Open letter to President Donald Trump

By K.N. Pandita

Dear Mr. President,

I think you have some faint idea about Kashmir dispute. Owing to the fact that in the cold war era, the newly created State of Pakistan was a close ally of Anglo-American bloc, therefore, to serve its interests, the bloc, by and large, accepted the version of Kashmir dispute as presented by Pakistan. Their viewpoint was strengthened when they found India pandering to the Soviet bloc. This is the basis of Anglo-American understanding of Kashmir dispute, and of course, an erroneous one. Since right or wrong is not an element in international diplomacy and only national interests determine the status of a dispute, the US has been abandoning itself to the willing suspension of disbelief while looking at Kashmir from the same prism ever since.

Pakistan served the interests of the US much beyond latter’s expectations when the then Soviet Union ordered the march of its land forces into the territories of Afghanistan in 1979. Only a fraction of unaccounted stockpiles of US monies and guns reached the fighting Afghan mujahedeen and the lion’s share remained with the Pakistani military and civilian establishments. Significantly, the most powerful legacy left behind by the Americans in AF-Pak region was and is the Islamic fundamentalism reflected in the widespread surge of Jihadism.

The Soviets left Afghanistan and Afghan mujahedeen, playing in the hands of Pakistani Generals started their fratricidal war which has been raging for lass two decades and the US and NATO forces have been sucked into the vortex of this disastrous fighting for faults of her own. Materially, Pakistan has emerged a vital beneficiary of his drama.

Now, Mr. President, your country wants to wriggle out of the war with the Afghan Taliban. For safe withdrawal and also for face-saving, you need the support of Pakistan because as you well understand it is the Pakistan proxies that your forces are fighting in Afghanistan.

We know that Pakistan is willing to bail you out but the price she is asking for is not from you but from India and through you. Pakistan wants you to be the arbitrator (or mediator to put it in softer language) in Kashmir dispute. We understand the purpose of your Kashmir guffaw while interacting with Pakistan Prime Minister during his recent visit to the US.

Mr. President, in international diplomacy deals and bargains are not unknown. However, the respective position of the parties needs to be understood. Pakistan attacked Kashmir through its proxies meaning the tribesmen within two months of its creation in 1947. These armed legions were at the door of the capital city of Srinagar when India, on the request of the ruler after he had formally acceded to Indian Union, confronted the incursionists militarily and pushed them back to present line of control. Anglo-American bloc persuaded India to accept a ceasefire with Pakistan while she was poised to take back the strategic town of Muzaffarabad and thus permanently block Pakistan’s access to the northern areas touching on the then Soviet territory. Succumbing to the British influence, India announced her willingness to the ceasefire in Kashmir which came about at the stroke of midnight on 31 December 1948. The British Cabinet headed by Clement Attlee rejoiced at and celebrated the occasion for having succeeded in its last and vital component of the notorious “Great Game in Central Asia” of Lord Curzon by stonewalling India’s accessibility to the strategic northern areas of Kashmir.

Banking on the support of the Anglo-American bloc and taking a brainwave from its membership of anti-Soviet defence organization like CENTO, SEATO and Baghdad Pact, Pakistan’s military super-authority waged three wars against India with the sole objective of grabbing the territory of Kashmir. In the process she lost her eastern vassal province now called Bangladesh which proved the fragility of the concept of a separate Islamic state for the Muslims of the sub-continent.

Not deterred by successive failures of her adventurism against India, Pakistan, still taking cue from her historic friendship with the west and the US, embarked on a massive plan of capturing the strategic link of the Indian region of Ladakh from the mainland by clandestinely capturing the Himalayan heights in Dras-Kargil-Siachin sector. Indian forces uprooted them.

Then Pakistan embarked on another bid viz. the unleashing of proxy war in Kashmir by raising dozens of terrorist organizations on its soil, training them in guerilla warfare, providing them with sophisticated arms and then infiltrating them into the “disputed” Kashmir. She has backed up this perfidy with two strategies. One is of a worldwide disinformation campaign to the purpose of accusing India (particularly Indian security forces) of human rights violations, and secondly, whipping up religious sentiments among the people of Kashmir to forge hate-India culture in them. Indian State is meeting all these challenges effectively and at the same time, does not show any slackness in undertaking developmental activities in Kashmir as in other parts of the country. Rarely do we find such stable, considered and resolute facing of the challenge.

Mr. President, in this background, anybody can understand that India is not going to compromise her position on Kashmir. The only dispute that exists and needs to be resolved and to PM Modi might have also referred to is that of the part of the original state still under illegal occupation of Pakistan and also the part of the territory Pakistan has ceded to China. It is this dispute for which not only Prime Minister Modi, but all his predecessors have been asking the US to address. Not only that the original application of the Government of India to the Security Council precisely supplicates for the same objective. And, permit to remind you Mr. President, that there is a unanimous resolution of the Indian Parliament that the part of the Kashmir territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan will be taken back.

Mr. President, in order to have a better understanding of the dispute, it is in fitness of things and also in keeping with the great traditions of the US’ democracy to invite the representatives of the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir and of Northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan under Pakistan occupation for a cool hearing of their plight and aspirations.

Finally, Mr. President, if you think Pakistan can bail you out in Afghanistan, you are welcome to entertain that dream. But this cannot happen at the cost of India in Kashmir. In Kashmir, assembly elections are held every six years and people are provided with the opportunity of electing their democratic government. No elected government in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir was ousted by an army general as has been the case in Pakistan for half of its life till date.

Mr. President, you are aware that India’s relations with the people of Afghanistan go back to the hoary past. The two peoples take pride in their historic friendship which is not directed against any country or people. It is Afghanistan which had given safe haven to the Indian fugitive leaders fighting for the freedom of India from the British rule. These ties will not be broken by dramatic personae trying to create a wall between them.

Mr. President that greatest good that you could do to more than a billion people in the subcontinent is to advise the PM of Pakistan to give you the blueprint of how his administration is going to curb, disarm and ultimately disband the 40,000 odd jihadis and bands of religious armies which he says are active in his country at the moment.

Thank you Sir.

The End

Comments are closed.