INDIA DEFENCE CONSULTANTS

WHAT'S HOT? ANALYSIS OF RECENT HAPPENINGS

PREVENTING WAR WITH PAKISTAN

An IDC Analysis

 

New Delhi, 21 May 2002

We 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. 

The situation seems to have reached a point of no return for India at least?
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 Musharraf
"No more dilly dallying. Stop the infiltrators or face action by the United States"
That would stop all infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir like magic!!

Ram Narayanan

LA TIMES, MAY 17, 2002
COMMENTARY


THE DOGS OF WAR RUN WILD AGAIN IN KASHMIR
By MICHAEL KREPON 

(Michael Krepon is the founding president of the 

Henry 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, cacophonous rides.

Two 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.

Periods 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 and Pakistan.

Odds are, they are about to succeed.

New 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.

The government of Pakistan denied responsibility.

Both 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.

Many 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 problems.

The 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.

The 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 terrorism.''

The 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 intelligence agencies.

The Bush administration has sent a fourth-tier official from the State Department to Kashmir. But this is a first-tier issue for New Delhi.

The 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.

India's 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.

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