India in pursuit of flawed policies | By Sikandar Noorani 


India in pursuit of flawed policies

SITUATION is turning precarious with every passing day in IIOJK amid multiple attacks on innocent people of Kashmir.

Crisis is worsening with brutal reaction of Indian forces against unarmed Kashmiris subjected to extra-judicial killings, raids and custodial torture.

Besides baselessly blaming Pakistan for the self-created issues along the LoC, India has now discovered a new arena at the LAC against China.

Recent wave of unrest in IIOJ&K amid attacks on helpless Kashmiris and unresolved tension with China at the LAC are gradually mounting on the nerves of hawks in New Delhi.

Renewed threat of surgical strikes from Indian Home Minister Amit Shah coupled with repeated two-front war rhetoric from CDS and IAF chief needs to be seen in the true context of BJP’s ill-intended policy pursuits.

After unilaterally stripping the quasi-autonomous statehood of internationally recognized disputed territory, New Delhi tried hard to make the world believe its version on IIOJ&K which, in fact, is proving absolutely contrary to bitter ground realities.

Seeds of hatred sown by extremist hawks of BJP in the State have taken strong roots and started inflicting the deeper wounds.

Kashmiris never believed that abrogation of Article 370 was brought in by BJP to open the doors of progress on blood soaked troubled land. Unilateral act of converting the disputed land in Union Territory was a cunning move to divert attention from the real issue.

BJP tried to gain two major objectives out of this diversionary move. First, an effort was made to divert the attention from the core issue of plebiscite towards the least important traditional matters related to the infrastructural development.

Second, Hindutva-driven agenda of bringing the demographic change in the occupied territory against the Muslim majority was camouflaged in the overall scheme of statehood abrogation.

Much elaboration is not needed to comprehend the genesis of   Kashmiri struggle. Obviously, a fair plebiscite to end the Indian illegal occupation from their homeland is the real issue for the Kashmiri masses.

In the post 5th August 2019 scenario, Modi regime bulldozed multiple controversial laws to pave the way for desired demographic changes in IIOJ&K.

Legitimacy of legislation process remains unauthentic due to absence of any elected Assembly. Unlike past, this time New Delhi appeared so shaky that it could not even trust on any of its tested puppet CMs.

Since Mehbooba Mufti’s government was dismissed back in June 2018, matters in IIOJ&K are being remotely controlled from New Delhi through the office of Lieutenant Governor. World’s so-called largest democracy has no answer for such non-democratic practices.

Process of abrogation of Article 370 along with all allied steps aimed at demographic change are so controversial and unpopular that New Delhi had no other option to deal with public reaction except inhuman prolonged lock-down and communication blackout.

Unilateral stripping of Kashmir’s statehood was such an ill-intended step that New Delhi had to put three ex CMs under house arrest.

No sane or credible voice from IIOJK is in favour of Modi’s inflammable demographic change adventurism. Despite past alignment with New Delhi, Abdullah and Mufti clans united under the banner of Gupkar Alliance, have yet not dared to support the abrogation of Article 370.

Despite few policy differences, Hurriyat leadership’s stance on plebiscite and illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir is unambiguous. The Modi regime, dominated mostly by the BJP extremist cadre, is desperately striving hard to snatch the Kashmir from the sons of the soil.

The Modi regime is ignoring three major obstacles hindering fulfilment of their venomous plans in Kashmir.

First, none of the credible figures in IIOJK are ready to shoulder the weight of Modi’s Hindutva-driven follies. So, Modi has no one on his side in Kashmir to deal with a complex political crisis except 9,00,000 armed soldiers and a few extremist hawks having no roots in masses.

Second, fundamental changes in statehood cannot be imposed without establishing credibility and trust, especially once stains of Kashmiri blood on the hands of the Indian State are too dark to wash.

Third, over reliance on military power and newly formed alliances like Quad in the complex issue of Kashmir wouldn’t be serving any purpose except spoiling the regional peace matrix.

It is obvious that any Indian attempt to influence its ill-intended plans through military might with support of foreign allies will always be vulnerable to a strong regional response.

Day-dreaming about surgical strikes and two-front war reflects the mindset prevailing into the Indian tier.

For the last seven decades, India has remained obsessed with the idea of eliminating Pakistan as a state primarily to justify its illegal occupation of Kashmir. This flawed mindset led to three wars, nuclearization and constant military deployment at the LoC. Spoiler instinct of India got a new energy with the arrival of BJP in decision making quarters.

Conquering Pakistan through coercion is not the only objective, BJP hawks led by Modi, are now pursuing an extended vision to build a Hindu Rashter by eliminating or converting all minorities having Kashmir and the Muslims at top of the list.

India’s warm activation at Quad forum to nurture its diplomatic affair with the US is radiating negatively at regional fronts. Lessons can be learnt from Afghanistan which was abandoned in a crippled state by the foreign players.

Unrest in Kashmir, terror sponsoring in Pakistan, proxy generation in Afghanistan, military stand-off with China at the LAC, offensive posturing in Asia-Pacific and minority persecution by Hindutva hawks at internal front are those Indian policy flaws which pose a serious threat to regional peace.

—The writer, a retired Col, is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.

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