Dr Muhammad Khan
THE frustrated Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat said in a statement last week that, for Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir, “freedom was not possible” and that, “the numbers of militants who are killed in gun battles with the army don’t matter to me because I know this cycle will continue. I only want to stress that all this is futile; nothing is going to be achieved by them. You can’t fight the army.” The Indian Army Chief seems to be living in a fool’s paradise. Can’t he see that Kashmiris are actively fighting against Indian Army since 1990 and have not accepted defeat? Rather Indian Army is finding no strategy, to overcome these unarmed, stone-palters. The Kashmiris have refused to surrender in front of worst brutalities, committed by brutal Indian Army since 1990. Look at the inanity of General Rawat, who continued saying that “security forces have not been so brutal and Indian Army try their level best to avoid any civilian casualties”. This statement and the claim of Indian Army is indeed silly and total nonsense, the world has not witnessed the amount of brutalities and cruelties, Indian Army have perpetrated on innocent Kashmiris in response to their just demand of freedom and right of self-determination. The only factor is that, there has never gone the independent investigator in IOK, to know the ground realities and the way Kashmiris are being treated by Indian occupation forces. India never allowed the media and human rights activists in IOK ever since 1990, the year they started this massive campaign against the peaceful Kashmiris.
Very funny on the part of an Army Chief of 1.3 million Indian Army who says, “I know that the youth are angry. But attacking security forces, throwing stones at us isn’t the way.” What else, Kashmiris can do, they are armless and peaceful, once attacked or tortured by the Indian Army. The maximum, the Kashmiris, can do is to throw the stones towards attackers, to save themselves. General Bipon Rawat, your Army is killing the people in IOK, it is raping the women folk on gunpoint and using pellets to blind and paralyse the people and in response, you don’t like even throwing the stone by these innocent Kashmiris. What harm these stone-palters can do to the armoured personnel carriers (APCs) of Indian Army. The Imprudent, Army Chief even said that, Kashmiri stone-palters are “inciting security forces”, who then become “more aggressive”. Even a lay would not issue such boloney statements, which Indian Army Chief did, being total rash, baloney and juvenile. Indeed, the current genocide in IOK, is part of the strategy of General Bipin Rawat, which he announced in mid-February, 2017. While being in an Army Headquarters in IOK, General Rawat said that those who obstruct our operations through pelting stones will be considered as Jihadis and will be dealt with severely. Besides, he also issued very strong warning for those hoisting the Pakistani flags and demonstrates any pro-Pakistan sentiments. He ordered the people of IOK to, “stop hoisting national flag of Pakistan at their homes and declared those hoist Pakistan flag as traitors. Indian forces will not excuse those who hoist Pakistan flag.”
Why Bipon Rawat and Modi understand that, Indian occupied Kashmir is not Indian territory and its people are not Indian subjects. Why should they obey the Indian Army command, whom they think as occupiers, the oppressors and brutal killers. Rawat and Modi should have known that, Kashmir is a disputed territory whose future has to be decided by its people in the light of UN resolutions. Thus, by any definition, they are not Indian citizens nor can they be asked to obey the orders of Indian Government and its brutal Army. A prominent Indian analyst, Mr. Raj Parwani said about this new strategy that, “Countries and communities unite by care and compassion not by senseless so called “patriotism”, acts like this along with hindutwa fever will not just alienate Kashmiris but also alienate Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Modi with his choice of Army chief and Yogi in UP will leave India completely fragmented.” In successive Indian Army attacks, there have been killings of Kashmiri youth in almost all parts of the Valley. This is indeed, the implementation of Bipin Rawat’s strategy in IOK. This Strategy has the approval of Indian Government. The first demonstration of implementation of Bipin Rawat Strategy was seen, once Indian Army Chief awarded COAS ‘Commendation Card’ to Major Leetul Gogoi, who tied a Kashmiri youth, Mr Farooq Ahmad Dar, in front of his Army Jeep during polling in the Srinagar by-elections on April 9, 2017. In the later events, it is the incessant and brutal killings of youth through fake encounters.
In response to the recent statement of General Bipon Rawat, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Syed Ali Geelani said, “It is a fact that this military might has been engaged by these few people for the last 30 years and the Indian army is so afraid of these boys that they have to hide behind human shields while encountering them. These top ranked soldiers of India forget the historical facts that peaceful and sincere sentiment of a nation can never die down under the barrel of a gun. It should be more than clear to these rulers that our movement is not a campaign for any emoluments, perks or privileges, nor is it to make a way to the power corridors. It is a mass movement representing the uprising against the unrealistic, undemocratic and unjustified occupation by India. Therefore, Indian Army Chief and Indian leadership under Modi, must talk sense and stop the genocide of Kashmiris as a first step. Indeed, while issuing such statements, Indian Army Chief ‘forgot the historical facts that peaceful and sincere sentiment of a nation can never die down under the barrel of a gun.’ The only way forward for the Indian Army and India is, to grant Kashmiris their right of self-determination in compliance to UN resolutions, the sole demand of Kashmiris of IOK.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.