Kargil War

This topic comes up every once in a while on twitter, so I am reposting an old post with a few new links and videos added at the end.. The main point is simple: Musharraf and a few of his cronies (Javed Hasan, General Aziz, General Mahmood), without having thought it through, conducted a foolish operation in Kargil that cost hundreds of lives on both sides and set back (perhaps destroyed forever) the chances of peace between India and Pakistan (set in motion by Vajpayee’s historic bus journey to Lahore). The operation was not only a strategic disaster, it was a tactical disaster..

First, some links with details about the operations:

1. http://www.nps.edu/Academics/Centers/CCC/Research/StudentTheses/Acosta03.pdf an excellent summary of the Kargil war by the US Naval postgraduate school.

2. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/kargil.pdf A more recent summary focused on airpower but with a good summary of the whole affair..

3. Role of the Pakistan air force: http://kaiser-aeronaut.blogspot.com/2009/01/kargil-conflict-and-pakistan-air-force.html

Back in 1999 I thought that Musharraf should have been dismissed and prosecuted for his role in the affair, but I also bought into the propaganda that the operation was a “great tactical success but a strategic blunder”. As time went on and more details came out, it became clear that the planning at the tactical level was as bad as the stupidities and mistaken assumptions that underlay the strategic vision of General Musharraf and inner coterie and in particular the commander of Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA), General Javed Hassan.

The men (primarily Northern Light Infantry (NLI) and Special Services Group (SSG) volunteers) who did the actual fighting from the Pakistani side performed with suicidal bravery, but once the Indian army learned from its early mistakes and brought all its resources to bear on the operation, these brave men were left to literally starve and bleed to death while Javed Hassan and his boss tried to bluster their way past their disastrous mistake. Musharraf’s coup protected the plotters from facing any consequences within Pakistan and a systematic disinformation campaign was used to create (not just in Pakistan but also in some casual observers and Anatol Leiven level analysts abroad) an impression of tactical brilliance. The above reports provide a good corrective and show that Mushie and his favorite FCNA commander were foolish, short-sighted and heedless, and their actions led to hundreds of needless deaths on both sides in an operation that civilian prime minister Benazir was able to see as “crazy” at first glance. Unfortunately, Nawaz Sharif was not that sharp…

Given how long it takes most armies to learn from their mistakes during the course of a battle, the Indian commanders on the spot deserve some credit for belying stereotypes and actually thinking and adapting while the battle was on. The British Indian army was a fine fighting force, but not one known for innovation and flexible thinking. Either India got lucky in a few officers on the spot (e.g. artillery commander Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh and GOC 8 mountain div General Puri http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/kargil-a-ringside-view/0/) or it really does have a better culture of officership than its mother army did.

Anyway, take a moment to read the above reports and links for details, but the main point is that it was not even a “tactical success”. It was poorly planned and once the Indian army found its feet, leaving those men out on the peaks to die was hardly a sign of brilliant tactical execution. The basic TACTICAL assumptions that proved wrong were:

1. The heights, once occupied, could be held by small groups for at least the entire summer.

2. Those men could be resupplied under fire for several months with food, water and ammunition, using mountain trails and helicopters.

3. The Indian army was incapable of attacking from any direction except straight up the front slopes, where they would be cut down like grass.

4. And behind it all, the firm conviction that while “our boys” will exhibit the required suicidal bravery, the other side will not.

All these assumptions proved incorrect. After some early charges that failed with heavy casualties (but also showed that Indian troops were perfectly capable of suicidal bravery of their own) the Indian army figured out how to use its artillery to great effect and went up near vertical slopes at night under cover of accurate artillery fire and recaptured crucial heights. They also managed to interdict most of the resupply effort, leaving many freezing Pakistani troops exposed on the heights without food or water. There is no evidence that either Javed Hassan or Musharraf made any real effort to come up with new solutions once their original assumptions proved wrong. Musharraf seems to have focused mostly on making sure the blame could be pinned on Nawaz Sharif, and that some sort of domestic (or intra-army) propaganda victory could be salvaged from the disaster.

The status quo is indeed in India’s favor by now. The critical period for India was the early nineties. Once they got past that, they were never going to be kicked out of Kashmir by force; and by using outside Jihadis and then the regular army and failing to dislodge them, Pakistan has already played all its cards. Another attempt could set the whole subcontinent aflame, but is not likely to change that outcome.

The fact that Kashmiri Muslims (or at least, Kashmiri Muslims in the Kashmir valley proper) remain thoroughly disaffected with India provides some people with the hope that human rights and democracy campaigners can win where brute force did not. But this too seems unlikely. The same Kashmiri Muslims are almost as disaffected with Pakistan as they are with India, so that the main demand seems now to be independence. But the demographics, geography, history and international situation of Kashmir all make any smooth passage to independence inconceivable. Inconceivable in the literal sense of the world; what I mean is, try to conceive or imagine in concrete detail what this independence would look like and the steps via which it would be achieved. Enuff said.

btw, General Shahid Aziz, who used to be Musharraf’s DGMO (director general military operations), CGS (chief of general staff) and then corps commander Lahore (and is now saying he repents siding with infidels against the Afghan Mujahideen; the timing of his decision to switch sides against the new Afghan regime remains in line with past GHQ strategic coups; see Afghan election coverage for details) has decided in his retirement to announce that kargil was a disaster caused by Musharraf.

He did back away a bit after other army officers accused him of washing the army’s dirty linen in public, but the damage was done.

By now, the cat is well out of the bag though. Here is Brigadier Javed Hussain from the Pakistan army making exactly the same points..

And now we have General Asad Durrani, former ISI chief (and the SOB who said on BBC TV that the thousands of Pakistani civilians, including school children, killed by the Taliban and other Jihadists are “collateral damage” and we have to accept this damage in the larger national interest, which he believes has been well served by our Jihadist policies) writing a book with a former RAW chief and saying most of the same things..

Gen Durrani on MNS knowledge of Kargil

For many other interesting links and videos, see this excellent collection from researcher Aamir Mughal.

This is former Pakistani ambassador to India (and Beijing) Ashraf Jahangir Qazi making a humorous point about Vajpayee’s phone call to Musharraf when the intruders were discovered:

Translation: Vajpayee: what is going on?

Mian Nawaz Sharif (MNS): what do you mean what is going on?

Vajpayee: your troops have crossed the LOC, etc..

MNS: I will ask the army and find out what is going on

Vajpayee: You do that. By the way, in my country, the army asks ME what is going on, but in any case, you go ahead and ask them and find out what is going on.. Because if they don’t pull out in 2 days, we will have to use the air force..

btw, there ARE jokers on the other side. We are, after all, one people:

Author: Omar Ali

I am a physician interested in obesity and insulin resistance, and in particular in the genetics and epigenetics of obesity As a blogger, I am more interested in history, Islam, India, the ideology of Pakistan, and whatever catches my fancy. My opinions can change.

49 thoughts on “Kargil War”

  1. The Pakistan military uses the civilian government as a scapegoat and whipping boy for it’s failures and deficiencies. That is the role of the civilian government in the Pakistan army scheme of things.
    About 3000 Northern light infantry were reported killed by Indian airstrikes. Since the Pakistan army wanted to maintain the fiction of ‘uprising’ by Kashmiris and Kashmiri Mujahideen , and nothing to do with Pakistani army, it refused to acknowledge the dead soldiers as their own and refused to take their bodies . The Indian army arranged a Muslim burial for them

  2. From an Indian perspective, I feel that the victory in Kargil was another missed opportunity. I am not sure exactly what we could have done to press home the advantage, but it does feel that the victory was squandered just like the one in 1971.

    I say this because the most violent period of Pak sponsored terror in Kashmir was from 2000-2003. The real downturn in the violence came after the US began operations in Afghanistan, and forced the Pak army to curb down on its Kashmir program.

    “The same Kashmiri Muslims are almost as disaffected with Pakistan”

    I dont take the Kashmiri Muslim rhetoric on independence very seriously at all. If separated from India, Kashmir will be Pakistan, one way or another. The ideological continuities between the elites of the two entities (Urdu, pride in non-Indian ancestry, attitudes towards non-Muslims) are far too strong.

    1. >The ideological continuities between the elites of the two entities (Urdu, pride in non-Indian ancestry, attitudes towards non-Muslims) are far too strong.

      Ah yes, Kashmiri elites like *glances at notes* Sheikh Abdullah, notorious for their denial of their Indian heritage and hatred for Hindus.

      1. Yes, this was a bizarre comment.

        The Abdullahs (and the Muftis) are a collaborator class helping India sustain the Occupation all for the sake of taking turns at being Chief Minister.

        It is clear by now that when most Kashmiri Muslims talk of “azaadi”, they mean freedom from India, not necessarily joining Pakistan. Yes “militants” are being buried in Pakistani flags, but perhaps this has more to do with hating India than with loving Pakistan.

        By the way, I am also Mir (Kashmiri) on my father’s side and Khwaja on my mother’s side.

        1. Being a ‘collaborator class’ for a secular, liberal democracy with a pluralist ethos is a million times better than being a front for a state responsible for genocide, willing to mortgage its sovereignty and the well being of its people to the highest bidder.

          1. “Secular, liberal democracy” my foot. Keep lying to yourself. “India Shining” doesn’t sell anymore. Stick to computational science. Your political analysis abilities are extremely subpar and you just embarrass yourself. Your PM is a Muslim-hating bigot. Liberal democracy went out the window a long time ago.

            Why do most Kashmiri Muslims hate the Abdullahs and the Muftis? Why so defensive yaar? All Occupations have their collaborator classes. That’s how Occupations sustain themselves.

          2. And how many publications do you have in political science journals ? Go show your foot to Freedom House and other think tanks.

          3. You’ve already jumped from painting the Kashmiri elite as genocidal Islamists to defenders of secular pluralism. I didn’t expect much from someone trying to misrepresent millions of people and deny them their right to self determination, but can you atleast be a little consistent?

          4. I may not be a political scientist. But I’m not a total idiot (unlike you) and I don’t accuse countries of “genocide” simply because I don’t like them. We get it, you hate Pakistan and love India. You are getting really boring now. Perhaps you should get a Liberal Arts Education or talk to an actual Kashmiri Muslim. If either of those two things are too difficult, perhaps refrain from expressing your half-assed opinions on this sensitive issue.

          5. @vikram : well put. I don’t know why someone here keeps mentioning Modi to disprove India’s secular credentials (forgetting Kashmir started boiling inspite of 40 yrs of Congress rule). Modi is India’s answer to an adamant illiberal minority that cannot be appeased however hard you try.

          6. @Secular India, I would just ignore Kabir. Genocide denial is criminal, and the less time spent engaging with such people the better.

          7. Well said Kabir miyan.

            Kashmir will become Pakistan soon inshallah! Ya Allah (swt) once we drive out the jaish-e Hindu Kuffar I would really like a good Kashmiri muslimah girlfriend. I think they are sooo much better than Punjabis (my punjabi ex dumped me for a Baluchi assh***) in all respects. And I was told by brother Burhan that they dig big guys like me who know their AKs over there…… man! the muslim barty scene will totally rock!

            I would take my gf to the black sea riviera in the Crimea, now that it is again part of lyubimaya Rossiya nasha strana. She’ll lyub it 🙂

          8. >@vikram : well put. I don’t know why someone here keeps mentioning Modi to disprove India’s secular credentials (forgetting Kashmir started boiling inspite of 40 yrs of Congress rule). Modi is India’s answer to an adamant illiberal minority that cannot be appeased however hard you try.

            Can you be a little more frank and say that Indians elected a genocidal riot-baiter because they don’t like Muslims instead of hiding behind weasel words? Thank you.

            And yes, it’s true, you don’t need to mention Modi to disprove India’s ‘secular credentials’, because you can even pick someone like Rajiv Gandhi or Vajpayee or Mrs. Secular herself and find numerous instances where these secular leaders indulged in communal politics for votes.

          9. Oh for Christ’s sake, 1971 was a civil war between East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan broke free with help from Pakistan’s enemy.

            There are real “genocides” in this world (though it is still an extremely overused term and should not be used loosely). The Holocaust was one of them.

            Pakistan-haters using this word to make the blood of Pakistanis boil is beyond stupid. You have been told that before.

          10. @Mir, it is not too hard to figure out that nothing short of a regime where the superiority of Urdu Ashrafis (whether Bihari, Punjabi, Kashmiri etc) is permanently secured in terms of politics and culture will satisfy folks like you.

            Starting from the Barelvi’s outright refusal to accept Gandhi as a leader simply because of his religion, to Nehru being anti-minority because he refused to kneel to the League’s undemocratic demands, to Modi and Yogi being ‘illiberal’ for cracking down on criminal gangs and tax evaders, we know that you will find a problem in any political setup that does not privilege you.

            You did not spare your Bengali coreligionists and continue to deny their genocide, keep saying Kashmiri Hindus were moved out by some governor and probably have some equally hare-brained explanation for the near complete cleansing of Hindus from Sindh. The roots of all these massacres in Urdu Ashrafi exceptionalism taking the guise of a Muslim nationalism is not hard to see.

          11. What evidence is there that Mir is Pakistani? Someone here makes too many assumptions. But that’s quite usual for people who have been brainwashed and are full of hatred.

            Why Zack lets you spew your filth I will never understand.

          12. Zack,

            Everyone is entitled to their opinions, yes. But there is a difference between an opinion and hate speech. Anyway, it’s your call.

        2. And there is also criminal haughtiness, delusion of superiority (without any evidence, rather with evidence that proves the opposite) and childish churlishess ( many examples come to mind; for example: correcting people on inadvertently omitting articles to make the point about intellect, lol). Many reasons to ignore.

          1. @Zack: Or, as we Hindus/Buddhists would say, those Kabirian perspectives were your natural karmic orientation anyway, and Kabir merely helped you discover yourself.

          2. Well my theory has its limits: Kabir would likely not conflate Karma with caste 🙂

          3. @satya11,
            Watch what you say buddy. There is no more evidence for any of your examples. 😀

      2. Do your notes also include the land reforms by Abdullah and that being one of the biggest reasons for his popularity among rural Kashmiris ?

        By elites, I mean established urbanites (Ashrafi etc) who speak Urdu at home, not Kashmiri. The National Conference’s support base was rural, not urban Kashmir. And like froginthewell pointed out, Abdullah passed away in 1982, and even before he died, terrorists like Maqbool Bhat had become heroes for Kashmiri Muslims.

        Please dont tell me how much Kashmiri Muslims love Hindus, Bitta Karate, Neelkanth Ganjoo murder, many many massacres like these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Wandhama_massacre, and you have the gall to tell me how much Kashmiri Muslims love Hindus.

        1. >Do your notes also include the land reforms by Abdullah and that being one of the biggest reasons for his popularity among rural Kashmiris ?

          I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.

          >By elites, I mean established urbanites (Ashrafi etc) who speak Urdu at home, not Kashmiri. The National Conference’s support base was rural, not urban Kashmir

          Ah, I see. By elites you meant the guys who didn’t lead one of the most popular parties in the region but will be mentioned because they help you push your own narrative.

          >Don’t tell me how much Kashmiri Muslims love Hindus
          >Proceeds to post links of a literal militant group carrying out attacks to prove everyone in Kashmir is out to get Ram Lal

          Really proved your point there, buddy.

          1. >Proceeds to post links of a literal militant group carrying out attacks to prove everyone in Kashmir is out to get Ram Lal

            There are no Ram Lal’s left in Kashmir.

    2. Vikram, I agree completely that there is no way there will be an “independent” Kashmir (I said as much in the article when i speak of this being “inconceivable”) The armed force involved in insurgency is Islamist and completely dependent on Pakistani support; even if they win (which I think is MOST unlikely), the next (or concurrent) step would be union with Pakistan.. but all this is hypothetical. They are not going to win.

    3. “From an Indian perspective, I feel that the victory in Kargil was another missed opportunity. I am not sure exactly what we could have done to press home the advantage, but it does feel that the victory was squandered just like the one in 1971. “

      I’ve wondered about this issue myself. I think post-1971, India was walking a tightrope because China, USSR and USA were all keenly watching how much farther India would go in West Pakistan. After severing east Pakistan, the only strategic objective i could see for India would have been to retake POK, which would have been much harder than the flat terrain of Bengal, would have faced a hostile local population and also would have clearly drawn China into the conflict since it would sever their strategic Karakoram highway and link to “Iron brother”. Also, at that point, the Pakistani challenge was felt at a military and geopolitical level, not the non-state (?) subconventional level that demands creative solutions. Given what was known then, I think the Shimla agreement might have been the best strategic outcome on the western front.

      Post Kargil, considering the ongoing subconventional war in the Kashmir valley, I agree an opportunity must have been sought to create some leverage. On the tactical level, Omar’s first link mentions India taking, newly during that conflict, one of the highest peaks on the AGPL separating the Sichen glacier held by India from the features west of the Saltoro ridge under Pak control. This part of the LOC is famously unmarked, and ripe for salami slicing tactics to impose costs. But Siachen is already quite deadly and this will come at a cost to India as well. At the strategic level, i really don’t see what India could’ve done to press home any advantage.

      1. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Please try to mess with Pakistan. Things will not go well for you.

  3. Omar Saab, Have you written your views on the Kashmir issue anywhere in detail? I would really love to read your perspective.

    1. Frogninthewell, Since I think the first religious partition of India was a huge mistake, I see no point in having a second religious partition to add to that mistake. So my view is pretty simple; we should make peace on current borders and make the borders softer (easier travel and trade) so that being on this or that side has less importance in any case.
      That said, i don’t think we are anywhere close to this happy ending.

      1. Omar Saab, Thank you very much for the answer.

        I think I phrased my question incorrectly though. What I would like to understand better are the dynamics of the current situation, what are the various ideological and physical forces involved in the status quo, and to what degrees?

        I ask because a lot of what is happening confuse me, they appear paradoxical, making me want an improved understanding.

        For instance, it seems to me that Indian Government tries to make a show of being democratic (tries to be more democratic and accessible to journalists than “Azad” Kashmir if I’m not mistaken) thereby sacrificing its peace-keeping capability and thus also international prestige, yet gaining little appreciation in return for that (I don’t even get to know about what happens in “Azad” Kashmir). It spends a lot of resources to keep Kashmiris happy often at the expense of the people of Jammu and Ladakh (BJP is part of J&K Government mainly because of Jammu) and again gets little appreciation from the valley. It doesn’t try to trifurcate the state or disregard the UNSC resolution or settle people in Kashmir valley though Kashmiris have themselves settled Rohingyas in Jammu, and yet gets portrayed as disrespecting the resolution anyway etc.

        In short, Indian establishment seems to suffer and bleed and drain a lot for keeping Kashmir, and yet doesn’t try to promote a Hindutva case for “freeing India from Kashmir” (a point of view to which I am a convert).

        To put all the above simply if you don’t want to read the above: what really does the Indian Government get by acting democratic and spending resources to appease Kashmiris? Is it afraid of sanctions (I mean, it doesn’t even seem to be testing the waters in this regard).

        Thus, all these seem to me to go against the basic idea that people and in particular the Indian Government act according to (perceived but possibly suboptimal or even anti-optimal) incentives. This is really why I would like to improve my understanding. This is also why I asked you if there is some link to an article or a book of yours which might shed light on the dynamics and forces at play here.

        (Note: My question is really to Omar. I want to understand the insights he may be willing to offer, and have no plan to pick up an argument or fight.)

        1. >For instance, it seems to me that Indian Government tries to make a show of being democratic (tries to be more democratic and accessible to journalists than “Azad” Kashmir if I’m not mistaken)

          Except when it bans Kashmiri newspapers and imposes internet blackouts on the populace (There was an internet blackout in Kashmir for several months after Burhan Wani’s martyrdom). You can’t call your country democratic or free while jumping between censorship and free press when it suits your interests.

          >To put all the above simply if you don’t want to read the above: what really does the Indian Government get by acting democratic and spending resources to appease Kashmiris? Is it afraid of sanctions (I mean, it doesn’t even seem to be testing the waters in this regard).

          Petty Indian politics probably. I think most Indian politicians have come to the same conclusion as Yashwant Sinha did that Kashmiris have given up on the idea of India. They know of the fallout which would come if they tried to infringe on Kashmiri rights and how the hypernationalist Indian public would react if a ‘befitting reply’ wasn’t given by the Indian government.

          1. I think India wants to keep calling itself a “democracy” and so they will not fully try to crush Kashmiris the Israeli way. Not that they don’t want to and wouldn’t if they could.

            Also, Palestinians are Stateless. Kashmiris have Pakistan in their corner. Which makes a big difference.

      2. Omar Saab, I am not looking for just answers to the specific questions I asked. They merely are meant to illustrate my level of ignorance. There are many related ideas that can be helpful; for instance just knowing how various issues play out in “Azad” Kashmir can be helpful. So anything you think is enlightening would be helpful.

        1. The thing with “Azad” Kashmir is that political parties there are not allowed to express the view that they want an independent Kashmir. In order to contest elections, they have to sign a document stating that Kashmir will eventually merge with Pakistan. That said, the people of AJK are not daily fighting the Pakistani Army nor being killed. Pakistan is also different from India in the sense that according to the Pakistani Constitution, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are not actually (legally) part of Pakistan. We have kept them in a special status (perhaps in the hope that one day we will get the Valley and then merge all this area into Pakistan).

          Also what India calls “PoK” has been divided by Pakistan into two separate entities. There is Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and adjoining areas), areas which used to be part of the Maharaja’s Jammu Province. And then there is G-B (formerly known as the “Northern Areas”). The people of G-B are very clear that they are not Kashmiri and they don’t want to be held hostage to the Kashmir Dispute. Unfortunately, Pakistan thinks that making G-B a province or somehow regularizing its status means that we will have accepted the fact that India made “J &K” a State (which we are in denial of). Also, Pakistan is never letting go of G-B, since it borders China and is very important to CPEC. “AJK” is really not that vital and it could be merged with some Valley-based entity.

      3. Omar Sahab,
        This view is all very nice for Indians and for Pakistanis (it would solve a lot of our problems). However, it does not account for the Kashmiri sense of themselves as a distinct nation that should have a country of their own. Why does the right to self-determination ( a right enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights) not apply to Kashmiri Muslims? This is a philosophical question. I am not trolling.

        1. I am referring to what is likely to happen, not what I think should happen if I happen to run the world (in that case we would dispense with all borders and passports and there would be no question of “right of self determination”).
          Btw, “Right of self determination” is a good principle, but in practice there are always caveats (for example, what should be the unit of “self determination”? Can Balochistan declare independence from Pakistan?, can a few districts WITHIN Balochistan? what about just one city?).. in this case the “right of self determination” point has some weight (history, formal arguments like “UN said this” or “International Law says X”), but it is not necessarily decisive.. for example, we all know that it will not be supported by at least two distinct regions within the state (Ladakh and Jammu), that it will probably lead to the ethnic cleansing of all minorities (Hindus, Buddhists, one day even Shias) from Kashmir, that Kashmir will not be independent but will be absorbed into Pakistan, etc… Should it still be allowed if the majority in the valley wants it? That said, I think the valley itself may one day end up with some special status.. the practical results will be limited by many constraints but some compromises are possible (not likely at this time, but possible).. in my opinion possible outcomes include status quo continues till we die, acceptance of current borders with softening of borders and some sort of special status for Kashmiris, complete Indian victory and complete Pakistani victory, in that order. Independence is not a possible outcome as far as I can see..

          1. India can keep Ladakh and Jammu. It is the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley that is the primary concern. That is where people are dying and fighting for “azaadi”.

            As for Balochistan, no one ever promised the Baloch a referendum. No Pakistani PM went to the UN and said “We will not hold Balochistan against its will”. Balochistan is not a disputed territory. It 100% belongs to Pakistan. That said, if Islamabad doesn’t keep the Baloch happy, they should be allowed to form their own country.

  4. Omar, you’ve outdone yourself with this brilliant collection of links and assessments. My long standing conclusion was also that the final hill features south of the LOC were withdrawn after MNS’s appointment with the principal at the oval office, and not that India had succeeded in securing the whole region by force. Both the first two links suggest otherwise, though they don’t explicitly mention the battles post-tiger hill. Do you think Clinton’s insistence on status quo ante had, ceteris paribus, any impact at all?

    I was a teenager in Kerala during the Kargil war, and frankly most of us far removed from the northern heartland of the subcontinent didn’t care very much before that whether the LOC left a few peaks on this or that side of Kashmir or even if Kashmiris broke away and joined Pakistan. The televised Kargil war and body bags coming back to Kerala changed all that, and I can still see some friends posting commemorations on facebook. I suspect it was the case in many other far flung parts of the subcontinent. My point is that the Kargil war also made Kashmir a national issue like never before. Whatever the Kashmiris want now, I don’t see India making any concessions on this issue without being forced to militarily or facing imminent state collapse. Cooler passions might prevail when our generation passes.

  5. Mir,
    I would just ignore Vikram. He clearly has a lot of animus against Muslims, Pakistanis and particularly Kashmiris. I swear sometimes he sounds like he’s channeling Arnab Goswami (not a particularly good Arnab either, but imitations usually suffer in comparison to the original). It’s not a good look and reflects an acute lack of intellectual ability. He seems to be one of those NRIs who become more right-wing when they leave Bharat.

    Some months ago, he objected to my characterizing him as a “soft Hindutuvadi”. Now I think I was too nice, he’s a full Hindutvadi who hides behind “secular democratic” India to justify the Indian government’s brutalities against the Kashmiri people. This is beyond disgusting and such people should be recognized as the waste of space that they are. I thought he had picked up his toys, deleted his posts and spared us from his presence. But it seems he cannot resist disparaging Kashmiri Muslims.

    1. You see, the problem is that we can’t have two set of facts – one for Pakistan and one for the world (as HH once remarked). I don’t think we can engage until you stop denying genocides, for heaven’s sake- the facts are clear and evidence is ample . Any case, I’m not engaging further on this thread. Don’t have as much free time as people who ‘teach’ music.

      1. There are not two sets of facts. But there can legitimately be different interpretations of those facts. East Pakistan was a shameful chapter in Pakistan’s history but one can differ in calling it a “genocide” or a civil war. “Genocide” is a politically loaded term and I’m not sure how analytically useful it is anymore.

        HH is not a good person to bring up when you are talking to Pakistanis. Most of us really don’t like him.

        Musicology is a serious subject and it reflects your ignorance that you think it is a joke. People obtain Phds in the subject. I’d like to see you sing a khayal for one hour.

        Also, you don’t seem to realize universities have summer vacations.

        I really have no interest in engaging with people like you either. But I would question whether the word “Secular” actually applies to you. Good riddance!

  6. Is Pakistan-India rivalry a North-Indian vs Pakistan Punjabi thing(even our ex RAW chief thinks so)? Or do other ethnicity (Sindhi, Tamil etc ) feel as strongly about it? This is probably the only place where i find non north Indian having some degree of animosity towards Pakistan

    1. I think North Indians have more of a “love-hate” relationship with Pakistan. After all, Partition occurred in Punjab and Bengal.

      However, I think animosity towards Pakistan extends all over India now and certainly animosity towards India extends all over Pakistan. We have fought 4 wars and continue to dispute a large piece of territory. To expect friendship after this is a bit far fetched. Perhaps some day we will be normal neighbors, completely indifferent to each other. Each country has the right as a sovereign nation to serve its own interests as it sees them.

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