Behind the India-Pakistan Tension: Kashmir is Struggling to Survive!

Source

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – While the military situation was heading to further escalation between New Delhi and Islamabad, an area stranded between them has not but barely come to the spotlight.

As always, mainstream media intend to serve the interests of its drivers; but unlike them, our website took it upon itself to shed light on the humanitarian aspect, bringing to the spotlight the suffering of Kashmiri people amid all these developments given the upcoming annual Indian elections.

Commenting on the situation, Kashmir-based PHD candidate Ms. Arshi Javid** told al-Ahed news website that 10,000 students have been forced to leave India and return to Kashmir during the tension, while Kashmiris staying at home were barely living amid the lack of fuel, food and security in their place.

The lady, whose fields of study are centered at gender and conflict, peace studies, and militant movements in South Asia described the situation as very tense, then went on as detailing the whole story as the following:

“It all started on the 14th of February when suicide bombers detonated a vehicle which was carrying an IED of 300 Kgs against an army vehicle. In this particular incident, 40 soldiers of the Indian army were killed. This event became a kind of galvanizing event around the whole of India in which people started saying that we want revenge for these killings.”

When India declared independence Kashmir was made a part of India on the condition that after sometime we will ask you, we will do up a plebiscite about the right to self-determination in Kashmir asking where do Kashmiris want to join. Ever since, India has not fulfilled the promise, she explained.

What happened later on?

In 1989, a militancy erupted because India has not fulfilled the promise and people want to express their decision whether they want to be with India or they want to be with Pakistan or they want to be independent, which India never gave it. So this militancy has been startled for years. Now, the condition is that organizations like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen… all these organizations are militant organizations… The blast on the 14th of February was performed by one particular organization. They claimed we have done this suicide bombing. After this, there was this call of revenge across India that we have to take revenge for this, she added.

Why deporting Kashmiri students?

“Almost, 10,000 Kashmiri students had to return home because there were attacks against them all across India.”

“India has 29 states all across India, and Kashmiri students are a part of India. Kashmiri students are Muslims, and Hinduism is the predominant religion in India. They started attacking Kashmiri Muslim students, saying you and your sympathizers doing blasts and killing our soldiers. Almost, 10,000 Kashmiri students had to return home because there were attacks against them all across India. They returned to Kashmir because people, without right, were lynching them.”

Saying that it was the first reaction of people, Javid explained that then, there was this call of taking revenge. On the nights of Monday and Tuesday [February 25, 26] we heard the news that Indian Air Force has crossed into Pakistan and they have attacked the place where these ‘militants are getting trained by the Pakistani state.’ In order to assuage those calls for revenge, there were a major blunder of Indian Air Forces entering Pakistani territory, and there is no clear record on how many people did they kill there and what is happening there.

Pakistan said they have not been able to kill anybody, in fact the place they attacked is a forest, it is not inhabited by any human; it is a forest. So whatever they have made they have hidden some details, they have kept it confidential. But India was the first one to have entered the escalation and perform airstrikes.

The lady went on to add that on the next night, Pakistan entered Indian airspace and carried out some airstrikes which they said wouldn’t have done but are in retaliation to what was done.

“We are not at war, but this is in retaliation to what India has did, in which Pakistan managed to down two Indian fighter jets. One of them fell on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The Kashmiris are also divided between India and Pakistan. A part of the Kashmiris are with Pakistan, another part of them are with China and another part are with India.”

Pakistan managed to get hold of one of the Indian pilots, but Pakistan has once again gave a message that we don’t want to go for war, we want to talk and we would also return your pilot. The Indian leadership for its part said it will not escalate because our very important soldier is with Pakistan, she added.

Life, humanitarian situation in Kashmir

“There is no petrol in the city, so there is no life.”

“Now in Kashmir, there is a war taking place. People were informed a couple of days before war that they should fill their rations, they should have their food supplies intact, they should have their medicines. There is a lot of panic in Kashmir, a lot of panic, because people did get food, but petrol almost extinguished. There is no petrol in the city, so there is no life. People are at their houses, confined in their houses. There is no public transportation. You know how war is like… there are incidents of aerial fighting all the times and there are incidents of these fighter jets all over the skies. People are in trouble, people are really in panic over what was happening to them. There are even villages close to borders, which have been evacuated. We don’t know what would happen next because India has clearly said we are not going to de-escalate. One cannot imagine what would happen ahead.”

Whose interests does the escalations serve?

“The timing of this suits the elections.”

De-escalation is connected to an important thing: India is going for annual elections this year, the ruling party has not performed very well, and it has very bad indicators in terms of the horrible GDP, human rights reports, the monetary values have decreased… I think this will depend on what kind of this party, the ruling party (right-wing Hindu party), they have always resorted to war and dirty tactics for electoral games.

20 days ago, it clearly looked that the ruling party might not come back to power. If they don’t come back to power thy will lose the ground. But in those same days, the situation has started turning in their favor because their narrative against Pakistan and against terrorism is very strong, and so far, it is like the balance with people, they are very good at this narrative as a strategy for electoral games.

I think if the party thinks the job is done and that they have managed to direct it, they might just stop. But if they need some more mobilization, there would be no end to it until elections.

To give it clearly, there is only one party which is gaining out of it. It is not the first time suicide attacks have happened in Kashmir. This is not the first time suicide attacks have targeted the army. It is not the first time Jaish-e-Mohammed has done any attack in Kashmir. This is not the first time any Kashmiris had picked up guns, but the timing of this suits the elections. Largely, it will depend on reports they will get about their own parties. Are they in the position to win or gain some more votes? Until the time their position is not built they will not de-escalate.

Events like this are a routine story in Kashmir, but this time it was played very well in media. Every other day something happens in Kashmir, but it is up to media to decide whether to play it up or not. What this current Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] have done is that he has purchased all the media, 98% of the Indian media has been bought by him. It was played up very well by the media. While I do understand that killing 40 soldiers is a big injury and it will have repercussions, but this man has been able to press down any news and press up any news, he can do anything that he wants to do.

 

**Arshi Javid is a PHD candidate at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Advertisements

The Inequitable Spirit of Zionism Grips the Globe

Zara Ali

In spite of how contemporary intellectuals tend to perceive Zionism depending upon their personal affiliations and individual inclinations, irrespective of the various known versions of this rather modern creed, and regardless of the assortment of interpretations presented as an argument by proponents of each, the truth of the matter is mankind has not furnished and history has not witnessed another idea as inherently devious and inhumane in its essence as Zionism – no matter how you sugar-coat it.  And you do not have to be an historian, academic, activist, or carry any other fancy intellectual title to understand this – you just have to be a human being with the most basic common sense and the most elementary concept of common civility.

Formally introduced to the world in 1897, ostensibly as a response to the rise of anti-semitism in Europe, Zionism essentially intended to infuse the world Jewry with the passion of pan-Jewish nationalism in a bid to Return to Zion i.e. to establish a Jewish homeland in the Promised Holy Land – a Jewish state in historic Palestine wherein Jews will no longer face the discrimination extended to their minority existence elsewhere.  This was Theodore Herzl’s (the founding father of the Zionist movement)‘secular’ answer to over 2,000 years of Jewish Diaspora all the while drawing upon Jewish religious connection to Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael.

Hence migration of European Jews to Palestine and the Jewish purchase of Palestinian land commenced with an aim to ‘create facts on the ground’ despite orthodox Jews’ initial opposition to Zionism.  As had been originally proposed by Zevi Hirsch Kalischeras, as far back as in 1836, the Rothschild embarked on a mission to grab Palestinian land by hook or by crook – employing deceptive tactics that are nowadays peddled as ‘cooperation from treacherous absentee Palestinian Arab landlords’.  The first Kibbutz was established in 1909 by European Jews and from 1922-35 the Jewish population, which had already risen from a meagre 3% in 1880 to 9% in 1922, soared as high as 27%.  During this period, the deep-seated Scriptural belief that Palestine was promised to them by God combined with the anti-Semitic effect of various ‘controlled conflicts’ instigated by Western Imperialism, remained critical in propelling Jews toward their ‘ancestral home’.

Well abetted by the clandestine Sykes-Picot Agreement that in 1916 proposed British and French ‘spheres of influence’ in a colonised South-western Asia in the aftermath of the yet to occur fall of Ottomans (1918-1922), the unstinting patronage extended by the infamous Balfour Declaration in 1917, and the cover of legitimacy provided by the League of Nations’ British Mandate of Palestine in 1923, not to forget Hitler’s rise to power in the run up to WW2, the migration of Jews on one hand and the rather strategic displacement of tens of thousands of Palestinians on the other, continued.  Arabs did raise their voice, and episodes of mob violence against the Jews also occurred, but by and large the Arab opposition to the British designs impelled by the Zionists, was ruthlessly suppressed.  The Arab revolt of 1936-39 was squashed by the British colonists not only by employing Zionist Militia but also by making effective use of the rather self-centred territorial interest of the disingenuous non-Palestinian Arab elite.  Despite the façade of the 1939 White Paper that limited Jewish migration and land purchase, in an alleged attempt to mark an end to the British-Zionist alliance, the clandestine affair between the two never came to an end at any point in time – not to this day.  By 1948 when the British Mandate of Palestine was about to end, the deliberate distribution of Jewish settlements which had progressively spread on the Palestinian lands, came to determine the map of partition proposed by United Nations  – later adopted by the UN General Assembly as Resolution 181.  The UN Plan of Partition awarded 55% of the land to Israel, encompassing many a cities with Palestinian Arab majority and the vital coastline from Haifa to Jaffa, thereby depriving the indigenous Palestinian population of key agricultural lands and seaports.  Arabs rejected the proposed partition, and argued it violated the principle of national self-determination outlined in United Nations’ charter however the Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted the same.  And soon after, the 1948 war broke out.  The British departed at the end of their Mandate (which interestingly coincided with the start of the war) but assisted by shipments of arms from the West, the Zionist paramilitary groups set out on the path of violent genocide – large scale attacks, massacres, destruction of entire villages – all aimed at expulsion of Palestinians from Eretz Yisrael.  The neighbouring Arab states i.e. Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Jordan invaded what was now Israel – they claimed they sought to save Palestine from the Zionists – the armistice agreements signed in 1949 and what ensued however did tend to suggest somewhat otherwise – with around 78% of historic Palestine confiscated by Israel, East Jerusalem and the hill country i.e. the West Bank ended up under Jordan while Egypt assumed control of the coastal plain around the Gaza strip effectually putting an end to the likelihood of a Palestinian state as initially proposed in the UN Partition Plan.  Despite the fact the state of Israel had been recognised by the international community (with the exception of 31 nations) based on its 1948 borders, following the second Arab-Israel war in 1967, Israel came to occupy not only the rest of Palestine i.e. East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, but also the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.  And in spite of UN resolution 242 adopted in 1967, the Zionist state continues to occupy the aforementioned regions with the exception of Sinai.  Not only that, Israel in fact claims ‘innocence’ on the pretext that the status of these territories was ambiguous and that Israel took control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan while the Gaza strip was taken from Egypt’s dominion.  Essentially the pre-emptively dispersed expanse of less arable land, which was meant to constitute the Palestinian state as per the United Nations’ flawed Partition Plan in 1948, was first bestowed upon Jordan and Egypt in exchange of a truce in 1948 and then seized by the Zionist entity in 1967 when the passage of 19 years had efficaciously cooled down the heated uproar against the stealing of Palestine while the intensity of commotion caused by the merciless displacement of well over 700,000 Palestinians had been dampened partly because of the fast evolving Geo-political panorama and to a degree due to the increasingly selfish interests of the nations of the world.

With inordinate impunity furnished by a mute West and a meek East that have been held hostage to the absolute financial power of the Rothschild for at least a century, the Zionist entity has since brazenly persisted in its disdain for anything remotely humane, ethical, or rational.  The story of the colossal injustice perpetrated by it has unfolded progressively, and revealed the most ignoble facets of human existence.  It has not only exposed the unscrupulous spirit sitting at the core of Zionism itself, but also underlined the fact if permitted man’s weakness of flesh renders him rather predisposed to not only endorsing the most unlawful of acts but also glorifying them as the most virtuous.

Fernando Barral, the Spanish psychiatrist who in 1970 interviewed the deceased Zionist puppet, the decorated American War Veteran-Senator John McCain, thus articulated McCain’s psychological constitution:  “From the moral and ideological point of view he showed us he is an insensitive individual without human depth, who does not show the slightest concern, who does not appear to have thought about the criminal acts he committed against a population from the almost absolute impunity of his airplane…  I noted he was hardened, that he spoke of banal things as if he were at a cocktail party.”  Today the images of mockingly gleeful snipers of ‘the most moral army in the world’ defending a stolen territory with live ammunition, callously fired upon unarmed and effectively imprisoned rightful owners of the land, demanding their recognised right to return home (UN Resolution 194), categorically depict a similar psychological make-up – apparently quite naturally bred by Zionism.

Had there been no real time large-scale evidence falling in line with the aforementioned assessment, and had we observed only a few odd instances of behaviour characterised by an absolute lack of intellect and conscience at the individual level, we may not have been able to ascertain the nature of what actually sits at the core of Zionism and rules the Zionist mind-set.   And had not countless shameful tales emerged from the long history of brutality embodied by the actions of the Zionist entity subsequent to its unlawful inception, custodians of Zionism could have still had some weight to their argument.  But in the face of innumerable ignominious real time manifestations of pan-Jewish nationalism, not a hologram of occurrences in a different subset of time and space, and the unceasing exhibition of unscrupulousness on part of Israel and her lobbyists, allies and friends, it sounds ridiculously bizarre to continue contending the innocence and purity of Zionism’s nationalistic character.

In fact the attempt to debate the veracity of Zionism as a purely nationalist notion intended to unite world Jewry in the ‘Promised Holy Land’ and to ‘address threats toEretz Yisrael’ thereafter, only serves to highlight Zionism’s inherent inequity.  After all did not the initiators of the Zionist movement imagine to make ‘home’ for a marginalised people, adherents of Judaism, on a land that essentially belonged to someone else, because the self-proclaimed  ‘chosen race’ held the Scriptural belief this land had been promised to it by God? “Can you think of another historical moment when people ‘returned’ to an imaginary ‘homeland’ after 2,000 years and asked the indigenous population to move out to make room for the former ‘residents?”

The problem is truth is self-evident and it cannot be suppressed forever – you can just not kill the thing.  Unless one does not have qualms about living a deeply delusional existence, with a dysfunctional psyche, and a dead conscience, one may not find it possible to see Zionism as much more than an epitome of intellectual and moral depravity – a classic religio-political conglomerate, which remained in the making for eons before its deliberate conception in the 19th century and has since effectively dominated the globe, in unison with Colonialism and Capitalism – infusing planet earth with a very unwholesome spirit – the spirit of Pre-eminence and Exceptionalism – with the sole objective of world-wide subjugation of the common man to the coldblooded, illogical and decadent core of the Zionist psyche.  In fact it will not be an exaggeration to state the Zionist philosophy has made it permissible for ‘Might is Right’ to emerge as a widely practiced modern day norm – not just at the macro but also at the micro level – and nothing could have been more tragic for mankind than returning to the Law of the Jungle in the 21st century.

Thus today we literally have an ‘Axis of Evil’ that dominates the power centres of the modern world.  It comprises of the serpent-like 1% global elite in control of the treasure of an entire planet – it manipulates the common man only to rob him of his right to life – it wages wars indiscriminately at the drop of the hat wherever and whenever deemed profitable and under whichever pretext it fancies – it tramples upon the life and honour of entire nations leaving behind ardently created quagmires studded with five-star destruction and misery – it lies passionately and deceives unceasingly with outright contempt for human intellect – it infiltrates naïve minds with a plethora of unwholesome notions only to muddle the boundary between truth and falsehood and do away with the very notion of ‘right and wrong’.  And it does it all with the sole objective of transforming the mass population of this globe into a gathering of zombies, intellectually depraved and morally corrupt obedient slaves, who could be effortlessly employed to serve the will and the whim of the ‘chosen few’.

From Palestine to Kashmir injustice reigns – from Libya to Afghanistan discord rules – Iraq and Syria stand in absolute ruins – Yemen writhes under the burden of genocide – black lives in Africa never mattered and they still do not count – multitudes of migrants continue to pour into a Europe made affluent by the stealing of others’ wealth as they escape what now stands distraught by White man’s wars only to encounter hatred from other White men – and all the while the authors of this harrowing tale continue to dismiss ‘the whining yelpings of base-bred mongrel-multitudes’ with utmost arrogance thereby manifesting the rewritten Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the Iron-handed, the unfit shall flee before them. Cursed are the Haters of Battle, subjugation is their portion”

Behind the India-Pakistan Tension: Kashmir is Struggling to Survive!

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – While the military situation was heading to further escalation between New Delhi and Islamabad, an area stranded between them has not but barely come to the spotlight.

As always, mainstream media intend to serve the interests of its drivers; but unlike them, our website took it upon itself to shed light on the humanitarian aspect, bringing to the spotlight the suffering of Kashmiri people amid all these developments given the upcoming annual Indian elections.

Commenting on the situation, Kashmir-based PHD candidate Ms. Arshi Javid** told al-Ahed news website that 10,000 students have been forced to leave India and return to Kashmir during the tension, while Kashmiris staying at home were barely living amid the lack of fuel, food and security in their place.

The lady, whose fields of study are centered at gender and conflict, peace studies, and militant movements in South Asia described the situation as very tense, then went on as detailing the whole story as the following:

“It all started on the 14th of February when suicide bombers detonated a vehicle which was carrying an IED of 300 Kgs against an army vehicle. In this particular incident, 40 soldiers of the Indian army were killed. This event became a kind of galvanizing event around the whole of India in which people started saying that we want revenge for these killings.”

When India declared independence Kashmir was made a part of India on the condition that after sometime we will ask you, we will do up a plebiscite about the right to self-determination in Kashmir asking where do Kashmiris want to join. Ever since, India has not fulfilled the promise, she explained.

What happened later on?

In 1989, a militancy erupted because India has not fulfilled the promise and people want to express their decision whether they want to be with India or they want to be with Pakistan or they want to be independent, which India never gave it. So this militancy has been startled for years. Now, the condition is that organizations like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen… all these organizations are militant organizations… The blast on the 14th of February was performed by one particular organization. They claimed we have done this suicide bombing. After this, there was this call of revenge across India that we have to take revenge for this, she added.

Why deporting Kashmiri students?

“Almost, 10,000 Kashmiri students had to return home because there were attacks against them all across India.”

“India has 29 states all across India, and Kashmiri students are a part of India. Kashmiri students are Muslims, and Hinduism is the predominant religion in India. They started attacking Kashmiri Muslim students, saying you and your sympathizers doing blasts and killing our soldiers. Almost, 10,000 Kashmiri students had to return home because there were attacks against them all across India. They returned to Kashmir because people, without right, were lynching them.”

Saying that it was the first reaction of people, Javid explained that then, there was this call of taking revenge. On the nights of Monday and Tuesday [February 25, 26] we heard the news that Indian Air Force has crossed into Pakistan and they have attacked the place where these ‘militants are getting trained by the Pakistani state.’ In order to assuage those calls for revenge, there were a major blunder of Indian Air Forces entering Pakistani territory, and there is no clear record on how many people did they kill there and what is happening there.

Pakistan said they have not been able to kill anybody, in fact the place they attacked is a forest, it is not inhabited by any human; it is a forest. So whatever they have made they have hidden some details, they have kept it confidential. But India was the first one to have entered the escalation and perform airstrikes.

The lady went on to add that on the next night, Pakistan entered Indian airspace and carried out some airstrikes which they said wouldn’t have done but are in retaliation to what was done.

“We are not at war, but this is in retaliation to what India has did, in which Pakistan managed to down two Indian fighter jets. One of them fell on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The Kashmiris are also divided between India and Pakistan. A part of the Kashmiris are with Pakistan, another part of them are with China and another part are with India.”

Pakistan managed to get hold of one of the Indian pilots, but Pakistan has once again gave a message that we don’t want to go for war, we want to talk and we would also return your pilot. The Indian leadership for its part said it will not escalate because our very important soldier is with Pakistan, she added.

Life, humanitarian situation in Kashmir

“There is no petrol in the city, so there is no life.”

“Now in Kashmir, there is a war taking place. People were informed a couple of days before war that they should fill their rations, they should have their food supplies intact, they should have their medicines. There is a lot of panic in Kashmir, a lot of panic, because people did get food, but petrol almost extinguished. There is no petrol in the city, so there is no life. People are at their houses, confined in their houses. There is no public transportation. You know how war is like… there are incidents of aerial fighting all the times and there are incidents of these fighter jets all over the skies. People are in trouble, people are really in panic over what was happening to them. There are even villages close to borders, which have been evacuated. We don’t know what would happen next because India has clearly said we are not going to de-escalate. One cannot imagine what would happen ahead.”

Whose interests does the escalations serve?

“The timing of this suits the elections.”

De-escalation is connected to an important thing: India is going for annual elections this year, the ruling party has not performed very well, and it has very bad indicators in terms of the horrible GDP, human rights reports, the monetary values have decreased… I think this will depend on what kind of this party, the ruling party (right-wing Hindu party), they have always resorted to war and dirty tactics for electoral games.

20 days ago, it clearly looked that the ruling party might not come back to power. If they don’t come back to power thy will lose the ground. But in those same days, the situation has started turning in their favor because their narrative against Pakistan and against terrorism is very strong, and so far, it is like the balance with people, they are very good at this narrative as a strategy for electoral games.

I think if the party thinks the job is done and that they have managed to direct it, they might just stop. But if they need some more mobilization, there would be no end to it until elections.

To give it clearly, there is only one party which is gaining out of it. It is not the first time suicide attacks have happened in Kashmir. This is not the first time suicide attacks have targeted the army. It is not the first time Jaish-e-Mohammed has done any attack in Kashmir. This is not the first time any Kashmiris had picked up guns, but the timing of this suits the elections. Largely, it will depend on reports they will get about their own parties. Are they in the position to win or gain some more votes? Until the time their position is not built they will not de-escalate.

Events like this are a routine story in Kashmir, but this time it was played very well in media. Every other day something happens in Kashmir, but it is up to media to decide whether to play it up or not. What this current Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] have done is that he has purchased all the media, 98% of the Indian media has been bought by him. It was played up very well by the media. While I do understand that killing 40 soldiers is a big injury and it will have repercussions, but this man has been able to press down any news and press up any news, he can do anything that he wants to do.

 

**Arshi Javid is a PHD candidate at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Pakistan in the Crosshairs of New US Aggression

Pakistan in the Crosshairs of New US Aggression

Pakistan in the Crosshairs of New US Aggression

With events escalating quickly in Kashmir it’s incumbent to ask the most pertinent questions in geopolitics.

Why there?

And, Why Now?

Why Kashmir?

India and Pakistan are both making serious moves to slip out from underneath the US’s external control. India has openly defied the US on buying S-400 missile defense systems, keeping up its oil trade with Iran and developing the important Iranian port at Chabahar to help complete an almost private spur of the North South Transport Corridor.

Pakistan, under new Prime Minister Imran Khan is trying to square accounts with China over its massive investment for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has also been at the forefront of multiple rounds of talks spurred by the Russians and Iranians to forge some kind of peace in Afghanistan.

And the Trump administration cut off US aid to Pakistan for not being sufficiently helpful in the fight against terrorism. This opened up a war of words between Trump and Khan who reminded Trump that the little bit of money the US sent Pakistan nothing compared to the losses both economic and personal.

If there was ever the possibility of peace breaking out between India and Pakistan it would be in the context of stitching the two countries together through China’s regional plans as well as solving the thorny problem of continued US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

Anything that can be done to flare up tensions between these two adversaries then serves the US’s goals of sowing chaos and division to keep the things from progressing smoothly. Khan was elected to, in effect, drain the Pakistani Swamp. His, like Trump’s, is a tall order.

And at this point it looks like he’s still willing to give it a go as opposed to Trump who is simply revealing himself to be a thin-skinned version of Barack Obama, albeit with a distinctly orange hue.

But, still why right now?

Because Trump is distracted with his latest love affair with himself – taking credit for a Korean peace process that will proceed with or without him at this point. All he can do is slow it down, which is exactly what his Secretary of State has been doing since last year’s meeting in Singapore.

And that leaves people like John Bolton and the rest of the worst people in D.C. to go to work undermining an entire region of the world.

Last weekend’s terrorist attack was a planned provocation to produce the very outcome we have today. Jaish-e-Mohammed have too many direct and indirect links to Bush the Lesser era programs and Saudi Arabia to be ignored.

This attack happens just days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman comes rushing in to save Pakistan’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves with promises of $10 billion to build a refinery of Saudi oil at the (now Chinese) port of Gwadar.

There are no coincidences in geopolitics. Timing is everything.

It reminds me of the flare up in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2016. Then Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Azeri leader Ilham Aliyev on a Wednesday and by Sunday a nearly twenty-year peace was broken.

National Security Advisor John Bolton is desperate to keep Trump from pulling half of the troops out of Afghanistan. After a disastrous “Let Make War on Iran” conference in Warsaw two weeks ago, Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were reeling from having obtained no support outside of those already committed to such a plan.

Europe roundly said no, other than willing satrap Poland, still hoping Daddy Trump will save them from the mean old Nordstream 2 pipeline.

As Alistair Crooke pointed out recently, Bolton is putting pressure on Pakistan to forge a peace agreement with the Taliban which somehow allows for the US to maintain all of its troop presence there.

Washington is now embracing Pakistan (with Saudi Arabia and UAE writing the cheques). And Washington looks to Pakistan rather, not so much to contain and disrupt the Taliban, but to co-opt it through a ‘peace accord’ into accepting to be another US military ‘hub’ to match America’s revamped military ‘hub’ in Erbil (the Kurdish part of Iraq, which borders the Kurdish provinces of Iran). As a former Indian Ambassador, MK Bhadrakumar explains:

“What the Saudis and Emiratis are expecting as follow-up in the near future is a certain “rebooting” of the traditional Afghan-Islamist ideology of the Taliban and its quintessentially nationalistic “Afghan-centric” outlook with a significant dosage of Wahhabi indoctrination … [so as to] make it possible [to] integrate the Taliban into the global jihadi network and co-habitate it with extremist organisations such as the variants of Islamic State or al-Qaeda … so that geopolitical projects can be undertaken in regions such as Central Asia and the Caucasus or Iran from the Afghan soil, under a comprador Taliban leadership”.

Bolton was also able to get Trump to agree to pull most of the troops out of Syria, leave just enough behind to call in airstrikes to protect what’s left of ISIS and relocate the rest to Iraq.

Trump gets to say he fulfilled a campaign promise, and everyone’s plans for War with Iran stays on schedule.

So, if I’m right (and there’s no guarantee that I am) what purpose does poking a fight between India and Pakistan serve?

Many, unfortunately.

1. One it sells the regional chaos angle about the need to continue the War on Terror.

2. ISIS is gone but we still have to fight Iran.

3. It punishes India for daring to get off the reservation.

4. It reminds Khan just how tenuous his hold on power is.

5. It is a warning to China that the US will risk everything to not lose the Heartland.

Add in the proximity to the Trump-Kim meeting as well as the fractious trade talks with China and you have an orgy of related news all at the same time to drive the point home.

Bolton, the Brits, France and Netanyahu were willing to risk World War III in Syria to create a false flag event in which Russia attacked a NATO target – the downing of the IL-20 ELINT aircraft last September.

Do you not think these insane animals wouldn’t risk a nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India to blow up (literally) China’s plans to win the biggest prize in geopolitics?

If you don’t then you haven’t been paying attention.

Both Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi need to keep their heads here. Modi has an election coming up later this year. I’m sure the calculus was that he would jump at the opportunity to burnish his cred with voters by lobbing a few bombs inside Pakistan. For Khan, this is the first real test of his leadership and he has to resist the siren’s call of the Saudi’s money to balance all sides of the equation while de-escalating this situation as quickly as possible.

One thing is for certain, we haven’t seen the last of this.

Photo: Flickr

PAKISTAN SHOOTS DOWN 2 INDIAN WARPLANES INSIDE ITS AIRSPACE: DEFENSE MINISTRY

South Front

27.02.2019

On February 27, Pakistan shot down 2 Indian warplanes inside its airspace, according to a statement by the Pakistani Defense Ministry. A military spookesman said that one of the jets fell inside the Pakistani-controlled part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, while another one inside the Indian-controlled part of the region.

At least one Indian pilot was reportedly arrested by Pakistani troops.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.

43.5K people are talking about this

On February 26, the Indian Air Force conducted a strike on what it described as a terrorist camp inside the Pakistani territory. The move led to the escalation of territorial conflict between Pakistan and India over Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The situation is developing.

 

Related Videos

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Kashmir: Nothing Happens in a Vacuum

By Adam Garrie
Source

Kashmir-c.jpg

2018 was the deadliest year for Kashmiri civilians for a decade. This fact was affirmed not only by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS)but by the Washington Post. The rising death toll among Kashmiris in 2018 was itself a culmination of an increasingly violent approach taken by the forces of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) since the late 1980s, whilst the overriding problems for Kashmiris are a result of being denied their international legal right to self-determination since 1947.

In Kashmir, nothing happens in a vacuum and this fact readily applies to today’s attack on an Indian military convoy by a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed. The very fact that Indian army convoys and soldiers armed to the teeth are present in IOK in order to subdue the very people that India tells the world are merely a minority of ‘reluctant Indians’, obfuscates the more self-evident reality on the ground. The reality is that if part of a nation must be under constant military occupation in order to remain within such a nation, such a place is not part of the nation in question at all.

Kashmir’s troubles are ultimately a conflict between the Indian authorities and Kashmiris themselves. If anyone doubted this to be the case, one must consider two things. First of all, Jaish-e-Mohammed has been banned in Pakistan since 2002. Secondly,  Pakistani voices that are raised in the name of justice for Kashmir tend to hold the view that far from Pakistan doing too much on the Kashmir issue, Islamabad actually does far too little and has done far too little for quite some time.

Many in India will not want to admit the following and many in Pakistan will not want to hear the following, but the reality must be laid bear all the same: although the crisis in IOK is one between India and the Kashmiri people, Pakistan does indeed have a role to play. This role is one that requires Islamabad to amplify the plight of Kashmiris to the rest of the world for the simple reason that there is no other country in the world that is in such a position to do so. The longer Pakistani elites retreat from this issue, the worse things will get not just for Kashmiris but for the wider region as a whole. The fact that India blames everything that happens in or around IOK on Islamabad is actually quite farcical because Pakistan’s real position vis-a-vis Kashmir is one that is all too detached. As a result, innocent people suffer and a cycle of violence is perpetuated because of an Indian culture of scapegoating Pakistan and a Pakistani culture of wishing troubles away, rather than facing them head on.

Had Pakistan forcefully told the United Nations, global civil society, all three global military superpowers and bilateral partners of the grave danger that IOK’s unresolved status poses, the Indian soldiers who died today would still be alive and furthermore, the scores of thousands of Kashmiri civilians gunned down in cold blood by Indian soldiers over the decades would also still be alive. In this sense, if the UN mandated plebiscite on Kashmiri national self-determination had already been held, there would be more people alive today in the region than there presently are. Every moment wasted therefore ought to sound like a tick on south Asia’s very own doomsday clock. With every further second that is ticked away, Kashmiris and Indians are both at risk of death or injury. No rational person in any country could label such a situation as acceptable.

While for the supporters of the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, the issues surrounding the occupation are those involving unbridled jingoism and a battle that puts a quest for resources ahead of justice for civilians, for Kashmiris themselves, it is a matter of being denied their UN mandated right to national self-determination which they have been waiting for since 1947.

The pressing issue of Kashmir was one of the first major challenges presented to a young United Nations Security Council which in 1949 passed Resolution 47. This resolution called for a plebiscite to allow Kashmiris to decide on their own future according to the principles of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was ratified in 1948.

Crucially, India continues to deny that Pakistan has followed the following clauses in the resolution:

“1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:

(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;

(b) To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order”.

But while Pakistan has fulfilled its duties according to a precise reading of the Resolution, India maintains that Resolution 47 calls for Pakistan to abandon the civilian administration in Azad Kashmir. India has held fast to this obstructionist position in spite of the fact that the clauses in question do not make specific mention of the civilian administration in Azad Kashmir, beyond a general and reasonable call for non-native Kashmiris to vacate the territory for the specific and limited aim of holding a free and fair plebiscite based on the indigenous population as well as indigenous Kashmiris who were displayed during the war of 1947-48.

But while arguments continue to be made regarding interpretations of Resolution 47, Kashmiris continue to pay with their lives for 72 years of sustained injustice. The only solution is for the UN to take into account a reasonable interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 47 and force the issue of the need for an immediate plebiscite throughout the entirety of Kashmir. This is absolutely necessary in order to make it so that there can be no question about the long-term status of the region.

A further matter of importance becomes clear when one realises that arguments between New Delhi and Islamabad regarding differing interpretations of the 1949 era UN Resolution do not directly take into account the feelings of Kashmiris themselves. Ultimately, the Kashmir crisis is one between the Kashmiri people and their occupier. It is only up to the Kashmiri people to define who and what is an occupier and this is why their voices must be heard by the international community without prejudice. Any nation afraid of such a plebiscite can logically be concluded to be a state afraid that its interpretation of the situation in Kashmir is one that will be exposed as incompatible with the feelings of Kashmiris.

Furthermore, as India has physically occupied much of Kashmir since 1947, there has been plenty of time for New Delhi to convince Kashmiris that they are better off in India than as an independent sovereign state or as part of Pakistan. The uptick in the intensity of the conflict within Kashmir since 1989 in particular, has demonstrated that far from using the delayed execution of the UN Resolution in order to make peace with Kashmiris, Indian forces have done everything they can to make the case for Kashmir leaving India according to the democratic will of the Kashmiri people.

Former US President John F. Kennedy famously stated:

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.

This quote could have been authored to describe the lingering deterioration of human rights and social cohesion in Kashmir as Kashmiris are pushing back only as much as they have been pushed. Contented populations are by definition not angry populations and likewise, no genuine uprising has ever been a result of prosperity, social harmony and a happy population. In this sense, the realities in Kashmir speak for themselves, not least because a genuinely contended population cannot be easily mobilised by external political proclamations.

The extent to which Kashmiris are suffering is therefore self-evident, in spite of the fact that the IOK authorities make it extremely difficult for international reporters to gain access to the streets where demonstrators are frequently beaten and killed for demanding a peaceful right to have the vote that the UN mandates that they must have.

Of course, there exists a strong temptation, perhaps an inevitable temptation for India’s ruling BJP to respond to today’s event by committing acts of completely unacceptable aggression against Pakistan. Yet such jingoistic appeals during an election season will only further teach the world a lesson that has long ago been handed down: violence begets violence.

If India truly wants events like that of today to become a thing of the past rather than a harbinger of a bleak future, India must work with its neighbour to give Kashmiris what the UN mandates that they have – a democratic and transparent say in their political future. This long overdue revelation itself comes at a time when the entire world, including the United States (but excluding India) has come to realise that Pakistan’s long held view of an all parties peace process in Afghanistan, is the only viable means to create stability in a country that in one way or another has been tearing itself apart since at least the 1970s. If the world has come to trust Pakistan’s peace agenda for Afghanistan, the only reason that something similar is supposedly not possible in respect of Kashmir, is due to a lack of will. Clearly, when peace lovers are silent, those who love the opposite of peace will make their voices heard.

While Mahatma Gandhi remains unpopular among the Hindtuva extremists that the BJP courts, it is wise to remember that he once said “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind“. In this case, New Delhi is blinding itself to the reality that a Kashmir under occupation will lead not only to literal blindness, maiming and death, but that the longer this cycle perpetuates, the worse things will get on all sides. Indian mothers should therefore consider why the government is sending their sons to be killed in a place that clearly wants to develop along the lines of a new political path. The Indian soldiers who have lost their lives Kashmir were not killed by Pakistan, these lives are being lost because of a policy that is one part murder and one part suicide – truly all have gone blind if they cannot see this for what it is.  If these matters are allowed to be discussed openly, then a broader dialogue on a peace process involving the UN mandated plebiscite can begin with sincerity.

Pakistan likewise must not allow itself to become scapegoated by New Delhi over the issue. Instead, Pakistan should reflect on its one area of guilt in the matter: the Pakistani state for far too long has acted as though it wished the Kashmir issue away. As such, is it any wonder that an ostrich with its head buried below the sand is a perfect target for an Indian state that needs someone to blame for a situation it has long been unable to control?

God willing, today’s attack will be the last such attack to ever happen in Kashmir, but such wishful thinking requires action steps in order for such a wish to transform itself into a strategic road map towards a sustainable peace. There is ultimately but one way to end the bloodshed and this is for Kashmir to be granted a full, free and fair plebiscite on its future. Until then, so long as Kashmir has no future, those attempting to undemocratically dictate Kashmir’s future will not be sailing through placid waters.

A commitment to peace must therefore be holistic and it must collectively rise above the constant finger pointing between politicians on all sides of all borders. India must not shy away from the fact that violence begets violence and that as such, today’s event has everything to do with the post-1947 history of Kashmir and nothing with the politics and actions of Pakistan. Likewise, Pakistan must ask itself how long will it wait before telling the world the truth about Kashmir, so that a harrowing occupation might be transformed into a new reality wherein the cries of peace ring out above the myopic cries for war.

Shutdown on Modi’s visit to IOK eye-opener for India: JRL

By  Staff Reporter
Source

Pakistan’s continued support to Kashmir cause hailed

Srinagar, February 04 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Joint Resistance Leadership has said that the exemplary shutdown observed on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visit to the territory, yesterday, should serve as an eye-opener for the Indian rulers that the Kashmiris reject India’s illegal occupation of their homeland.

The JRL comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement issued in Srinagar said that claiming a visit conducted under the military siege and shadow of gun as successful was ridiculous. The resistance leaders said India’s national festivals and visits of high-profile dignitaries always bring more miseries and hardships for the people of occupied Kashmir. They said that the Kashmiris were engaged in a peaceful struggle to secure their right to self-determination and would take the ongoing movement to its logical conclusion.

Senior APHC leader, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, the Grand Mufti-Designate, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, the patron of Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Syed Hussain, and the Jammu and Kashmir Tanzeem-e-Azadi said that observance of 5th February, every year, as Kashmir Solidarity Day by the government and people of Pakistan was a source of encouragement for the Kashmiris in their just freedom struggle. Agha Hassan Al-Moosvi said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were challenging a big power and Pakistan was the only country that extended its continued support to their cause.

The Illegally detained senior APHC leader and the Chairman of Democratic Freedom Party, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, in a message from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail said that there could be no peace in South Asia unless the Kashmir dispute was addressed and resolved in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations.

The Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in a meeting of its central executive committee and presided over by its Chairman, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, in Srinagar deplored that instead of respecting the sentiments of Kashmiri people, India was using its military might to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing liberation movement.

Hurriyat leaders, Zafar Akbar Butt and Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, addressing condolence and corner meetings in different areas of Srinagar and South Kashmir called for settling the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people to mitigate their sufferings.

Forceful demonstrations erupted in Tarigam village of Kulgam district, today, after Indian troops launched a cordon and search operation in the area. Indian police and troops used brute force to disperse the demonstrators, triggering clashes between the protesters and the forces’ personnel.

%d bloggers like this: