This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.



American interest and South Asian politics

Time to realize that America is no one's friend........

The US Ambassador in India Mr. Timothy J Reumer was on two days visit to Srinagar on 17 March. Replying to a question, he said “he met with Omar Abdullah because he is the elected representative of the people.” Many separatists were unhappy with his statement. But the separatists should feel ashamed for being divided into many small groups. They cannot lead the people rather they divide them further.  Whether Omar Abdullah is or is not their representative is a different thing.  But the world saw that after 2008 “ragdo ragdo” movement, large numbers of people participated in elections and cast their vote. Mainstream parties were clever enough to trumpet the elections for roads, water and electricity, and under cover of that managed to garner votes.

People proved cleverer; they cast vote saying they voted for power, water, roads, and jobs. They forgot that these mainstream parties had been making same promises for last six decades and hoodwinking unsuspecting masses. We are unable to prove to the world outside that elections in Kashmir are mostly management elections. They cannot be faulted if they consider Omar as an elected representative of the people.

The US has been usually adopting a policy on Kashmir that blackmails India. Except for lip service, the US never supported the freedom and self determination struggle of Kashmiris. But if the US occasionally needs Pakistan, she has been issuing statements which Pakistan interprets as something favouring her on Kashmir stand. In this way they make a fool of the people of Pakistan. Actually, the US keeps its interests foremost and blackmails India. Kashmir and Pakistan both had high expectations from the visit of President Obama to India. All that he said about Kashmir in reply to a question from a reporter was that “it was an old dispute and the two countries should resolve it bilaterally” Precisely, Obama administration made it clear that there is no issue of freedom and self determination of Kashmiris though there is an issue between India and Pakistan. In other words he considered it a regional and not a freedom struggle.

The reason for all this is that Kashmiris launched the movement in the name of religion while the US is fighting religious extremists all over the world especially in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Second thing that needs to be understood clearly is that the US or the western powers establish or disrupt relations with another country only in the context of their national interests. They have turned the UN into an organization to foster their interests. When they have to use this organization against Iran, Iraq and Libya, it takes them just a couple of days to get resolutions passed. On the other hand the UN has passed no fewer than 250 resolutions against Israel on Palestinian issue since 1948 but the US never let these get translated into practice. Masses in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia also raised voice against their rulers. But since the ruler of Yemen is an ally of the US in fight against Al Qaeda and the US has wide interests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, no resolution was introduced against these two countries. What is happening in Libya is also happening in these countries, yet the US, mindful of her national interests, does not take identical action.

Everybody is unhappy with Libyan dictator for using brute force against the people. But the people there have taken up arms and begun an armed struggle. The rumour is that the western leaders have been trying for quite some time to foment an uprising against the Libyan leader and his government. The US and Western countries have been instigating soldiers of Libyan army to revolt against the government. Many civilians were armed and put in front of uprising in Benghazi and two more towns. When the Libyan government decided to come down with a heavy hand on the uprising, they got the resolution passed by the UN.

In 1953-54, Pakistan joined CENTO and SEATO and became an ally of the US to safeguard her interests.  Although India pretended to be non-aligned yet the Russian bloc gave her full support so much so that a treaty of friendship and cooperation was also signed between the two governments during the rule of Indira Gandhi. The treaty stipulated that in a situation of an attack by a third country on any of the two, the other would come to its help and support. The US used Paksitan as its base camp for war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Because of this, Pakistan got entangled into many problems and at the same time it became a victim of narcotic trade and Kalashnikov gun running. Bomb blasts began to be trigged off from that event onwards. As soon the Soviet troops left Afghanistan, American administration left Pakistan uncared for. She had to bear the burden of 20 lakh Afghan refugees. This betrayal led to the creation of rebels like Osama bin Laden and organizations like Al Qaeda forcing the US for second intervention in Afghanistan. It has to be remembered that earlier Osama bin Laden and his outfits had joined the Afghan war in serving the interests of the US against Russia.

Pakistan has a history of being run by military dictators. In the context of 9/11, the US issued a warning to Pakistan that if she was not her ally in war against Al Qaeda then she was her enemy and that they could send her back to Stone Age. This is how Pakistan became an ally of the US in a fight for her interests. The US complains why Pakistan tested a nuclear bomb. She did not want to see Pakistan in the form of a nuclear power state.  

The tragedy is that despite observing America’s pro-Israel stance and her commitment to protect Israel, these Muslim countries are still the stooges of the US and they let their oil wealth get looted by her. Although on the face of it, Pakistan is an ally of the US in war on Al Qaeda and Taliban, and thousands of Pakistani soldiers and civilians have been killed in the war, yet American administration looks at Pakistan with an element of suspicion. It avers that Osama bin Laden, Mulla Omar and other hardcore militants are hiding somewhere inside Pakistan. Pakistan’s conscious politicians and military establishment know that the US will once again leave Pakistan in lurch once the war in Afghanistan comes to an end.

Pakistan has begun to understand that American is nobody friend. Pakistan’s complaint is that after signing nuclear deal with India, the US has meted out a step-motherly treatment to her. She feels her security is at stake. By signing nuclear treaty with India, US have helped India obtain world recognition as a nuclear power. Indo-US relations are becoming stronger day by day because the basis of this relationship is bilateral trade. There are many more areas in which there is close bilateral cooperation and collaboration between the two countries. These, for example, are Indo-US security cooperation, intelligence sharing, counter terrorism cooperation, US-India civil nuclear cooperation, market access in India, and defence and trade cooperation. In other words it means UK, France, Germany and the US have billions of dollars worth trade interests in India.

A glance on the history will reveal that the US and European powers have always moulded their respective foreign policy in accordance with their national interests. Today there is struggle for democracy in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt. If the US comes to the support of the masses of people there on the basis of principles, then no resolution would be passed in the UN against Libya alone but against all of these countries. On 17 March about 60 persons were killed and about 100 were wounded. These victims were all civilians. Libyan security forces are fighting against armed insurgents. However, no fly zone restriction under Security Council Resolution 1973 has been imposed only on Libya and not on any of the above mentioned Arab countries. It should be reminded that the Resolution No. 1973 of the UN Security Council does not make any mention about the bombardment and destruction of the organs of establishment.  The import of No-Fly-Zone is that the country, against which the resolution is to be imposed, will not be subjected to the bombardment of civilian population by the air force.

We the people and leadership in Kashmir should not always try to analyze international politics and strategies from the prism of our narrow interests. We should rather examine these from the viewpoint of international situation and the interests of world countries. We should ask support to our struggle from the world body from that standpoint. We cannot go on cursing foreign countries again and again for not offering us their support. We should make some introspection about what we ought to do as a community and how we can achieve our objectives. Intellectuals and law knowing figures are of significant importance to any nation engaged in a freedom war. But here in Kashmir, the circle of intellectuals does not perhaps understand the nuances of the freedom struggle. Maybe that since most of the Kashmir organizations are veering round the concept of accession to India or Pakistan, therefore, the intellectual class is unable to ascertain its role in the process.  As regards the law knowing community, it is tied to one particular viewpoint. Therefore I am of opinion that before taking the onus to the doorsteps of the Americans and others, we would better set our own house in order first. The human rights, of which there is a murmur in the western world, are dovetailed to serve their interests.

Only a few days ago we have witnessed for the first time the antagonistic attitude of the US. An American CIA agent Raymond Davis secured his release from Pakistani prison after paying crores of rupees as Dayt or blood money under Islamic law for murdering two Pakistani nationals. This is despite the fact that America is foremost in opposing promulgation of Islamic sharia law in Muslim countries. One wishes that there were a windfall in Kashmir in the shape of oil or gold mine wealth so that the imperialists and colonialists could redraw their policy on Kashmir and support our freedom. India should learn a lesson from Pakistan-US friendship example. The US or the Western countries have never been steadfast in their friendship with any country. India, too, has been blackmailed when their interests were at stake.

It would be sensible for both India and Pakistan to bury their past bitterness and resolve to find a solution of their mutual problems through bilateral dialogue. In the case of Kashmir issue, the wishes of people on both sides of the line of divide in Kashmir should be given space. The US and European powers will never be happy to let this issue get resolved once for all. If that happens, then their arms manufacturing factories will have to be shut down. That is why they create problems in the world one after another. That keeps their arms manufacturing machine functional.  Not only the Muslim countries but even the developing countries should understand clearly that the US and its European allies will initiate war against all such countries one by one as dare to defy their wishes of self aggrandizement. Yesterday Muslim countries were used against Iraq and today against Libya. Then may come the turn of Iran and also Pakistan, till they are annihilated one by one.

This article was published in Daily "Greater Kashmir" on 29th March 2011.