November 2003 News

Pakistan communalising polity in J&K: Marwah

17 November 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Slamming the 'power structure in theocratic Pakistan' for dividing the secular polity in Jammu and Kashmir along communal lines, Jharkhand Governor and former supercop Ved Marwah has said that the main goal of Islamabad’s domestic and foreign policy is the break-up of the Indian union. 'In a state, where the overwhelming population was against communal politics at the time of partition, the fudamentalist forces have managed to penetrate into the secular polity,' he said while delivering a talk on ‘India’s internal security challenges’ here recently. Expressing concern at the rise of fundamentalist forces in India’s neighbouring 'hostile states', the former convenor of the internal security cell of the National Security Council said this was the most serious threat to India’s security. 'Unfortunately, the rise of contentious politics based on sectarian, ethnic, linguistic or other divisive criteria is primarily responsible for the many communal and secessionist movements flourishing in India. The presence of hostile neighbours enables the internal conflicts to get external support, which includes money, arms and sanctuaries. The vested interests exploit these conditions to pursue their own agenda,' said Mr Marwah. 'The intelligence agencies in our neighbourhood and the organisations, like the Al-Qaeda and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, are encouraging the so- called ‘Jehadis’ to enter India... Fired with religious zeal... These forces are not only indulging in subversive activities, but are spreading the virus of fundamentalism among the Indian Muslims,' he pointed out. The power structure in Pakistan, dominated by the army, feudal lords, the bureaucracy and the religious leaders has been able to retain its hold over the levers of power by playing the anti-India and Islamic cards, he noted. Pakistan did not miss any opportunity to play the Islamic card in its foreign policy too and tried to club India as an anti-Islamic country where Muslims were not safe, he observed. He conceded that Pakistan’s efforts had 'succeeded only when our own political mismanagement provided it with an opportunity to intervene, as in 1965 and again in 1989.' While welcoming the Centre’s recent move to appoint Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani to talk to the separatist Hurriyat Conference in the state, he cautioned that India would have to regain the initiative both on the political as well as diplomatic fronts and not allow Pakistan to set the Kashmir agenda. While pointing out that Pakistan had no legal case on Kashmir he said the initial hesitation of Raja Hari Singh to sign the instrument of accession and India’s offer to hold a plebiscite in the state had 'given Pakistan an excuse to challenge the legality of the accession.' Mr Marwah said 'waging of a proxy war fits into Pakistan’s designs of bleeding India,' as that country had been unable to grab Jammu and Kashmir by force. The weakness of the administrative system in the state had only enabled Pakistan to carry forward its evil design and it had actively encouraged the anti-national forces and succeeded in building a pro-Pakistan base in the State. Underlining the need to speed up development work in the state and address the problems faced by the people, he said the ground situation did not justify over-optimism and there would be 'many ups and downs on this long tortuous road to peace.' Stressing that development could be an effective 'antidote' to militancy, Mr Marwah, who was a former Governor of Manipur, said in a well-established political system and a developed economy, conflicts were kept under check and got assimilated in the national identity in due course. In India, the democratic institutions and state structures were still not strong enough to harmonise these conflicts in a peaceful manner, he noted. When these conflicting interests could not be consensually reconciled, it led to violence. 'The hostile external forces, taking advantage of this situation through subversive propaganda, further accentuate these conflicts.' He regretted that in their lust for power, some Governments had actually joined hands with the anti- national forces. They did not view the problem from a long-term perspective but 'bought temporary peace by compromising with the subversive forces.' Coming down hard on the security forces, he said even some sections of the police force compromised with the rebels. Thus the police-politician-criminal nexus emboldened the criminal elements and alienated the people. Development was the casualty of the increasing lawless and criminal atmosphere with even the delivery of the most basic services like water, power, healthcare, education and communication becomes a stupendous task.’’ (UNI)


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