Jammu and Kashmir

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  • Debating the Interlocutors’ Report on Jammu and Kashmir

    There is much scope for imaginative thinking on the desirability, compatibility of goals and feasibility of the political, cultural and socio-economic components of the new compact as suggested by the Interlocutors.

    July 04, 2012

    Sandeep Madkar asked: Is the projection of popular alienation of Kashmiri people from India a perception or reality?

    Arpita Anant replies: There is some sense of ‘alienation’ from the rest of the country among sections of people in the Kashmir Valley. There are several separatist groups in the Valley who have a varying degree of influence on the people. Therefore, in some areas of the Valley, their call for a boycott of the Assembly elections of 2008 had resulted in very low voter turn out.

    However, it would be incorrect to state that all sections of people are ‘alienated’ to this extent and in this manner. The high voter turn out in the panchayat elections of 2011 in the Kashmir Valley indicates the willingness of the people to participate in democratic processes. Moreover, people are actively participating in the several development initiatives taken by the government. More recently, there has been some writing on the various meanings of ‘azadi’; so the nature and extent of ‘alienation’ needs to be assessed in the light of these various meanings. The government (State and Union) has also undertaken several initiatives to enable greater interaction between people in the Valley and those in the rest of the country.

    Perceptions of Kashmiri Youth: Security Implications

    The year 2011 was characterized by relative peace in the Kashmir Valley, especially when compared with the previous three years. A study undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs provides empirical indicators of the mood of the youth in six districts of the Valley. The study substantiates certain existing assessments based on environmental realities; however, it also raises other issues which come as a surprise to most. This article analyses five of these factors from a security perspective, based on the details that have emerged and other independent assessments.

    April 2012

    Hope for Peace: What do the signs foretell?

    To ensure that hope changes to reality, policy decisions like RTI, Panchayati Raj, return of youth from across the LoC, employment schemes, changes in security laws and keeping national interest above petty politics, will have to meet the reality test of implementation.

    April 16, 2012

    Sandeep Madkar asked: Can or should India acquire parts of Kashmir which are under Chinese and Pakistani control, either diplomatically or forcefully?

    Priyanka Singh replies: The entire Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India by virtue of the Instrument of Accession signed in 1947. Hence, India certainly should claim parts of the state which are under the illegal control of Pakistan and China. Aggression or use of force is not a rational approach and overall it does not fit within India’s traditional policy framework. To regain the lost territory by force, therefore, does not appear to be a prudent choice for India. Diplomatic channels are more viable and are likely to bear favourable results in the long-term provided they are pursued rigorously and on a consistent basis. In this regard, India needs to be forthcoming about its claim on parts of Kashmir under Pakistani and Chinese occupation. There is also a need to ensure that India’s claim on the lost sub regions of Kashmir (under Pakistan and China) are taken up appropriately in its dealings with both Pakistan and China. India needs to duly strengthen its case on the lost parts of Jammu and Kashmir based on the legality of the Instrument of Accession.

    As Pakistan observes Kashmir Solidarity Day…

    Over the last few years, there is a whole range of instances where the common Kashmiri has become a part of the Indian landscape, by persevering through the difficult circumstances in the Valley and making something worthwhile of their life.

    February 17, 2012

    Neeraj Kapoor asked: How the insurgency in Kashmir is different from the Maoist insurgency or the insurgency in Assam?

    G.K. Pillai replies: The insurgency in Kashmir is different primarily because it arises from differing perceptions with Pakistan and the people of Kashmir valley on the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union at the time of independence and the special status accorded to the State through Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The insurgency in J&K has been actively assisted by the Government of Pakistan and the two countries have fought in 1948, 1965, 1971, and in the Kargil sector on this issue. It has been the official policy of the Government of Pakistan to bleed India through a thousand cuts in order to weaken its resolve that J&K is an integral part of India. Pakistan has, therefore, not lost any opportunity to exploit any discontent in J&K. There are reportedly 22 camps in Pak occupied Kashmir where militants are being trained to be infiltrated across the LOC to attack security forces and vital installations in the State.

    The Maoist insurgency originates from apparent discontent over agrarian reforms and exploitation of the local population, especially tribals; and now has the stated objective of the overthrow of the Indian State and parliamentary democracy. It has got its support by exploiting local grievances against the local government to organise an armed liberation struggle against the Indian State. It draws inspiration from Mao Tse Tung’s Communist movement. It is not limited to any one state since the Maoists do not believe in parliamentary democracy and is currently spread in parts of at least 9 States in India. Maoists have been reported to have got training from the LTTE and are actively seeking cooperation from insurgent groups in the North East, especially the PLA.

    In Assam, there are a number of insurgent groups which are active. United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Paresh Barua faction seeks a sovereign Assam and has its origins in the fear that continuous migration of persons from erstwhile East Pakistan and now Bangladesh will alter the demographic character of the State of Assam to the detriment of its indigenous people. Who are the indigenous people of Assam still remains to be resolved. The BODO insurgent movement also called for an independent BODO State as these tribals felt that they would be discriminated if they stayed within the State of Assam. Then there are a number of other militant groups based on tribal identity and geographical contiguity who have taken up arms to fight for their tribal identity which they feel is not getting due recognition and support within the State of Assam. Both the ULFA and BODO groups have received training and arms from Pakistan.

    Beyond the Indus Water Treaty: A Perspective on Kashmir’s “Power” Woes

    At the core of the Kashmiri discourse on the shortage of power is the distribution of water resources that was agreed to between India and Pakistan through the instrumentality of the Indus Water Treaty.

    February 02, 2012

    India’s Internal Security: The Year That Was, The Year That May Be

    India’s internal security situation in 2011 was relatively better than in previous years. To ensure that 2012 also turns out to be a quiet and secure year, New Delhi not only has to consolidate the gains made in 2011 but also undertake new initiatives to address these gaps.

    December 13, 2011

    ‘Heart as a Weapon’: A Fresh Approach to the Concept of Hearts and Minds

    The recent 'heart as a weapon' initiative in Jammu and Kashmir has been received favourably both by critics of security forces and by the state government.

    November 16, 2011

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