Prime Minister speaks it out
Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee deserves to be congratulated for having spoken something
in very plain words in his public speech at Jalandhar. This is what the
nation had been looking for many years. It indicates that now there is
clear and precise understanding of Kashmir issue at the centre.
What is the justification for the PMís contention
that we shall not rest till we have regained that part of Kashmir, which
is under Pakistanís illegal occupation? We are more than justified. The
entire State of J&K acceded to the Indian Union in 1947. Pakistan conducted
an aggression against us and illegally retained a part of the State territory.
We have every right to throw her out physically. On December 31, 1948 only
a cease-fire agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. It was not
an agreement by virtue of which Pakistan got the right to retain her possession
of PoK for all times to come. By the UNCIP resolution of 1948 and 1949,
Pakistan was supposed to withdraw its troops and fighting men from the
part of Kashmir it had occupied illegally. This would have paved the way
for a plebiscite for deciding the future of the State. India could not
Pakistan did not only not withdraw the fighting
men on her side, but integrated two-third of the occupied territory (now
called Northern Areas) into Pakistan. It was done without seeking the consent
of the people to whom the land and its resources belonged. It was done
in secretive manner in Karachi. What is more, some of the signatories to
the Karachi accord today deny having signed the accord. This has given
rise to a big controversy on the validity of incorporation of Northern
Areas into Pak territory.
Furthermore, Pakistan ceded more than five thousand
kilometers of Kashmir territory to China in Aksaichin in order to facilitate
China to build the Karakorum Highway providing overland link between Beijing
and Karachi. This highway passes through Kashmir territory and has been
constructed illegally without the permission of India. The Government of
India reserves the right to strike at this strategic road link and destroy
it because it poses security threat to Indiaís sovereignty and territorial
integrity. China and Pakistan are reported to have installed missile bases
along this highway.
For last couple of years Islamabad has been trying
to bring about a drastic change in the demographic complexion of Northern
Areas. People from NWFP are brought to Gilgit and Baltistan for permanent
settlement. They are generally recruited in the police cadres and constabularies
and are provided many facilities to get themselves settled down in the
area. Thousands of families are reported to have already settled down.
This formula is being extended to the remaining part of PoK as well. The
idea is to increase the numerical strength of the settlers who would suppress
the locals and their aspirations. Tension and clashes between the settlers
and indigenous people have been reported in Pakistani media.
There are no fewer than six political organizations
in the Northern Areas and an equal number in PoK who have been vociferously
demanding freedom from Pakistanís occupation. They claim and rightly so
that Gilgit and Baltistan are the integral parrot of the territory of the
State of Jammu & Kashmir as under the Maharaja of Srinagar. As
such, they are the masters of the land and not Pakistanis.
One important grouse of the people of PoK including
those of Northern Areas is that their natural resources are being looted
by Pakistani investors and entrepreneurs without adequate compensation
and share for the locals. Take for instance the use of water resource.
A number of major rivers in the area originate and flow through Northern
Areas. The people of these areas are entitled to the royalty for production
of hydroelectric power or for utilizing the water for irrigation purposes.
The same is the case with Mangla Dam.
Apart from this ground reality that reveals the
measure of discontent among the local population in PoK, India has every
right to strike with full force and take back the entire territory that
belonged to the original State. The main reason is the establishment of
dozens of terrorist training camps throughout the PoK and even close to
the cease fire line. Here in these camps, Islamic fundamentalists are trained
and indoctrinated and the pushed into Indian Territory to foment troubles
and carry out subversive activities. A grand conspiracy of destabilizing
India is undertaken in these camps. India has every right to strike at
these camps, destroy them, take them into her possession and establish
her sway over the entire PoK.
What Indian military planners should do is to
capture Chitral, which has been part of the protectorate of the State of
J&K under the rule of the Maharaja, and establish her Northern Frontier
Command with all the possible military strength. This is needed to break
once for all the colonial and imperial concept of creating buffers along
the Himalayas. This will also be the most effective and result-oriented
tactics of securing northern frontiers of India.
What India must take into account is the need
to deny the lawless people of the frontier areas the usual opportunity
of making armed forays into her territories, subject her citizens to loot,
plunder, arson and strife. The backbone of this uncivilized and barbaric
monster needs to be broken. Eventually, when Indian troops take possession
of these territories and govern them as part of the Indian Union with a
secularist, pluralistic and democratic dispensation, the local populace
that has been tied down to religious fanaticism, economic backwardness
and myopic visions will find an opening. They will become the rulers of
their land in letter and in spirit by ensuring devolution of power.
Indian military and civilian planners must join
heads to devise a blueprint for retaking PoK in a blitzkrieg. Doing so
will have tremendously rewarding results. It will eradicate once for all
the menace of forging intrigues and conspiracies in the area; it will bring
an era of new thinking and new life for the people of the area; it will
reinforce and cement the communal harmony among people of different faiths,
cultures and ethnnicities. It will change the map of Central Asian strategies
which, unfortunately, has become too exposed to the inroads of the Islamists
on the one hand and the exploitative capitalists on the other.
In global strategy, India taking back PoK will
cut China to her size. Beijingís clandestine hobnobbing with Islamabad
in the matter of containing India will be dealt a serious blow. It will
also enhance bilateral relations between India and the Central Asian States.
May be it provides an overland link between India and Central Asia. It
will give India a vantage position in the Central Asian political strategies.
Apart from all this, a step in this direction
will resolve Kashmir question for all times to come. It is a natural and
logical resolution of the ethno-religious cleansing of minorities in Kashmir.
It is also a solution to ambivalent Kashmiri leadership and its blackmailing
of the Indian State. It will establish India as the leading power in the
region and China will think twice before embarking on any adventure in
future. About Pakistan, it is a foregone conclusion that that state, having
arrived at the stage of lawlessness and theofascists dispensation, is very
close to her dismemberment. One major thrust by India into PoK will shatter
her to pieces and the world powers who passionately want to get rid of
the menace that Pakistan is, would never interfere. The time is ripe for
India to strike hard and quick
But some analysts might be disposed to call the
conclusions too sweeping and removed from reality. After all this means
a full-fledged war with Pakistan, and perhaps a nuclear war as well.
It also means incurring the wrath of western powers and the OIC. The world
press will cry at the top of its voice that India having called for peace
all these years is now embarking on a massive war with unforeseen consequences.
Well, we cannot ignore these realities. A war
has to follow Indian action in PoK, and Pakistan will respond using her
nuclear option. One would have liked Islamabad to follow suit when India
declared self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing. The second difficulty
is that the area is lawless from times immemorial. Would India be doing
a good thing by inviting confrontational policy with the local warring
The fact of the matter is that Pakistan deliberately
kept these areas backward and dependent. Her political interests lie in
that policy. On the other hand India, a progressive and democratic state,
would provide them the self-governing mechanism so that they do not fall
into the hands of the forces inimical to their interests.
In final analysis, great nations do take certain
big decisions in order to ensure the security and perpetuation of a system
of governance people have given unto themselves. India has to move towards
a definitive northern frontier policy not only in the context of Pakistan
but also in the context of China and the western powers inching towards
carving a strong foothold in Central Asia.