January 2000 News

Military action is the only option

21 January 2000
The Asian Age

New Delhi: "The proxy war between India and Pakistan will continue unless Pakistan is forced to withdraw through military action," said Major General Afsir Karim on Friday.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Young Men Catholic Association in the city on "Indian security and terrorism." "The causes for the ongoing war between the two countries are political and there is no military reasons for it," he said.

He blamed the continuation of the proxy war on the composition of Jammu and Kashmir and the inability of the Government of India to utilise the lapses by Pakistan.

Among the speakers were former secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing, Mr A.K. Verma, senior analyst IDSA, Prof. T. Sreedhar Rao, associate fellow IDSA, Dr K. Prabha, research fellow IDSA, Cdr. Vijay Sakhuja, former joint director Intelligence Bureau, Mr. M.K Dhar and chairman committee on public affairs, Prof, A.P. Barnabas. Mr A.K. Verma said, "The decision to refer the Jammu and Kashmir issue to the United Nations, instead of driving the incursionists out of the state was feasible at that time and has embroiled us in an unending stand-off with Pakistan." The real cause for the state of affairs between the two countries, according to him, was the presence of a frigid mindset and absence of a security culture. Mr Dhar speaking on the same subject said, "The typical Indian state response to insurgency and terrorism is mindless application of force. We look around for balm much later." Speaking about the recent hijack drama that held the country at ransom, Mr A.K. Verma said, "the National Security Management exists merely in form. To be effective it has to be fully structured. The handling of the hijacking of Indian Airlines IC-814 indicated that NSM is still in the embryonic stage." Prof. Rao accused the Indian government of having caved in to the Taliban's pressure.

He said, "Taliban's behaviour had puzzled observers in India. The linkages between Pakistan's religious parties like Jamati-Islam is fairly strong.

Prof. Bisanda M. Chengappa, senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis talking about the UIS said, "Pakistani military strategy is primarily designed to cope with an imaginary Indian threat which involves military asymmetry, besides geographic compulsion. The Pakistan Army used these unconventional warfare strategies in the 1947-48 Kashmir war, the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the more recent attack through infiltration at Kargil in 1999.


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