War hysteria in India | By Col Sikandar Noorani (R)


War hysteria in India

SITUATION in Kashmir under illegal occupation of India is worsening with each passing day.

A recent wave of attacks on civilians and non-residents raised many questions on BJP’s tall claims about return of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

As per credible international media outlets, more forty killings recorded in various parts of IIOJK during October. Obviously, number of Kashmiris killed extra-judicially during search and cordon operations, is not counted in reported figures of causalities.

So is the case with incidents of illegal detention and custodial torture which usually remain off the record or unregistered.

During his debut visit to J&K as home minister, Amit Shah made all efforts to portray that New Delhi had succeeded in normalizing the situation through abrogation of statehood.

On the contrary, radiations from Kashmir are reflecting public anger, massive retaliation and renewed unrest.

Drama of Amit Shah’s debut visit proved a flop show as his dramatic disclosure of statehood restoration after delimitation and elections could not charm the Kashmiris.

Keeping the track record of New Delhi in mind, no sane mind in Kashmir is ready to believe upon sincerity of the best laid plans of BJP-led regime.

Muslim dominated Jammu and Kashmir haunts Hindutva influenced stalwarts of BJP like a nightmare! Despite all efforts BJP could not succeed to gain majority during last engineered elections in Kashmir Assembly and it had to bear PDP’s government led by the then CM (late) Mufti Saeed.

Meanwhile, Burhan Wani’s martyrdom gave a big jolt to Mufti Saeed’s weak government in the form of massive public uprising against the occupational forces and their sympathizers.

After demise of Mufti Saeed his daughter Mehbooba Mufti though inherited chair of CM, yet she could not sail through the troubled waters.

New Delhi kept reining the Kashmir through violence without addressing the real issues and eventually symbolic government of Mehbooba Mufti was also dissolved in 2018. BJP’s ultimate desire to control the Kashmir through demographic change is too obvious to hide.

After failing to gain majority in Assembly elections, BJP converted J&K in Union Territory and bull dozed controversial laws directly opening venues to alter the Muslim majority in the longer run. Flames of unrest in Kashmir cannot be controlled with brutal application of state sponsored violence.

After Amit Shah’s visit, PM Modi landed in Kashmir to celebrate Diwali with troops deployed for so called security operations. While the J&K is in the grip of fearful killings, PM Modi thoughtfully opted to celebrate the failed and invisible surgical strikes against Pakistan.

War hysteria prevailing in top tier of India is a potent threat to regional peace. Three Services Chiefs of India were seen loudly playing war tunes against China and Pakistan during past weeks.

Both Defence and Home Ministers repeated surgical strike threats to Pakistan. CDS General Bapin Rawat seems obsessed with the idea of two-front war and busy in the biggest military reforms of Indian history.

Pakistan cannot ignore these disturbing developments having serious implications on national and regional security. If India opts to handle core issues through violence and military might, it becomes extremely difficult for Pakistan to avoid indulgence in arms race, war engagement and enhanced border deployment

. Diplomacy is the best option to resolve the disputes through non-violent means but it requires mutual consent of either side.

Diplomatic options cannot be explored unilaterally as evident in present scenario where New Delhi is not ready to talk on core issue of Kashmir with Pakistan on any international or regional forum. New Delhi has practically incapacitated the forum of SAARC primarily to isolate Pakistan.

Persistent denial of UN Resolutions on Kashmir plebiscite, non-engagement with Kashmiris at internal front and masking state atrocities with cross-border terrorism allegations are the key policy pillars of India.

Growing strategic ties with US might give a momentary boost to Indian status at the global canvas but its isolation at regional front is a writing on the wall.

The Indian policy of locking horns with China at the LAC on the behest of the USA needs to be carefully deciphered by Pakistan. Indian enhanced militarization along the LAC does have serious implications at the LoC for Pakistan.

Being a strategic partner in CPEC and BRI, how can Pakistan ignore the US backed Indian confrontation with China? Alarming rise in arms procurement deals is the exact indicator of Indian future designs about its neighbours. Interestingly, with a sanction waiver in pipeline the US seems ready to swallow the bitter pill of Indian S-400 deal with Russia.

Obviously, in return for this generous waiver, the US would be asking India for a guaranteed hostile and confrontational stance towards China.

It is not so difficult to ascertain that India poised against China means a more hostile India against Pakistan.

Challenges at regional front seem turning more complex and intense in coming days. The Indian war hysteria is a real potent threat much beyond usual verbal cannonade.

Pakistan needs serious deliberations on rapidly worsening situation in Kashmir, complex scenario in Afghanistan and internal disorder with special focus on economy and political disunity.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.

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