March 2006 News

Separatists shenanigans in J and K

13 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu:Current events Jammu and Kashmir appear to be in consonance with Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's game plan for a regional splintering of the former princely State. On the one hand the acknowledged terrorist organization, the United Jehad Council ensured through its diktats that all factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference boycott the round table conference boycott the round table conference called by the Government of India. On the other hand there was a sudden spurt of communal violence in Buddhist dominated Ladakh and Shia-majority Kargil. It is no secret that the United Jehad Council is the creation of the Pakistan Army Inter-Services Intelligence and because the ISI is hunting with the American hounds and running with terrorist hares, Washington had to resort to its own clandestine operations to get at the Al Qaeda bigwigs like the attack on No.2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri at Damadola in the Norht West Frontier Province. Because Pakistan never tires to call on the Us to play the role of "facilitator" in Kashmir, and President Bush has gently brushed aside the suggestion while on Pak soil, it would be pertinent for US to address the question why Pakistan is using terror as State policy to guide the destiny of the Kashmiris. Also pertinent is the question how relevant are the constituents of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, both "moderate" and hardliners, if they cannot operate politically without the constant threat of reprisals from the United Jehad Council. Many of those who lead the many factions of the Hurriyat have had members of their families assassinated for appearing to deviate from the diktat of this terrorist conglomerate; Mirwaiz Omar Farooq father was murdered by terrorists. So was the father of sajjad and Billal Lone's. The so-called "sole representatives of the Kashmiri people" are also daggers drawn among themselves as is evident in the recent outburst of the Mirwaiz over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to all leaders of the many factions within Hurriyat to consultations on the future of Jammu and Kashmir that "every Tom, Dick and Harry" was being called on for consultations. His allusion was to Sajjad Lone who met the Prime Minister and to Yasin Malik Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front faction leader. Yasin Malik personally was not averse to some name-calling himself. During the Hurriyat's visit to Islamabad (a glaring deviation from the destination in so-called " Azad Kashmir" supposedly to consult with Kashmiris on the other side of the Line of Control), he described the fellow delegates as a "bunch of clown". That was ostensibly becasue he was not being given due credit for collecting 15 lakh signatures as endorsement of his separatist cause. With such fractures and fis-sures in Hurriyat ranks it is no surprise that when their mentors in the United Jihad Council cracked the whip over participation in the round table called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, they began backing off one by one. What a stark contrast was this to their raucous demands not tooo long ago for inclusion in the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan. Signs of the direction in which development will tend to move became apparent when communal riots broke out between Shias and Sunnis in Kargil and Sunnis and Buddhists in Ladakh in what were clearly copycat killings as were endemic for some time in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. There Sunni fundamentalists have been given free rein by the ISI to change the demography of the occupied territories . This exercise was going on right from 1947-48 but it had gained momentum in recent years. Now that our security forces have virtually checked the infiltration at the Line of Control, the controllers of "the freedom fighters seeking self-determination for the people of Kashmir" have given instructions to the jehadi groups to disrupt communal harmony in a manner that coincides with Musharraf's own game plan of division of Jammu and Kashmir. The use of civilians as human shields has become the norm because that is the best way of turning the people against the security forces and it is extremely unfortunate that the security forces allowed themselves to be drawn into the trap at Handwara where four children who were playing cricket were caught in the crossfire. More unfortunate would be a failure on the part of Kashmiris themselves to see and comprehend what is happening to their compatriots across the LOC, where Sunni jehadis, backed by the United Jehad Counicl and teh Pakistan Army are engaged in a pogrom as a means of achieving political ends in the talks with India Demography in POK has been so thoroughly upset to allow Kashmiriyat to hold sway. It is this feat that gives Musharraf his confidence of retaining control of POK . The same is in store for the Kashmiris on this side of the LOC. The puppet masters appear to hope that the Government of India will wilt under terrorist pressure. They will do well pay heed to the signals not only from Washington but lBeijing as well where Musharraf had just spent a week trying to convince China to take advantage of his offer of a corridor across the occupied territory to the sea port at Gwadar. The Chinese leaders did not take the offer. Instead, they gently urged Musharraf to improve the sectarian situation in Pakistan and in Pok. Obviously, the Chinese leadership is horrified by the fact that their engineers are being selectively targeted not just at the port and dam sites but also in other projects in Balochistan. A slight digression will be in order at this point. The Gwadar port is coming up with Chinese assistance. Accepting Musharraf offer could have meant widening the Karakoram Highway (in Pak-Occupied Kashmir). It could have connected the trouble Xinjiang province of China with Gwadar, which is being held out to be a forward naval outpost for China itself. Parts of the highway would be inundated by the proposed "Bhasha" dam along with large segments of populated and arable lands. Whether China was prompted by this gorund reality in spurning the Musharraf offer is unclear. Whatever may be factors guiding Chinese policy, it did not please Musharraf, who under took his 'Beijing Yatra' visit to Pakistan in a bid to display his USP the China card. The significance of the American attack on an Al Qaeda nest at Damadola is not lost on the Chinese whose expansion into the Indian Ocean through Palistan and Bangladesh can be jeopardized by a recrudescence of the Taliban and the Al Qaeda inside Pakistan. They are the two major components of the United Jehad Council has decided to assert itself in Jammu and Kashmir , as it appears inclined to the Hurriyat conglomerate, teh killing of he children at Handwara was necessary to its game plan. It is not without significance that in a panel discussion held in Pakistan TV studio during Musharraf's visit to China one expert remarked. "Pakistan is not as important to China as it was earlier even though China has become more important to Pakistan." There are other signs that Pakistan itself has decided to up the ante after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear that he had no mandate to barter away any Kashmir territory.


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