70 Replies to “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

    1. “but political scientists believe that Shah’s 58-page exhaustive Bill could not have been drafted in mere weeks or months.”

      Heh, I wouldn’t be surprised if the BJP had been writing this for DECADES. That’s how long they’ve talked about it.

      The difference, of course, is that a few decades back they would have got a lukewarm reception. Now, India is jubilant at the annulment.

      Perhaps the Kashmiri separatists should reflect on how they managed to get this far, and Kashmiris at large should reflect on whether it is wise to hitch their wagons to such people.

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      1. \Perhaps the Kashmiri separatists..\
        These guys are in the ISI pay.

        Read ‘Shadow War’ by Arif Jamal , a Pakistani journalist published about 10 years back. Kashmiri separatism is a deliberate misnomer for ISI operations n Kashmir through jihadist groups like JeM

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-War-Arif-Jamal/dp/193363359X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=arif+jamal&qid=1566723450&s=books&sr=1-1

        Much of the money Americans gave to Pakistan for Afghanistan war went to feeding these proxy warriors in Kashmir

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        1. Indian Nationalists think everyone is on the ISI payroll.

          90% of Kashmiris polled who want independence from India? ISI payroll.

          Everyone from the New York Times, to Qatar, to the British government, have been accused of being on the “ISI payroll” by Indian Nationalists recently (due in large part to the international condemnation of India’s repression in Kashmir).

          This is also smear used against liberal Indians who criticize this rising fascism.

          Self-delusion is always more comfortable, but it makes the job of your opponents (in this case the actual ISI) much easier.

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          1. @VijayVan

            Is it your assertion that there would be no stone-pelters in Kashmir if it were not for ISI sponsorship?

            What’s in it for the stone-pelters? How desperate can they be that they are risking getting blinded (by pellet guns) in exchange for a few rupees?

            Wouldn’t the ISI (and their supposed dupes in the Valley) find it more profitable to just send arms and ammunition instead? Why go for the lowest-tech option?

            This just doesn’t pass the smell test.

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          2. It is naive to think that money-for-stones vs.money-for-arms is an either-or choice, as is thinking that money is given to individual stone pelters at a so-many-rupees-per-stone rate.

            Instead money goes to a few professional agitators that rouse groups of useful idiots. Paying a small amount of money to stoke anger that leads to a vicious cycle of protests and official reprisals is great value for money in comparison to more serious money for more serious arms. (which also has its own budget).

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          3. @Numinous

            \Is it your assertion that there would be no stone-pelters in Kashmir if it were not for ISI sponsorship\
            If in a crowd of 200 young men, even if 3 motivated and paid people start pelting stones, it will embolden others to throw stones. You need to keep inciting and being model stone throwers that is all. Obviously, the police are not going to keep quiet when stone falls on them. So, this starts a vicious cycle. Few people are enough to start the process in a charged atmosphere.
            For Pakistan, the advantage is ‘optics’ for prop.

            Pakistan does send armed terrorists, but they are under the direct control and they are used for more critical ops. And armed terrorist will terrorize some key politicians , administrative cadre , journalists, etc that is enough to cause more chaos. Some months back, a well-known Kashmir editor was killed. That is to send any free thinking Kashmir that they on’t be safe if they don’t toe the ISI/jihadist line. On and off you hear reports of gun battles with the police.
            So, stones have their place and guns have their place in psy ops.

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          4. VijayVan, Arjun,

            Even if this is so, what does it prove exactly? If there are masses of young men who are willing to throw stones at the army on a lark, they must be pretty motivated.

            What I’m really interested in knowing is how deep and wide anti-India sentiment is in the Valley. Kabir and Indthings would say that virtually everyone there hates India and would choose independence in a jiffy. The Indian government says it’s only a minority of professional agitators. But if the government is right, what’s the need to have such a large military presence there in the first place? And if people weren’t already primed to agitate, how then would the professionals succeed?

            If the government really hopes to win hearts and minds (which is only possible if the latter theory is correct), what they did earlier this month was totally the wrong move. Even people who did not hate India earlier probably do so now. We’ve betrayed the people of Kargil too (who were actually pro-India.) What’s going on now just feels like retribution and collective punishment.

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          5. Motivation/hatred are not independent variables in a cause-effect relationship with outbreaks of violence as the dependent variable. Instead each affects the other in a positive feedback loop.

            In a communal conflagration (the partition was a good example) things start peacefully with at worst some anxiety/uncertainty. A few spectacularly violent incidents then raise the temperature of public opinion where even previously apathetic/peaceful individuals turn violent.

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        2. Motte: ISI is involved in exacerbating the Kashmir problem and precluding a solution of peaceful autonomy.

          Bailey: This is entirely attributable to ISI.

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          1. The possibility of peaceful autonomy ended after India rigged the Kashmir elections in 1987 and brutally suppressed protests. This kicked of the Kashmir-insurgency, including incidents of terrorism, Pak support, and the Pandit exodus.

            Pak had little role in India flubbing the Kashmir issue. Though to be fair, this was inevitable given Kashmiris never wanted to be part of India in the first place.

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        3. @Numinous
          \But if the government is right, what’s the need to have such a large military presence there in the first place?\

          In democratic countries , large police forces are required against even small number of terrorists. IRA in northern Ireland may not number more than 100 or 200 , still lot of British army was deployed there for many years with watchtowers and what not. Even core Al-Queda operatives may not number more than few hundred or thousand at most, still it consumed lot of national energies of many countries. Most of the MI5 and MI6 ops are against Jihadists who may not number more than few thousand. Much of British budget for terrorism goes for anti-Islamist operations.

          A military dictatorship like Pakistan can make thousands disappear from Balochistan and even if a tenth of those were shown in Kashmir valley, the problem would have been solved long time back.

          However India has chosen democratic way and it needs lot of personnel. We see so many programs about stone throwing in Kashmir, how come we don’t see suppression of Ahmedis or Balochistan. Pressmen , local or foreign are not allowed there . or we need satellite technologies to see the repression of Uyghurs. Ordinary TV journalism is not allowed there

          BTW, in Kashmir valley , it is mostly para military like CRPF or local J&K police who carry out their duties under odds. These are the people at the receiving end of stones.

          I would not want India to take Pakistan way or Chinese way of ‘reeducating’ people in being proper Chinese citizens.

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  1. Is this Naeem Gilani the son of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani or some pseudonym?

    Couldn’t find much.

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      1. Fair enough. Just realised I made a mistake in the spelling as well.
        Just not sure about the veracity of the claims there.

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  2. Bharat Karnad’s “Staggering Forward” – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41540713-staggering-forward, is an interesting read.

    Bharat bemoans the lack of strategic culture in India. Here is a review from Foreign Affairs – “Karnad, a prominent Indian conservative strategist, deflates Narendra Modi’s image as a nationalist strongman and risk-taker, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned. He diagnoses the Indian prime minister as an authoritarian who is nevertheless averse to the kind of bold change needed to move India beyond its current status of “great power lite.” To realize India’s proper role, Karnad thinks, the country must drop its misguided obsession with Pakistan and focus on China; it should, however, avoid aligning with an overweening and unreliable United States and forge links with other powers, such as Australia, Japan, and the countries of Southeast Asia. India should develop the ability to produce advanced weapons systems domestically, strengthen its influence in Bhutan and Nepal, build military bases on Indian Ocean islands, and adopt a nuclear first-use policy to deter Chinese aggression. New Delhi should even play “the Tibet and Uyghur cards,” a disruptive proposal that Karnad does not spell out in detail. India’s entrenched and uncoordinated security bureaucracy is unlikely to adopt these ideas. But Karnad makes a bracing case that if it does not, India will continue to play a “small stakes game anchored in short policy horizons.”

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    1. Karnad is India’s Zaid Hamid , albeit one who hasn;t totally gone off the rockers. And yes with better English

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        1. India has ideological partisans, not strategic writers. For every Karnad and Chellaney who bash China, you have Pravin Sawhney and Bhadrakumar who live in mortal fear of China and trash America, That’s the world we live in

          My idea is to read all of them just for information and make up one;s own mind

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          1. Bharat Karnad bashes the US as well, especially under Trump. He is very clear eyed about US decline. What Karnad is preaching is that India needs to find a way to maximize its strategic autonomy.

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          2. That’s the problem , Karnad (and Chellaney) thinks of India’ defense somehow independent of its economic position. That India can take on China independently of USA support. That India’s action should be punitive in nature the same its to Pakistan.

            The other end are Sawhney and its ilk who way to deal with China , is to acquiesce to it , and cut a deal with them and distance our self from USA( which is due to their ideological leanings rather than strategic ones)

            There is nothing called strategic autonomy, India has to choose one side (with time running out) , that we are still debating that we should ally with USA (or not) and if China is our foe(or not) shows how delusion India’s strategic establishment really is.

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          3. “that we are still debating that we should ally with USA (or not) and if China is our foe(or not) shows how delusion India’s strategic establishment really is.”

            That’s an odd thing to say. Are you saying the only way to prove India is not delusional is for all the talking heads to come to a consensus ?

            Talk about being delusional.

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          4. Nations who hedge their bets even when they know who is their ally and who is their enemy , even though they have been given ample evidence by the other side(s) ,( something similar to how India’s behavior towards Pakistan, aka Aman ki Asha vs permanent adversary) are delusional , i would say.

            Anyway i dont think it matters anymore. US i feel has moved on from thinking that India can be an ally, and now whatever India has to do is to do by itself (for the most part) .

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          5. I wouldn’t say there’s a such thing as “moved on.” Stuff always changes in this field.

            Anyways, Modi’s government definitely has a foreign policy goal (move towards USA and its friends), but there’s going to be a lot of trouble as India moves through a foreign policy interregnum of sorts.

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  3. I agree that divorcing military power from economic power is madness.

    Under Trump, the US wants to withdraw/recast its alliances. There does not seem to be any eagerness on the part of the Trump administration to make any more commitments or strategic alliances. In this scenario you wish for India to completely throw in its lot with the US?

    This does not mean India has to kowtow to China.

    If the US-China trade war continues, we are going to be moving towards two major trading blocks. I don’t think India should commit to one or the other.

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    1. “In this scenario you wish for India to completely throw in its lot with the US?”

      Yes because unlike the USA who is miles away from China, China’s economic rise will militarily impact India. USA could go back from South China Sea, Korean peninsula , Afghanistan, and even middle east because essentially its not their land (or water) anyway. For all the bullshit being peddled by Trump, they were the only two in the recent Security council meeting (not even Russia) who came out strongly for India.

      So when there is essentially a choice of a supposedly “working relationship” with China (which has never ever materialized) and a USA who even minus a strategic relationship is ready to back you (even with Trump) , even when it makes more sense for them to back Pakistan (because of Afghanistan issue) , and you still want to play both sides, thinking somehow you can come out unscathed than, dont know what to say anymore.

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      1. You say India should be the US’ ally. But what kind of ally does the US want precisely? Like South Korea or Japan? Does the US get to keep military bases in India?

        I have suggested in previous posts here that India should try for a rapproachement with China, not at all for ideological reasons (I’d like India to emulate America, and I hope and pray the Chinese system will crash and burn) but for realistic reasons. We have a long border with them, and our mutual antagonism is going to keep hurting us real bad, regardless of whatever the US is willing to do for us. The bet I’d like to make is that we get China off of our backs and focus on internal development. Hopefully at a later date, we’ll be strong enough internally to compete on more equal terms.

        Now when I read people like Chellaney (and I’m not sure if you hold the same view), they say China has no interest in a truce with us and all talk is dissembling. They really want to keep us crushed and down for the long term. That does give me pause, but I’m not completely sure.

        Also, is the US willing to “ally” with us the same way it did with Germany or South Korea during the Cold War? Doesn’t the American public want its troops to come home and to put an end to all foreign entanglements?

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        1. Well we would never know what ally would US want because for decades we have been behaving like a coy bride “playing both sides” right? If you dont breach the topic we cant even know. Perhaps they dont want military bases, considering they sort of have it in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Diego Garcia, what will extra bases in India achieve for them? This is the boogey man which the left parties in India too have used.

          They wanted our troops in Afghanistan , we didnt send it. Thinking the Americans will perennial stay there protecting our 2 billion investments . Guess what, now they are leaving and we are running pillar to post to get into Afghanistan end game table. So yeah you havent shred blood then why should anyone give u a seat on the table? Once the Taliban are there all the afghan-Indian Bromance will come to an end and investments in the drains.

          The second thing on China, if you are talking about border dispute then time is running out. Now with Ladakh separated we can cede Aksai Chin and get a deal on Arunachal, but i dont know if China
          would now even accept that. (which they wanted in the 90s and 2000s) . That’s the extent of our relationship with China. India can never compete with China , an ally in US at least gives us a chance to “balance” the scene.

          I agree with Chellaney, but i disagree is the punitive solution he advocates , essentially asking us to do go toe to toe with China. India best option is to “manage” the China relationship so it doesn’t get worse, that;s means sometimes keeping our head down (like in Doklam) and just go on with our job . But if we try to be too clever by half by entering into some sort of relationship (allowing Huawaei, CPEC, BRI), it will come back to bite us in future.

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          1. Why do you think China wouldn’t want the Aksai Chin for Arunachal Pradesh deal any more?

            How would Indian boots on the ground in Afghanistan have ever worked? The ISI and the Taliban would shed whatever little constraints they had in targeting our soldiers. (I’m quite sure they’ve been pulling their punches, given the US’ sugar daddy status in Pakistan.) Would our soldiers have been able to manage the place any better than they’ve managed Kashmir? How long before a bunch of innocent Afghans are rounded up and taken for “questioning” would a local revolt start? And you remember what happened in the 1830s, don’t you?

            I always though the Afghan thing was a nutty idea, and that it was wise of the Indian govt to turn the request down. From what I recall (and correct me if I’m wrong), the Vajpayee govt offered to support the original invasion after 9/11 with troops, but Pakistan was adamant that India not be part of the coalition. Complementing the US troops, and building a relationship with the locals for a few years would have made sense. Replacing the Americans doesn’t make an sense whatsoever.

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  4. Since Hindutva is talk of the town even for folks across the border (and certain folks who have recently warmed up to it in the South and East India). An article on its Founding father.

    https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/opinion-what-savarkar-could-yet-do-for-the-future-of-hindutva-1566754793317.html

    “Several men before Savarkar attempted to consolidate Hinduism, and even reform it. But they were religious men and so they were blind to something important. Hinduism was not built on magic. Savarkar was an atheist, and his insight was that Hinduism was a powerful political identity that does not require gods, or even the cow actually, whom he did not love very much, and that Hinduism is a fundamental genetic force in all Indians. In this way, he invented Hindutva.”

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  5. India needs to align with the US for the long term.

    If India thinks that it can become a superpower in the future, it cannot certainly do so by confrontation if history is to be our guide.

    Before the world wars, Great Britain was the major superpower, after the end of the wars, it was the US – an ally of Britain, and not Germany, it’s adversary, that emerged as the Superpower.

    Just like Germany was with Great Britain, China is on a path of confrontation with the US, something it needs to guard against.

    India may not fall completely into the US camp, but its long term interests certainly align better with the US than with China.

    The US maybe on a downward curve but it is not going to be replaced by China anytime soon and aligning with it at this stage should benefit India, and good for our long term economic goals. If the US was not in a decline India would have been bossed around by it but that cannot be the case now.

    So we are in a advantageous position we need to capitalise on.

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  6. Saurav, Jaydeep,

    – How do the benefits of an alliance with a country halfway around the world (and one that can break off that relationship at zero cost whenever it chooses) outweigh the downsides of a permanently antagonistic relationship with our nearest neighbor (one that we cannot disengage with, thanks to geography)?

    – How much leeway would a US government have to help India in a meaningful way given US domestic political imperatives (isolationism)? I think you are assuming that the neocons and liberal imperialists will continue to hold sway over the State Department, and to some extent the Executive.

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  7. In very practical terms, what the US gains from an alliance with India is to pressure China in its restive underbelly – Xinjiang and Tibet. The objective is to direct China’s military spending away from building out its navy and back into to the Army. This may be in US interests but not sure how that helps India which will see many more confrontations on the China border.

    If a US-India alliance does not come with preferential trade terms, that enables the US to expand its economy, it is really pointless. And the current environment is hardly conducive to a trade agreement that allows India preferential access. Hence my hesitation.

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    1. Correction – “If a US-India alliance does not come with preferential trade terms, that enables the India (was US) to expand its economy”…..

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  8. Is anyone else surprised between the total disconnect between how the mainstream media in western countries (New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, BBC etc) as well as the gulf countries (Al Jazeera) is portraying the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and how the governments in those countries are reacting to it officially.
    The aforementioned media outlets have carried many opinion and reportage pieces by authors who were almost howling in rage against the move and painting an polemical and dire picture of brutal occupation while those countries governments are taking a considered position of support to India based on their knowledge of the history of Kashmir and the geopolitics at stake. Also a lack of alternatives a democratic and secular India has while confronting an Islamist insurgency supported by an irredentist neighbor to the west and an authoritarian, bullying super-power to the North.
    The Islamist Kashmir insurgency has dragged on for over 30 years with its proponents in Kashmir (the hurriyat group) not yielding from their maximalist position (of merger with Pakistan) and making a compromise with the Indian govt. The Narsimha Rao govt in the 1990s and the Vajpayee govt as well as the Manmohan govt in the 2000s were willing to give a lot of autonomy in exchange for peace and the Kashmir valley nominally belonging to India. The Nagas, the Mizos etc have all made peace on similar terms with New Delhi.

    It doesn’t speak well of those media outlets that they cannot see past the usual tropes of Modi govt = Nazi party and analyse the issue with all its complexity. There were no good choices here and letting the state of things in Kashmir to fester was not a good option. It seems the humanities are getting hollowed out in the west and perspicacious people are no longer around in newsrooms.

    A sort of dissent and outraging for its own sake rules in Western liberal milieu with no regards as to how to effectively influence and guide the day’s government. Governments too seem to have shut their ears from what the leading newspapers in their countries are saying, maybe because they know those media sources don’t influence public opinion much. Strange times.

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    1. “Is anyone surprised by the disconnect between the media and governmental statements”.

      No, this is what is popularly referred to as, “a free press”, something neither India nor Pakistan have. But yes being exposed to it for the first time can be jarring.

      This is probably the 3rd or 4th time on this blog I’ve been struck by the inability of commentators (usually Indians) to grasp how geopolitics work. Countries take positions on things based on how it affects them, not based on how they personally feel about the situation.

      Virtually every country and institution in the world agrees with Pakistan’s position on Kashmir (that there should be a plebiscite to resolve the conflict). Officially pushing for this however would anger India, a major world economy that has (or will soon have) the ability to exact economic costs on countries that anger it (similar to China now).

      So countries don’t take a stand for Kashmiris or Pakistan, similar to how they don’t stand up for the Uighurs or Tibetans against China. Not because they agree with what’s going on (they oppose it), but angering these countries is a high-risk low-reward endeavor.

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          1. Ok I ll bite this one time.

            “No, this is what is popularly referred to as, “a free press”, something neither India nor Pakistan have.”

            I suppose you are probably not aware of such mainstream Indian publications as The Indian Express, The Hindu and the Telegraph, all of whom are very liberal and extremely critical of the Modi govt since 2014. All of them have carried long pieces opposing the Indian parliament’s abrogation of Article 370. Also I think while you must have read the Wire, Scroll, HuffPost etc a lot (since you are a Pak Nationalist) I am assuming you are unaware they are published from India.

            This is why not just me but the world calls Pakistanis pathological liars.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4o6MDE-WPk

            “Virtually every country and institution in the world agrees with Pakistan’s position on Kashmir (that there should be a plebiscite to resolve the conflict).”

            Keep dreaming kid.

            “Not because they agree with what’s going on (they oppose it), but angering these countries is a high-risk low-reward endeavor.”

            Even I as an Indian do not think India has that much pure economic heft. The world support for India is due to a combination of economics, skillful diplomacy in the middle-east and France and the USA-India strategic alliance to counter China. That India is a secular democracy and the world is rather wary of Islamist uprisings masquerading as humanist independence movements is a BIG factor too.

            Pakistan and Pakistanis have no leg to stand on when it comes to talking about Kashmir. After starting and losing 4 wars, starting and losing a violent insurgency, counter terror attacks in India, massacring millions in Afghanistan in order to raise Mujahideen for Kashmir Jihad, Pakistan has played all its cards. To talk of human rights and liberalism and free press etc is rather hypocritical if you ask me.

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      1. I’m very interested to know how you would operationalize your claim about “every country and institution.”

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    2. As i have said earlier, the best way to deal with Kashmir, is to keep one’s head down and just carry on one;s job. There will be other days when India win PR battles against Pakistan (not that it accounts for much anyways) , Winning these media battles (against Pakistan) haven;t done jack for India in the last 2 decades . When the next crisis unfolds they (international media) will move on from Kashmir.

      Thankfully the Indian govt seems to have their game right and doesn’t counter the international media much. Not much use and lot of energy and time wasted. Let Pakistan win “moral” victories (the ones India has been winning for last decade or so) , and India win the real victories on ground (by controlling the situation in Kashmir)

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  9. In Indian circles its common to place all (or most) of the blame of Kashmiri Islamist insurgency on Pakistan.

    I feel its either a mistake or a willful misrepresentation of reality. The Kashmiri Muslim society is uniquely bedeviled by the worst kind of ethno-religious chauvinism in the whole of Indian subcontinent. After the fires of 1947 partition no other community has gone to the extant of completely cleansing its minorities from its lands. Hindus still exist in Pakistan however precariously. Kashmiri Muslim leaders have also vehemently opposed any resettlement of Kashmiri Hindus in the valley.

    You also find many liberal and humanist voices in all communities in the subcontinent. Only Kashmir is an outlier where nearly its educated intelligentsia try to dissemble and lend a humanitarian cover to the Islamist Independence movement.

    Kashmiri separatist leaders had 30 years to come to a good compromise with the Indian govt. The Manmohan Singh govt was especially liberal in its proclamations about giving a lot of autonomy in order to reach a political solution. But a strange belief that complete azaadi is only the next riot away led the Kashmiris into sticking to their maximalist demands.

    The revocation of Article 370 and statehood of Kashmir should serve as a good reality check to the Kashmiri people and especially its leaders.

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    1. Yep. They should have quit while they were ahead. They decided to gamble on “azad,” and it seems they severely miscalculated.

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  10. Not disagreeing about the malign Islamist tinge (brush?) in the separatist movement, but I think you are wrong in some details.

    AFAIK there was no ethnic cleansing in the Valley for over 40 years (on the other hand, there seems to have been one on Muslims in Jammu at the time of Partition, which is why that district is majority Hindu today.) There wasn’t even any notable protest movement, let alone militancy, during that period. I was born at the end of the 70s, and when I first heard about terrorism in the papers, it was always about events in Punjab. Kashmir kind of suddenly exploded in ’89.

    Pandit population even before the explusion was tiny, I think around 5%. Today it’s more like 1%, I believe. So, horrific as it was, it didn’t carry a candle to what happened in Pakistan (Punjab, even Sindh, which had a 30% or so Hindu population) during Partition.

    I could be wrong, but I recall reading about appeals for Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley. But why would they, given that their security can’t be guaranteed? Without 24/7 army protection, even the well-meaning people there wouldn’t be able to protect them from the radicals. Question is: should the locals be punished forever and ever for the expulsion and the infeasibility of resettlement?

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    1. India is not punishing locals for expulsion on pandits. The pandit thing is slippery slope, considering the whole mess in Kashmir is their fault as well. (article 35 A, 370, Nehru UN thing, Indira’s kashmiri pandit advisers). Having suffered so much, even today there is not enough overt push back against the separatist, or even calling out people from their own pandit community who are decrying India’s stand on NYT, Washington Post and all. Still acting coy, playing both sides.

      India should be well advised to not focus too much on pandit thing, else it will just become Sri Lankan tamil issue. Where you would be abused by tamils on both sides of the border for essentially trying to help them. India should do what it thinks is best for all people, not necessarily one community.

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      1. Saurav,

        I was a supporter of the standard Indian position on Kashmir until recently. But what the government has done this month and the way it has done it gives me great pause. They passed a law without taking the consent of the people into account, effectively by trick, locking up not just their leaders but an entire region so they could not protest, enforcing a communication ban (in this day and age that’s a severe imposition.) What does one call this if not punishment?

        Having suffered so much, even today there is not enough overt push back against the separatist

        What this tells me is that they feel more mistreated by the security forces than the militants. The Indian govt’s position that they’ve been seeking development all along is laughable (Ladakh excluded.)

        It just doesn’t feel to me that it’s possible for India to keep hold of Kashmir without the kind of tactics that will turn us into a pariah country (recent diplomatic victories notwithstanding.) What I’m even more scared about is the fact that most Indians will probably even cheer that on.

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        1. “What this tells me is that they feel more mistreated by the security forces than the militants.”

          I was only talking about pandits , not the Kashmiri muslim. I have always been clear eyed about them , they dont want to be with us right from 47. If Indian muslims didn’t want to stay in India in 47, its laughable to think that Kashmiri muslims would have wanted to stay on. And 370 was the bribe we gave the Kashmiri muslim to stay with us. But as with every bribe, one sides feel he gave the other side too much (India) while other side feel he could have gotten more had he haggled better (Kashmir). And then one day the deal breaks.

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          1. \ If Indian muslims didn’t want to stay in India in 47, its laughable to think that Kashmiri muslims would have wanted to stay on.\

            What do you mean Indian muslims didn’t want to stay in India in 47 ? 95% of Indian Muslims (present area) stayed back and their population and percentage has gone up. Right now Indian muslim pop is about 170 million and % is 14%, up by a few points from 1947. So, it is not laughable then or now – National Conference as the main Kashmir party had no truck with 2 nation theory.

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          2. LOL. The categorical statements people make about “Indian Muslims”, “Kashmiri Muslims”, “Kashmiri Pandits” etc. are hilarious. It’s as if some of us have the gift to read minds.

            What happened to the Kashmiri Pandits is not a call for such mind reading of what “they” want but cautionary evidence about which way the separatist movement is oriented. What anyone “wants” (separatists included) is for God to judge. What they “do” on the other hand is a matter for the government to act on.

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        2. \It just doesn’t feel to me that it’s possible for India to keep hold of Kashmir without the kind of tactic\
          True India has to change tactics and the first tactic is evisceration Art 370.

          In all the valley population , about 500 guys would have actively collaborated with Pakistan and ISI. They should be tracked and neutralized. Their financial and political clout neutralized. You have latest technologies of surveillance, tracking leading to arrest and persecution in Indian courts. You have AI technologies to pre-empt crowds going out of control , and China would be happy to sell it’s latest facial recognition technologies

          https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49473583

          True, India has to work smarter than use sledgehammer. For example, where communications is cut off should be more dynamic than blanket ban.

          After weeding out pro Pakistan troublemakers , in a few years , may be 3 years, Kashmir valley will return to normal politics

          I hope GoI has thought a few steps ahead.

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      2. Totally true. India should hold Kashmir only if its collectively beneficial for the whole country. Kashmiri pandit community should not be the sole or even the major point of focus. Integrate Kashmir fully and make it the same as any other province should be our goal.

        Kashmiri pandits always have had a superiority complex with respect to the rest of the country. Some claim that it was they who sowed in the minds of Kashmiris that they were a people apart before 1947.

        Here is an article and a long paper by NewsLaundry journalist Alpana Kishore who covered Kashmir in detail in the 1990s. She says here that Kashmiri Pandits have quite some role in the big mess Kashmir (and India) find themselves in today.

        http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/its-not-pakistan-its-kashmir/

        http://wiscomp.org/Publications/45%20-%20Perspectives%2030%20-%20Nationality%20&%20Identity%20Shifts%20in%20Jammu%20and%20Kashmir's%20Armed%20Conflict.pdf

        BTW Numinous, the Jammu riots against Muslims occurred after the brutal Pakistani invasion of Kashmir. It was a retaliation against that. Muslims continue to live in Jammu and have not been completely wiped out as Hindus have been in Kashmir.

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        1. Add to that Jammu masacare happened under the Maharaja and not under the state of India. Almost always its being passed off as something happening under India’s jurisdiction. It like blaming Pakistan for what Nizam’s razakars did in Hyderabad.

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        2. Wikipedia says:
          “On 14 October, the RSS activists and the Akalis attacked various villages of Jammu district—Amrey, Cheak, Atmapur and Kochpura—and after killing some Muslims, looted their possessions and set their houses on fire.[17] There was mass killing of Muslims in and around Jammu city. The state troops led the attacks. The state officials provided arms and ammunition to the rioters. The administration had demobilised a large number of Muslim soldiers in the state army and had discharged Muslim police officers.”

          This was before any Pakistani action.

          Also, it’s nice that you think that an event in which anywhere from 20,000-100,000 Muslims were killed qualifies as “riots” instead of massacres.

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        3. Particularly insightful para from the second link I shared.

          The transformative element of this massive thrust

          “The Central strategy seems to be of a thick skinned adult picking up an
          unwilling, screaming, wriggling child, impervious to insult or hostility
          and aggressively forcing him to upgrade himself. Money will flow,
          regardless of corruption, waste and the perceived ‘ungratefulness’ of
          the Kashmiri people as often articulated by outsiders who work in
          Kashmir. Sadbhavna will carry on, regardless of the ‘suspicion’ of quid
          pro quo goodwill. At the end of the day, this forcible aid and
          development means a better, upgraded lifestyle. The thinking seems to
          be that even if corruption is staggering, someone is benefitting and
          may become a stakeholder. Similarly, better roads, more roads, better
          education etc are ambitions that India can try to fulfil if it is competing
          with religious and ideological slogans on the other side. Islamic/pro
          Pakistan appeals then need a massive effort to maintain the perception
          of a constant threat to Islam which most Kashmiris do not see.”

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  11. “This was before any Pakistani action.”

    From the same Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_Poonch_rebellion

    “.Colonel Sher Khan, the Director of Military Intelligence, was in charge of the briefing, along with Colonels Akbar Khan and Khanzadah. The Cavalry regiment was tasked with procuring arms and ammunition for the ‘freedom fighters’ and establishing three wings of the insurgent forces: the South Wing commanded by General Kiani, a Central Wing based at Rawalpindi and a North Wing based at Abbottabad. By 1 October, the Cavalry regiment completed the task of arming the insurgent forces.”

    So yeah of course “much before” 😛

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    1. The people of Poonch rebelled against the Maharaja long before October. This seems to have had mostly local causes.

      At any rate, the sequence of events doesn’t justify massacres against Muslims carried out with the support of the Maharaja.

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      1. The wiki article which i have linked is just named Poonch rebellion, it also lists the precise dates when Pak irregulars crossed over and all.

        Yes, i agree massacres cannot be justified, but it was not done under Indian rule. India has done other massacres, the last thing it needs is one added to that list which it hasn’t done. I see the Jammu killings as part of the whole partition violence, where there is enough blame to go around. Not justifying any of it though.

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  12. People discuss the shenanigans of Hari Singh, Jinnah, Patel, Abdullah etc with such seriousness as if it matters in any way in present times.

    Partition of India was a messy affair. Hundreds of thousands died. Both countries scrambled to grab land of the ambiguous territories like Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad. When the dust settled, India ended up with half of Kashmir state’s land and Pakistan with other half. This is where the things stand today. Line of control is the de-facto border, whether people on both sides like it or not.

    History is history. Clock can’t be turned back. Any solution requires a vision for the future.

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  13. Since any discussion on Kashmir ends up in an incessant mudslinging and finger-pointing with no denouement in sight, how about if I task both sides with finding a solution on this blog.

    Framework of the problem is easy to define. As follows –

    1. Kashmir valley Muslims don’t feel Indian, and never will.

    2. Pakistan’s military is not strong enough to march into Srinagar and deliver azadi to Kashmir. (Doesn’t matter if they would like to do just that).

    3. India’s military is not strong enough to march into Islamabad and dismantle the state of Pakistan. (Doesn’t matter if they would like to do just that).

    4. Kashmiris are not militarily strong enough to defeat Indian army and expel it from Kashmir on their own.

    5. World doesn’t care two hoots about Kashmir. It doesn’t have oil. If three decades of insurgency hasn’t internationalized the dispute, then nothing in the future will.

    6. People of Jammu and Ladakh are staunchly Indian. People of AJK/PoK are staunchly Pakistani.

    Let’s see if team-India and team-Pak can find a solution within this set of rules.

    If nothing else you guys will understand the predicament of diplomats of both countries and see why the Kashmir problem remains the most intractable one.

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  14. “3. India’s military is not strong enough to march into Islamabad and dismantle the state of Pakistan. (Doesn’t matter if they would like to do just that).”

    Nobody in the Indian govt. or even the majority of Indians want to do that. India is status-quoist when it comes to boundary issues. I personally would rather India concentrates on the quality of mid-day meals given to children in UP than conquering Pakistan. I think even Modi himself would concur.

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    1. We were talking to Pak even after Kargil, even after the dastardly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which the Pak establishment got done. An open in “failin” New York Times by Im the Dim is nothing.

      I am sure we will start talking to Pakistan in a few months. We are actually already talking regarding the Kartarpur corridor.

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      1. I am not sure about that, considering neither Pak nor India went great lengths to personally castigate the other leader during and after Kargil. All insults were directed towards India/Pakistan. Now you have 2 leaders who have monumental ego. Both of them risk losing face if they start talking now. Modi less so, but Imran has gone full in.

        On Kartarpur i think both countries are in a bind so they are just going along. Pakistan wants to stop it , but considering their long term objective of reviving Khalistan , they are just clenching their teeth for now. India too, because a Hindu nationalist Govt doesn’t want to wade into sikh poltics much ( which it has outsourced to Akali Dal) . Both sides want the other side to call the thing off, so that they can paint the other side as “anti-sikh” , pretty sure even if there is terrorist attack now in India, India wont be able to cut off Kartarpur.

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        1. How does the Kartarpur corridor help Pakistan keep the Khalistan issue alive? (I didn’t even think it was alive, other than perhaps among some old Sikh diehards in Canada)

          Frankly, I think Im is really being very Dim by tomtoming this issue incessantly. The moment restrictions are lifted in any meaningful way in Kashmir and troops moved out (I imagine that’ll have to happen at some point), the place is going to see some serious unrest that will draw unwelcome attention (from the Indian govt’s point of view.)

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          1. I said reviving it, not keeping it alive. As long Modi is in centre , Punjab will be somewhat ill at ease, and Pakistanis whole Ranjit Singh statue to Kartarpur is a bid to revive it. Whether it will be successful or not , will depend on many factors.

            I think Modi would like Imran to tom-tom this issue incessantly. The more Pakistan does it, the less Kashmiri voice are heard. The more it de-legitimizes the whole movement. For whatever its worth western white liberals and democrats would still not want to see themselves in the same corner as Pakistan. The more Pakistan uses their talking terminology (Nazis-RSS, Palestine-Kashmir) , the more difficult it will become for them to separate themselves with Pakistan. See how quickly Roy had to apologize for her Pak army remarks. India’s best case scenario is Kashmir-Pak are hyphenated, which Imran is doing.

            India has taken into account that the whole exercise will negatively impact its world standing, which it thinks in the long run compensates for better handle on Kashmir. Whether this was a gamble worth taking only time will tell.

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  15. Imran Khan is in a tough situation. The Pakistani Army helped him come to power. Regardless of how he would like to respond, he does not have the the flexibility. Not toeing the Pakistani Army’s line would result in immediate removal from power. The Pakistani opposition despite being muzzled and shackled by the Army, has found in this an opportunity to ridicule the Imran Khan Govt and by implication the Pakistani Army.

    The Pakistani Army finds itself in a tough spot. Backing off and seeming to acquiesce to India’s action would invite a backlash from the jihadi outfits they have nursed for decades. The reason we have not seen an overt terrorist act in J&K or India as a whole is because they fear backlash from India and a breakdown of the Afghan initiative which was supposed to bring the Pakistani Army a windfall from the USA.

    But it is only a matter of time. Either elements of the Pakistani Army and/or jihadi outfits will launch one or more operations in India. This is when @#$% will hit the fan. A dust up is inevitable. Just a matter of when and the intensity of it.

    Talks will only happen after this.

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