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Upswing In Minority Killings In J&K PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tribune News Service   
Sunday, 07 May 2006 00:00

More Hindus have been killed in the first four months of 2006 than in all of 2005. Among year-to-date total casualties in J&K resulting from terrorist violence, 60 percent are minority Hindus.

by Girja Shankar Kaura
New Delhi.

The killing of 32 Hindus in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba on May 1 has had the security experts sit up and question the response of human rights watchdogs, especially so as there has been a sharp rise in the killing of people in minority in the state this year.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 September 2010 03:17
After 16 Years, Govt Still Unclear on Way Back PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yamini Koul   
Sunday, 16 April 2006 00:00

From Kashmir Times online edition, containing more information from the report released by M.L. Kaul, Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Centre for Minority Studies.

 JAMMU, Apr 16: The unsettling attitude of successive state governments towards return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants back in the Valley becomes more prominent with an observation of a detailed report on the status of the displaced community, which states, "At no point of time is there any indication of a well though out policy and a plan for handling these migrants."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 03:39
Kashmiri Pandits -- Spectre of Declining Population Looms Ahead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yamini Koul   
Monday, 10 April 2006 00:00

Article from Kashmir Times online edition April 11, 2006 discussing presentation made to Chief Minister Azad by M.L. Kaul, a retired IAS officer and Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Centre for Minority Studies, entitled "The Impact of Migration on The Socio-Economic Conditions of Kashmiri Displaced People.":

Last Updated on Friday, 10 September 2010 03:26
Indian Army's Tryst With Low-Intensity Conflict Operations (LICO) In Kashmir PDF Print E-mail
Written by Col. T. K. Tikoo   
Thursday, 23 March 2006 00:00
Paper presented at the national level seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi, giving a good historical army perspective at the rise and continual struggle against insurgency in Kashmir.

Indian Army had its tryst with Low Intensity Conflict Operations ( LICO ) and Proxy war just over two months after the Nation had its” tryst with destiny” , when it awoke to freedom at midnight, on 15 Aug 1947. At that time we did not have terms Like Lico and proxy war. But in retrospect the operations of 1947-48 had all the ingredients of these two forms of warfare, at least till May 1948, when Pakistani Army got directly involved in the war. The 1965 operations had the same ingredients initially, till it degenerated into a full -scale  war , later. Had we possessed the  “Culture of strategic Interest Analysis” at that time, we could have invented these terms rather than borrowed these from others. However, both these operations did not degenerate into insurgencies because infiltrators lacked public support.

Why then did the situation in 1989 turn into full-scale insurgency? To understand this we will have to go back into history.

Present State of Jammu & Kashmir came into existence as a result of the Treaty of Amritsar signed between the two protagonists of the Anglo-Sikh war of 1846. This Treaty formally merged Kashmir with Jammu region under the dogra chieftain, Gulab singh, who now became the ruler of the state of J&K, replacing the Sikhs. At the time of Independence of the country Maharaja Hari Singh was the hereditary ruler under the British  paramountncy . Govt. of India (Independence) Act had given the authority to the princes/ Rajahs/Maharajahs of the states to decide whether they would like to accede to India or Pakistan, the two newly independent countries. Maharaja Hari  Singh,  was a hindu , ruling a predominantly Muslim State. In some other states the situation was Vice-versa. This was of critical importance, since the Muslim League had succeeded in carving out a country for the Muslims of south Asia on the specious plea that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations with different cultures and way of living and therefore, could not live together in the same country. The decision making process for the maharaja had been made even more difficult due to the events leading to the Aug.14, 1947. Sheikh Mohd Abdullah, a very popular leader with a mass following in the valley, had been leading a strong anti –feudal movement against the Maharaja for many years. In this he had received unstinted support from the Indian National Congress, particularly Nehru. Therefore, the Maharaja did not enjoy a happy relationship with them. Maharaja’s Prime Minister and his Raj Guru both played on his hostile attitude towards the Congress. He therefore, did not sign the Instrument of Accession. He perhaps thought that he could retain J&K as an independent kingdom. He, however, offered a Stand- Still Agreement to both India & Pakistan. The latter signed it, but India did not, wanting time to study it further and discuss it with the representative of the Maharaja.

Apparently, the Maharaja was out of tune with the momentous events that were taking place around him. He also did not seem to be aware of Kashmir’s history. Neither Kashmiri kings like Lalitaditya, Avantivarman or Shankarvarman were content with the states boundaries, and had expanded their empire beyond their borders, nor had outsiders, mostly marauders  , like Huns,Turks ,  Mahmud Ghazhnavi, the Mughals, the Afghans, the Sikhs & later on the British  allowed Kashmir to remain truly Independent. Even religious preachers, some of them truly great, who did not necessarily come with sword, extended their religious influence in the valley , and from here to distant Mainland China. The most important of these were Ashoka, Kanishk, Shankaracharya, Bulbul  Shah & Shah Hamdan. Having ignored the lessons of history proved disastrous.

The consequences of the partition were so cataclysmic that both India and Pakistan had to devote all their energies to solving the after effects of the history’s largest migration & the consequent communal holocaust. It appeared that India forgot about J&K, but Pakistan was carrying out preparations to grab Kashmir through force, despite the fact that the   “Stand Still Agreement” between it and the Maharaja was in place. It imposed an economic blockade on the State cutting off supply of essential commodities like food grains, salt, sugar, tea & gasoline to the State. Having created a huge scarcity of essential food articles, on 21 Oct.1947 it sent in its tribals, mostly Afridis & Mahsuds & soldiers of its Army in disguise  & other desperados/volunteers with modern weapons under Maj Gen Akbar Khan alias Gen Tariq. Maharaja’s forces were thin on ground and to make matters worse, in some units muslim troops mutinied. Col. Hari singh, CO of one of the battalions was murdered in sleep. Brig Ghansara Singh, who was sent as Governor to Gilgit, once the British paramountcy expired on 30 Oct. 47, met with a similar fate. His muslim officers  & men mutinied & took the Governor as a prisoner with the active connivance of the Garrison Commander, Maj Brown, who hoisted the Pakistani flag on 04 Nov.47.

            On 24 Oct.1947 Baramulla fell and raiders indulged in rape & loot to their heart’s content, in the process wasting two crucial days. This proved fateful. With practically no troops available to defend Srinagar airfield, they could have easily overrun the airstrip making it impossible for Indian troops to be airlifted. On 25 Oct. when the raiders were nearing Srinagar, Maharaja’s Prime Minister, Mr Meher Chand Mahajan rushed to Delhi & met Nehru to request for Indian troops. But, in the absence of Accession, Nehru said he could not help. Meher Chand offered unconditional Accession. Nehru was reluctant. Sheikh Abdullah, who was staying with Nehru at that time, persuaded him to accept the Accession, which was signed on 26 Oct.47. Troops were airlifted to the valley the next day.

            This is how India’s tryst with LICO and proxy war in J&K began. Ever since then Indian Army’s involvement in J&K  , in one form or the other, has continued.

            India’s propensity for magnanimity, respect for international norms and lack of Pragmatic policies based on national interests, has resulted in reinforcing Pakistan’s belligerence to words India. To add to our woes, others, particularly Britain & U.S. used this opportunity to serve their own ends at our cost. Combined together, all these factors have kept the pot boiling in Kashmir.

            Pakistan considers itself to be the successor to the grand and powerful mughal   emrpire .The islamists think that the Dar-ul-Harab, that is India,  must  under all circumstances be turned into Dar-ut-Islam, no matter what the cost and howsoever long the struggle .The British felt that Nehru could not be trusted to keep the Soviets at bay because he was perceived to be their ally. The US felt that Kashmir was ideally placed between the two communist giants and must be kept under its control, if possible, as an independent state. Within Kashmir, Jammati –e – Islami of J&K and Awami Action committee, the party of the Mirwaiz, having, loyal, wild and fanatical following in down town Srinagar, all along opposed Kashmir’s accession with India. To them the loyalty to Ummah dictated that J&K be merged with Islamic Pakistan. Even though Sheikh Abdullah was instrumental in having the state accede to India, by the beginning of 1948, he started thinking and working for a sort of sheikhdom under his hegemony. In acquiring this frame of mind, he was encouraged by the Anglo- American block.

            Having taken the case ourselves to UNO and having accepted the Ceasefire Resolution we created and then compounded our problems. In retrospect, it can Safely  be said that all the prima donnas of the drama worked in tandem to create the present situation. UN resolutions were patently anti Indian.  Rather than telling the aggressor to vacate the aggression, it legitimized the same by drawing a CFL. It is widely believed that Nehru went to the UNO under the British influence. Britain then ensured that Indian troops did not proceed beyond where they intended the CFL to be. Its origins could be seen in the geo-strategic ideas of   Olaf Caroe,  the last foreign secretary for the British Raj in India (1939-45). In the dying days of the Raj, he began to worry about the “ wells of power”, the oil resources of the Middle East. For this & other reasons he facilitated & then welcomed the partition of   India. He felt that Jinnah- led Pakistan would be a more suitable vehicle to protect these wells. Nehru, by accepting the UN resolution, cemented his position as the tallest figure in the de-colonized Third World, at least till Bandung, when his arch  rival Chou- en- lai appeared on the scene. Sheikh Abdullah too appeared to be happy with the turn of events, as his entire support base was on this side of the CFL, because the Kashmiris on the other side were ethnically and culturally of   a different stock. He could thus rule Kashmir without any political challenge.

            Pakistan’s heightened belligerence has always coincided with India’s perceived weakening. In 1965, they launched the raiders, following it up with a thrust in Chhamb- Jaurian  sector , because it felt that post Nehru, India was weak, particularly due to the defeat it suffered at Chinese hands in 1962. At that time also, the mujjahidin did not receive any public support and were, therefore, decimated. But this time India was not prepared to restrict the war to J&K. Despite Pakistan’s misadventure turning into a full-scale war, it was again disappointed, having made no significant gains either on the battlefield or subsequently at Tashkent .1971 was a disaster for Pakistan and  more importantly, had a very salutary effect on the psyche of the Kashmiris. The pro Pak element was thrown on the back foot & Sheikh Abdullah joined the mainstream politics after the 1975 Sheikh- Indira Accord. Ironically for him,   this Accord further Strengthened the State’s constitutional relationship with India.


The decade between 1979 & 1989 saw events of far reaching significance taking place in the world.  Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan and withdrew their forces in 1989, signaling the end of cold war & hastening its break-up in 1991, resulting in a large No of countries (many of these Islamic) becoming Independent. Militant revival of Islam in Iran saw them toppling the shah of Iran. Germany got re- united. Romania, Poland, Hungary & Czechoslovakia and many countries broke free from the influence/ control of the Soviet Union. But as far as the Ummah was concerned, the Islamist victories in Afghanistan & Iran had far reaching effect on its worldview. US had chosen Pakistan to be the hub of its war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Pakistan utilized the resources of the war in keeping with its own interests- diverting these first to creating an insurgency in Punjab as a test case & thereafter to Kashmir- as part of the OP-TOPAC.       Such political high in Pakistan coincided with the low in India. With its external prop  ,the Soviet Union on the brink of break up, political instability in India post Mrs Gandhi era giving rise to fissiparous  tendencies , and two of the strongest leaders dealing with J&K ,ie, Mrs Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah now removed from the scene, Pakistan and ummah was not to blame if it thought that the time was opportune to grab Kashmir, to fulfill their dream of creating an Islamic caliphate from Turkey to Indonesia. The deteriorating political situation in the valley made their dream look even more realistic.

            The last straw on the camel’s back was the election to the state Assembly of  1987. The Congress under Rajiv Gandhi and National Conference headed by Farooq Abdullah entered into an electoral agreement to fight the elections jointly. Even by J&K standards, where most elections have been rigged, this one was the worst. Candidates who had actually lost were declared as elected when the official announcement was made. One of the most prominent victims of this rigged election was Syed Sallahudin- who had actually won from Amirakadal constituency, but his rival, Ghulam Mohiudin Shah, a close relative of Farooq Abdullah, was declared the winner. It created wide spread resentment that served as a spark which ignited the fire, preparations for which had been going on during Zia-ul Haque’s tenure.

            Thousands of Kashmiri youth crossed over to Pakistan to be trained in the camps that already existed in POK, NWFP & Punjab. In the meantime the ground situation in the valley had further deteriorated due to the political instability, corrupt and inefficient administration and mishandling by the Central Govt. India as usual, was caught off guard.

             Pakistan’s strategy of using JKLF and slogan of AZADI to gain public support for insurgency paid huge dividends. Common man identified himself with the Tehreek (Movement). This Phase, which lasted till 1992, saw insurgency spreading all over the valley both in the rural and urban areas. However, neither ‘Azadi’ was Pakistan,s Aim nor was JKLF its preferred Tanzeem ( organization). It decided to change tack & brought in the Hizbul- Mujahidin’ ( HM ) the militant wing of the JEI .Their cadres were almost entirely indigenous and were ideologically suited for prolonged armed struggle, driven as they were by the Islamic concept of Jihad. More importantly, JEI always supported Kashmir’s accession with Pakistan.

            In the mean time India got its act together. More troops were pumped into the valley- of course it helped that the misadventure in Sri Lanka had by then been called off. Rashtriya Rifles was also raised. Thus increasing the troops to militant ratio considerably. Area domination, creating good intelligence network, launching proactive operations and public fatigue, turned the corner for India. By 1995-96 it became clear to Pakistan that HM would not be able to deliver the goods. So it now started pumping in its own nationals in large numbers. Task of preparing the appropriately trained cadres was given to Markaz- Dawa- wal- Irshad  who’s Lashkar-e-Toiba (L e T ) had fought shoulder to shoulder with the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were a toughened lot, products of the taliban school who brought with them the extreme form of Islam of the wahabi sect- the worst example of their religious intolerance was the burning down of Noor—ud-din wali’s shrine at chara-re-sharief . The level of violence let lose by the LeT reached grotesque proportions. Their thrusting the wahabi Islam on the people & treating the local religious customs with scant respect resulted in alienation of the large sections of the local population. Indian army did well to exploit this divide to their advantage, in the process creating the counter insurgent outfit of Kuka Parrey – the Ikhwan-ul- Muslimeen. The Ikhwanis represented the moderate form of Islam- the sufi- rishi order ,  peculiar to Kashmir’s Islam & the bedrock of Kashmiriat. Between 1995 & 1998, Army scored great successes in the field, restoring some semblance of order, thus enabling the Central Govt to hold Parliamentary elections in 1996. Between 1996-2000 insurgents were fighting with their backs to the wall and were on the run. Situation continued to improve thereafter.

            Post 9/11 events, Kashmir is largely being seen as another symbol of Islamic terror and Pakistan its epicenter as most terrorists’ origins lead to Binory mosque or Haqqania madrasa or Muridke. India’s point of view is seen in a different light. President Bush’s recent visit to Afghanistan, India & Pakistan proves that conclusively.


Army has to deal with terrorism/ insurgency/LICO/Proxy war, call it what you may, nomatter   where it occurs in the country, be it J&K, north East( NE ) or later in the Maoist corridor.

            India’s Kashmir policy has been marked with self-doubt, lack of foresight, inertia & unwillingness to act when timely action would nip the evil in the bud. Army is well aware of these phenomena – be it in the NE or in J&K. There is no reason to rule out future mistakes at crucial stages, which can set the clock back. Army must make itself  heard & consulted while the Govt is planning major initiatives, as no other organization has greater stake in the happenings in the valley than the Army.

            Pakistan’s role can never be under played. Actually, if the problem were purely between J&K & the Central Govt., it would have been resolved long ago. Coupled with this is the fact that Islamists in the valley , be it the JEI, AAC or other sundry groups of the Hurriyat , have always looked up to Pakistan as Islam’s fort as Musharaf once called it. When rabid Islam, Kashmiri Islamlists and Pakistan become synonymous, our enemy becomes formidable. Though 9/11 has considerably reduced Pakistan’s freedom to unleash Jihadis as it desires, yet future is difficult to predict- particularly so, because jihadi terror is no longer confined to J&K, but has spread to many places in the country. The aim is to break India’s resolve.  Army is, therefore,  its most important target.

            A terrorist/ insurgent/ jehadi is a fish out of water when he loses public support Over  the last decade Indian Army has weaned away a large section of people to its side. Regaining further public support & retaining it over a period of time is Army’s greatest challenge. In 1947 and 1965 Pakistan could not create insurgency situation, but in 1989 it succeeded because Kashmiris supported it. This support must be reduced to such an extent that Jehadis find it difficult to operate- As a matter of fact Army must aim to get such degree of public support that it is the people themselves who will get after them. It is not farfetched. Local people must be at the core of its civic action programme, which must be well planned, meaningful and transparent. Under no circumstances must it be done to appease any section because that leads to black mail and treachery. It must send more children outside Kashmir to show India’s diversity to young boys & girls of the valley. And most importantly ,it must ensure that ordinary Kashmiris develop a vested interest in peace. Under no circumstances should collateral damage occur- it serves as a life breath for the agent provocateurs.

            Army’s own war-fighting abilities must continuously be upgraded. It cannot accept fall in the defense out lay as happened in the eighties. With the economy looking up, getting 3% of the GDP as the yearly budgeted funds is a must for keeping pace with the changing times. Army has numerous challenges staring it in the face. World is passing through uncertain times and the Nation can ill afford to slacken its Defence preparedness.

            Our higher direction of war has often been faulty. It is for the Army to find out the underlying causes, particularly because Indian officer corps has great depth, rarely seen other Armies.

            It has been proved often enough that our state police and Central Police Organizations ( CPOs) if   trained and led properly can definitely deliver goods. In fact, the state police being locals enjoy enormous advantage in such situations. Both in Punjab, the state police forces did pretty well. In J&K after initial hiccups they started showing results. But for sustained operations they have to be trained, armed and led properly.  Most importantly they must be given the freedom to operate professionally without any political interference. The STF & SOG was doing a fine job in J&K, but moment the political process restored the civilian Govt., they became victims of political vendetta. CPOs on the other hand are  veterans having fought shoulder to shoulder with the Army in almost every insurgency. Some CPOs are new to this situation. But with little help and experience they will handle this responsibility with as much efficiency as any body else. There is a tendency sometimes to act at cross-purposes due to service loyalties or unwillingness to share the credit for success. This must be avoided at all costs.

            One of the best antidotes to insurgency is good & effective governance. Unfortunately except in patches, J&K has not witnessed good governance after the death of Sheikh Abdullah. It would not be an exaggeration to say that disenchantment with poor governance and high level of corruption contributed in no small measure to sustaining the insurgency. With popular governments in place, Army can do very little in this respect except keeping a watch on the mood of the people.

            Army must also protect the assets that it creates to further its own aim. There is a tendency of leaving our sources in the lurch, once a unit  is replaced by another unit or when the source has outlived its utility. A classical example of this is the present day state of Ikhwanis whose leadership has been almost completely destroyed or neutralized after Army lost its interests in them. It sends a damaging message. People, willing to fight the Jehadis might ask, “Why stick my neck out”? As long as Kashmir problem remains unresolved – Kuka Parrays will be great assets & cannot be thrown to wolves once they have served the immediate purpose.

The Jihadis are past masters in misusing every medium in   liberal societies like ours. Their sophistication in using the gullible Indian   media, both print and electronic, to their advantage has created numerous and avoidable problems for the Army in the past. Their disinformation campaign is persistent and so well coordinated   that they were able to convince a large number of people in the country that Army was indulging in large-scale human rights violations. It was only later, when most of these allegations were found to be false, that such allegations came to be seen as false propaganda. Though Army has strengthened it PR organization, it has still a long way to go to catch up with the advantage enjoyed by the Jihadis in this regard.


International situation, fortunes of Islamic terror driven by deep faith in the concept of Jehad, Pakistan’s espousal of its divine right to own Kashmir at any cost and its future as a responsible member among the comity of nations, lack of consensus in the Indian polity on crucial issues of National security ,its low level political morality and policies of the lone super power, i.e., USA, will determine the course of history in J&K as elsewhere. Vote bank politics prevents pre-emptive strikes against the terrorists, permitting them to strike at will with sickening regularity. No wonder we are not able to get rid of the tag of being a soft state, despite having the world’s most experienced Army.

         As far as the present phase of LICO in J&K is concerned, it appears that we are over the hump, but not done with as yet. It will be many years before that happens, and in the mean time Pakistan will continue to send in its jihads, even though at a reduced scale, so that the thousand cuts that it has inflicted don’t heal. Army, therefore has its task cut out—train well, gain intelligence, strengthen border management and keep its ammunition dry and don’t slacken your guard. Determined to prevail we shall overcome.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 September 2010 20:56
Pakistan's Double Dealing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frederic Grare   
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00
Article from the respected journal 'Foreign Policy'. Frédéric Grare is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf thinks he can support extremists in Kashmir with impunity. It’s up to President Bush to remind him that supporting terrorism is unacceptable.

President Bill Clinton once called South Asia the most dangerous place on Earth, with two nuclear-armed countries locked in a seemingly intractable battle over Kashmir. Yet, as President George W. Bush visits South Asia this week, there’s little urgency on Kashmir. This general calm is understandable: Talks between India and Pakistan are ongoing, the national cricket teams compete regularly, and a bus line

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 September 2010 04:56
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