[Reader-list] SACW #2. (24 Dec. 01)

Harsh Kapoor aiindex at mnet.fr
Mon Dec 24 15:59:42 IST 2001

South Asia Citizens Wire  | Dispatch #2   |    24 December 2001

#1. India: People for Peace - We the citizens of India want peace not war.
- Human Chain  For Peace At India Gate,New Delhi / 25Th December 2001
#2. Pakistanis speakup : Joint Statement by Malik Meraj Khalid, 
Muhammad Haneef Ramay, Dr Mubashir Hasan
#3. Retaliation for Dec 13 - Armed attack is no answer (Praful Bidwai)
#4. Where is The Indian Peace Movement? (Shankar Gopalakrishnan)
#5. Kashmir's Islamic Guerrillas See Little to Fear From U.S. (John F. Burns)
#6. The India-Pakistan Conflict Lies Threatening in the Wings
  Bush's goal should be to bolster Musharraf. (Mansoor Ijaz)
#7. India Pakistan Arms Race & Militarisation Watch (IPARMW) # 57
23 December 2001



24 Dec 2001 14:07:04 +0530
People for Peace

At a meeting held on December 22, 2001, peace activists  from many 
civil society organizations met at the India Social  Institute and 
resolved the following:

We the people of India want to live in peace with our  neighbors just 
as our neighbors wish to live with us.  We do  not wish for war, 
death and destruction. Therefore it is  imperative that the war 
mongering which is gathering steam  be immediately curtailed.

At the outset let it be said that the nuclearization of South  Asia 
in the year 1999 was a disastrous step and its  consequences are 
being felt every moment of our lives. We  do not perish in a nuclear 

We wish to unequivocally denounce terrorism wherever in  the world it 
occurs; this condemnation includes state  terrorism manifested in 
terrorism by the police. Citizens are  being harassed in the name of 
security. In this respect, we  urge the media to be a watchdog of 
human rights and the  sentinel of peace, and to dissociate itself 
from the hysteria  that vested interests may wish to spread.

At the same time we are fully conscious to the fact that the 
government of India is using the current situation to push its 
authoritarian agenda.  We condemn this modus operandi.  Instead of 
viewing every event and incidence as ‘law and  order problem’ or as 
‘terrorist attack’ the ruling  establishment should try to go into 
the root cause of social  crisis that is confronting the country.

Given the fact that India, the land of Mahatma Buddha and Mahatma 
Gandhi has always had a tradition of keeping its  doors open to one 
and all and also open to dialogue, we  condemn the recent move by the 
government to ban the  Samjhauta Express and the Sadhbhavna bus 
between India  and Pakistan. It will cause the greatest harm to 
common  people for whom it meant family reunification. We condemn 
the government's decision to recall the Indian High  Commissioner 
from Islamabad. This attitude of `diplomatic  punishment’ is not in 
keeping with the dignity and the tradition of India.

We deplore the fact that in this game of brinksmanship all  the real 
issues have been forgotten; most importantly the  issue of Kashmir, 
and the aspirations of the people of  Kashmir. All the moves being 
contemplated by the  government to reduce the daily trauma of the 
people of  Kashmir lie forgotten.

We urge the government to withdraw its sanction against  the train 
and bus to Pakistan and allow the people to people  contact to 
continue. Talks should immediately be resumed  at the highest level 
within the framework of SAARC and  efforts should be made to find 
political not military solutions  to outstanding problems.

Finally, the silence of the majority is being misinterpreted as 
popular endorsement to war mongering. We appeal to our  sisters and 
brothers in both countries to speak up for peace  and not let the 
current crisis escalate into a holocaust by  default.

We the citizens of India want peace not war.

People for Peace will form A Human Chain for Peace at the  Amar Jawan 
Jyoti, near India Gate on the 25th Tuesday the  birthday of the 
‘Apostle of Peace’ from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm.

A delegation will meet the President of India and the leaders  of 
political parities to hand over this statement and send the  same to 
members of civil society in Pakistan.

A meeting has been organised for 29th or 31st of December  to review 
the situation and to plan the future course of  action.

Nirmala Deshpande			Former M.P.
Achin Vanaik				MIND
Col.V.S.Verma			IPSI, Noida
Col. A.R. Khan			IPSI, Noida
V. Mohini Giri				Guild of Services
Syeda Hameed			New Delhi
Ritu Menon				Pancheel park
Iqbal A. Ansari				Jamia Nagar
R.M. Pal				PUCL
John Dayal				Media Apartments, I.P. Extension
Safeer Mahmood			Press Indian News Services
Lt.Gen.(Dr.) M.M. Walia		IPSI, Noida
Valson Thampu			St. Stephen’s Hospital
Fr. Bento Rodriques			Fr. Agnel Ashram
Felicio Cardoso			Seraulim, Salcete, Goa
Smitu Kothari				Lokayan, Pancheel Park
Prakash Louis				Indian Social Institute
Peter Lewron				New Delhi
Lekha Bhagat				New Delhi
Mahi Pal Singh			PUCL
N.D. Pancholi				Champa foundation
/C. S.Chandrasekhar		IPSI, Noida
Mrs. Naheed  Taban			Zakir Nagar
Azra Rizvi				Zakir Nagar
Brinda Singh				Pascheel Park
Aurobindo Ghose			Keshva puram
Mary Scaria				Justice & Peace Commission
Iqbal Jamil				Taj Enclave
Rizwan Quiser				Jamia Nagar
Ajeet Cour				Academy of Fine Arts & Literatures
Aruna Pai Panandiker			Gurgaon
Brig. S.G. Gorver			Noida
Mrs. Prabha Grover			Noida
Navaid Hamid				Balli Maran, Delhi
Bindia Thaper				NDSE-I

o o o o
           TUESDAY: THE 25TH December 2001

Dear friend,
       All those who have been involved in promoting
peace and friendly relations between India & Pakistan
are deeply perturbed over the  present rising tension
between the two countries. The sudden and unilateral
decision of the NDA Government of India in recalling
the Indian High Commissioner from Islamabad,
cancellation of Samjhouta Express and Lahore Bus
Service from 1st January 2001 have been received with
shock and disbelief. There seems to be a  deliberate
attempt to  create war hysteria and drive the two
countries on a collision course.
     A meeting of  representatives of large number of
organizations was held at  the Indian Social Institute
today to decide as to what action could be taken by
the concerned citizens to prevent the dangerous
  Meeting was  convened  at the initiative of Smt.
Nirmala Deshpande, Syeda Hamid and Achin Vanaik.  It
was decided to  organize a human chain between 11 to 1
PM  on Tuesday, the 25th December 2001
at the India Gate.
      All are requested to participate in large
numbers. Please forward this message to other friends.
22nd December 2001    For Champa-The Amiya & B.G.Rao




Malik Meraj Khalid former Prime Minister of Pakistan
Muhammad Haneef Ramay Former Chief Minister of Punjab
Dr. Mubashir Hasan, Former Finance Minister

India's action to recall its High Commissioner from Islamabad and to 
suspend train and bus service is unfortunate but understandable. The 
situation demanded vigor and sympathy from government of Pakistan at 
the dastardly attack on the Indian Parliament. A critical situation 
has developed.

The armed forces of Pakistan and India are standing face to face on 
the borders, but we need peace not war. The governments of our two 
neighborly countries owe it to their peoples to use their resources 
on alleviating poverty rather than wasting them on wars or for 
preparation of wars. Nothing could be more ill advised for us to 
engage in any military conflict or confrontation when the entire 
world is planning to participate in the economic activity to be 
launched in Asia directly in our region.

President Parvez Musharraf took the first step in the right direction 
by distancing Pakistan from Taliban of Afghanistan. But that was only 
a first
step that demanded more and more steps in the same direction. Pakistan
should not be a safe haven for the extremists to carry on their mission of
hatred. Prime Minister Vajpayee took a most commendable step by inviting
President Parvez Musharraf to Agra. Good but not sufficient. That step also
needed a persistent follow-up. No doubt, there are complex and serious
problems like Kashmir between Pakistan and India, but once our two
governments realize their primary duty towards their peoples, these 
problems would be cut to size and it would not to be too difficult to 
resolve them through genuine negotiation.

There are strong hawkish groups in Pakistan and India who would love 
to light the flames of war. We appreciate that President Musharraf 
and Prime
Minister Vajpayee are showing restraint. All saner elements and peace
loving people of our two countries must raise their voice against any 
kind of war between India and Pakistan.

Both Pakistan and India have enough internal problems. Now that both 
have attained nuclear capacity, it is their responsibility to 
exercise greater tolerance. It is time to start negotiating for some 
honorable and acceptable solution to our problems including Kashmir. 
It is time for decisions. It is time for statesmanship.

The international political climate favours peace. Both Pakistan and India
should do their best to control their extremists. It is not in the interest
of any government or people to have in their midst armed bands and their
training facilities. The errors made by former governments to allow such
bodies to form and grow should be corrected. It will be a great tragedy if
they miss this opportunity. In case they engage militarily, there is every
danger that some peace plan is imposed on them by the international
community. To avoid that eventuality, the leaders of Pakistan and India
must reach out and embrace one another in the best interest of their
peoples and in the true sprit of peace and justice.

We urge all the peace loving peoples' of both countries actively to 
support their respective governments in the efforts at establishing 
permanent peace.

SIGNED: Malik Meraj Khalid, Muhammad Haneef Ramay, Dr Mubashir Hasan

True Copy: Signed Mubashir Hasan

Dated: 22-12-2001


[ Column 24 December 2001]

Retaliation for Dec 13
Armed attack is no answer
By Praful Bidwai

It is a relief that the initial responses to the hair-raising 
terrorist attack on Parliament House have significantly mellowed. 
Hawkish elements, who saw in the incident a big chance to "do an 
America" (or Israel) on Pakistan through "retaliatory" strikes 
against "terrorist camps" across the border, have somewhat sobered 
down. Not many government leaders now talk of an immediate, 
"decisive, final" struggle against terrorism. But the danger of an 
outbreak of war has NOT passed. Troop and tank movements near the 
border show the danger remains real. Prime Minister Vajpayee's 
"tough" Parliament speech has further stoked it.

Very few people in the country, leave alone outside it, buy the 
hawks' fanciful argument that the December 13 attack, condemnable and 
ghastly as it was, constitutes an "act of war", and is in turn a 
casus belli, or a rationale for war. Their hopes that the US would 
energetically follow up its initial statement of shock, sympathy, and 
support for "appropriate action" on India's part, have been dashed by 
President Bush's and Mr Colin Powell's repeated calls for restraint. 
India's own armed services chiefs reportedly told the Cabinet on 
December 17 that they prefer a measured political and diplomatic 
offensive and won't be stampeded into military retaliation. The 
government still says an attack on Pakistani territory is the "last 
option", not the first.

There is a powerful case against this "last option". A mature, 
cool-headed, self-confident response should concentrate on 
identifying and politically isolating those responsible for the 
December 13 attack, and their backers. To start with, it is vital to 
recognise that the official case linking the episode with 
"Pakistan-based and -backed" groups, and hence with Islamabad, is 
weak; the evidence far from clinching. Home Minister Advani has 
essentially repeated Delhi police commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma's 
version of events after the arrest of Prof Syed A.R. Geelani and 
other suspects. There are numerous problems with the official 
version(s), which the US now arrogantly demands to see--and 
presumably, to judge.

* First, Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh named Lashkar-e-Toiba as the 
culprit. Then, the Intelligence Bureau and Delhi police named 
Jaish-e-Mohammed. Mr Advani has taken the police's line, and added 
LeT's name--without citing persuasive evidence. But, as we see below, 
LeT and JeM are disparate, competing, organisations.

* All five (now dead) attackers were said to be Pakistani, although 
their specific identities and affiliations have not been revealed. 
But all the rounded-up suspects are Indian nationals, whose links 
with the attackers are indirect and distant, e.g. a February meeting 
between JeM commander Ghazi Baba and Mohammed Afzal. The police have 
still not established the necessary direct and continual links.

* Were there only five terrorists? Or was there a sixth man, as 
eyewitnesses claim?

* Prof Geelani is described by the police as a Hurriyat/JKLF 
sympathiser, also involved in "Left-wing politics" in Delhi's Zakir 
Hussain College. His colleagues contradict this. Sympathy for the 
JKLF cannot even remotely constitute a "terrorist" link. Mr Yaseen 
Malik wouldn't know what to do with a Kalashnikov!

* The first police account says the terrorists had RDX high 
explosive. But the subsequent version says they bought ammonium 
nitrate, sulphur, etc.--all gunpowder-like low explosives.

Let's face it. The attack on Parliament House was an amateurish 
affair, executed by desperados whose primitive planning skills and 
military talent hardly match their intense anti-India hatred--unlike 
the bombing of the J&K Assembly or suicide-attacks on Badamibagh 
Cantonment. This by itself does not disprove the involvement of the 
ISI or other Pakistani agencies, but it suggests that the groups' 
operations were not directed in minute detail by a professional 
subversive agency.

More generally, it makes little political (itals political) sense for 
Pakistani official agencies to undertake or closely supervise 
high-risk terrorist operations when Islamabad is on the defensive and 
under extremely close American watch. Being caught on the wrong foot 
risks squandering Islamabad's recent gains in overcoming its 
political isolation. Evidence of its involvement will invite US 
hostility just when the Americans are setting up a base at Jacobabad.

Even assuming the ISI acted off its own bat, i.e. without Gen 
Musharraf's consent, it does not make sense for India to attack 
terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Such attacks won't 
punish the ISI, as distinct from its trainees and clients. Nor will 
they counter anti-India sentiment or future activity. Such 
retaliation will seem more like an act of blind revenge than a 
militarily effective, well-considered, targeted, action. Some 
reality-checks are also in order about the hyped-up "training camps". 
According to "The Hindustan Times", the armed services chiefs told 
the Cabinet these camps are "no more than drill squares and firing 
ranges"; strikes against them will have little impact. Also, many 
camps are located deep inside Pakistani territory--in JeM's case, in 

Thus, it makes eminent sense to demand, as the armed forces chiefs 
did, that the psychological impact of possible strikes be weighed 
against the military escalation they would cause. Crossing the LoC 
could lead to a four-to-six week war, even a nuclear exchange. Unlike 
the US-Taliban case and the Israel-Palestine case, which are both 
highly asymmetrical in military capabilities, India and Pakistan are 
relatively evenly balanced. Both possess nuclear weapons. Any use of 
emphasise)--irrespective of the circumstances. Even the possibility 
of a threat of use must be defused. Nuclear wars cannot be won. They 
are suicidal and genocidal for all concerned.

Thus, India should not imitate US or Israel in launching blind 
retaliatory attacks. As repeatedly argued in this Column, the US was 
wrong to have attacked Afghanistan in the first place. Three months 
after September 11, it is still hard-put to muster clinching evidence 
of Al-Qaeda's direct culpability--as the latest, far-from-convincing, 
Jalalabad videotape shows. Israel was even more reprehensible to have 
launched murderous assaults on Palestinian civilians. Such vengeful 
attacks can only vitiate the moral-political climate and render the 
fight against terrorism more difficult.

India, located in the world's most dangerous and disaster-prone 
region--the only region with a 50 year-long hot-cold war between the 
same two rivals--does not have the luxury of crossing the LoC on mere 
suspicion or surmise. It must produce clinching, irrefutable evidence 
of Pakistan's culpability and concentrate on exploring non-military 
options. Of course, it goes without saying that India must not 
fatalistically or stoically condone December 13 and lapse into 

Practically, what should New Delhi do? The present climate is 
extraordinarily favourable to politically isolating terrorist groups. 
India must patiently build a convincing case against the December 13 
culprits--on the strength of hard, unimpeachable evidence. (This is 
still to be gathered). Here, it just won't do to conflate JeM with 
LeT. JeM (estd. 2000) is linked to the Deobandis of Pakistan, in 
particular, Masood Azhar. Its headquarters is at the Binori madrassa 
in suburban Karachi.

LeT was set up in 1987 and functions under the aegis of 
Markaz-Dawatul-Irshad of Muridke, near Lahore. Its head is Hafiz 
Muhammad Saeed, a retired theology teacher. LeT has strong Saudi 
Arabian Wahhabi affinities and financial links. It is the only group 
active in Kashmir, which is linked to, and part of, the Al-Qaeda 
network. Bin Laden, incidentally, is not particularly supportive of 
Kashmiri independence, which he sees as "interfering" with his 
pan-Islamic vision, based on the global ummah or Islamic community.

Once it reconciles its varying accounts and arms itself with solid 
evidence on those actually involved in the Parliament House attack, 
New Delhi should move the UN Security Council, citing Resolution 
1373. This mandates all states to act against terrorist groups. This 
move must be backed up with a well-focussed, serious, independent, 
diplomatic offensive, not just jumping on the "anti-terror" 
bandwagon. The ideal forum for bringing the culprits to book would be 
the International Criminal Court, which is supported by more than 150 
states and is about to come into existence. Regrettably, 
India--guided, like the US, by a dangerously mistaken notion of 
national sovereignty--opposes the Court, indeed all supra-national 
criminal jurisdiction. New Delhi must change and accept an 
international criminal forum, which alone can keep pace with the 
internationalisation of crime and of terrorism.

India's case will be greatly strengthened if the Vajpayee government 
fights off the temptation to exploit the present situation 
electorally in Uttar Pradesh. It must instead adopt a policy of 
transparency in Kashmir, scrupulously respect human rights, and start 
a dialogue for peace and reconciliation with Pakistan, leading to a 
just resolution of the Kashmir problem in consultation with its 

We should not run away with our own rhetoric about "cross-border" 
terrorism--to obscure and evade India's responsibility for the mess 
in Kashmir. True, Pakistan has, deplorably, exploited this mess to 
its own advantage. But India's own culpability, aggravated by gross 
human rights violations, cannot be denied. Reforming the present 
situation, and taking a bold, independent multilateral anti-terrorist 
initiative could be India's best contribution to a healthier, kinder, 
more humane, world--as well as to creating a more secure domestic 
society, in which terrorism gets discredited because true justice is 
delivered. -end--



24 December 2001

Letter to SACW by Shankar Gopalakrishnan


This may appear to be a criticism, but I hope people
will take it more as it is intended: as a statement of

The other day I saw a news photo of children carrying
doves.  Ah, I thought, at last the peace marches have
begun.  But the caption said: "peace march in Lahore,

So my question is: where are the Indian counterparts?
What are we doing on this side of the border?  Why is
it that our peace movement seems to have fallen
completely silent, other than a few position papers?

Within days of September 11th, there were marches in
New  York City against war.  Granted these are
different circumstances, but here we also have two
nuclear powers teetering very close to mutual
destruction.  And the VHP, trustworthy as always, is
taking out virulent rallies calling for war.  Are we
too scared of the Hindutva brigades to reply?  Too
frightened of being branded Pakistan-lovers?  If even
the Americans, with their almost totally depoliticized
democracy, could respond so quickly, couldn't we do
the same?

I do not have the contacts right now to know what
people's organizations are planning.  But I do hope
that sometime in the near future we will see India's
wellsprings of democracy, community, and compassion -
so central to our polity - return to the public stage.
  This is after all the land of Gandhi, even if it
seems that in less than a human lifetime his basic
message has disappeared entirely from the political

We cannot afford to let the warmongers win on this
one.  They have seized the initiative far too often
before; this time at least we have to remind people of
the sufferings of Kashmiris because of security forces
and militants, the innocent deaths in communal riots
and pogroms, and ask if we need to add a nuclear war
to all these other curses of our nation.



The New York Times
December 24, 2001


Kashmir's Islamic Guerrillas See Little to Fear From U.S.
Pakistani border guards, right, and Indian counterparts held a 
ceremony at the border crossing near Lahore.

MURIDKE, Pakistan, Dec. 23 - The signboard has disappeared now, gone 
from the clutter of brightly painted ads for American soft drinks and 
tire vulcanizers and the merchants who live off the traffic that 
thunders down the Grand Trunk Road, which starts on the Afghan border 
400 miles from here and ends 1,000 miles away, in Calcutta.

The town of Muridke was never much more than a dusty way-station on 
the strategic highway built when Pakistan and India were part of 
British-ruled India. If the town has had a claim on the consciousness 
of 140 million Pakistanis, it lay in the missing sign, for an Islamic 
militant organization known in English as the Army of the Pure, in 
Urdu as Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose spiritual headquarters lies a mile or 
so off among the green rice paddies and grazing buffalo that flank 
the highway.

The sign came down some time last week, just before President Bush 
announced that he was adding Lashkar-e-Taiba to the United States' 
official list of terrorist organizations, and asking Pakistan's 
military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to arrest Lashkar's leaders 
and disband it.

Mr. Bush cited India's accusations that the group was behind an 
attack on Dec. 13 on the Indian Parliament in which 14 people died, 
including all 5 attackers. Lashkar has denied any involvement, and 
Pakistan, implying Indian mischief, has demanded that India produce 
its evidence.

Down the dirt road leading to the compound of Lashkar's parent 
organization, the Center for the Call to Righteousness, Mr. Bush's 
action, and the possibility that General Musharraf will begin his own 
crackdown when he returns from an official visit to China on Monday, 
is greeted with studied indifference.

"That's Bush's headache, and Musharraf's, not ours," said Rashid 
Minhas, a 28-year-old Pakistani who is rector of the 200-acre 
educational complex where 1,200 students are steeped in the tenets of 
militant Islam - and, according to Western and Indian intelligence 
reports, in the basics of "jihad," or holy war.

"Let Bush do what he will; our duty as Muslims is to follow the 
teachings of the holy prophet," Mr. Minhas said during an hour-long 
tour of the campus in which he waved away any questions relating to 
the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the attacks of Sept. 11, Osama bin 
Laden or the disputed territory of Kashmir, where Lashkar's Islamic 
fighters have been challenging Indian rule for much of the past 
decade. "We are not frightened of Bush, we are only fearful of God."

Even if it was carefully rendered for the benefit of a Western 
visitor, the indifference reflected something common among Islamic 
militants. It is a sense that God's will, and certainly not American 
power, is the ultimate driving force of mankind's affairs. It also 
seemed to echo something of the turbulent history of the region, and 
the fatalism it has engendered in succeeding generations.

When Britain divided its Indian Empire into two independent states in 
1947, at least a million people died in rioting that followed, many 
of them only a short distance from here along the Grand Trunk Road 
and the rail line across the Punjab that carried fleeing Hindus east 
to India and fleeing Muslims west to Pakistan. Since 1947, the two 
countries have fought three wars, adding tens of thousands more 

The wounds are kept fresh, more than 50 years later, by frequent 
killings in Kashmir, the one territory that remains disputed between 
the two countries today.

For the Bush administration, naming Lashkar to a list that also 
contains Mr. bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist group was, in a sense, a 
natural step after Sept. 11. Since it first appeared in Kashmir in 
the early 1990's, Lashkar has been known for ambushes, bombings and 
assassinations that have concentrated on the Indian army and police, 
but also killed large numbers of civilians. With a smaller Islamic 
militant group, Jaish-e-Muhammad, previously named to the American 
terrorist list, Lashkar has been cited, over the last three years, 
for about three- quarters of all Pakistan-backed attacks in 
Indian-ruled Kashmir.

For India, getting the groups declared terrorist organizations by the 
United States, and persuading Mr. Bush to press General Musharraf to 
disband them, was a strategic goal from the moment of the Sept. 11 
attacks. In New Delhi, Mr. Bush's war on terrorism was greeted as a 
rare opportunity to accomplish what perhaps half a million Indian 
troops and police have been unable to achieve - to suppress, at their 
source in Pakistan, the groups that have kept India's rule in Kashmir 
violent, costly and fragile.

In Pakistan, too, there were few who did not see Sept. 11 as a 
watershed for what are known here as "Kashmiri freedom fighters." For 
years, it has been an open secret among Pakistani intelligence 
officers that Lashkar has had links with Al Qaeda, and that Lashkar's 
installations were ports of call for Arab "holy warriors" heading 
west to Afghanistan or northeast to Indian- ruled Kashmir. Hafiz 
Muhammad Saeed, who founded Lashkar after teaching Islamic theology 
in Lahore, has praised Mr. bin Laden in his speeches and on the 
group's Web site.

But for many Pakistanis, branding Lashkar a terrorist organization is 
nowhere near as obvious a sequel to the events of Sept. 11 as it must 
have seemed to Mr. Bush. In Pakistan, the struggle for Kashmir is an 
epic that no Pakistani leader could abandon without risk of immediate 
ouster, by fellow politicians or the army.

The bottom line on Kashmir, in Pakistan, is that more than 80 percent 
of Kashmiris, in India and Pakistan, are Muslims - and that those 
living in the Indian-ruled part, known as Jammu and Kashmir, were 
never given the right to vote on whether to join India or Pakistan 
that India guaranteed them in United Nations Security Council 
resolutions 50 years ago.

Once Lashkar has been suppressed, many Pakistanis say, India will 
demand the proscription in Pakistan of any group that tries to join 
the "freedom struggle" in Kashmir - and, relieved of armed 
confrontation, will persist in refusing any move toward 

The point is one that has been widely debated around the world: In a 
global war on terrorism, where is the line to be drawn between 
"terrorism" and legitimate armed struggle? It is a distinction that 
has been frequently made by General Musharraf, who has insisted that 
the United States draw a line between "freedom struggles" like the 
one in Kashmir and terrorism of the kind that occurred on Sept. 11, 
when the sole purpose of the attacks, the general says, was to kill 
innocent civilians.

Mr. Saeed, the Lashkar leader, in statements on the group's Web site, 
has sought to differentiate the group's military activities from 
those of Al Qaeda. Just before Mr. Bush's announcement last week, Mr. 
Saeed said that "all operations by Kashmiris under Lashkar-e-Taiba's 
command have been carried out against the Indian Army with the sole 
purpose of protecting the local population from repression," and that 
any civilian casualties were "a regretful exception."

"We may differ with U.S. policy, and that is our right, but we do not 
mean any harm to any U.S. citizen or property," he said.

For General Musharraf, deciding what actions to take against Lashkar 
will be a tricky matter. On Saturday, the general's aides instructed 
the State Bank of Pakistan to freeze Lashkar bank accounts. Mr. 
Saeed, the Lashkar leader, described that action on his Web site as 
meaningless, since Lashkar owns no bank accounts or buildings and 
counts as its "only assets" the holy warriors in Kashmir. In 
practice, Pakistani officials say, all of the money in Mr. Saeed's 
Islamic empire has been vested in Lashkar's parent organization. .

In the face of popular feelings and his own hard-line record, General 
Musharraf seems unlikely to go as far as President Bush has urged, 
arresting Mr. Saeed and uprooting Lashkar and its fighters.

But even if he does order Lashkar closed down, senior Pakistani 
officials say, it is likely to be prelude to a shell game that has 
occurred before, in which groups that have become too contentious for 
Pakistan to continue supporting have "re-badged" themselves under new 
names, and resumed their attacks in Kashmir.

"If what Bush wants is that we simply give India what it wants, he's 
dreaming," one official said. "Whatever we do, you can be sure that 
it won't be an end to the struggle for Kashmir."



Los Angeles Times
December 23, 2001
The India-Pakistan Conflict Lies Threatening in the Wings
  Bush's goal should be to bolster Musharraf.

As U.S. Defense Department hawks train their sights on Saddam Hussein 
for their next target, a more dangerous and immediate threat looms in 
South Asia: a war between India and Pakistan born from the remnants 
of Al Qaeda terrorists fleeing Afghanistan for the foothills of 
disputed Kashmir--perhaps their last haven on Earth. These two 
nuclear-armed neighbors have gone to war two times over Kashmir since 
the 1947 partition.
Preventing a fourth Indo-Pakistani war--one with nuclear 
ramifications--needs to rise quickly to the top of the White House 
agenda before military hawks in Islamabad and New Delhi decide jet 
raids and missile launchers are the preferred instruments of 
dialogue. President Bush's move Thursday to shut down funding to 
Lashkar-e-Taiba was a good start. This is the declared terrorist 
group operating in Kashmir and the one Bush said is responsible for 
the Dec. 13 attack on the Indian Parliament that killed at least 12 
people. But a more important step is ensuring Pakistan's long-term 
stability and President Pervez Musharraf's viability in office. India 
should assist Musharraf in fighting the evil in his midst rather than 
condemning him for it, and perhaps thereby fatally wounding his 
regime. At home, Musharraf cannot withstand an iota of challenge to 
his support for Kashmir's indigenous militancy after essentially 
betraying--in the eyes of Islamic fanatics--the Taliban and Osama bin 
Laden. Abroad, he can no longer be seen as looking the other way 
while Arab terrorists infiltrate the ranks of Kashmiri militant 
groups and bring their money, guns, firebrand Islam and terrorist 
methods to South Asia.
In New Delhi, the argument for ratcheting up tensions with Pakistan 
to wartime levels is simplistic. Terrorists are terrorists, and those 
who attacked the Parliament building with alleged support from 
Islamabad are the same breed who have for years attacked Indian 
targets in occupied Kashmir. If the United States can hunt down Bin 
Laden and Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, why can't New Delhi go 
after Lashkar militants across the Line of Control into Pakistan-held 
Such thinking is nothing more than a recipe for provoking war. The 
harsher truth is that New Delhi's most ardent hawk, Home Affairs 
Minister Lal Krishna Advani, is raising the ante to save his ruling 
nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party from embarrassing results in state 
elections that could cost the party its majority in Parliament and 
unseat Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Advani is considered by 
most to be the de facto ruling force in India.
But local politics is hardly reason to stoke the fires of war with a 
perpetually unstable neighbor whose hawkish generals would love to 
teach India a military lesson, regardless of the consequences.
Rhetoric aside, India's military preparations during the past week 
indicate more than just talk is forthcoming. Air bases in Kashmir and 
along the Pakistani border have been activated for military 
operations. Troops are being moved closer to the border and 
reinforcements are being sent to Kashmir at a time when normally they 
come home from the winter snows. A single incursion across the Line 
of Control by Indian army personnel or air force jets would be the 
matchstick that lights the flame.
Pakistan, of course, is not without blame. Musharraf can't have it 
both ways. He can't support what started as an indigenous movement 
for self-determination in Kashmir and not recognize that the same 
movement has been hijacked by Arab and Afro-Arab terrorists. He can't 
hail Pakistani intelligence as a constructive force in stabilizing 
the region when all the Inter-Services Intelligence agency 
(Pakistan's CIA) has ever done is sow seeds of instability from 
Afghanistan to Kashmir.
Musharraf realizes he has a dilemma. The question is whether India 
realizes he does and whether New Delhi hard-liners are willing to 
give him the time and space to clean up his mess.
Musharraf's intent is clear. He closed down religious schools that 
taught firebrand Islam by day and bred the Kalishnikov culture by 
night. He pulled his intelligence agents out of Afghanistan, 
facilitating Kabul's rapid fall. He dismissed his intelligence chief 
for conducting operations diametrically opposed to the U.S. and 
allied effort to quash Al Qaeda. He even agreed to let the FBI go to 
Pakistan to investigate any evidence presented by New Delhi of 
official Pakistani complicity in the attack on Parliament.
Still, Musharraf can do more. He should cite the U.S. freezing of 
Lashkar assets as reason enough to completely dismantle all 
Arab-dominated militant groups operating in Pakistan and deport 
non-Pakistanis to their homelands even if it means losing the Arab 
world's financial support. A similar purging of Islamic zealots in 
his military intelligence services would send an equally strong 
India cannot eradicate terrorists from the midst of Kashmiris by 
attacking a Pakistan that is delicately balanced on terrorism's 
ledge. New Delhi's legitimate security concerns will only be 
redressed when it is prepared to offer viable political solutions for 
the Kashmiri people that replace rhetorical threats of war against 
them--and Pakistan.
Mansoor Ijaz, an American Muslim of Pakistani origin, is a member of 
the Council on Foreign Relations.


India Pakistan Arms Race & Militarisation Watch (IPARMW) # 57
23 December 2001


SACW is an informal, independent & non-profit citizens wire service run by
South Asia Citizens Web (http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex) since 1996. To 
subscribe send a blank
message to: <act-subscribe at yahoogroups.com> / To unsubscribe send a blank
message to: <act-unsubscribe at yahoogroups.com>
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.

More information about the reader-list mailing list