Rajnath Assures Peace In Kashmir Soon

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured the nation that the situation in Kashmir will be brought under control very soon.

New Delhi:  As Kashmir Valley is reeling under chaos, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that cross-border terrorism would be brought to an end soon.

Addressing the media on Saturday, he said that the government had full faith in the security forces to accomplish the task. He asserted that the situation in Kashmir would be brought under control soon.

Despite India being a home to a sizeable Muslim population, the Islamic State could not recruit people from the country, he said. “Our forces have been able to arrest a few ISIS sympathisers,” he added.

He further said that security forces were working towards eliminating Pakistan-sponsored terror totally from Kashmir. “I assure you that we will uproot Pakistan-sponsored terror from Jammu and Kashmir and establish peace there,” said Singh.

The Union Minister also claimed that after surgical strikes, there had been a decrease of 45 percent in infiltration from Pakistan.

Pointing out the need for an integrated solution to the Kashmir issue, Rajnath said, “We want good relations, but cannot clap with one hand.”  He was indicating ties with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, two jawans have been martyred and four others seriously injured as militants attacked an Army convoy on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Kulgam district’s Qazigund area.

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India’s response to Uri: Aggressive In Talk, Guarded In Action

New Delhi: It is extremely difficult to be objective for an Indian when it comes to talking about India-Pakistan relations at a crucial juncture like this. The media in India and Pakistan are being carried away by the official rhetoric. While Indian media has been talking about isolating Pakistan in international arena, the Pakistani media has been playing up the US visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Indian media informs that Sharif was rebuked by the world leaders for the Uri attack.

India and Pakistan are cursed to live together while hating each other. Whenever there is a hope that the relation between the two neighbours might improve, the Pakistani army generals would spoil the show. There is a lot of similarity between 1999 and 2016. In both the years the Pakistani Prime Minister happens to be the same Nawaz Sharif. Seventeen year ago, Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee traveled to Lahore by bus raising hopes in the hearts of the peace loving people in both the countries that the neighbours are set to improve their relations. Then the Pakistani army generals headed by Gen. Musharraf struck by sending troops to Kargil. That India had beaten back the Pakistani troops and registered a convincing win at Kargil is history. Gen. Musharraf, who took over from Sharif in a bloodless coup, also made some friendly noise but he was never sincere in his attempts to improve relations with India. The 10 years of the UPA rule under Dr. Manmohan Singh did not leave any positive impact on India-Pakistan relations.

Then came Narendra Modi with a bang by winning a majority of seats in Lok Sabha for the BJP for the first time in the party’s history and for any government since 1984. When Nawaz Sharif responded to Modi’s invitation and attended his swearing-in ceremony, a conducive atmosphere appeared to have been created. There were ups and downs and flip-flops in the India-Pakistan relations in the last two years mainly on account of lack a consistent policy on the part of Narendra Modi. But there were flashes here and there whenever Modi acted as dictated by his conscious. One such instance was his sudden visit to Lahore to attend Nawaz Sharif’s grand daughter’s wedding last year. Within one week of Modi’s Lahore visit the terrorists attacked Pathankot air base. Nine months later, the terrorists attack on Indian army camp at Uri in North Kashmir took place. A pattern could be discerned in the events.

One can see that left to himself,  Nawaz Sharif had always tried to improve Pakistan’s relation with India. When he won elections and became Prime Minister again in 2013 he was trying to build bridges with India once again. Modi and Sharif had struck a personal equation. But the Pakistani army, which is the real establishment and which has vested interests in enmity with India, would not allow the bilateral relations to improve. The generals in Pakistan have been aiding and abetting the terrorist groups based in Pakistan encouraging them to infiltrate into Kashmir to create chaos. The Modi government on its part helped the Pakistani generals in destroying peace and tranquility in Kashmir. The so called encounter in which the young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed had become a turning point in India-Pakistan relations. The use of Pellet Guns which blinded hundreds of Kashmiri youth and the death of more than 80 persons in the three months-long disturbances in the valley gave a handle to Pakistani army to bring about pressure on Nawaz Sharif to raise Kashmir bogey once again. In response to the Pakistan tirade, Indian Prime Minister Modi blamed Pakistan for the violence in Baluchistan during his Independence Day address.

Uri attack was the proverbial last straw. Modi’s image as a strong leader has taken a beating. The nation was shocked when 18 soldiers were killed in sleep by the terrorists. The nation was furious and the people were demanding action. The government and the media made a lot of noise talking about retaliatory measures. There was talk of surgical attack on terrorist bases in Pakistan. The Prime Minister soon realised that the aggressive diplomacy is a better option than a limited war. Thus the efforts to isolate Pakistan have gained momentum. The US, China, Russia, UK, France, and Germany were quick to condemn the terrorist attack on Uri. Bangladesh and Afghanistan have expressed solidarity with India and were prepared to boycott the SARC summit to be held in Pakistan. But when it comes to isolating Pakistan many of the powerful countries may not come forward with the same enthusiasm. Modi is advised to have more patience and a pragmatic approach in dealing with Pakistan. Aggressive diplomacy may help but not the loose talk about waging a war on the neighbor. India should prepare for war but should not start one.

– Sanjaya

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Uri Attack: 17 soldiers, 4 terrorists killed

Kashmir: 17 soldiers lost their lives and four terrorists gunned down in Uri encounter in North Kashmir. (Read: Militants attack Army in Uri; Rajnath puts off foreign tour). 19 other soldiers were reportedly injured in the terrorist attack.

A statement has been released by the army commander’s press office saying that around four to five terrorists entered Uri town on Sunday early morning and had managed to reach the administrative wing of the unit. After the terrorists entered the town, the security forces engaged the terrorists in an encounter and in the crossfire all terrorist were gunned down.

The administrative base has a large strength of security officials and many of them were turning off their duty at the time of attack. At this point, the terrorists set the tent and the bunkers on fire which caused high casualty.

The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag are rushing to Kashmir. In the meanwhile Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called for an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the terror attack.

Losing as high as 17 soldiers in these kinds of terror attacks is extremely worrying for Indian Army. They will have to reshuffle their operating procedures and security parameters around the LOC.

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Kashmir issue: No more takers for Pak claims

S.Madhusudhana Rao

The United Nations General Assembly becomes a battleground for India and Pakistan when it meets for the annual session. This year is no exception. Though the Prime Ministers of both countries had stayed in the same hotel in New York, they had not even shaken hands for courtesy sake. They had only a brief eye contact when Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif waved at each other, perfunctorily.

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S.Madhusudhana Rao

Since their meeting was not expected, it was not scheduled, ostensibly because of Modi’s busy schedule in the US, though the real reason was the simmering border tensions and cross-border terrorism. Even their chance-meeting would have had vicious backlash back in India and Pakistan. However, the two rival leaders’ US visit at the same time has turned out to be a study in contrast for Indo-Pak observers.

Modi, shunned by the American administration as long as he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat over his alleged complicity in 2002 riots, was embraced by the US for a second time this year. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, corporate honchos and IT giants chanted NaMo and the prosperous Indian-American community, for a change, saw in him a leader who treats the superpower as an equal and a partner in India’s growth story. Sharif’s visit, on the other hand, was summed up in a tweet: “While he (Pak PM) was meeting grocers from his homeland, Indian PM was interacting with Who’s Who of America.” Of course, Sharif also made news both in Pakistan and India for his UN speech in which he raked up the Kashmir issue.

Deploring the world body’s ‘inaction’, Sharif proposed a four-point peace initiative which included “demilitarization” of Kashmir. Hitting back, India called Pakistan “a prime sponsor of terrorism” and asserted that “de-militarizing Kashmir was not the answer for achieving peace but de-terrorizing Pakistan as it uses terror as legitimate instrument of statecraft.” India also called for early vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir.

India’s response to Sharif’s statement was the strongest so far in the ongoing battle of words which was followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj a day later in the UN Assembly. She said India was ready for a dialogue with Pakistan provided it gave up terror. She also urged the 193-member UN Assembly to make countries aiding, arming and protecting terrorists pay a heavy price.

Stung by India’s response, Pakistan has re-asserted that Jammu and Kashmir remains the core issue and will always be on top of the agenda of peace talks. Alleging that India is using ‘terrorism bogey’ to stall a dialogue and unleashing terror in Balochistan, Pakistan said it gave a dossier to UN chief on India’s terrorist acts on its territory.

What the tit-for-tat wordy duel shows is Pakistan’s unabated attempts to internationalize the J&K issue and India’s bid to expose that country as a terrorist haven. The world body has been hearing both countries repeating the same allegations and statements year after year for decades. The member-countries must have got tired of listening to the same charges. For most of them, K is a bilateral issue and they are now seized of more pressing and threatening issues like Islamic State’s expansion, Syrian conflict and the global refugee crisis.

Pakistan’s repeated attempts to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums prove the theory of diminished returns. Even its Islamic friends, faced with internal problems and militancy, have left Pakistan to fend for itself. If Islamabad continues to fight for a lost cause, its obvious motive is to keep the J&K pot boiling. If the issue is resolved, nothing will be left for Pakistan to cross swords with India and its existence will be at stake. More importantly, military will lose its say in civilian government.

1 Response

  1. m. r. dua says:

    great, unputdownable, piece.
    thanks, madhu,
    well done indeed.
    thanks, enjoyed a
    matter-of-fact piece.

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