The United Nations rightly ruled through its Resolutions that the Kashmiris themselves would decide their fate through a plebiscite whether they would accede to India or Pakistan. Unfortunately, India reneged on its promise and no plebiscite took place. Pakistan and India went to war in 1965 and 1971 but the fate of the Kashmiris remained unchanged.

By S. M. Hali

The recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India prompted her to use Indian soil to assail Pakistan for not doing enough to curb terrorism. Clinton was playing to the gallery in India, USA’s new Asian partner. Her jibes at Pakistan during a joint press conference with her Indian counterpart may have sounded like milk and honey to her hosts. Emboldened by the comments of the US Secretary of State, Mr. Krishna too was not one to let go of such an opportunity and fired broadsides at Pakistan.

Indian psyche in this regard merits examination. From the very beginning, India has been trying to obtain international sympathy by blaming others for imaginary violence against it. Commencing with the demarcation of the Indian Sub-Continent, Congress leader Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was of Kashmiri origin, did not want Kashmir to accede to Pakistan, so he machinated to thwart the move. His alleged illicit relations with Edwina Mountbatten, the spouse of the last British Viceroy to India, enabled him to manipulate Lord Mountbatten and influence Cyril Radcliffe, the Chairman of the Boundary Commission to move the town of Gurdaspur to India, providing it a ground route to reach Kashmir, which was fully exploited just after Independence, when Indian troops were launched to capture Srinagar and stake the Indian claim on Kashmir. At Pakistan’s retaliation, India cried foul and Nehru, by then India’s Prime Minister, ran from pillar to post to secure a ceasefire. India falsely tried to present Pakistan as the aggressor. The United Nations rightly ruled through its Resolutions that the Kashmiris themselves would decide their fate through a plebiscite whether they would accede to India or Pakistan. Unfortunately, India reneged on its promise and no plebiscite took place. Pakistan and India went to war in 1965 and 1971 but the fate of the Kashmiris remained unchanged.

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The Indian domination of the Valley and its reign of terror prompted the Kashmiris to rise in a bid of freedom through an indigenous uprising in 1989. Indian armed forces cracked down with brute force, burning, looting, raping and killing the hapless Kashmiris. Since 1989, over 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed; thousands of women raped and thousands lie incarcerated in Indian jails on trumped up charges. This was a home grown uprising but India blamed Pakistan for arming and inciting the Kashmiris. Over seven hundred thousand Indian forces remain in the Valley of Kashmir, armed with draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives them unbridled power, crushing the Muslim inhabitants. India has erected an impregnable fence along the Line of Control, dividing the Indian Occupied Kashmir and Azad Jammu Kashmir. The fence has electric current running through it, is patrolled round the clock by Indian troops and watch dogs, yet whenever there is an indigenous movement in Kashmir, Pakistan gets blamed for “Cross-border terrorism”. It is pathetic that international and UN observers have found evidence of Indian troops faking attacks and killing innocent Kashmiris and presenting them as terrorists, only to obtain “gallantry” medals, accelerated promotions, cash awards or just bad mouthing Pakistan, yet the charade continues unabated.

Let us take the example of the Sino-Indian relations. The Chinese had extended the arm of friendship towards India after gaining independence in 1949. Relations between the two neighbours were so deep that the slogan “Hindi-Cheeni Bhai-Bhai” (Indians and Chinese are brothers) was prevalent. However, the Chinese soon found out that the Indians were meddling in Tibet, which is an integral part of China. Even at that time CIA operatives were trying to instigate Tibetan insurgents to destabilize China, while the Indians were facilitating them with an eye on acquiring more territory for themselves. Nehru stabbed Mao Zedong in the back by providing asylum to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Continued border incursions by Indian soldiers into Chinese territory, ultimately led to the 1962 Sino-Indian border conflict, in which India received a sound thrashing from China. Although India was humiliated and defeated, living up to its psyche, it approached the world powers for sympathy. Although the US had a defence agreement with Pakistan, yet it provided India with weapons and aid.   

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In 1965 and 1971, India was the aggressor against Pakistan, dismembering Pakistan in the latter conflict, yet it continued to present Pakistan as the assailant. In 1984, India illegally occupied Siachen Glacier and continues to do so but at every forum charges Pakistan. History is replete with examples that whenever an international dignitary has visited India, it has staged a terror attack and blamed Pakistan. After 9/11, India bent backwards to rope in Pakistan in the broad category of a terrorist state. Since Pakistan became a US ally in the war on terror, India’s nefarious design did not materialize but it did not cease its efforts. On 13 December 2001, it staged the drama of an attack on its Parliament in New Delhi. Blaming Pakistan for it, it amassed troops on the Pakistan border but Pakistan’s counter positioning did not permit India’s military adventurism and after ten months of posturing, it blinked first and had to withdraw its forces. Not satisfied with the results in blaming Pakistan for terror attacks, India chalked out the plans of another farcical but macabre plan of Mumbai attacks in November 2008. At least 166 victims (civilians and security personnel) and nine alleged attackers were killed in the attacks. Among the dead were 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries. According to the drama script, a lone attacker, captured alive was made to confess to being a Pakistani agent and having been trained by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. Indian media and foreign office managed to hoodwink the world in convincing them of Pakistan’s complicity. However, to-date it has failed to provide credible evidence implicating Pakistan. Despite repeated requests, Pakistani investigation teams have not been provided access to the alleged protagonist Ajmal Kassab, still in Indian custody. 

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Sane voices within India have always pointed towards over 200 major insurgent groups and militant organizations, which comprise Indians and are fighting for the cause of independence, autonomy and justice in various cases. The Naxalite or Maoist movement is an indigenous movement active across "half of the India's 28 states" who account for about 40 percent of India's geographical area, known as the "Red Corridor", where, according to estimates, they control 92,000 square kilometers. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister articulated with distress and anguish in 2009 that Naxalite movement is the biggest internal security threat for India. Yet, instead of attempting to remove the deprivation and poverty driving the movement, India continues to blame China and Pakistan for its woes. There has been ample evidence of its own military and security forces being involved in acts of terrorism in various provinces and districts but like an ostrich, India keeps its eyes shut but blames others for its imagined woes.