Some districts of Kashmir Valley are under curfew for last 50 days due to street protests and violence. More than 60 people have died and more than 2000 injured.
A new pattern of violence is emerging, wherein mostly teenage boys are being used for pelting stones by suspected Pakistani agents and criminals as shield to their designs for some larger games. Surprisingly even after 50 days, the street violence is not stopping in spite of heavy deployment of police forces and curfew. To avoid heavy causalities police forces are using pallet guns and taking a beating from the crowd. More police force personals have been injured than the rioters. Ground reports suggest demoralized police forces leaving posts at some places forcing central govt to rush BSF. Intense signs of worries are visible on faces of Home Minister and CM of the state. Army has been removed from the eyes of the public wherever possible. Army with RR has increased their anti terror operations along LOC and also in suspected areas resulting in killing of many terrorists. Certain restriction on internet has been imposed. Known separatists leaders living in state protection enjoying state perks are still active on social media inciting violence.
Today CM Mehbooba made a desperate appeal to trouble creators to give her a chance. Similar weak and desperate calls are coming from Home Minister: Raj Nath Singh. Initially he declined to go to valley to meet people, now he is planning a second visit. PM is firm and talking tough including giving calls for world to take note of human rights violations in Baluchistan and also calling Pakistan to vacate POK but even in this talk some traces of defensive tone can be noted. Defense Minister is silent except making a childish comment of Pak being a hell. Army Chief probably has no clearance from govt to speak. Northern Command GOC made an appeal for calm and all parties to step back for peace and talks.
Involvement of Pakistan needs no debate and same is so predominantly visible. Pak has stepped up her attempts to take the matter to international forums. UN has declined to intervene calling both countries to resolve the issue amicably. USA has again called both parties to talk and resolve the disputes by talks. Russia is silent and is likely to back India. Some murmur from China can be heard but she is yet to come openly in support of Pakistan. Afghanistan is backing India and Iran is silent. OIC made a usual statement with diplomates from Arab countries later calling India in confidential telling not to worry (it has been a practice by Arab Countries for last 3-4 decades).
Overall India standing on defensive foot is clearly visible. Policy confusions and knees jerk actions on part of Govt are visible. Pakistan is making calls for India to come for talks on Kashmir dispute whereas India has responded to talk on issue of terror.
The way events have unfolded in valley, it looks to be under well planned strategy by Pakistan. Trouble is sustaining itself indicating well planned strategy. As per Indian govt report more than Rs 80 crores have been sent by Pakistan to separatists leaders in Kashmir.
Indian intelligence has once again proved to be a failure wherein they failed to read the Pakistani plans and also could not stop funding. Though Indian Army was well prepared for operations and actually their success rates have gone up but troops are puzzled with the meek response from the govt.
No unusual buildup of troops or usual firing on LOC is reported except once. There is a mysterious silence in military activities creating more alert and caution in experienced minds.
Separatist leaders have given call for people to march tomorrow to local army formation HQ in Srinagar and ask army to vacate valley. The situation seems to be tense but under control. A large portion of the population is not supporting the violent path. People are suffering and business has stopped. Most want some way out to emerge. The violence lacks mass and momentum. Heavy deployment of troops is more than enough to manage any contingency. 5% people fermenting trouble in small region surely can not make a serious dent.
Behavior and conduct of Indian media and many opposition leaders almost talking in favor of violence mongers is something not palatable.
In the given situation surely enough, few questions do emerge.
1. Why did intelligence failed to read the trouble brewing specially when it was clear that state govt was releasing certain separatist leaders known to be close to Pakistan and who were arrested on charges of inciting children to pelt stones on the troops earlier? State govt had recently released few hundred children who were in jail on stone pelting charges and arrested a year before.
2. How could Pakistan fund the separatist leaders in Kashmir avoiding detection from Indian intelligence agencies?
3. Why is there so much confusion in Govt policy makers? Initially they decided not to talk with leaders in Kashmir and now they are rushing for talks.
4. Why very weak and meek statements and gestures are coming from Govt suggesting India being on defensive?
5. Why has govt failed to take all political parties on board creating a situation wherein these parties have chosen to make certain unpalatable statements contradicting the national interests?
6 Why has media been not issued advisory for not crossing certain lines and harming national interests?
7. Why has such policy been accepted where in police force like CRPF has been forced to accept beating affecting their moral? More CRPF personals have been injured than the rioters.
8. Why are there no alternative plans like occupying houses and their roof tops dominating streets or using some other methods? There are enough such options?
It is puzzling, that on one side violence doesn't allow normal life to return on other side govt is taking no tough stand against separatist leaders and arresting those who are organizing and using children for pelting stones on the security forces. Separatists leaders like Geelani continue to enjoy fruits of state protections and perks including pensions. No attempts have been made to choke funding of separatists through hawala in spite of army harping on it for last three decades. Even at one point of time USA also cautioned India to control the funding through hawala.
In geo political and military sense, present trouble makes no major difference except creating a ripple in form of some heightened activities which Indian forces are quite capable to manage. In diplomatic circles too the trouble doesn't change the shape and structure of the dispute and agreements. It also doesn't change the stands of the parties involved. The trouble also doesn't give any advantage to Pakistan except she making some noises in international forums with no impact.
Then what is the game plan of the Pakistan? Why is Indian response so confused and not firm?
It is not an unknown phenomenon in politics of South Asia where in trouble like this are triggered to create political advantage by the parties in power. Shimla agreement was signed by Indra throwing away the advantage of military victory and national interests to win elections. Indra also bailed out Bhutto by signing this agreement and helped him win elections in Pakistan. Such violence help politicians in polarizing people to create advantage of votes. Key elections in Punjab and UP are due. Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan was also losing political grip. Such issues like Kashmir are also kept alive by politicians by creating trouble like present one to create political power balance in their favor. BJP can use this issue to incite passions of nationalism and create polarization for votes. Similarly Nawaz Shairf in Pakistan has been successful in regaining his loosening political control. Past events suggest Cong having Pakistan connection probably with PPP. It appears BJP has created a Pakistani connect with PML - N wherein with this trouble in Kashmir both parties reap political benefits in their respective counties.
Politicians of South Asia play dirty politics whereas people suffer. Soldiers get killed or injured. Economic growth of the country gets affected. The present trouble in Kashmir makes no geo political or military sense unless their are some larger plans which may unfold in time and if not then surely enough these are dirty ploys of politicians in power in both the countries.
Let good sense prevail and peace return.