Monday, November 18, 2013

The Witness to Pakistan Pampering !


The Governor General's Files: From the history Pages
The thousand cuts
 
By S.K. Sinha October 11, 2013
The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir 

The Eye Witness Account for all of us to understand how our Foreign policy
has terribly gone wrong all this time in the last Decade.

It is time we gave up our desperate attempts to reach out to Pakistan.
Talks with Pakistan should be held from a position of strength at the official level.
 
 
The origin and history of Pakistan are of relentless hostility towards India. I can say from my personal experience that this began in the Army on June 3, 1947, a few weeks before Partition on August 15, 1947.
 
I was then serving as a major in Military Operations Directorate, South Block. 
 
I found a marked change in the attitude of some officers going to Pakistan though the majority continued to remain friendly. Colonel Akbar Khan was a full colonel in the Weapons and Equipment Directorate. There were rumors that he was close to Muhammad Ali Jinnah. On one occasion I saw him emerging from Jinnah's house in Delhi, 10, Aurangzeb Road.
 
 Mr Jinha with Mahatma Gandhi

In August 1947, Brigadier K.M. Cariappa, the senior most Indian officer, hosted a farewell party at Delhi Gymkhana Club for officers going to Pakistan. 
 
Brigadier K.M. Cariappa
 
Cariappa presented a large silver trophy showing a Hindu and a Muslim soldier kneeling and pointing their rifles in the same direction, symbolic of the two fighting together against a common enemy. In his farewell speech, Cariappa said, “We have been brothers who have lived and fought together. Though we may now be in different Armies, we will continue to be brothers.“ I could see a lot of wet eyes at the party. Akbar Khan was also there.

What an irony that within 12 weeks Pakistan launched an invasion of Kashmir by tribals and Pakistan Army personnel under the command of Akbar Khan, who had assumed the pseudonym General Tariq.
 
Starting with the war in Kashmir, Pakistan has been violating every single agreement.
 
It violated the Standstill Agreement with Kashmir, invading the state on October 22, 1947. In spite of the Suspension of Offensive Operations agreed upon on June 1, 1948, at the instance of the UN, on August 14, 1948, it overran the isolated state force garrison at Skardu Fort, Baltistan. The Indian Army retaliated with two successful operations at Zojila and beyond to Leh, and in Poonch region.
 
India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on January 1, 1949, accepting the August 13, 1948, UN ceasefire resolution.
 
This called for the total withdrawal of all Pakistan forces from Kashmir before a UN supervised plebiscite. Pakistan failed to honor this commitment and India was allowed to retain her forces in Kashmir till the plebiscite.
 
On July 27, 1949, Indian and Pakistani delegations met at Karachi for discussions to delineate the 750-km ceasefire line in Kashmir. I was the secretary of the Indian delegation.
 
The provisions of this agreement were ignored when Pakistan occupied the demilitarized Minimarg area, north of Gurais, and later tried to encroach towards Siachen glacier.
 
The Ceasefire Agreement was blatantly violated when Pakistan launched another invasion of Kashmir on August 1, 1965.
 
Initially it denied any involvement in the ongoing so-called freedom struggle in Kashmir.
 
The then Pakistan Army Chief, General Mohammad Musa, in his book My Version wrote that their operation failed in Kashmir because of lack of support from the people.
 
During the Shimla talks in 1972, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made commitments to Indira Gandhi which he failed to honor.
 
Zia-ulHaq launched his strategy of “a thousand cuts” in Kashmir. Cross-border terrorism started though Pakistan maintained that terrorism in Kashmir was the “freedom struggle” of the people of Kashmir and Pakistan had no hand in it beyond providing moral support.
 
The cat was out of the bag when a director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence told the Pakistan National Assembly that the ISI had been sponsoring cross-border terrorism in Kashmir.
 
And, in 2000, Pakistan launched its Kargil intrusion, violating the Line of Control.
 
In 2003, I was governor of Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
The Army resorted to heavy suppressive fire at the LoC whenever there was any firing from the other side. We had been getting the better of them in these artillery duels.
 
In January 2004, Pervez Musharraf, in his meeting with then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, declared that Pakistan would not allow any cross-border terrorism from its territory. This agreement held good for five years.
 
Then Pakistan reverted to playing its old game.
 
In January 2013, Indian soldiers were beheaded by Pakistani Army personnel. Dr Singh had then said, “Terrorism and talks cannot go together.” However, he soon forgot that and engaged in talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently in New York despite stepped up Pakistani violence on the LoC.

As governor of Kashmir from 2003-2008, 

I urged that we should not agree to open the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road till we got Pakistan to agree to open the Kargil-Skardu road. 

Pakistan had been committing atrocities on the local population of Gilgit-Baltistan and repeated uprisings have been quelled by the Pakistan Army. We never gave even moral support to these suppressed people though we claim that the whole of the state is an integral part of India.
 
Some dissident leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan met me and apprised me of their plight They said they had nothing in common with Kashmiri Muslims. The Kargil Shia Muslims were their kith and kin. They wanted the Kargil-Skardu Road opened.
 
I urged the then foreign minister, who was to visit Islamabad shortly, to contact these dissident leaders. He accepted my suggestion but on return told me that it was decided not to ruffle feathers.
 
 
Dr Singh has held 16 meetings with the Prime Ministers of Pakistan in the last nine years.
 
At Havana, he agreed to a joint mechanism with Pakistan to look into cases of LoC violations placing the aggressor and the one transgressed against on the same footing.
 
At Sharm el-Sheikh he agreed to include Balochistan in the joint statement, implying that India was intervening in Balochistan like Pakistan was in Kashmir.
 
The latest is his meeting last month with Mr Sharif in New York. 
 
The latter made fun of his complaining to US President Barack Obama against Pakistan and even made the infamous “dehati aurat“ remark.
 
Nothing was achieved at these talks beyond the two Directors-General of Military Operations holding dialogues that they have been holding for so many years.During and after the talks in New York, violence by the Pakistan Army on the LoC has increased.
 
It is time we gave up our desperate attempts to reach out to Pakistan.
Talks with Pakistan should be held from a position of strength at the official level.
 
Talks at the apex level should take place only when Pakistan takes positive action on the ground.


By S.K. Sinha October 11, 2013
The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir