T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Inaugural Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

May 2002

 

I N S I D E

Spotlight    Chalmers Johnson

Editorial

Special Report Sundeep Waslekar Ilmas Futehally

Fundamentals Jagan Kaul

Book Review Romeet Watt

InsideTrack          Dr Subash Kapila

Himalayan Blunder              Romeet Watt

In Black & White An Assessment

Statecraft             S a p r a   says

Bottomline           Dr Subash Kapila


A b o u t  U s

F e e d b a c k

D i s c l a i m er

C o p y r i g h t s

 

    F  U  N  D  A  M  E  N  T  A  L  S

 

Kashmir: Kashmiri Pundit View-point

 

By Jagan Kaul


In view of the active political, religious, financial and emotional involvement of the Pan Islamic movement and Pakistan, the otherwise very simple Kashmir issue has become complex and explosive in its character. Through 3 full-fledged wars and a decade old proxy war, India and
Pakistan, have lost thousands of people, trillions of rupees and unprecedented opportunities to improve the standard of life of their respective citizenry. Under these circumstances proposing a rational solution to this vexed problem needs a brief examination of its background.

At the dawn of independence, the Pakistani tribals, aided and abated by the Pak-army, under the command of Maj. Gen. Akbar Khan, invaded Kashmir. The invaders did not move speedily as they accorded a higher priority to kidnapping, rape, loot, murder and plunder. In her book "Halfway to Freedom" Margaret Bourke-White has given a full account of the plunder.
By this crusade Mr. Jinnah had hoped to reap a double benefit: Ist. to get rid of the tribals from NWFP who could not be trusted being the followers of the Frontier Gandhi and 2nd to bring Kashmiris led byAbdullah to their knees.

Faced with a Pakistani aggression on Oct. 26, 1947,The Maharaja applied for his state's accession to India. The Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten, accepted the instrument of accession the following day making way for the Indian army to repulse the aggressors from Kashmir. This is how under the new arrangement designed by the British, Kashmir became an integral part of modern India. However, this decision backed by Abdullah and NC was unacceptable to Mr. Jinnah. From that time to the present Pakistan's obsession with Kashmir has grown incrementally.

The break point, from the non-Muslim minority perspective, came when the West assembled and funded a fundamentalist Muslim army called "Mujahideen." It was composed of religious zealots and intolerant radicals from the Islamic world. The Reagan administration is said to
have provided $5 billion as the seed money for setting up this religious based militant force. The main objective of these Jihadists was to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan became the HQ and therefore, the beneficiary of this multi-national Islamic force.

Being the guiding light and the main recruiting field of the Mujahideen, Pakistan successfully used this army on both sides of its borders. Her expansionist plans had two targets. To the west the Mujahideen radicals, who by now had become the Taliban enjoying full support of the Al Qaeda, were used to capture Afghanistan from the Soviet occupation. Towards the
east anti-Indianism and anti-Hinduism being its "national doctrine" Islamabad managed to infiltrate thousands of its recruits into Kashmir for subversion and possible occupation. Thus was born the decade old proxy war against India.

With external help the Pathans of Pakistan launched a relentless campaign for ejecting the Soviets from Afghanistan. On realizing that the West and the Islamic world had caught up to them the Soviets quickly withdrew from Kabul. Thus afforded an easy yet unprecedented victory to the Taliban. This victory boosted the morale of both Pakistan and its creation, the Taliban.

Pakistan naturally saw an excellent opportunity of expanding its control through its twin campaign. In an effort to stabilize their regime founded on the Wahabi principles the Taliban killed large numbers of the ethnic minorities in Afghanistan and expelled the remainder from their traditional dwellings. In this ethnic clean up untold atrocities were committed yet the international community was denied access to see any of this carnage. We have seen how the cannons of the Taliban obliterated the3rd and 5th century statues of Lord Buddha. This same treatment was used on all non-Muslim places of worship. Similarly the remaining Hindus,
Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians were either killed or expelled while the foreign missionaries were simply imprisoned under the provisions of the Sharia.

On the Kashmir front, their campaign became a civilizational-cum-communal war in which the Pandits, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians were targeted for "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide". This protracted assault on the non-Muslim minorities constituting almost 25%population has completely destabilized their world through often-repeated mass massacres and terrorist acts. In this unholy war, close to 70,000people have been killed.

In fact, during the past decade "September 11th" has visited India many a times and the resultant "reign of terror" has forced more than half a million non-Muslim Kashmiris into the exile. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians in their totality, exactly as it was done in Pakistan and PoK, were driven from this region. The followers of the elusive Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda have forcibly and illegally occupied their movable and immovable properties, businesses, jobs, lands and professions. More than25,000 of their houses and close to 100 Hindu temples were vandalized, looted and burnt and in some cases converted into mosques. Thousands of
women and children were kidnapped and raped. In the Kashmir valley alone, 500 hundred Hindu girls remain unaccounted for. Even today these terrorized and homeless minorities live like nomads and "kurds" with their political, social, economic and religious rights systematically
shrunk.

PATRIOTISM MADE PANDITS A TARGET

There are numerous reasons why these Islamic terrorists elected to target the non-Muslims, particularly the Pandits. The foremost among them were:

a) They believed that the Pandits by virtue of having given 3 strong Prime ministers to India i.e., Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi represented India's power elite. And if this power elite was uprooted, dislodged and dispersed from its traditional habitat that will
result into an irreparable loss to the Indian political culture, which could inevitably lead to the collapse of Indian political system;

b) The Pandits in Hindu hierarchy being the authors and philosophers of many of the great Hindu scriptures occupied a very high place in the Brahmanic culture. The destruction of their society in Kashmir not only eliminates a strong and loyal pro-India segment of the local population but would also be an ultimate humiliation for the Hindus of India considered by Pakistani rulers as their enemies;

c) additionally they were strong supporters of J&Ks accession to India and therefore, accused of wanting the consolidation of Indian power over the Muslims in the state; d) they were also accused of being a fifth column aiming at sabotaging the Muslim secessionist movements;
e) Lastly, they stubbornly opposed the primacy of Islam and therefore, were a stumbling bloc in the way of the complete Islamization of the state.

On the Indian side, political expediency and the vote bank politics apart, the political landscape of the country had radically changed. Those in power were the life long opponents and in some cases enemies of the Nehrus and Gandhis. Not understanding fully the traits, traditions and survivalist methodologies of the Pandit society residing in a relatively hostile environment, they considered every KP a Jawahar, Indira and/or Rajiv. Accordingly they were neither protective nor helpful at a time of high crisis in the Pandit history. The new rulers in ND showed cold shoulders and ignored the "ethnic cleansing" of the Pandits; Instead of exposing the terrorist violence as an ideological struggle essentially fundamentalist in its outlook aiming at integrating Kashmir with Pakistan the Indian leaders made concerted efforts to conceal the real import of the Muslim subversion in Kashmir. A dis-informationcampaign was carried out not only to punish the Pandits for their so-called Nehru-Gandhi connection but also to cover the ugly face of
Muslim communalism and separatism in favor of the ruling class's version of secularism.

CALIPHATE:

From the non-Muslim perspective the militancy in Kashmir is any thing but a freedom struggle. The People who are engaged in this insurrection came from about 3 dozen Muslim countries and so did their funds, trainers, organization and planners. This fully establishes the foreign
connection of the so-called Jihad. The declared goal of these Jihadistsis to establish a caliphate; the Qauranic concept of a world government based on moral principles laid down in the Sunnah. They urge Muslims world wide to strive for caliphate, as, without it, Islam is incomplete. Even Siraj Wahaj, a U.S. black convert to Islam declared in the recent past that "if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional govt. with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, he said, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word if 8 million Muslims unite in
America, the country will come to us."

Islamic fundamentalists have launched a Jihad against the entire on-Muslim world. This Jihad is being fought on 3 different fronts. a) war against secular or nominally Islamic govts. b) The war against all nations who are either on the fringe of the Islamic world or who have substantial Muslim minorities, and c) war against the predominantly on-Muslim Western countries and the US. In its implications the "caliphate doctrine" is just like the "communist internationalism" aiming at converting the world to fit its ideological and behavioral mold. Therefore, even if Kashmir is handed over to them, the terrorist movement towards Islamization of the world will not end. To build an international organizational structure both above and underground, millions of petro-dollars are being spent. OBL, who heads the Al Qaeda in about 60countries, controls a kitty of about $ 300 million. There are many more hidden treasures in the Middle East aiding the movements of converting the infidels to Islam. To further illustrate this point two weeks ago Saddam Hussein declared a reward of $25,000 to each family producing suicide bombers against the Jews of Israel.

The Pandits and non-Muslim minorities of Kashmir have immensely suffered at the hands of the terrorists. Their unique community, culture, religion, traditions and way of life must be saved. That objective can be achieved only when the threat of Islamic terrorism against them
spearheaded by OBL and Musharraf is eliminated. At this point Musharraf has an additional 50,000 Al Qaeda and Taliban Jihadists who escaped from Afghanistan and melted into the Pakistani nation available to him. If this terrorist force and the "Jihad culture" created by 10,000 Madrasas in Pakistan is not neutralized the Islamic terrorism will explode the Indian subcontinent like the Mount St. Helen.

The Pandits firmly believe that Pakistan's illegitimate regime will not change its ways and in order to improve the chances of its survival it will play with fire by using masses of the Islamic terrorists in Kashmir. Since Sept. 11 the US forces have been deployed in Azerbaijan,
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Georgia and Philippines to fight terrorism. Furthermore, Washington has given Israel the freedom to wipe out terrorism in her neighbor hood. Similarly:

a) India should be given freedom and support for neutralizing the terrorist out fits and their training camps in her neighborhood.
b) UN and US should direct Pakistan to vacate its aggression against Kashmir and return the control of the occupied territories to the state govt. at Srinagar.
c) To save the minorities from the terrorist tyranny India should be directed to initiate the political reorganization of Kashmir ensuring a "homeland" for the ousted minorities and equal political empowerment of Dogras, Pandits, Buddhists and Muslims in their domains with full
application of the Indian constitution.

We strongly believe that this is the most realistic, historically and legally correct and justifiable way of solving the Kashmir issue without giving yet another victory to Taliban and Al Qaeda hosted by Musharraf in Pakistan.

Text of the speech delivered by the author at the  UCLA conference held on 14th of April, 2002. The author is a prominent Kashmiri Pundit leader based in America.

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