Delhi, 21 May 2002
received this piece from an IDC watcher and present it as is. The
utterings and rhetoric of the Indian leaders including the military
seem to point to war.
situation seems to have reached a point of no return for India at
Just like it was for the United States immediately after 9/11.
The only way to prevent war is for the United States to tell
"No more dilly dallying. Stop the infiltrators or face action
by the United States"
That would stop all infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir like
TIMES, MAY 17, 2002
THE DOGS OF WAR RUN WILD AGAIN IN KASHMIR
By MICHAEL KREPON
Krepon is the founding president of the
L. Stimson Center, a Washington think tank.)
SRINAGAR, India -- In Kashmir, the public mood changes like the
weather. On Sunday, in glorious sunshine, the markets of this summer
capital were crowded, boat paddlers were enjoying themselves on Dal
Lake and the giant oval in front of the martyrs' cemetery was filled
with young men playing cricket. During the evening, the main drag
beside the lake was filled with families going out for carefree,
days later, three militants shot up a bus and a military housing
area in Kashmir, killing 30 before being gunned down. Most of the
victims were women and children.
of normalcy in Kashmir don't last long. Srinagar's superintendent of
police, Sayeed Ahmed Sayeed, told me the day before the latest
attack that foreign militants were still in the area and he knew it
wouldn't stay quiet for long. The local militants do not, as a rule,
carry out suicide attacks, and they take pains to avoid killing
their fellow Kashmiris. These attackers were pleased to kill
indiscriminately, which is why they are called "ultras" by
the Indian press. Their objective was to prompt a war between India
are, they are about to succeed.
Delhi claims that the mass murderers were Pakistanis and that they
carried evidence -- a chocolate candy wrapper and a movie ticket --
pointing to their nationality.
government of Pakistan denied responsibility.
countries might be right in this particular instance; such are the
mysteries of Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought
three wars since 1947.
militants would look with favor on a war. Abdul Majid Dar, the
former field commander of the most prominent Kashmiri militant
group, the Hizbul Mujahedeen, told me that it would serve justice if
the Indian and Pakistani people felt for themselves the grinding,
painful realities that Kashmiris were facing. A war would also, they
presume, bring in the international community to help solve their
ultras, mostly Pakistanis and Afghans, are not interested in
political settlements. They want a war that disrupts U.S. military
operations and punishes Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf for
assisting the United States and for hosting U.S. military forces.
They also want to kill Hindus.
suicide attackers didn't need to be carrying items identifying their
home base; New Delhi would assume Pakistani collusion. The Indian
army briefings on militancy concluded that Pakistan was "the
jihad factory'' and that Pakistan was the ''epicenter of global
bases for training militants have been disrupted in Afghanistan, but
they are operating in Pakistan. Militants are inserted across the
Kashmir divide with the active support of the Pakistan army and
Bush administration has sent a fourth-tier official from the State
Department to Kashmir. But this is a first-tier issue for New Delhi.
government of India feels that President Bush is too dependent on
Pakistan for the war against Al Qaeda to pressure Musharraf to stop
the infiltration. U.S. appeals for continued restraint only deepen
India's sense of grievance.
military officers have worked hard to figure out how to fight a
limited war against a nuclear-armed adversary. It now appears that
these risky concepts will be tested on the battlefield.