IS WAR THE SOLUTION TO THE KASHMIR CRISIS?
Post abrogation of Article 370 if anyone seems to be desperate, cursing and discussing India in every possible forum whether regional or international, it is Pakistan. This reaction is but obvious as the much cherished dream to have Kashmir in their fold has come down crashing as India on Aug 05, 2019 with a Presidential decree, revoked Article 370 and Article 35A.
The Cherished Dream
Pakistan after having failed in three conventional wars for Kashmir finally realised that they cannot win like this. With this as the background they started with the proxy war by instigating and misleading the Kashmiri youths to start an armed struggle in J&K. For this they not only provided the financial and material support to the youths but also trained them in various terror camps located in POK supervised by regular Pak army personnel.
The first armed struggle in J&K started in 1990 with the killing of Indian Air Force personnel who were waiting for their bus and were without any weapons. It was immediately followed by terror attacks at many public places, killing of people inclined towards the Indian government and those not willing to be part of Pakistan. Many prominent Kashmiri Muslims and Hindu people with moderate ideology were gunned down. Kashmiri Pandits, more than 2 Lakhs, were forced to flee and scores of them were killed and their women folks raped and molested.
Pakistani terrorists who had infiltrated in J&K started burning the schools and religious institutions to create an atmosphere of fear and terror. However with all that under control now and with the abolishment of Article 370, Pakistan is so much desperate that every politician is asking for war with India and crying like small children whose toys have been snatched from them. And that is the bitter truth.
Pakistan has always considered Kashmir as a piece of land which he has been using to wage a proxy war against India without any concern to the Kashmiri people. Also it forgets that J&K is not Kashmir, but Kashmir is just a small part of J&K, which has no bearing in the overall status of J&K.
Facts Pakistan Needs to Know
Overall area of the State of J&K under India, excluding POK is about 101380 sq Km. In percentile, Ladakh is 59%, Jammu 26% and Kashmir is just 15%.
In total area of Ladakh and Jammu i.e. around 85000 sq Km, Muslims are in minority.
Out of the total population of 1.25 Crores, Kashmir has just 69 Lakhs with 55 Lakhs who speak Kashmiri or Koshur language and rest 14 Lakhs speak non Kashmiri languages. Ladakh with an estimated population of three Lakhs speak Ladakhi.
There are more than eight lakh people in Kashmir who are settled since long but do not have citizenship.
There are 22 districts in J&K out of which only five districts which have some influence of the separatists. These are Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramullah, Kulgam and Pulwama. Balance of the 17 districts are pro India. So separatist’s writ runs in just 15% of the population which are dominantly Sunni. And most interesting is, these five districts are far away from Pakistan Border/LOC.
There are more than fourteen major religious groups comprising 85% of the population of J&K who are pro India. Some of them are Shias, Dogras, Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Buddhists Ladakhis, Gujjars, Bakarwals, Paharis, Baltis and Christians. So, how can Pakistan even dream of making Kashmir as its own? With just 33 % people of J&K speaking Kashmiri, Pakistan wants to control the entire area. This 33% of people, mainly Sunni, where separatist have their writ, control the business, bureaucracy and the agriculture. These were the people who were exploiting the article 370 granting special status to them.
Period from 1994 to 2004 saw militancy spreading towards south of Pir Panjal comprising the areas along the ridge and at its foothills and also the villages near the LOC. These areas were mainly on the transit routes of militants and this led to huge suffering to the locals. As a consequence, they revolted against the terrorists and joined hands with security forces to make the area terrorist free.
Hence the militancy and activities like stone pelting , hoisting of Pakistani flags and anti India demonstrations are restricted to areas North of Pir Panjal and particularly in five districts mentioned earlier. Other 17 districts have never participated in such activities. In Poonch and Kargil even after having more than 90% Muslim population, there has never been any anti India or separatist protest in these districts.
It is the high time that Pakistan understands the futility of pursuing its nefarious designs in J&K and stops writing the latest abbreviation, IOJ&K, coined by DG ISPR, meaning Indian Occupied J&K. India has never occupied J&K. In fact it is Pakistan who has occupied part of J&K. Making hue and cry over the abrogation of the article is not going to help any more. There is no identity crisis for Kashmiris and there is no fear of any major change in the demography, which Kashmir tried under influence of Pakistan in 1990 by forcing out Kashmiri Pandits. Sloganeering of “Kashmir Banega Pakistan” in the National Assembly of Pakistan by the politicians and many agencies inciting public for war against India speaks very poor of the entire country and needs to be analysed.
The current turmoil in Kashmir will neither be solved by Pulwama like incident as hinted by Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan nor by war as suggested by Fawad Choudhary, the Minister of Science and Technology.
09 Aug 19/Friday Written by Azadazraq