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Kashmir Situation – A New Phase

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By K.N. Pandita

Undoubtedly, Kashmir situation has entered a new phase –- the phase of dialogues, no matter productive or non productive. However, that does not mean the end of externally sponsored and locally abetted militancy.

That also does not imply quick return of normalcy. Can armed insurgency and terror be eradicated lock, stock and barrel? Nobody can vouch for that.

But the symptoms of exhaustion are there with those who have taken upon themselves the task of disruption and disorder. There could be several causes.

ISI has changed its strategy of pursuing its covert design of disintegrating Indian state. Fifteen – year old and prolonged terrorism in Kashmir has been adequately resisted and even repulsed. The changed strategy is to penetrate into the Indian civil society through India’s eastern flank. It means creation of a new nexus with the Bangladesh fundamentalist groups, Naxalites and Maoists who are actived in Nepal.

Unlike terrorism in Kashmir, in opening the eastern flank no finger will be raised directly against Pakistan. Secondly, this strategy is less expensive in comparison to one underway in Kashmir. Thirdly, there are more crucial and sensitive targets available on the plains of India than in the mountains of Kashmir.

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General will “hit Balochis hard”

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By K.N. Pandita – “I will hit them so hard they won’t know what hit them”, thundered the General in Islamabad.

Pakistan military pounded the Baloch freedom fighters with helicopters, gun ships, artillery and heavy machine guns. The Balochis know what these weapons are but the stuff, which they do not know and with which the General threatens to hit them, could be chemical or biological ones. In the first overnight strike on the Baloch stronghold Dera Bugti, 16 freedom fighters were decimated bringing the total number of civilian casualties to 43 dead and 161 injured.

The ruler of Kalat, one of the princely states under the Raj, refused to accede to the dominion of Pakistan in August 1947. He declared his independence because he had strong reasons to take that decision. The tribal population of Kalat was secular as against sectarian Punjabis. Baloch tribesmen fiercely adhered to their indigenous traditions and lifestyle. The British had recognized and conceded their love for independent entity, which the Balochis were ready to defend at any cost. The rulers of the nascent dominion wanted to undo all this and submerge the Baloch nation in Islamic theocratic mainstream under ethnic Punjabi domination.

Pakistan’s Punbjabi ruling junta –- a feudal military combine — marched its war machine and men into Baloch territory, crushed opposition using brute force imposed their sway over and trampled Baloch nationalist movement under the iron heel.

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Letter to All

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Dears All,

Please do not go on harping on this or that solution plan for Kashmir issue. If we have a clear vision of ground situation we will come to the conclusion that neither a plan is called for nor is any plan implement-able. Let us come out of a labyrinth spread out only to confuse and detract us.

What is at the centre of all publicized plans? All of them have come from the Americans and Pakistan, in true spirit of a client state, has picked up the thread. Both want to do away with the status quo, essentially and specifically to serve their own interests and not of Kashmiris. Muscle power is the instrument Pakistan has relied upon in order to do away with the status quo in Kashmir.

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Kashmir Politics: Combinations and Permutations

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Published in Kashmir Herald, January 2, 2006, by K. N. PANDITA

OPINION – Kashmir politics has usually been a strange mix of various facets of her social, historical and political life. Like other parts of the country, the urban segment of her society performed the frontline role in the freedom movement. Naturally, urban elements in political arena became the leading light. In the process, social constituencies emerge to provide direction to a political, intellectual or ideological movement.

The tallest among the Kashmir leaders, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, came from the urban segment of Kashmir society. His unquestioned popularity and deep impact on contemporary Kashmir history served the prime catalyst to the growth and evolution of concentration of political and economic power with the urban (Srinagar) elite.

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