A few days ago, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was on a day’s visit to the India-China border in Eastern Ladakh. This is his second visit during a span of a few weeks.
In his address to the cadres of ground forces during both of his visits to the Ladakh border, he made a specific mention of the part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan’s illegal occupation.
What he said about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is nothing new. Indian leadership has been saying it very often. But the place, occasion, context, and purport of the Defence Minister’s statement on PoK to which we refer has to be taken in full seriousness for various reasons.
It is rather curious that his statements on PoK have come on an occasion when he was on a formal visit to India-China LAC, where the ground situation is tense and likely to become highly tense after the Chinese hardliner President Xi Jinping has succeeded in retaining the highest position for the third successive term.
In his address to the 20th National Congress of the CCP, he did not mince words about China’s policy of upgrading its defense preparedness by manufacturing more sophisticated weapons and providing advanced training to the fighting forces.
These are among other indications that show China is preparing for any eventuality on her border with India.
Defence Minister’s repeated reiteration that India will not only adhere to but also implement the clauses of the 1994 unanimous resolution of the India Parliament on PoK to the effect that India has the will and capability of taking back the illegally occupied portion of the J&K State meaning PoJK.
We do not doubt India’s military capability to retake the illegally occupied PoJK. But foremost is the selection of an opportunity to undertake the adventure.
Pakistan society today is almost on the brink of a civil war. It has already sunk into chaos and disorder, and the writ of the civilian, as well as the military administration, is hardly visible. Never has Pakistan been in such a disarrayed situation as now, owing to her internal politics.
The question is, will India’s military action of taking back the PoJK at this moment bring about unity among the warring groups of Pak civil society, or will this fall further apart?
The first option is the correct answer. Therefore initiating a retaking operation in PoJK will inadvertently help the warring and disarrayed Pakistani civil society to sink their differences and reassemble to face their arch-enemy that they hate one and all. This will be a victory for the vast anti-India Pakistani terrorist Armageddon.
We understand that India’s compulsion of raking up the PoJK issue at this point in time is the growing menace of China in the Gilgit region and her intention of carrying forward her R&B Initiative, under which China has been building roads and infrastructure in the disputed territory.
Obviously, in a bid to restrict Chinese movement and trafficking along the CPEC, China will come out openly in support of Pakistan, whom it has made a proxy to confront India.
Any initiative of India in the context could result in a regional war in which China and Pakistan would be openly corroborating while India would have to fight her battle single-handedly.
Russia will not come to India’s support openly, and the US and UK both will play a negative role. After all, their stand on PoJK is that it is a dispute between the two countries and should be solved through negotiations and talks.
The third negative point for India in case she makes the adventure will be the outright opposition of the Kashmir Valley population. Former CM Mahbooba Mufti has been talking of sedition, and Farooq Abdullah has been using no less a dubious idiom.
The LG of the Union Territory recently issued a threat that leaders delivering divisive speeches that the militants rejoice in would be curbed and subjected to penal treatment.
Ever since Mahbooba has sharpened her pro-militancy vitriol and he expected punitive measures are nowhere in sight. There have been many other occasions also when the Lt Governor has chosen to make a laughing stock of him.
The Home Minister and the LG both have been thrusting the untruth down the throats of the ordinary people that Kashmir militancy has come down considerably.
Selective killing of the Kashmiri Pandits continues, and the administration of the LG has understood that there is no way out but to compromise the innocent killing of the people of a community that is not a vote bank, nor has it the political clout. It can be expended cheaply.
We would like to make it clear that any adventure of retaking the PoJK without deeply considering the positive and negative implications would not be advisable. The Kashmir issue stands internationalized, and a denial of the same is not prudence.
PoJK will result in massive boycotts and demonstrations from the Kashmiris on the prompting of their leaders, who understand that it will make it a matter of doing or dying.
It will be utter naivety to think that recently Kashmiris marched the streets of Srinagar with the tricolor in their hands. It is a mask behind which there is a different face.
The Ukrainian war has had an indirect impact on Kashmir. India refused to sign the resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
India has her reasons, and she is caring for her national interests. But the so-called free world has framed a negative impression of India.
Our adversaries have used it as a stick to beat us with. India bashers are asking the question, “Who will come to the support of India in case of a Chinese attack on Arunachal Pradesh or across the LAC in Ladakh?”
The US and the Western countries take India as the camp follower of Russia. It does not matter how hard we shall try to convince the world that we stand by our independent judgment of international affairs and that condemnation or imposition of sanctions does not work at the end of the day.
My argument is not that India should not retake PoJK. Pakistan cannot be allowed to believe that she can do the perfidy of launching a proxy war in Kashmir, and they play the victim.
No, India is not going to do that. But there is meaning in the message. The message from India is that you cannot do what you want to do by inviting China to fight your war against India.
The Defence Minister of India has indirectly said that India is prepared to open two fronts at one and the same time and break the tango of the two.
India has sent the warning not exactly to Pakistan but to Beijing. The 20th National Congress of the CCP has exposed the deep-seated and well-concealed fissures within the PLA. Xi may have purged the top echelons of the party and inducted a coterie but how long it will go is to be seen.