Northern border security concerns

By K.N. Pandit

If the Indian state has the will to do, restructuring of J&K State should not be difficult to achieve.

Was there a churning in BJP’s think tank on party’s new ideas on Kashmir before its President, Rajnath Singh, divulged them in Bangalore conclave? The ideas are about an enclave for the internally displaced people from the valley, and nationalization of Amaranth cave route.

PDP chairperson Mahbooba Mufti, an adept in political gimmick, came out with livid reaction to these ideas — patent Kashmiri exclusives.

An “Enclave” for IDPs in the valley and nationalization of Amarnath route are not the brainchild of BJP chief.  In the Marg Darshan resolution adopted in December 1990 at Jammu, Panun Kashmir — the frontline political party of Pandit IDPs — demanded centrally administered Homeland in the valley with a road link to the national highway. 

Homeland proposal was not made out of anger, frustration or revenge.  Much midnight oil was burnt in debating its implications. The Pandit think-tank was wholly motivated by long-range national interests, particularly that of territorial integrity of India.

Article 370 provides special status to the J&K. It is fine as long as it protects the identity of the State.  But in a situation in which territorial integrity, national sovereignty and the fundamental principles of modern Indian State are under threat, all necessary steps, including abrogating, amending and revising of Constitutional provisos can be considered.  Neither 370 nor any other Article of the Constitution is sacrosanct enough not to be touched if there are compulsion

Demand for secession from the mainland is tantamount to treason; so is people’s attempt to cross the LoC with the tacit purpose of lending support to enemy’s nefarious designs.  No acts of treason should go unnoticed, and the law has to be enforced to curb all illegal activities.

Obstructing a duly elected government in the discharge of its duty, forcing strikes on shopkeepers, paralyzing activities of civil society, and defying the state authority are clear acts of sedition. The law of the land should come into force to prevent it.

Ethnic cleansing of the minuscule religious minority from the valley is a frontal attack on secularism, the outstanding primary principle on which modern Indian State has been built.  The situation needs to be reversed to ensure that secularism perpetuates as philosophy of life and State.

Kashmir is a border state with two hostile countries on our flanks. Knowing their complicity in disturbing peace in our country, India needs to re-visit her security perception of the northern border and blunt joint thrust of the hostile neighbours supported by recalcitrant elements within.

To beef up our security to the north, we need a Himalayan Mountain Command with headquarter somewhere between Kupwara and Guraiz in North Kashmir.  The Command is to be equipped with missiles that can strike far and deep. The world’s most powerful mountain battery should be deployable within shortest period of time. This will call for adequate infrastructure.

Our military cooperation with the US and Israel should be of significant support in this new security enterprise. Doing so will have its far-reaching impact on Taliban-al Qaeda combine of terror in NWFP and Pakistan besides being a deterrent to China’s dubious intentions on our borders. Setting up the Himalayan Mountain command can guarantee peace in South Asia and security to the Gulf Oil industry.

The Parliament can abrogate Article 370 on the plea of rising crescendo of Indian Mujahideen and their covert link with main illegal terrorist groups in Pakistan and Kashmir .

Attempting to violate LoC, and join the enemy across the border and spread communal hatred with the objective of wrecking territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Indian State is clear and blatant treason. Law must take its natural course.

A ten kilometer strip all along the border from Ladakh to Kathua should be vacated by civilian population, and handed over to a joint military and civilian administrative authority with the Corps Commander of the proposed Himalayan Mountain Command as its chairman, and final authority. The displaced population has to be relocated on government expense in the Kashmir hinterland.

If the Indian State has a will, and if it wants to translate the unanimous parliamentary resolution of 1994 into practice, then finalization, implementation or restructuring of existing plan should not be a difficult thing to do.
(The writer is the former Director of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University).

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