Tag Archives | Kashmiris

More Kashmir myth-busting

Only 198 detainees under PSA, as per Syed Geelani

Amnesty International claims (pdf) that thousands have been held in Jammu and Kashmir over the past two decades under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a law it terms as a “lawless law”. The lie is often repeated by separatists at all national and international forums. This has perpetuated a myth that due to the PSA, even now thousands of innocent Kashmiris are under arrest illegally without any charge. Many gullible and well-meaning Indians very conveniently fall for this myth, and end up propagating the lie.

In a booklet released by hardline anti-India Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar yesterday, here is what he claimed:

Giving details of detainees, Geelani says…198 of them are serving detention under controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).[GK]

Now, you wouldn’t accuse Syed Geelani of under-reporting the number of detainees under the PSA!

Of course, no one ever expected Mr. Geelani to observe the fact that Omar Abdullah government has already amended some of the provisions of the PSA.

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The Kashmir summer calm

The whole story. And how can we build on it?

Lydia Polgreen has a story in the New York Times from Srinagar highlighting the fact that Kashmir has had a peaceful summer this year. While the broader narrative of the story is right, it glosses over a few essential facts which brought about this change.

The most important factor in the change is the fatigue among the average Kashmiri with the shutdown-protest-stonepelting tactics of the separatist leadership. Like anywhere else, people in Kashmir too long for a normal social and economic life while finding effective ways to express their political grievances — ways which do not take away their opportunity to earn a livelihood. Syed Geelani’s calls for shutdowns in the Valley had stopped evoking any meaningful response by end-September last year when he surreptitiously stopped issuing those calls. His unequivocal call for the boycott of local body elections in Kashmir earlier this summer was met with a voter turnout of over 80% in the region, which included nearly 90% turn-out in some of the separatist strongholds. Those stunned by the Kashmiris’ response can debate whether the vote was in the favour of the Indian state or not but even they cannot deny that it exposed the claim of separatists being the true representatives of the Kashmiris.

Moreover, the state government has been able to get its act right this summer. It has been proactive by not only keeping the top mob-leaders like Massrat Alam and Asiya Andrabi behind bars but also monitoring, and in certain cases arresting, ring-leaders of stone-pelters in sensitive locations. Intelligence from the ground has been better and timely. The police have handled the situation proficiently, borne by the fact that the sporadic protests have not developed into any prolonged, major crises and no fatal casualty reported this summer. The central government has also lent a helping hand to the state by tracking the funding of the separatist leadership from Pakistan via Hawala channels. With the FBI filing a chargesheet against Mr Fai for being an ISI operative in the US, the international support for the Kashmiri separatists has also taken a beating.

Has Pakistan changed its ways over Kashmir? No. Indian Home Ministry informed the parliament yesterday it “is aware that the Pakistani Intelligence Agency ISI has re-activated terrorist training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). A number of training camps and launching pads are reportedly active in PoK/Pakistan. As per assessment, there are around 2500 terrorists in PoK/Pak.” In reply to another question, the home ministry stated that 52 persons have attempted infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) till June this year. With the summers drawing to an end, the number of attempts at infiltration from across the LoC have risen significantly in recent weeks. Furthermore, up to July this year, 19 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have been reported along the LoC.

The two measures on cross-LoC trade announced during Pakistan foreign minister’s visit to India last month have no bearing on the security situation in the Valley. Even during her visit, Ms Hina Khar reaffirmed the old Pakistani policy over Kashmir by publicly meeting the separatist Kashmiri leadership in Delhi. As an interesting aside, Mr Geelani is supposed to have told Ms Khar that Pakistan should focus on setting its own house right before it can help the Kashmiris. This is both an indicator of Pakistan’s reduced attractiveness in Kashmir and an attempt by Syed Geelani to boost his own credibility in Kashmir.

While discussing Kashmir in 2011, a couple of other issues are worthy of a mention. The number of tourists visiting Kashmir has been an all-time high this year. However, these are mainly domestic tourists. With the revision of the German travel advisory, it can be expected that foreign tourist arrivals will soon reach the pre-1990 levels in Kashmir. The security forces can take credit for the absence of any major terror strike in the Valley since 2009 which has prompted this change in travel advisory by Germany. Meanwhile, central government has announced an employment generation scheme for the state which could see 40,000 educated Kashmiri youth being employed over the next five years.

But everything is not hunky-dory in Kashmir this year. The mainstream politics in the state continues to be badly fragmented between the two main political parties, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party. The separatists continue to wait in the wings to incite public outrage at the flimsiest pretext of laxity by the state. Reports of custodial death in a police station, rape of a woman by soldiers (later proved false) and false encounter killing of an innocent civilian by the army provide the separatists with enough ammunition and place the state government on the defensive, in a damage-control mode. Infighting among the three interlocutors on J&K announced by the central government means that they are unlikely to produce any cohesive and acceptable roadmap for the future.

Are there ways in which this change in Kashmir can be made permanent? Yes. Simple, small and credible steps will help. The essential, but not a sufficient condition for any future initiative on Kashmir has to be maintenance of peace, order and security. Political power needs to be devolved to the local bodies elected in the recent Panchayat elections and additional money for development received from the centre spent under their supervision. The state government must keep its promise of holding the municipal polls in the state after Ramazan and back it up by devolving real financial and administrative powers to those urban bodies. The Union Cabinet must decide on the long-pending issue of the review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act while upholding its plans to reduce the central forces in the Valley at the end of this summer. Time has also perhaps come for the Army and the Rashtriya Rifles to review their deployment and work out a plan to handover, in phases, the security of relatively peaceful areas to the local police.

These are sensible ideas which should not be difficult to implement. Alas, the discourse on Kashmir is littered like an old attic with the junk of many such sensible ideas.

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottage princes’ palaces. ~Shakespeare

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The Valley of unemployment

Sustained spell of stability, peace and security will attract corporates to Kashmir.

Reuters has a report on how “the rapid growth of India’s giant economy is finally exerting a pull on the troubled Kashmir Valley”. It focuses on the call centre, run by Essar Group’s business processing arm, AEGIS in Srinagar to highlight this trend. The story goes on to highlight:

Like many developing societies around the globe, Kashmir is experiencing a “youth bulge,” where 71 percent of the population is under the age of 35. Of the large cohort of youth between the ages of 18 to 30 in the Kashmir Valley, an estimated 48 percent are currently unemployed.

In a recent survey conducted by the London-based think tank Chatham House, 96 percent of respondents from the Kashmir Valley identified unemployment as one of the main problems facing the state of Jammu & Kashmir along with conflict and corruption.[Reuters]

Government of India has approved an employment plan (SEE J&K), fully funded by the Centre, to provide job-oriented training to some 40,000 graduates, post-graduates and professional degree holders in the state over a period of five years. With an estimated expenditure of approximately Rs 250,000 per trainee, the plan is based on the recommendations of expert group headed by known economist C Rangarajan set up by the Prime Minister in August 2010. But with an estimated 500,000 unemployed youth in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, this initiative is unlikely to make a significant difference in the short-term.

Although the SEE J&K plan is to be jointly implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and India’s corporate sector, the answer to unemployment concerns of the state perhaps lies in more direct investment by India’s corporate sector in the Valley. A recent interview of founder chairman and chief mentor of Infosys, NR Narayana Murthy, explains why this isn’t happening.

Dr Faisal: Sir, we have recorded the unprecedented tourist arrivals in Kashmir this year, but unfortunately the investors are still not convinced, they are not still ready to come into the valley. And given that we have a very huge population of educated, unemployed youth and Kashmir does have an advantage when it comes to the software industry, I would just ask you that when is Infosys coming to Kashmir?

Mr Narayana Murthy: Absolutely. You know I was one of the earlier business people to go to Srinagar with Prime Minister Vajpayee and Barkha was also there, and at that point of time I did express that we would like to leverage the enormous strength of the wonderful youngsters that you have. But having said that, the reality is simply this, our business requires that our customers travel time and again in the course of a project. And for that to happen there will have to be, you know, stability, there will have to be a sense of peace, a sense of harmony, a sense of comfort, a sense of safety, and I think with officers like you in charge I have no doubt that we will reach that stable state pretty soon. And I can assure you that once we have that stable state, it will be an absolute privilege for us to come there. But let me assure you, let me tell you that we have lots of Kashmiris employed in Infosys in different development centres, absolutely.[NDTV]

The crux of what Mr Murthy says is this: there has to be stability, a sense of peace, a sense of harmony, a sense of comfort, a sense of safety — in other words, a prolonged spell of normalcy, peace and security for the corporates to invest in the state. The governments, both at the state and the centre, can only do this much to ensure normalcy. It is up to the Kashmiris to ensure that their political grievances are not exploited by Pakistan-backed and -funded separatist leadership to hurt the economic interests of Kashmiris. Current modes of expression of their grievances — whether by the gun or by stones or by shutdowns — need to be discarded in the favour of smarter alternatives, which will provide the average Kashmiri with an opportunity to lead a better life.

In other words, there is a need to get rid of the prevalent political economy of conflict in Kashmir. Because it is all about conflict; it has nothing to do with either politics or economy.

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German love for Kashmir

Other countries must follow Germany in revising their travel advisories on Kashmir.

When the German Ambassador to India, Thomas Matussek visited Kashmir last month, he had promised that Germany will reconsider adverse travel advisory for its citizens on Kashmir. Since Pakistan-sponsored militancy broke out in Kashmir two decades ago, most western countries have issued an advisory to their citizens, asking them not to visit Kashmir valley.

After his meeting with the German Ambassador on June 24th, Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah had tweeted:

This is the first time any envoy has held out such an assurance. That’s a very big deal for us, regardless of how long it takes.[Link]

Firstly, no one had then taken the German Ambassador’s promise seriously. In fact, it was soon forgotten among the din that characterises Indian discourse on Kashmir.

Secondly, even if the review was to take place, no one expected the travel advisory to be reviewed so quickly.

Thus it came as a rather pleasant surprise when it was announced today that the Federal Foreign Office (FFO) of Germany has revised the travel advisory to its nationals visiting the Kashmir valley, Jammu region and Ladakh.

The significant revision in the advisory regarding Kashmir gave an overview of the security situation in the valley and clarified that the situation had now calmed down considerably and said, ”foreigners are generally not direct targets of clashes.” Regarding Jammu, the new advisory stated that the region was basically stable, though the situation might change and travellers were advised to obtain information regarding the security situation prior to their visit.[Link]

This is a very positive piece of news for Kashmir and Kashmiris. The economy of Kashmir is dependent on tourism, which contributes over 10%  to the state’s GDP. The foreign tourist visits to the Valley have remained abysmally low during the last twenty years, drastically dwindling from 59,938 in 1998 to 22,000 in 2008, a decrease of 63.3%.

As reported in the media, there were no hotel rooms available in Kashmir this year during the months of May and June. Due to school vacations, Indian tourists frequent Kashmir during those months. The foreign tourists used to visit Kashmir in July and August. Low foreign tourist arrivals mean that the hotels run at barely half occupancy during the months of July and August now. This trend needs to be reversed.

If the government of India pursues this case, other Western governments could emulate Germany and revise their travel advisories for Kashmir. That single step would contribute in greater measure to Kashmiri economy than any government programme designed to help the Kashmiris.

P.S. - Let us not expect Pakistan to help Kashmir in any way here. J&K CM Omar Abdullah just tweeted:

Srinagar’s only international flight was stopped because Pakistan didn’t allow overflight & yet they claim to be Kashmiris’ sympathisers.[Link]

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You prefer (Kashmir version)

The UNHCR-Freedom House Ratings for 2010.

This is not from the Government of India but from the UNHCR-Freedom House’s  Freedom in the World 2010.

Click on the picture to see a larger image

Forget all the calls about India not pressing for freedom in Libya and Egypt. India and Indians owes it first to the millions of Kashmiris that they do not end up with the lack of freedom that people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Pakistan suffer from. Becuase that is precisely what the perfidious talk of Mr Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the verbal callisthenics of the Mirwaiz intends to land average Kashmiris into.

The challenge is to defeat the designs of the separatists, ensure peace and security, restore normalcy and establish rule of law in the state so that Jammu and Kashmir reverts to be on the same degree of freedom as the rest of India at the earliest. The rest can wait.

Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets. ~Nelson Mandela (speech, April 27, 1995)

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Geelani’s perfidious idea of Azadi

On his recent ambiguous statements about the meaning of Kashmir’s Azadi.

In an interview with The Hindu, Hurriyat Conference’s Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who many consider to be leading the Azadi (freedom) movement in Kashmir says this:

NS: Azadi is commonly taken to mean independence from both India and Pakistan. You have assumed the leadership of this movement, but your position has always been that of accession to Pakistan. Has this changed by any chance?

Geelani: Look, at this stage, our common point is freedom from India’s forcible occupation. We will decide after that what we have to do. Our demand is implementation of the [U.N.] resolutions. Our other demand is consensus — that India, Pakistan and the representatives of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, who are representing the sentiment of freedom, that these parties sit around the table. The solution that will come through consensus, that should prevail.

…NS: On these resolutions, a plebiscite would give people only two options: India or Pakistan. From what I have heard here, Pakistan holds no attraction at all for anyone any more. So aren’t you a bit behind the times on this?

Geelani: Have you heard anyone saying we are not for Pakistan but we are for India? If you rule out Pakistan, and India agrees to give azadi to J&K, I will be the first person to sign that agreement, to accept. Let India come forward. This is all [said] to create confusion, that Geelani is only for Pakistan.[The Hindu]

Mr Geelani is perhaps aware that there is now little support within Kashmiris themselves for his preferred idea that Jammu and Kashmir must merge with Pakistan. This was shown clearly by the Chatham House poll conducted in September and October 2009, wherein only 2 percent of Kashmiris on the Indian side favour merging Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan.

Mr Geelani has also had some kind of fallout with Pakistan in recent months wherein he has blasted Pakistan for its ‘inconsistencies’ in its foreign policy over Jammu and Kashmir. His son, Naeem Geelani has recently moved back to India from Pakistan. Some commentators have noted that this points to a weakening relationship between Pakistan and Mr Geelani.

But this should not mislead any keen observer about Mr Geelani’s real intentions. This ambiguity in Mr Geelani’s views about the future status of Jammu & Kashmir is a carefully cultivated ploy to retain his popularity among the younger crop of Kashmiris who have no desire of joining Pakistan. His views, however, essentially remain unchanged. Just take note of this interview conducted with him last month:

Q: In some of your writings you have argued against Kashmir being an independent state, even claiming that this is an Indian ‘ploy’. Can you elaborate?

A: This is true. It is an Indian ploy, because India does not want to see Pakistan strengthened, which it would be if Jammu and Kashmir joins Pakistan. The slogan of Azadi is aimed at weakening Pakistan. Independence would result in a territory that would have been a natural part of Pakistan being taken away from it.[Link]

Mr Geelani calls for shutdowns have failed to elicit any worthwhile response in Kashmir in recent weeks. From shutdowns lasting days on end, his calls have now come down to hourly protests. This tepid response to his calls is partly due to the fatigue setting in among the Kashmiris after their social and economic life was disrupted by Mr Geelani’s protest calendar for months on end.

One expects the younger generation of Kashmiris to use this period of relative normalcy in Kashmir — compared to the unending cycle of protests and curfews from June to September — to reflect on the reality of the separatist leadership. Does Mr Geelani really speak for them, as he claims to, while playing his politics over the dead bodies of Kashmiris? They would then realise what Mr Geelani’s idea of Azadi for Kashmir really stands for — a merger with Pakistan.

Young Kashmiris must ponder. And decide. Is that where the future of the proud Kashmiris really lie — with Pakistan, a country which itself seems to have no future?

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Eight sensible steps on Kashmir

Short but sure strides from the government. A problem for the separatists but an opportunity for Omar Abdullah.

After the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting earlier today, the Government of India announced the eight decisions taken [official press release] by the CCS regarding Jammu & Kashmir. At the outset, one has to commend the government for not getting distracted by the brouhaha surrounding Commonwealth Games fiasco and the impending Ayodhya verdict. It has thus prevented the dissipation of momentum created in its favour by the visit of All Party Delegation (APD) to Kashmir.

These decisions are in no way a solution to the 63-year old Kashmir problem. The APD had got a foot in the door and the CCS has managed to push the door open further by this announcement. The government has made its move; the onus has now shifted on to the separatists to respond to these announcements. Their first reaction shows that it will not be easy for them to craft a response to these measures. The continued obduracy of the separatists — such as sticking to Geelani’s Five-point plan — will rob them of their recently acquired legitimacy outside Kashmir as leaders of Kashmiri youth. Meanwhile, the pressing desire of the average Kashmiri for a return to normalcy will also push the separatists to reconsider their current modus operandi of strikes and shutdowns.

The really astute political move by the government here is its emphasis on the education sector. It has asked the state government to open the schools, conduct extra classes and get the exams conducted on time so that the students do not suffer. Moreover, it has announced a central grant of Rs 100 crore “to schools and colleges for improvements and additions to the existing infrastructure such as class rooms, auditorium, laboratory, library, play ground, toilet complex etc.” Anyone who claims to speak for the Kashmiris, whether it be Geelani or Mirwaiz, cannot afford to denounce this without losing his popularity among the average Kashmiri. It would tantamount to the separatists telling the Kashmiris that they want the Kashmiri youth to remain uneducated and illiterate. But the announcement is the first step. Vikram Sood has rightly warned that the major concern is still about the instruments of delivery and the destination. This is a challenge which Omar Abdullah will have to personally step up to. If he fails now, he is unlikely to get any more chances like this again and thus he must grab this opportunity with both hands.

As for the other announcements, the appointment of two task forces on Jammu and Ladakh is pro forma — to balance out the sensitivities of these two regions of the state. An ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakhs for deceased civilians during mob violence is to display the magnanimity of the Indian state — an attempt at creating a more favourable image for itself among Kashmiris. In this regard, Omar Abdullah must put the data about payments made to the NoK of victims on an official website, with images of their receipts, for everyone to see the transparency and speed in making the payments.

As far as the nomination of interlocutors is concerned, one will have to wait for the actual appointments to be made before commenting on the efficacy of the proposal. However, irresepective of the personalities, it will be essential to keep the interlocutions away from media limelight. Serious back-channel negotiations must be conducted with the stakeholders before announcing any public events in full media glare. As the negotiations with the Naga separatists have shown — and with Kashmir having a more complicated history as a intractable politico-religious problem — this is likely to be a long drawn process. The government must dispel any impressions being created in the media of an early resolution to the problem.

The other three steps announced by the government are security measures where the state government will arrive at a final decision in consultation with the Unified Command. Security inputs will be critical here and caution, rather than boldness, must be the watchword here. The security forces — the state police, the central paramilitary forces and the army — have not only borne a brunt of the mob violence in recent months, but have also been instrumental in defeating the armed insurgency in the state in the last few years. They must not get a feeling of being let down, wherein the pressure on the state government to act bold politically or look-good leads to undoing of all the good work done by them over the years. All security responses herein must be calibrated, scalable and reversible — contingent on incidents of mob violence, terror or specific intelligence reports.

Finally, these announcements are a good move by the government. They present a delicate conundrum for the separatists. But even more importantly, they present an opportunity to Omar Abdullah — to re-establish his authority and credibility as a duly-elected leader of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. This perhaps will be the last chance for him politically. He has nothing to lose now.

Now or never, Mr Abdullah! Let us see you pulling it off from here now. Good luck to you, Mr Chief Minister.

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Bury the Kashmiriyat ghost

An alternate model of development and national integration should be propagated by National Conference to replace this outdated and non-existent political slogan.

History is the present. That’s why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth.~EL Doctorow

Kashmiriyat. The right-wing Hindu intelligentsia has dismissed it as a bogus concept– the biggest hoax unleashed to hurt the Kashmiri Pandits and protect the Islamists. The Islamic separatist ideologues have interpreted it as an Indian ploy to covet Kashmir by promoting Indian concepts of secularism and nationalism. Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has unequivocally stated that they “don’t believe in Kashmiriyat”. So finally the believers in Kashmiriyat are some old-fashioned romantics believing in a fuddy-duddy Nehruvian concept; a political slogan which is dusted out and brought to the fore by parties like the National Conference to differentiate themselves from and score political points over the Jamaitis and the right-wing Hindu parties. It means little in practice but in theory, it helps National Conference create an identity for itself the way sloganeering of socialism and secularism does it for Congress party at the national level.

A newsreport in Kashmir Times quotes a recent study by Kashmir University and CROSKY to confirm what has been a lingering suspicion for a few years now — that the young generation of Kashmiris have no idea of this thing called Kashmiriyat.

Sad but true, the young generation of school-going Kashmiris is the least knowledgeable lot of Kashmiri composite culture or “Kashmiriyat”; this is what a study conducted by the Sociology Department at Kashmir University in association with CROSKY says.

The study conducted in the high and higher secondary schools of the six major districts of Kashmir valley under the aegis of Prof Bashir Ahmad Dabla, an acclaimed sociologist of the valley points towards the trend of declining Kashmiri composite culture knowledge among the Kashmiris falling in the age group of 16-20 years.

The 20 years of violence, the study observed, is the most significant factor for the erosion of prominent or ideal traits of rich Kashmiri culture such as tolerance of all religions, plurality of various cultures, respect for different ideas and other social ethos. These undesirable social development, have not only distorted the ideal Kashmiri culture but even dehumanized the cultural ethos.

The study further showcases a huge rural and urban divide as far as understanding the Kashmiri culture goes. Srinagar youth, as per the study are less aware of their decades back Kashmiri plural culture history while the youth from districts like Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam know something or the other about the shared cultural values, which were the hallmark of Kashmiri society two decades back.[Kashmir Times]

Once it has been conclusively proved that Kashmiriyat no longer exists in Kashmir, it is certainly time to revisit, and jettison the concept. In the second decade of twenty-first century, the old Nehruvian concepts of socialism and non-alignment have already been practically consigned to the dustbins of history in this country. Kashmiriyat is destined to meet the same fate sooner rather than later and Omar Abdullah would do well to stop paying lip service to this outdated concept as his defining political slogan now. Mr Abdullah should instead unleash a new model of development-based progressive politics which is focused on integrating Kashmir with other parts of the state, and the state with other parts of India. He should simultaneously look at means to provide greater regional autonomy to Ladakh and Jammu and to devolve political power to districts, blocks and panchayats in the state.

Rather than be constrained and burdened by this ghost from history called Kashmiriyat, the future of the state of Jammu and Kashmir — and Omar Abdullah as a Kashmiri political leader — lies in creating this forward-looking paradigm for the new generation of Kashmiris.

Long live Kashmiriyat. Kashmiriyat is dead. It is time we buried its ghost.

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Did the bomb help Pakistan?

It has only protected the jehadis.

In the Dawn, Pervez Hoodobhoy demolishes the myth of perceived great benefits accruing to Pakistan vis-a-vis India, by going nuclear in 1998.

Did the bomb help Pakistan liberate Kashmir from Indian rule? It is a sad fact that India’s grip on Kashmir — against the will of Kashmiris — is tighter today than it has been for a long time. As the late Eqbal Ahmed often remarked, Pakistan’s poor politics helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Its strategy for confronting India — secret jihad by Islamic fighters protected by Pakistan’s nuclear weapons — backfired terribly in the arena of international opinion. More importantly, it created the hydra-headed militancy now haunting Pakistan. Some Mujahideen, who felt betrayed by Pakistan’s army and politicians, ultimately took revenge by turning their guns against their sponsors and trainers. The bomb helped us lose Kashmir.

Some might ask, didn’t the bomb stop India from swallowing up Pakistan? First, an upward-mobile India has no reason to want an additional 170 million Muslims. Second, even if India wanted to, territorial conquest is impossible. Conventional weapons, used by Pakistan in a defensive mode, are sufficient protection. If mighty America could not digest Iraq, there can never be a chance for a middling power like India to occupy Pakistan, a country four times larger than Iraq.

It is, of course, true that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons deterred India from launching punitive attacks at least thrice since the 1998 tests. Pakistan’s secret incursion in Kargil during 1999, the Dec 13 attack on the Indian parliament the same year (initially claimed by Jaish-i-Muhammad), and the Mumbai attack in 2008 by Lashkar-i-Taiba, did create sentiment in India for ferreting out Pakistan-based militant groups. So should we keep the bomb to protect militant groups? Surely it is time to realise that these means of conducting foreign policy are tantamount to suicide.

It was a lie that the bomb could protect Pakistan, its people or its armed forces. Rather, it has helped bring us to this grievously troubled situation and offers no way out. The threat to Pakistan is internal. The bomb cannot help us recover the territory seized by the Baitullahs and Fazlullahs, nor bring Waziristan back to Pakistan. More nuclear warheads, test-launching more missiles, or buying yet more American F-16s and French submarines, will not help.[Dawn]

The experience of a nuclear Pakistan clearly shows that the Pakistani military-intelligence-jehadi complex is a singular entity when it comes to dealing with India. In fact, it is a mutualist relationship — Jehadis are the sword arm of the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment against India, Afghanistan and NATO forces,while the Pakistan army’s nukes are the shield protecting the jehadis. That is where the perceived success of a nuclear Pakistan lies — in protecting their military-intelligence-jehadi complex against an Indian retribution.

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