‘HowdyModi’ event makes India’s Soft-Power credibility at stake

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Huawei

India’s
view is that abrogation of special status and Kashmiris’ hereditary proprietary
rights is an internal matter. They harp that Kashmir is an integral part of
India. Kashmiris’ struggle to shake off Indian yoke amounts to terrorism. And
that its legislative coup d’état would be harbinger of peace, amity, and
lasting prosperity in Indian-held Kashmir. Pakistan’s view is, unless
revocation is withdrawn and curfew lifted, the situation would result in blood
bath. There are eight million Kashmiris under clampdown by nine lac Indian
troops.  What’s the truth?

Terrorists or freedom fighters

Unlike
Kashmir, Bangladesh was not a disputed state like Jammu And Kashmir State. It
was an integral part of Pakistan. But, harboured, nurtured, trained and armed
Bangladeshi `freedom fighters’ in India’s lexicon. Pakistan calls them
`terrorists’. USA’s gallery of `freedom fighters’: Noam Chomsky recalls USA
sheltered gallery of Latin American terrorists, extolled as `freedom fighters’.
Jallaludiin Haqqani (founding father of formidable Haqqani taliban) `was once a
White House guest! (Indiavision news 
September 28, 2011).

Kashmiris, not `terrorists’, but India, a
`rogue state’

Let India
not forget that Kashmir is a disputed state as per UN resolutions and the Simla
accord. A state that flouts international treaties is called a `rogue state’
(Noam Chomsky’s Rogue States).

To refresh
India’s memory: (a) It was India, not Pakistan, which internationalised or
multilateralised the Kashmir issue by rushing a reference to the United Nations
under Article 35 (Chapter VI). This Article enables any member to draw the
Security Council or the General Assembly’s attention to any dispute or
situation, which might lead to international friction or give rise to a
dispute. Both India and Pakistan accepted ceasefire from Jan 1, 1949, onwards,
and supervision by UN observers. (b) No UN resolution incorporates India’s view
that Indian-held Kashmir has acceded to India by virtue of the Maharaja’s
decision to accede to India. (c) Kashmir is not a domestic or strictly regional
issue, as the UN has already intervened. The government of India has itself
invoked and submitted to the jurisdiction of the UN and has accepted its role
for resolution of the dispute, and acquiesced to the resolutions passed by the
Security Council on Jan 17, 1949, Jan 20, 1948, April 21, 1948, and June 3,
1948. (d) Kashmir is still on the agenda of the Security Council though dormant
due to culpable default. (e) The UN resolutions stand validated by the Simla
agreement of 1972.

India is
reminded of jus cogen, pacta sunt servanda (‘treaties are to be observed’) and
are binding upon signatories. India may try to wriggle out of this maxim by
pleading that the UN resolutions stand antiquated under another principle
clasula rebus sic stantibus (‘things as they stand’ or ‘fundamental change of
circumstances’).

But it has
not yet so done for obvious reasons. It cannot renounce international and
bilateral treaties without being declared a rogue state.

Terrorism against minorities

Why
pro-India bloc is mum about terrorism and minorities’ persecution by
ruling-BJP-RSS-Sangh Parivar conglomerate (maha gathbandhan)?  Why international community is blind, deaf
and dumb towards persecution and killing of beef-eating Indian minorities,
arson of Muslim houses at Meerut, hounding of Kashmiri students, girls
included, and manhandling and looting of Kashmiri traders, across India?  When he was a chief minister, prime minister
Narendra Modiled an 11-phase gaurav or papadshahi yatra (pride parade) to
terrorise Muslim community in July 2002. He winked at Gujarat carnage, and
Babri masjid demolition. Why UNO is hesitant to designate him a terrorist?

RSS’s anti-Muslim stance

Rashtrya
Swayem Sevak Sangh (RSS) is busy r-imaging it in media as just a cultural
entity without any political ambitions. But its severalacts unmask its brutal
face.

Indian newspapers
(datelined Kanykumari, July 6, 2003) have highlighted the anti -Muslim and
-Christian resolutions, passed at RSS’s national executive’s meeting held at
Kanykumari from July 5-6, 2003. The resolutions inter alia criticised so-called
Christian terrorism against the Hindus. 
The meeting appealed to the Christians not to submit themselves to the
dictates of the `extra-territorial’authority of the Pope.

The RSS
called upon the Hindus, particularly 
Swayamsevaks, to be vigilant about `anti-national and terrorist’
Christian groups, posing a threat to the country’s internal security. It urged
the Government to take strong measures against said groups. In a separate
resolution, the RSS condemned Pope John Paul II’s statement criticising Indian
states’ legislations banning conversions of the Hindus by missionaries. 

The
executive declared that such conversions were a direct challenge to the
sovereignty of the country (It is significant to mention that the Pope had just
said that `free exercise of the natural right to religious freedom was
prohibited in India’. Besides, the right to change one’s religion is enshrined
in the UNO’s Charter of Human Rights, also). It urged the Centre to lodge a
protest with the Pope for exhorting the Christian missionaries to carry on
their campaign of conversions defying the law of the land.

RAW officers’ confessions

Some Indian
diplomats and RAW’s cover officers have made startling revelations in their
books about involvement in insurgencies or terrorism in neighbouring countries.
. For instance, RK Yadav, and B. Raman (The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory
Lane)   make no bones about India’s
involvement in Bangladesh’s insurgency. 
They admitted that India’s then prime minister Indira Gandhi,
parliament, RAW and armed forces acted in tandem to dismember Pakistan.  Raman reminds `Indian parliament passed
resolution on March 31, 1971 to support insurgency.  Indira Gandhi had then confided with Kao that
in case Mujib was prevented to rule Pakistan, she would liberate East Pakistan
from the clutches of Military junta. Kao, through one R&AW agent, got
hijacked a plane Fokker Friendship Ganga of Indian Airlines from Srinagar to
Lahore. India’s security czar Doval publicly claims that he acted as a spy
under a pseudonym in Pakistan for 11 years. In an article, titled How India
secretly armed Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, in Hindu dated September 1,
2019, India’s former ambassador tells about India’s secret support to Northern
Alliance. He discloses India’s ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, with consent
of then foreign minister Jaswant Singh, `coordinated military and medical
assistance that India was secretly giving to Massoud and his forces. The
support involved `helicopters, uniforms, ordnance, mortars, small armaments,  refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir,
combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds’. These supplied
were `delivered circuitously with the help of other countries’ or ` through his
[Masssoud’s] brother in London, Wali Massoud’. The less said about Kalbushan
Jadhav, the better.

Mujeeb, a `terrorist’

Roedad
Khan, in his book Pakistan: A Dream gone Sour’ ( page 70) writes Agartala
Conspiracy Case was withdrawn, not because the prosecution case against Mujeeb
was weak, but because over a million people were out on the streets of Dhaka,
several government offices and the houses of ministers including Kawaka
Shahabuddin’s  house-were burnt. .Ayub
had no choice but to withdraw the case’.

`Free Balochistan’

Through its
proxies like Naila Baloch, India sponsored offensive posters on taxi cabs and
buses in Switzerland and Britain. USA has recently outlawed Balochistan
Liberation Army. However, earlier, in 2012, a handful of Republican had moved a
pro-separatist bill in US Congress. It demanded `the right to
self-determination’. Diplomat Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar’s involvement in
anti-Pakistan/taliban activities as well known.”

Pushtun Tahafuzz Movement 

Pushtun
Tahafuzz Movement is apparently being backed up by India. In their
over-ebullient speeches, PTM’s leaders openly scold Pakistan’s National
Security institutions. For instance, Manzoor Pashteen, in his interview
(Herald, May 2018, p.48), berates Pak army operations and extols drone strikes.
He says, ‘The army did not eliminate even a single Taliban leader.  All the 87 Taliban commanders killed in the
last 18 years were eliminated in drone strikes’. At a PTM meeting in Britain,
even Malala Yusafzai’s father (Ziauddin), like His Master’s Voice, echoed
anti-army sentiments. He said, “Pakistan army and intelligence agencies knew
that Fazalullah was a terrorist who continued to operate radio station in
Swat’. 

Kalbushan Jadhav’s episode

Jadhav was
an Indian-navy officer, attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). His
mission was to covertly carry out espionage and terrorism in Pakistan. Pakistan
also alleged there were Indian markings on arms deliveries to Baloch rebels
pushed by Jadhav. To India’s chagrin, India’s investigative journalists
confirmed from Gazettes of India that he was commissioned in the Indian Navy in
1987 with the service ID of 41558Z Kulbhushan Sudhir. A later edition of the
Gazette showed his promotion to the rank of commander after 13 years of service
in 2000. His passport, No E6934766, indicated he traveled to Iran from Pune under
the name Hussein Mubarak Patel in December 2003. Another one of his Passports,
No. L9630722 (issued from Thane in 2014), inadvertently exposed his correct
address: Jasdanwala Complex, old Mumbai-Pune Road, cutting through Navi Mumbai.
The municipal records confirmed that the flat he lived in was owned by his
mother, Avanti Jadhav. Furthermore, in his judicial testimony before a Karachi
magistrate, Karachi underworld figure Uzair Baloch confessed that he had links
with Jadhav. India’s prestigious Frontline reportage (Praveen Swami, February
16, 2018, India’s secret war) surmised the possibility that Jadhav still served
with the Indian Navy. Gazette of India Files bore no record of Jadhav’s
retirement. India told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Jadhav was
a retired naval officer. But, it refrained from stating exactly when he
retired. The spy initially worked for Naval Intelligence, but later moved on to
the Intelligence Bureau. He came in contact with RAW in 2010.

The myth of `revocation’ benefits

The Jammu
and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill is no panacea for the region’s prosperity and
multifarious problems. It has in fact exacerbated Kashmiri’s misery (lockdown,
no food, communication, sense of security).

The Jammu
and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill could not plug up `infiltration’ routes. The
walnut and apples crops have been destroyed for want of buyers, rain, or
immobility. No new jobs. The state already had over 484,901bloated jobs in 27
government departments. Where would Governor Satya Pal Malik absorb announced
(August 28, 2019) new 50,000 jobs to be created 
in three months. A Global Investor Summit is scheduled to be held in
October. It is unlikely that Indian investors, let alone global, will come to
the Union Territory in an risky environment.

Azad Kashmir

One of the
outcomes of the reorganisation legislation is the renewed claim to “Azad
Kashmir”. In the IHK’s 114-seat assembly, 24 have been kept aside for Azad
Kashmir.During the debate in Parliament on the resolution on the Union Territories
of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned that the
region included “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir” and that “we would be willing to
sacrifice our lives for it” (that is, having it within the boundary of India).
At a public event, a few days later, 
India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh said that “in future, if talks
are held with Pakistan, they will be on the issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
and no other issue”.

Gilgit and
Baltistan Tensions:  they are closer
ethnically to Kargil, which has a mosaic of distinct ethnic and religious
groups from the rest of the undivided State.

International fallout

Informal
discussion of the issue in a closed-door format at the Security Council led to
no resolution. Yet, it is a source of concern to India.  As soon as the situation becomes a threat to
peace and security, P-V and security council would spring into action. 

China is
executing several infrastructural projects in Gilgit and Baltistan bordering
Ladakh and Azad Kashmir. The U.S. position tilts in Pakistan’s favour for
consideration of Afghanistan exit. Pakistani diaspora in Britain and sikhs may
increase Pakistan’s leverage.

Internal tensions and dissensions within IHK

The
supporter and detractors of abrogation are now rigidly polarized. The
pro-abrogation camp is frightened by demands in Jammu, including by local BJP
leaders, to de facto continue the current practice of allowing only current
State subjects to buy land or get local jobs. 

They have
argued for the adoption of domicile rights as prevalent in States such as
Himachal Pradesh.

In Ladakh,
the tensions are already visible between the Buddhist-majority Leh and the
Shia-majority Kargil districts. While Leh is in a celebratory mood, a different
reality prevails in Kargil. There are significant minorities in both districts.
Leh got its Autonomous Hill Council in 1995 when the State was under
President’s Rule. Then people from Kargil opposed a collective Ladakh Council
for Leh and Kargil. This was preceded by long bouts of tension between the two
districts. In 2003, chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed decided to give Kargil
its own council. In a memorandum to the Governor on August 30, 2019, Joint
Action  Committee Kargil Chairman Sheikh
Nazir demanded that the new Union 
Territory be called Kargil-Leh, the rationale being that Leh had
become  synonymous with Ladakh. On the
other hand, the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) wrote to home minister Amit
Shah seeking protection of the Buddhist community in Kargil. The letter written
by LBA president P.T. Kunzang accused Sheikh Nazir of instigating communal
tension in the region. Too, like the people of Jammu, the people of Leh want a
check on outsiders acquiring lands and jobs in the new Union Territory.

Dalit
residents of the State also are demanding permanent resident  Certificates 
(PRCs). Over 1, 50,000 refugees who came from neighbouring Sialkot in
1947 also are clamouring for PRCs.. On February 8, 2007, the IHK’s Legislative
Assembly rejected  a bill giving them the
right to become citizens of the State. Speaking in the Assembly, the then State
Finance, Law and Parliamentary Minister, Tariq Hamid Karra, said: “We have full
Assembly sympathies for West 

Pakistan
refugees. But the matter has to be resolved in a consensual manner as it has
many dimensions.” A similar demand for PRCs was made by a section of the Dalit
(Valmiki) community. Its members had come from the Gurdaspur and Amritsar areas
of neighbouring Punjab province in 1957 to work as sweepers because sweepers in
Jammu and Kashmir had gone on  strike.

Nuclear
Armageddon: A fair worry? Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan warned war

between the
nuclear rivals could `have consequences for the world’ (Washington Post Sep 27,
2019) Kashmir is the flashpoint that triggered the past wars in 1948, 1965,
1971 and 1999, besides a quasi-war or the military standoff in the years
2001-2002. It is the real casus belli between the two next-door nuclear-capable
neighbours. Even today, it remains the nuclear tinderbox. India wants the issue
to remain on the back-burner, but Pakistan wants its early resolution. John
Thomson, in his article ‘Kashmir: the most dangerous place in the world’ has
analyzed whether it is a myth or reality to perceive Kashmir as the most
dangerous place in the world (Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Bushra Asif and Cyrus
Samii (eds), ‘Kashmir: New Voices, New Approaches’). He has given cogent
arguments to prove that the Kashmir issue could once again spark another
Indo-Pak military confrontation with concomitant risks of a nuclear war.

Most
western analysts, also, do not rule out the possibility of a nuclear war
because of the Kashmir dispute. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has,
inter alia, pointed out that ‘avoiding nuclear war in South Asia will require
political breakthroughs in India-Pakistan’. The earlier India revamps its
attitude to Kashmir dispute, the better. India is stoking up entente by
alleging that Pakistan is air-dropping munitions in East Punjab through drones
(Pakistan, drone, Punjab Police, Punjab, State Special Operations Cell,  NIA,The Statesman September 27, 2019).

India’s
forte: Modi assures the world that India is headed for a five-trillion-dollar
economy. He is a Buddha incarnate, a doyen of world peace. Some of his slogans
may nevertheless be hollow. India has seen numerous slogans in 16 general
during 72 years of independence_ Nehru’s slogan of “aaraam haraam hai.” (rest
is not kosher), Lal Bahadur Shastri’s “jai jawan jai kisan” (long live farmer,
long live soldier),  Indira Gandhi’s    “garibi hatao” (eradicate poverty),  post- 1977 echo of “Indira hatao, desh
bachao” (remove Indira, save the country), 
post-Indira-assassination (October 
31, 1984) “jab tak suraj-chaand rahega, Indira  tera naam rahega” (till sun and moon shines
Indira will live on) , BJP (1996) slogan “sabko dekha baari-baari, abki baari
Atal Bihari” (now it’s Bihari’s turn), BJP (2014)  “achchhe din aane waale  hain” (good days are in the offing), BJP
(2019) Modi hai to mumkin  hai (If Modi
is there, then it’s possible), jal sey nal jal shakti (water power), jal jeevan
(water is life ), ayushman bharat’ (happy India) and swachh bharat (clean
India). . Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’ for the
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by the government. The world is enamoured of
Modi’s reformist programmes.

Pakistan’s foible or Achilles’ heel

Indian
propaganda is that Pakistan is headed for bankruptcy. Invisible
`establishment’s rule’ has ruined its economy. Some `intellectuals like Ayesha
Siddia Agha (author of military inc.) caricatures life-style of Pakistan’s
armed forces visa-vis that of the common. Hey make no mention that successive
civilian governments did nothing to provide universal healthcare or education
to the people. In actual fact, the Military Inc. shares its blossoming profits
with its burgeoning civil employees. One sore point however remains. The civilian
governments shun defence-paid civilian employees. The civilian health and
institutions regard them as pariah, as celestial aliens. Besides they are
woefully inadequate to meet the burden of existing civilian employees in
various ministries and departments.

The
incompetent civilian governments wasted funds on deco rational projects,
instead of establishing new hospitals. By a stroke of pen, the government
shifted burden of general public to Federal government Services Hospital. As a
result, the hospital became good for nothing for both serving civilians and
general public. The Mil Inc. is nice enough to extend them medical and
educational facilities at par with serving officers till superannuation. But,
overpowered by its own load of retirees, the Inc. disentitles them from
medi-care upon superannuation.  That,
unfortunately is the time when the sexagenarians need medi-care, shelter and
education most for their children. I, for one, spent over Rs.  60, 000 at Ali Medical for treatment of
a  `disentitled’ family member without
reimbursement. The defence establishment could benevolently extend benefit of
`revolving fund’ to their defence-paid employees. In case of fund crunch, their
proportionate share could be extracted from civil-hospitals budget. As a last
resort, this fund could be insurance- or contribution (50% department, 50%
retiree) –based. This is how the defence establishment could snatch away one
propaganda lever from hands of `Inc.-bashers. 
The contributory or insurance based formula could be extended by
do-nothing civilian governments to all citizens.

Pakistan
government could learn a lot from Ayusman Bharat and Thailand’s success in
achieving universal healthcare in 2002. Thai lesson stressed importance of
tight control within very limited resources at their disposal. They built a
careful architecture which allowed them, through their Health Intervention and
Technology Assessment Program, to clearly specify medically validated protocols
and associated prices for all the available services, including diagnostics and
medicines.

A few words
about housing. Like Defence Housing Authority, two civilian bodies, federal
government Employees’ Foundation and Pakistan Housing Authority, are supposed
to cater for shelter needs of retired civilian officers. The DHA allots plots
and flats to all military officers according to strict criteria. So is not the
case with civ bodies. I, for one, have not been allotted any plot or flat
despite 40 years of service. Look at my misery, a septuagenarian with heart,
diabetes and kidneys ailment. Instead of following date-of-birth/retirement
criterion, the civilian housing authorities allot plots only to Grade 22
officers, for sure, leaving other in the lurch. It is unfortunate that
civilians devolve blame for their incompetence to the Inc. India propagates
that defence allocations are lopsided.

Inference

Conflict of
interests and war are natural to communities, societies and countries. Lasting
peace has been unprecedented in history. A bitter lesson of history is that
only such states survived as were able to strike a balance between constraints
of security and welfare. Garrison or warrior states vanished as if they never
existed. Client states, living on doles from powerful states, ended up as
banana republics. We should at least learn from the European security
experience.

Just think
of what great status were empires like Austria-Hungary, Spain, Portugal, the
Netherlands, Sweden and Tsarist Russia (exposed to the 1917 revolution) and
even the erstwhile USSR.

A common
feature of all strong states had been that they had strong harmonious military
and civil institutions, de jure capability to defend their territory and
policies that favoured the citizenry rather than dominant classes _feudal
lords, industrial robber barons and others. Pakistan needs to weed tout
mafias,  put its economic house in order,
and provide, at least,  universal
healthcare to its people.

The
clusters of sub-sets around the hegemon, with unequal capabilities may not
share US vision. USA’s hegemony is imperiled by Venus effect, fanaticism
(terrorism), political fragmentation of hegemon’s society, and
chemical-biological terrorism. USA pampered India to be its proxy in the
sub-continent. But she is tight–rope balancing Iran, Russia, and China.

EU experience
shows how weak but intelligent states coalesced to ensure their survival by
constraining the hegemon. Alternatively, they would have been on hegemon’s
bandwagon in a subordinate position. India should read the writing on the wall
and coalesce toward Pakistan.

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