Author: Ravi Nanda
Publisher: Lancer's Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170950821
Noted defense analyst Colonel Ravi Anand reviews the current situation in Kashmir in the context of Indo-Pak relations with an insight and authority that makes this a must read book. He argues that India needs a vision for Kashmir and a policy to further that vision.
Indian social structure had been evolved over thousands of years of amalgamation of various cultures, religions and ethnicity. India may not have existed as a nation state yet it was a secular society. 98 percent of India lived in villages in peace and harmony. It was only 2 percent of urban India which controlled the public opinion.
Inspite of the fact that the British wanted to expand their empire yet they never took over the direct control of the most strategically located Jammu and Kashmir state. To safeguard their political interests they established Gilgit Agency (a lease from the Maharajah) in the northern end of India.
The British, in order to perpetuate their rule, divided the Indian society on religious grounds. They put Muslims against the Hindus. They created Pakistan in order to have a state in that region which would be favorably disposed to Britain. The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament. Instrument of Accession was an integral part of that mechanism. Yet the same British Government did not accept and advised USA not to accept the legality and constitutionality of accession of Jammu and Kashmir State to India, inspite of the fact that the instrument of accession had been signed by the Maharajah.
This breach of faith by both USA and UK, for over 50 years has been at the root of trouble in South Asia. Indo-Pak relations became a victim of the Cold War. These relations deteriorated when Pakistan was fighting proxy war on behalf of USA in Afghanistan.
India defeated Pakistan in Indo-Pak wars of 1948, 1965 and 1971. To get Kashmir by military means became impossible for Pakistan. Zia planned a low cost proxy war in Kashmir to wear down India, under 'Operation Topac'. That proxy war still goes on even through Zia could not implement the plan himself.
Indo-Pak relations over the last 53 years have been like a pendulum; high, low and not so low. Nuclear tests of India and Pakistan brought those relations to their lowest ebb.
Kargil war was a desperate attempt by Pakistan to capture Kashmir. It was defeated militarily and humiliated diplomatically.
Army rule has re-emerged in Pakistan. Indian Airlines plane was hijacked to Kandhar. Militant organization and the Taliban, under the ISI, are still carrying out 'Operation Topac'.
India wants peace. Pakistan Army did not let the Lahore declaration take off. Now the Indian Prime Minister has taken yet another initiative by declaring unilateral ceasefire.
Pakistan may let the initiative succeed under US pressure. But most likely Indo-Pak relations will continue to tread the same course.
People of Kashmir are weary of insurgency, terrorism, counter insurgency and fear of the bullet. They want peace and stability. It is for the powers that be in India to provide this. India needs a vision for Kashmir and a policy to further that vision, even if it takes a decade more to achieve it.
Evolution of J & K and Its Strategic Importance
Divine and Rule-British Period in India
Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India
Indo-Pak Relations 1947-1988
Zia, Islamisation of Pakistan and Terrorism in Kashmir
Yet Another Experiment with Democracy
Post Pokhran Developments
The Military Take Over
Situation within Kashmir Today
Talking Peace with the Militants
Indo-Pak Relations-Internal Dimension
Indo-Pak Relations-External Dimension
What Does India Need to Do?