The trouble with India is that most of its rulers, from antiquity, have been corrupt, greedy and incompetent. The maharaja of Kashmir was no different. He wanted to perpetuate his absolute power and treated Sheikh Abdullah unjustly and tried to remain an independent country, until threatened by the invasion of the Razakars from the northwest province of Pakistan. He negotiated a deal including Article 370, due to Nehru’s incompetence.
Nehru and Indira played games in Kashmir by crooked dealing with Abdullah and Indira screwed up at the Simla Treaty after the 1971 Bangladesh War by not dictating terms to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, despite her victory and holding nearly 100,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. Her desire to hold power led to insurgencies in Kashmir and Punjab, with Pakistani mischief and US encouragement and conniving at Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions to teach the Soviets a lesson in Afghanistan.
Now India is suffering the consequences of the follies of the incompetent Nehru, Indira and Manmohan Singh., just as the US is suffering from the idiocy of Nixon-Kissinger (China), Carter-Brzezinski (Afghanistan-Pakistan mujaheedin), Reagan (Lebanon), Clinton (Somalia, Kosovo), Bush Jr. (Iraq-Afghanistan) and Obama-Clinton (Afghanistan-Pakistan-Yemen).
There is a historical problem that neither India or other Asian countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Philippines, nor western countries like UK, USA, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany etc. are willing to publicly acknowledge.
Whenever and wherever followers of Islam become a sizable minority in any country, they tend to become a problem and disruptive influence, leading to insurgencies and terrorism.
This is not to exonerate the western racism and lack of economic opportunity which trap Muslim minorities in relative penury, or the western exploitation of Muslim countries, and the greater allegiance of Muslims to religion than nationality and their tendency to shun education, reform and modernity.
India’s central government has given more financial aid per capita to Jammu and Kashmir state than to most other states. Mismanagement and interference by the central government, incompetence and corruption by the Kashmir state government and incitement by Pakistan and Kashmir’s Muslim clerics led to the insurgency. As happens with all insurgencies, it led to overreaction by the federal agencies responsible for law and order and the military. This is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conflict led to a sinking economy for the state and now even though the Pakistani infiltration may be vanquished, the unemployed youth of Kashmir has begun its own intifada like the Palestinians of the West Bank.
What are India’s options?
It is equally clear that the two political parties of Omar Abdullah and Mufti are both incompetent and incapable of good government and an alternative government will be needed. Unfortunately president’s rule under an incompetent, ignorant and foolish Manmohan Singh, hell bent on licking American boots by passing the nuclear liability bill favoring US business, after the bitter experience of Tarapur and Bhopal is unlikely to provide good government.
- Allow the Kashmir valley with its predominantly Muslim population to secede and opt to join Pakistan or become independent while still retaining largely Hindu Jammu and Buddhist Ladakh. Pakistan is in desperate economic straits, on life support from the IMF and the US and drowning physically and economically from the floods. Thus it is highly unlikely that the Indian Kashmir valley will opt to join Pakistan. The birth of a new small country from present India could become the beginning of Balkanization. As laid out in the Federalist Papers by Madison and Hamilton after the failed government by the Continental Congress in the thirteen United States, this would be opening the door to further manipulation and exploitation by the great powers in the subcontinent, first begun by UK prior to 1947, continued by the US by co-opting Pakistan in CENTO and leveraged by China after 1962. The small nation of Kashmir Valley would not be economically viable and become a pawn of rich powers and an even bigger thorn to India and could even hasten the breakup of Pakistan.
- The idea of merging Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and allowing the new state to have dual control by Pakistan and India is a foolish idea. Such permeable borders would be misused by Pakistan for infiltration of terrorists and make India’s presently already difficult security objectives impossible to achieve. It would also raise the specter of other minorities seeking a similar status and be a midwife to the birth of future mini-Pakistans by the millions of Indian Muslims. The inevitable conclusion from these two options requires that India cut off any recognition of separatist factions and crack down on them by all legal and constitutional means.
- The use of force as the main option would be like Lincoln’s way after Fort Sumter or China’s way in Sinkiang and Tibet. This has been tried to some extent in the past decade but not as the sole and primary means like Lincoln or present China. It will naturally lead to more casualties and misery, which are best avoided.
- This leaves a negotiated settlement by which the displaced Hindu pundits should be helped to return, their property restored, their safety guaranteed by genuine historical Kashmiriyat tolerance. The center in return would finance the economy of the state to bring it up to the Indian norm and gradually withdraw the army and rescind the Draconian laws.
Manmohan Singh is so retarded ineducable that he has not learnt the lesson even after Obama’s shakedown of BP of 30 billion dollars after the gulf disaster. This is even though BP is a company from the USA’s closest friend and lapdog amongst nations. Manmohan Singh wants to cap the nuclear mishap liability of any US company at fifteen billion Indian rupees or less than 400 million dollars. Singh is so foolish that he is willing to jeopardize India’s energy security and relationships with Iran and Russia merely to slavishly obey American whims, totally oblivious that the rise of China and its development of long range missiles like the DF-21 which could sink American carrier groups, will mean that the US will need India’s manpower, geography and military to counterbalance an aggressive, ambitious, rising China, racing to overcome the US economically and rich enough to send the US to a debtor’s prison.