Reflections on CRP tragedy in Pulwama

By K.N. Pandita

The martyrdom of 44 jawans of CRP and injuring many others in an IED blast on National Highway near Awantipora in Pulwama district on 14 February has drowned the nation and the concerned families in deep agony. It is a huge loss. Big nations have to bear big losses as well.

Each terrorist attack in J&K carries lessons for all of us. The first is to disbelieve in the big lie doled out by the authorities that everything is under control in the valley. The big lie traded to the unsuspecting nation and the media is that the conditions in Kashmir are under control and that there is an improvement in law and order situation. Our Generals have not wriggled out of despondent submission to the political arrogance and sycophancy, the stark legacy of the Nehruvian era. They have not to forget that the politicians will only pontificate while it is the soldiers who die for the country. Power cannot be monopolized by the pontificators only. Remember how Gen Sam Bahadur defied Indira Gandhi’s diktat and using his discretion and sense of responsibility fought and won the war in Bangladesh at his choosing. And again remember what the Generals won on the ground was lost by the politicians around the table.

We have to accept the ground reality that three districts in South Kashmir, namely Pulwama, Shupian and Anantnag, infested with militancy as they are, are not in the control of civil administration, which has compromised with the writ of the insurgents. Only the writ of under-ground, as well as over-ground jihadis, run in these areas. Hand in glove with the separatist as well as ambivalent political leadership, the entire administrative paraphernalia of these districts stands paralysed. All that the civilian functionaries of these districts care for is to find ways and means of syphoning off the funds allocated to the district level departments. The diktat comes from the ISI, and the entrenched terrorist outfits, like Lashkar, Jaish, Ansar, HuM and others, with their base in Pakistan are the operatives on the ground. These terrorists and their supporters or sympathisers flourished under the coalition government because PDP leadership was redeeming in different ways the pledge it had made to the Jama’at-i-Islami during the election campaign and the BJP was playing the second fiddle.

Pakistan feels that with the exit of the coalition government, instability and volatility in Kashmir valley should exacerbate so as to bring about the derailment of administration. It will be remembered that it was on the behest of ISI that the three mainstream political parties in Kashmir had forged a tenuous alliance and expected the Governor to call them for forming a trilateral government in the State. When the Governor scuttled their game plan, they began attacking the Governor. “Talk to Pakistan” is the refrain of their tantrum. They pull out the cliché one after the other like greater autonomy, self-rule, huge sacrifices, Kashmiriyat, the dead body of Afzal Guru etc. whatever suits them for a particular situation and then whip up the passions among the people. Hungry for power, the NC has jumped on the bandwagon of Congress and the ghatbandan to fight assembly and parliamentary election 2019. The ISI was frustrated when this plan fell through and thus decided to activate the terrorist outfits already in action in South Kashmir.

The endemic hate-India hysterics is exacerbated by the five-time-a-day haranguing by the illiterate and rabidly fanatical mullas imported from the rural areas of Bihar and UP and paid a regular monthly stipend out of the national exchequer. There is absolutely no control on what they preach in the mosques thousands of which have been raised in the length and breadth of Kashmir during past three decades with frugal funding from Saudi Arabian al-Rabitau’l-Islami benefactors and transferred clandestinely through hawala, smuggling and also as a result of the connivance of J&K Bank senior functionaries against whom cases of fraud and deception could have been framed but were not because Kashmir valley biggies are involved.

Simultaneous to the Awantipore blast, terrorists struck in Baramulla as well. Additionally, Pakistan resorted to shelling and firing across the LoC at two places in the Poonch sector. Obviously, all these attacks taking place simultaneously or in close succession have been undertaken under a well-planned strategy. The strategy is dimensional like whipping up anti-India hysteria among the valley population, making home terrorists pro-active, opening unprovoked firing across the LoC and stimulating massive public protests. The aim of the enemy is to open as many fronts as possible to divert the attention of security forces and the security strategy. Another dimension of the heightened violence is that Pakistan Army Chief is to retire in November. He does not have clout in Pakistan polity. He wants to cash upon taking Indo-Pak acrimony to its pitch through advanced subversive activities like the Pulwama blast. He would like to make it a ploy for securing extension in service, something not unknown to Pakistan army…

A war is going on in Kashmir. The masses of people are pitted against Indian presence. India gave them a democratic dispensation and a secular arrangement both of which have been grossly abused. Kashmir leadership and masses are playing in the hands of Pakistanis. For India, it is a matter of political sovereignty and territorial integrity. As a democratic country, India has provided the people of Kashmir such as civil, political and human rights as are a dream even in the rich Islamic countries.

Indian army has to understand that the undeclared war is going on in Kashmir and the masses of people have turned treacherous. They have the Pakistani Zarb-e-azab module before them. Since the Prime Minister has given them the freedom of action, the army chief should declare military rule in the three affected districts, take administration and security into its hands, launch massive combing operations, detain those obstructing army action against the enemy and deny political villains even a solitary opportunity of obstructing the flow of military administration. We should also try to understand that a massive conspiracy is being hatched in the radical Islamic world to wage the ghazwa meaning religious war against India. The Indian state, as well as the Indian nation, has to stand as one mass against this menace and crush it to powder.

The PM has taken some retaliatory steps and plans some more. Giving the army a free hand in Kashmir is the right thing to do, and hopefully, the army, which has created many friendly pockets among civilian segments in the valley, can expand these to embrace a larger number of people in an atmosphere free from the perfidies of self-centred mischief mongers called politicians.

The last important step which the Home Ministry should take immediately is to bring about a radical change in its policy of providing security to VIPs in Kashmir. Security cover for all MLAs, MLCs and political heavyweights should be wound up. What is the sense of providing security cover to those who openly preach sedition or declare that they are walking behind the separatist; who consider it a sin to say a word in condemnation of terrorist acts against innocent civilians and who lionize the terrorists as heroes. Let terrorists provide them with personal security. Moreover, why should police or a CRP PS get killed at the hands of terrorists for a person whom they guard against the persons with whom he hobnobs in private?
(The writer is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir, Srinagar: E-mail

When leaders become shameless

By K.N. Pandita

Ishrat Muneer, a 25-year old girl of village Dangarpora in district Pulwama was gunned down by the jihadi terrorists although she had supplicated with folded hands for sparing her life. With the first bullet piercing her skull she fell down. The cannibal fired another bullet on her head. Her dead body was recovered from somewhere in Draggad area of Shupian in Zainapora. It became viral and their purpose was served. Continue Reading…

Strangulating the Neelam Valley

By K.N. Pandita

Kashmir historian Kalhan Pandit (mid-12th century) has made a mention of river Krishnaganga several times in his chronicle Rajatarangini and has also given some useful hints about its geographical location and the region through which it flows. Continue Reading…

The last night together: 19 January 1990

By Dr Kashinath Pandit

It was the 19th of January 1990. Days were cold and nights bitter though there was no snow on the ground. Around 9 PM, loud and thunderous slogans of Allah-o- Akbar, Pakistan ka matlab kya/ La ila ha ilallah, Islam zindabad, Pakistan zindabad raised collectively by a multitude of humans and relayed through deafening loudspeakers pierced the eardrum. These slogans were not new to Pandits in Kashmir. However, the odd hour, the tumultuous bang and intriguing spontaneity besides shrieking loudspeakers, all spoke threateningly that a storm was brewing in Kashmir. Continue Reading…

Kashmir issue: the Norwegian link

By K.N. Pandita

About a year ago, a Kashmiri Pandit organization named Roots in Kashmir filed a petition with the Supreme Court supplicating for reopening of the subject of ethnic cleansing and violation of human rights of the displaced community. The Supreme Court turned down the petition asserting that it was a twenty-five-year-old issue and culling out the evidence would be an uphill task. However, only some weeks ago, the Supreme Court, while adjudicating the case of Sikh genocide of 1984, gave life imprisonment to one of the culprits. The Supreme Court is also hearing the five hundred year-old Ramjanam Bhumi-Babri Masjid dispute. Continue Reading…

Security Council’s Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir – an analysis

By K.N. Pandita


Prior to the partition of India on August 15, 1947, and the withdrawal of the British colonial rule, the North Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the 570 odd big or small princely states of the British Indian Empire had to decide about its future once the British paramountcy lapsed. The princely states enjoyed nominal autonomy within the parameters of British suzerainty. What would be their status after the British had left. Continue Reading…

Dismantling cobwebs of confusion

By K.N. Pandita

Let me begin with spotlight on accelerated counter-terrorist strikes by the valiant boys of General Rawat. No less admiration goes to the gallant State police forces actively collaborating with the security forces. Ability of forces to zero in on the terrorist hideouts takes the wind out of their sails. We know why they target police personnel and their families. Ultimately, it is these brave hearts who will, sooner or later, announce the grand finale of the burial of terrorism in Kashmir. In subtotal, this is the response of the Indian State to the cacophony of initiating bilateral talks with Pakistan. The deception of terror and talks does not work with General Rawat In days to come, the might of the State will show its teeth and the terrorists will be hotly pursued, hounded out and gunned down. Their mourners will retire to heave a sigh of relief. Continue Reading…

Kashmir through the Ages

By Kashinath Pandit

Part I: Ancient Kashmir

Ancient Kashmirian scriptures call the land as Kashmir Mandala. Many virtues are attributed to it like the land of the spiritualists and of piety. The term Kashmir (or Kashmir) is variously interpreted. Indian antiquarians consider it composed of Ka meaning water in Sanskrit and Meera meaning dried up land. Herodotus and Ptolemy have called it Kaiser and Kasperia respectively. In Khurasan, the western province of Iran, there is a town by the name of Kashmar. However, Iranian etymologists have not established the etymological construct of the word. Continue Reading…

BJP and Jammu region in retrospect

By K.N. Pandita

Riding the Modi high-tide in 2014 assembly election, BJP Jammu region bagged 25 seats, an unprecedented performance in the State. Traditional parties like NC and Congress received a drubbing. PDP did not find the type of response it expected from the Muslim majority segments of the region. Despite putting its best foot forward by resorting to ambivalent polemics and pseudo-secularist jargon, PDP election strategy then did not go well with the Muslim segments of Jammu region. The voters were conscious of the consequences of saddling a militancy-born political group into the seat of power. The constituencies of NC and PDP considerably shrank in Jammu region primarily because of their ambivalence. Continue Reading…

J&K acceded to the Indian Union

By By K.N. Pandita

True story of accession is somewhat shrouded in mystery. A number of versions are afloat. Pakistani version is that the accession was never made and the document called Instrument of Accession is a fake one. They also say it was signed under duress. This line of thinking persists with some of our so-called “progressive” historians as well. If not contradicted and falsified vigorously a day may come when those who were premier party to the accession will sing to the Pakistani tune. Continue Reading…