Monday, 18 February 2019

Review Of An Article On Kashmir

First, read this.

The number of lies and misstatements in this article is eye-glazing. Before I begin enumerating them, however, let me provide a disclaimer.
I'm Indian, and I am not a Kashmiri or a Muslim. I am also a supporter of Kashmiri self-determination. If that self determination means accession to Pakistan, or accession to India, or independence, that's still all long as that's the decision of the people of Kashmir. All the people of Kashmir.
Contrary to what you might have imagined, not all Kashmiris are Muslims. The Jammu area to the south of the state has a solid Hindu and Sikh majority. The Ladakh area to the north east is almost entirely Buddhist. Even in the north-centre of the state (the northern limit of Indian control), Kargil, the majority, though Muslim, are Shia. The Shia of India do not love Pakistan.
Nor are all non-Shia Kashmiri Muslims ethnic Kashmiri; Sunni Kashmiri peoples like the Bakarwal have always been pro India and the Indian army has in fact stated that it could not have managed in Kashmir without the support of the Bakarwals.
Nor are all ethnic Sunni Kashmiri people anti India; the substantial number of Kashmiri Muslim troops in the Indian army attests to that fact.
Therefore, the first, and implied claim of this article, that it's a straight choice between Indian oppression and Pakistan for Kashmiri people, is a lie. And Pakistan knows perfectly well that if all Kashmiris were given a choice between accession to India or Pakistan, the latter option would be buried so deep that it could never be dug up even by archaeologists with excavators. That's why its tone has shifted in recent years to calling for the "self-determination" of the Kashmiri Muslim people of the Valley of Kashmir (around Srinagar) only. That's, by the way, also the place from which some quarter of a million ethnic Kashmiri Hindus (Pandits) were forcibly evicted by Kashmiri rebels in January 1990.
But that's just the beginning. Let's take the claim that a strong united Indian army would have been taken to be a bulwark against "communism" by the Brutish; the Brutes always preferred to set the peoples they ruled over at each other's throats as an excuse to perpetuate their rule. To this day they are doing the same, with their Amerikastani masters, in Iraq and Syria. There would always have been an unacceptably high risk that a united India might choose a full alliance with the USSR; a divided India could at least be depended on to be partially amenable to western control.
Then we have the claim that the Kashmir rebellion was "provoked" by the Indian occupation of Siachen in 1984. It is true that India occupied Siachen in 1984, but that was after Pakistan began sponsoring expeditions to the glacier and promoting the idea that it was Pakistani territory. In reality, Siachen has absolutely nothing to do with the Kashmir situation: it's in the extreme North of the state and totally uninhabited except for soldiers on both sides who spend less time fighting and more on trying not to freeze to death.
The article claims that there was a principle that at Partition in 1947, Muslim majority parts of the subcontinent would go to Pakistan and so Kashmir should have too. There is only one way to treat this statement: it is a deliberate lie.
The Indian subcontinent at independence was not all under direct Brutish colonial control: as a matter of fact, there were over 700 nominally independent kingdoms scattered all through the territory. The rulers of those kingdoms could on their own initiative choose whether to access to India or Pakistan, or, theoretically, remain independent. As a matter of simple geography, those kingdoms which were sited in the territory of the new India eventually, often after many twists and turns, chose India and those in the new Pakistan chose Pakistan. The only two exceptions were:
Junagadh, where a Muslim king ruling over a Hindu population tried to join Pakistan and was immediately invaded by India and the kingdom annexed and
Kashmir, where a Hindu king ruling over a majority Muslim population chose to stay independent. That's right, he signed a "standstill agreement" with both new nations to maintain Kashmiri independence from both! And India* honoured that agreement. But Pakistan sent armed waves of tribal invaders backed by regular troops into Kashmir, occupying a third of the state and threatening Srinagar. It was only then that a desperate King of Kashmir asked for Indian military assistance, again, not Indian rule, but assistance. India conditioned that assistance on Kashmir joining India. King Hari Singh signed over the state, but only on the explicit promise by India that it would hold a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the people of the state once the invaders were ousted from Kashmir. Since the conflict was frozen with a third of the state still under Pakistani control, that was a promise India never had to keep, as it never intended to keep.
*I am convinced that India would eventually have invaded Kashmir itself, as it did Goa in 1961, and the Pakistani invasion merely forestalled this. However, the fact remains that Pakistan, not India, broke the standstill agreement....and that Muslim Kashmiri state troops fought the invaders as best they could until Indian forces came to the rescue.
The author of this article quite deliberately ignores Operation Gibraltar. What was Operation Gibraltar? In 1965 Pakistan sent commandos into Indian Kashmir to foment a mass rebellion that could be used as a pretext by Pakistan to invade and seize the state (CENTO and SEATO member Pakistan being much better armed than the shambolic Indian military in 1965, which was still a WWII force). So what happened?
This: Operation Gibraltar was a colossal and ludicrous failure, with almost all the Pakistani commandos speedily neutralised by the Indian military. Why? Because they got absolutely zero support from the Kashmiri Muslim people, who, in fact, immediately turned them in to the Indian authorities. So much for Kashmiri desires to accede to Pakistan.
Then we come to the next big lie: that the late 1980s rebellion was at the start anything but anti-India (not pro-Pakistan). Indian negligence of and colonial attitudes to Kashmir are quite real and indefensible, and it was due to them that masses of young men began streaming over into Pakistan in 1988-9 for training and armaments. But these young men were not looking for accession to Pakistan; most of them were from the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Students Liberation Front (JKSLF), explicitly pro independence groups which had been active on a low level for many years. In fact the Muslim groups that would rise up later would call the JKLF "communists" because, despite its fully Sunni Muslim membership, it was officially secularist.
The Kashmiri men who went to Pakistan got, in fact, the minimum of training. Most of them only learnt how to hold and shoot an AK 47 and maybe throw a grenade before being sent back across the border after a week or two. If they had been properly trained, they might have been able to wrest the Kashmir Valley from India in the winter of 1989-90, when the incompetent Indian administration and the unprepared security forces had been almost overwhelmed. But that Kashmir Valley would not have been any friendlier to Pakistani rule than to Indian, and Pakistan knew that, which is why underarmed, undertrained, badly organised and appallingly badly led young rebels were sent back to be killed like flies.
This was because, contrary to official pretence, Pakistan did not actually want Kashmir. It had a far more ambitious policy, to "bleed India by a thousand cuts", to keep the pot boiling over to force India to drain its blood and treasure holding on to the state (and to Punjab, where at the time Pakistan was also, in far more limited fashion, aiding a Sikh insurgency). For this, a Kashmiri rebellion that succeeded was not necessary, in fact, it would be counterproductive. A Kashmiri rebellion that went on and on and on and compelled India to expend terrific effort to keep hold of the state was necessary. The Kashmiri rebels were just pawns in that effort.
In "Death Of Dreams", the former Kashmiri rebel commander of the Muslim Jaanbaaz Force, MJF, "Babar Badr" (real name, Firdous Syed Baba) tells of his own experiences as a Pakistani trainee in 1989. Apart from the inadequate training, he said, the Pakistani army liaison officer in charge actively encouraged each group of rebels to set up their own little outfit, independent of the others; no group was to be allowed to get too powerful. This, of course, totally sabotaged any chance of success the rebellion might have had, and also led a large number of disillusioned rebels to surrender (like Baba himself did) or even change sides altogether. By the mid 90s India's best weapon in Kashmir were groups of former rebels now fighting in government sponsored militias against their former comrades.
Also, by the early 1990s, the Afghan jihad was temporarily over, and a lot of jihadis from Pakistan were looking for alternative employment. Exactly as the Saudi Barbarian headchopper regime did in Syria after 2011, the Pakistanis preferred to send them off to Kashmir rather than create a domestic problem; and it wasn't until the early 1990s that foreigners arrived in substantial numbers in Kashmir to shore up the crumbling insurgency. They were known as "mehmaan mujahideen" (guest freedom fighters) to the Kashmiris, and soon made themselves hated by their behaviour, which included treating the local girls as sex slaves. And their Wahhabism was very different from the strain of Sufi Islam characteristic of Kashmir; in fact Kashmiri Islam counts as idolatry by Wahhabi standards. This is why the Kashmiri rebellion more or less died out by the mid 2000s, and would have been extinct by now if the Indian government had made some political concessions, such as restoring at least part of the autonomy Kashmir had had under the Indian constitution between 1948 and 1953.

Instead, it doubled down on its treatment of Kashmir as a de facto colony with results that are obvious for all to see.

In other words, this article is for readers who don't know the history of Kashmir. If you do, you won't believe more than one word of five in it.

Kashmiri rebels


  1. Bill, er, um, uh, or should I say I say Jihadi Colin? (See, I did read that article at Anti-War first) Thank you for this history lesson. What a huge and very sick joke saying the partition in 1947 (the same year I was born. Oh crap does that make me responsible for the crap fest it turned out to be? Sorry to all, I was born in late December of the year and meant no harm to any living critters.) was a British run deal. Well, maybe it was. Seriously Bill, hear me out on this. Shitill (Churchill the war criminal) did the planning for the bloody cluster fuck that was Gallipoli. Considering what little I did read of the disaster that was and basically still lingers even now, it may have gone almost as good as the royals in olde England had wanted it to go. I actually think they wanted more deaths, more blood, more long lasting distrust, etc..
    Yes, once again, us folks who have pinkish skin tone, not nice tans like brown or black get to decide we know all and those who have nicer tans don't know much of anything. And people give me odd looks whenever I have forms to fill out that ask my 'race' and I always mark "other" and write either human or motor. Hey, what can I tell ya Bill, if it has an internal combustion engine and 2 or 4 wheels and its being raced, I want to see it and photographic/them racing.
    Again, thanks very much for the history lesson my friend.

  2. I studied the sub-Continent in geography class in secondary school, and learned all there was to know. Then I got a divorce and was ordered to pay 110% of my take home pay or go to the Workhouse for Life at Hard Labour as soon as I was 6 months behind, so I accepted a job in a city I call Newer Delhi, since 80% of the population are helots from the sub-Continent. And every day I'm here, I know less and less about the sub-Continent. I was taught that the Hindu was easily conquered, because their religion is strictly pacifist, and they cannot fight invaders. After I got here, the daily news reports of Hindus attacking mosques and killing Muslims, something I was taught they can never do. If one goes to a church, one reads of Hindus attacking churches (that's not in the Muslim newspapers here, of course, they only report attacks on mosques). Then there's the Long Tail. Given more than 100 crore on the sub-Continent, one can find almost anything. Some whose English is better than mine. Some that only speak the language of their home state. Some polyglots. Some Muslim vegetarians, some Hindu Beef Eaters. And the Western histories, like the Western geographies, rely heavily on the fact that their readers will never have any contact with the sub-Continent (most people form the sub-Continent who live in the West tend to stick very much to their own communities), so one can write anything and know one's readers will believe it is strictly accurate.



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