmir was
incomplete without Pandits and all of us have to face situation together. He
said that government has already taken up the issue of rehabilitation with
the centre END
ROUSING WELCOME TO RR
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 29: Rousing welcome was given to Rashtriya Rifles on their
return from Kargil at Kishtwar. Hundreds of people of both the communities
qued up to welcome Kargil heroes waving tricolour, cheering and showering
flower petals on them.
The people have heaved a sigh of relief as militancy activities had
increased with replacement of CRPF to RR END
SINDHU DARSHAN CONCLUDES
KS CorrespondentLEH, July 29: The Leh witnessed fervour and patriotism as thousands of
people thronged the banks of river Sindhu during 2 day Sindhu Darshan
Abhiyan which concluded today. This years Sindhu Darshan Abhiyan was
dedicated to Kargil martyrs and was attended by Home Minister LK Advani,
Defence Minister George Fernades, Chief Minister J&K Farooq Abdullah among
others. Home Minister unfurled the national flag and Farooq and Fernandes
released the books. Rich tributes were paid to Kargil martyrs and Defence
Minister announced installation of a war memroial at Shey village in memory
of Kargil martyrs. Defence Minister lauded the role of Ladakh scouts and
announced that according regimental status to Ladhak scouts was under
Sh Advani said that India achieved objective of pushing away intruders and
Pakistan suffered diplomatic as well as political defeat. Farooq Abdullah
cautioned people against sinister designs of Pak and said that Pakistan will
never succeed in annexing Kashmir.
The All India convenor of Sindhu Abhiyan spoke about religious and
historical importance of the Sindhu river. Famous Kathak dancer, Sonal Man
Singh and reputed Bhajan singer, Anoop Jalota enthralled the audience with
their performances END
CORRUPTION IN RELIEF ORGANISATION
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, July 31: Notwithstanding almost complete reshuffle in the relief
organisation ostensibly to check corruption, the corruption allegedly
continues in the organisation unabatedly. What is more astnoishing is that
the corruption reportedly continues under the nose of Relief Commissioner
and in the name of Relief Commissioner. The victims allege that the
financial crunch in the state has given liverage to relief officials to
bargain more and more for early payment of exgratia. Recently, some amount
was received by relief commissioner for disbursement among the claimants of
exgratia and a hefty ratio of 5% is being reportedly charged from the
hapless migrants. Only the cheques are made in name of those who have made
advance payments. Earlier also about 2% to 3% was being reportedly charged
from exgratia payees but it has been increased alarmingly END
GAUTAM KOUL HAILED
KS CorrespondentJAMMU: Kashmiri Hindu Fire Sufferers Forum has hailed Director General ITBP
Sh Gautam Koul for drawing attention of Central government about the payment
of rents for the properties of migrants being occupied or hired by various
state and Central government agencies. The forum also resolved to request
the concerned ministry for taking immediate action in this regard.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the forum under the leadership of Sh BN Koul and
Sh PN Tufchi left for New Delhi to have meeting with Union Home Minister to
discuss various problems relating to Kashmiri Hindu Fire Sufferers and
demand exgratia to KP fire sufferers at the pattern of Charar-e-Sharief
The forum has recently received a order in which exgratia has been
sanctioned in favour of some fire sufferers of Anantnag district. The
victims can see the list from forum office or relief commissioners office
J.N. KOUL AWARDED
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI: Sh JN Koul the President of All India Kashmiri Samaj and SOS
children’s village of India, has been confered with many awards for his
distinguished services in various fields particularly for promotion of
National integration and communal harmony.
Secular India Harmony Award 1998 was presented to Sh JN Koul on 12th June,
1999 by Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in recognition of
his services for national integration and communal harmony.
Dada Bhai Nauroji New Millenium Award, instituted in the memory of Dadha
Bhai Nauroji, who was the founder president of Indian National Congress, was
confered on Sh Koul on 30th June, 1999 for his life time excellence and
The 7th Rajiv Gandhi National Award will be presented to Mr Koul on 29th
August, 1999, the birth anniversary of late Rajiv Gandhi, in the Jawahir
Bhawan Auditorium. The award will be presented by Chairman of the Advisory
Committee of the award, Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma, former President, and Sonia
Gandhi will be the chief guest. The award includes citation and cash amount
of Rs 2.5 lakh END
GILL REVIEWS ARRANGEMENTS
KS CorrespondentSRINAGAR, July 31: Chief Election Commissioner Dr MS Gill reviewed poll
arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Gil who was on a visit to Valley took
stock of security as well as other preprations in a high level official
meeting attended by Chief Secretary, Ashok Jaitly, DGP Gurbachan Jagat,
Chief Electoral officer and others.
Addressing a press conference at end of his 4 day tour, he called upon all
political parties to enter into a hard and tough battle in J&K State. He
said that poll boycott call by separatist outfits was not headache of
election commission. Mr Gill wanted J&K people to send their genuine
representatives to the parliament who can “echo their voices in the
countries highest institution”. Mr Singh described Peoples Democratic
Party’s apprehension about poll rigging by NC as “routine apprehensions” and
said that the commission will look into specific complaints to ensure that
there was no misuse of official machinery Mr Gill expressed satisfaction on
security arrangements END
MAJOR AIMA’S MARTYRDOM
KS CorrespondentJAMMU: Major Sushil Aima laid down his life after eliminating 3 hardcore
militants in hand to hand fight in an encounter in thick forests near Mandi,
Poonch. A total of 5 recently intruded militants were killed in the
encounter. Major Aima of 17 Rashtriya Rifles was given task of eliminating a
group of reportedly 10 foreign militants in Kopra forests.
The troops tracked militants at about 10.00 hours and militants lobbed a
grenade on forces injuring two in an attempt to escape. The valiant officer
surprised the militants in a face to face encounter killing two before he
was shot in chest by the covering militants. Displaying bravery of rarest of
rare, Mr Aima eliminated another militant before sacrificing his life for
sanitising his homeland, the native state.
The love for his soil and hate for militants inspired 32 year old Kashmiri
Pandit army officer to volunteer his services to elite Rashtriya Rifles.
Commanding officer of 17 RR Col LM Chamola said that “daring officer always
grabed opportunity to nab the militants and possessed burning desire to get
rid of every single intruder from his motherland”.
General officer commanding of delta force, lauded the bravery with which the
major gave his supreme sacrifice for motherland.
Hate for terrorists and urge to neutralise them is reflected in his last
audio communique to his 4 year old daughter “Beta, when I destroy the bad
man (terrorists) troubling us, I will come back to you with loads of toys”.
Major Aima had currently settled at Gurgaon (Haryana) and his body was flown
to Delhi which was received by the senior Army officers and members of the
Notwithstanding the extra vigil on the borders, the intrusion of terrorists
continues with impunity as may as 17 recently intruded foreign militants
were eliminated in just two days in border districts of Poonch and Kupwara
BJP THREAT TO DEMOCRACY-ARJUN
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Aug 2: Former Union Minister and close confident of Mrs Sonia Gandhi,
Mr Arjun Singh expressed surprise over the mysterious silence of Central
government on Kargil intrusion and described such behaviour of BJP
government a threat to democratic institutions.
Mr Singh was addressing a function organised by the Intellectual Forum of
Dogra Sadar Sabha. Mr Singh said that it was accountability of government to
inform masses about Kargil intrusion. He contested the government claimof
diplomatic win and said that Ameica still considers J&K a disputed territory
privately. He described Mufti Sayeed’s demand of talks with militants
illogical as it was difficult to talk beyond the constitution END
FASHION SHOW ORGANISED FOR WAR HEROES
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Aug 2: The National Institute of Fashion Design organised a fashion
show at Abhinav Theatre dedicated to Kargil heroes to raise funds for the
army welfare. Top models of natinoal and international repute participated
in the function and more than Rs 10 lakhs were collected from the audience
towards Army Central Welfare Fund END
PURI PRESENTS AUTONOMY REPORT TO PM
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Aug 3: Former Chairman of Regional Autonomy Committee Mr Balraj Puri
presented a copy of his regional autonomy report to Prime Minister Atal
Bhari Vajpayee at Delhi.
Mr Puri also discussed post Kargil scenario in J&K and suggested the
involvement of international human rights organisations regarding spurt in
killings of innocents.
PM reportedly assured Puri that his suggestions will be considered and long
term problems will be considered by the new government.
It may be recalled that the State government uncermoniously ousted Mr Puri
and submitted its own report dumping Mr Puri’s report in the dust bin. The
development generated a controversy.
Meanwhile, Mr Riyaz Punjabi, recently took over as Chairman of the Regional
Autonomy Committee to suggest the implementation of the Regional Autonomy
Committee report which has suggested the division of the state into regions
almost on religious basis END
PAK STUDYING US FORMULA
KS CorrespondentISLAMABAD: Pakistan is seriously considering the US formula to solve Kashmir
problem which suggests retention of Gilgit and Ladakh by Pakistan and India
and self rule to other parts with pourous border for five years. After 5
years, the separate assemblies of 2 parts of Kashmir shall be authorised to
decide future of Himalayan state END
SAI BABA MANDIR DONATE FOR ARMY
KS CorrespondentJAMMU: The Sai Baba Mandir devotees Tirth Nagar Sector-A Talab Tillo Bohri
lauded the role of Armed Forces, in flushing out the Pakistan Army and armed
intruders from the Indian side of Line of Control (LoC). Sai devotees paid
rich tributes to Kargil martyrs, who laid their lives for the defence of
Sai devotees also contributed Rs 5500 towards the PM Kargil War Widows Fund
KS THE VOICE OF COMMUNITYSir,
Many many thanks for sending me ‘The Most Esteemed English Fortnightly
Kashmir Sentinel’ dated June 16th 99-31st July 1999. I hope that the same
shall be sent to me in future too with regularity.
I shall be also sending you my offerings for running the above esteemed
paper, as this is the only voice of the Kashmiri Pandit community, who live
in excile since 1990 or before.
Almost all the important articles appearing in the aforesaid fortnightly
have been read by me very carefully and, applied my full mind while going
through the contents of some of the most important issues i.e. interview
with Sh Bral Puri, Genocide or not, Tribute to Dr S.P. Mukerjee, Resolutions
passed at the conventon of the Kashmiri Pandit community held at Shitalnath
Srinagar on July 10211,82 and etc.
In my personal view, I would request all leaders and office bears of “Panun
Kashmir-Foundation” to high light the role of late Pandit Shiv Naryan
Fotedar, which he played throughout his life in solving the suffering of our
Kashmiri Pandit community. After his death no body has spoken a word about
him. After all Kashmiri in general and Kashmiri Pandit in particular owe
much to him. Really his death has caused a great loss to our helpless
community. We have to salute him all.
Our problem is not a battle of words. We have to fight for getting our
painful problems solved at all the fronts.
--B.P. Jagmohan Kaul
Near Shiva Temple
Prem Nagar, New Plots Jammu END
ML AIMA - THE TRUE NATIONALISTSir,
Some people never die. This is true of Sh M.L. Aima who met me for the first
time many years back at Poonch when he was transferred to TT School, Poonch.
Afterwards he left government job and was engaged in social and educational
reconstruction by starting Jagriti Niketan School at Jammu.
In 1973 I came to Jammu and saw him off and on but I came into close contact
with him when I worked as President of Rashtriya Bhasha Prachar Samiti,
Jammu. I found him a thorough gentleman with humanism. His love for the
country was perhaps unparalleled. He hleped me and so many persons who in
difficulty sought his advice and help. He believed and acted according to
“Self-reverence, self knowledge, self-control, these three alone lead life
to sovereign power.”
386, Rehari Colony,
BIASED NHRC VERDICTSir,
Reference Anupam Gupta article ‘Attack on KPs’ (K.S. 16th June to 31st July)
in the context of the verdict of NHRC. I venture to say that the exercise of
the commission has biased the cause of the community in every respects.
The entire Pandit community was swept off upto March 90 with a few hundred
staying back after compromising with their destiny. I too was one of them
upto 5th July 90, dreaming the tide of militancy to retreat within a few
months. During that period, killing of Pandits and rape of ladies besides
unhuman practices of death by drowning, hanging and strangulation made the
hearts bleed. The properties of Pandits to put to torch had become the order
of the day. The butchers were asked through print media to sell beef openly
on shops in markets.
One day while strolling outside my house, I heard the alarming threatening
on a loud speaker fitted on a mosque:-
“Eliminate the Kafir (KP), there and then by thursting a dagger into his or
her belly or chest and clear the ground for Nizam-e-Mustaffa”.
Soon after this a Pandits police officer in the vicinity was shot dead in
broad daylight just in presence of his wife and children aged 12 and 16. I
was scared and leaving behind my home and hearth besides all belongings
hired an autorickshaw to board a bus for Jammu. There are hundreds of
examples of families leaving the Valley barefooted to catch conveyance on
the national highway during night to save the honour of their womenfolk.
Heart weeps, eyes shed blood and hair-stand on end while listening to woeful
tales of young ladies, unmarried girls and old parents.
However, I was not physically eliminated but mental torture and financial
loss had almost made me physically crippled. I lost everything and reached
Jammu with a bag of clothes. There I was registered as a migrant and not a
refugee although I had come to seek refuge after leaving behind everything
to save acting soul in shocked body. Moreoever, being a retired government
servent relief cash as well as kind was denied. I could neither beg nor
steal and as a matter of fact had to borrow till I came out of the shock and
returned to normalcy.
A citizen of India is guaranteed rights of life and property. If both the
rights are massacred by enemy agents at gun points:-
Is it not the genocide?
If not, what then?
I, rather, every K.P. in excile asks the NHRC as to what then it is.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO ACTSir,
I want to draw attention of President Bill Clinton of US and leaders of
Britain, Germany and other powers of European countries.
Kashmiri Hindus who are now in the 10th year of exile is mainly due to Pak
Islamic terrorists. Our community had to sacrifice hundreds and thousands of
men, women and children to protect the honour and dignity. Pak terrorists
and their paid agents in Kashmir let loose a reign of terror on the
peaceful Hindus since Jan 1990 for to establish of a theocratic state. These
anti-India forces not only resorted to the brutal drama of genocide and
ethnic cleansing against our community but they also committed grevious and
henious crimes against our community which even blackest pages of history
will feel shy to narrate and ugliest crimes which now international
community realised at last when Pakistan attacked on Kargil side of Kashmir.
After launching their ethnic cleansing campaign engineered by Pak and Pan
Islamic forces, the entire population of KP were driven out of their
homeland for professing a separate faith. Their properties, lands,
professions and livelihood were occupied by the Muslim fundamentalists. By
process of Islamisation it resulted murder of thousands of Hindus, mass
rape, kidnappings, loot of hundreds of temples of worship. Recent intrusion
of Kargil is an eye opener for international community and to Human Rights
Agencies as well.
It is thus clear that the Kashmir movement neither was and nor is a freedom
struggle at all but only genocide perpetrated on the ethnic minority. So we
look to US, England, Germany, France, Japan, China, etc to be firm against
Pan Islamic forces.
--Omkar Nath Moza,
THOSE WHO LEFT US
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