[Reader-list] Appended RE: ... propoganda...??.. Press Statement: Militarized Governance in Kashmir

Lalit Ambardar lalitambardar at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 30 20:56:30 IST 2010

"....They also collaborate with Hindu nationalists in instituting "self-defence" campaigns and militias, such as forming the 100 Village Defence Committees announced in May 2010, promoting militarized Hindu nationalism......"
Lies,lies & damn lies....Hindu existance was wiped out in Kashmir valley long ago following  their ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Pakistan fostered Kashmiri pan Islamists in 1989-90. 
Certainly the  signitaries are aware that Kashmiri Hindu Pandits are languishing as refugees in their own country for the past two decades.Yet ,falsehood is being propogated to fool the world. 
The situation in Kashmir is also described by Kuldip Nayar in "Kashmir without a soul" (Dawn /Oct.23, 2009) .Kuldip Nayar is no less a sympathiser of the Kashmiri Muslim separatists.
For those who might have missed it ,here is the link:http:


FROM THE PAPER > Editorial /Dawn.COM

Kashmir without a soul 
By Kuldip Nayar 
Friday, 23 Oct, 2009 

IT is unbelievable but Srinagar has changed beyond recognition in the past four years since I was there last. Right from the swanky new airport to the hotel, a distance of about 10 km, there is modern construction. 

However, trees have been cut down mercilessly to accommodate fancy thoroughfares. Walls running along the road have been demolished and the rubble is there for all to see. As I covered the journey to my hotel, I missed the old Kashmiri houses from where women with long trinkets would peer out. 

Shops are well stocked and full of customers. Too much money is flowing in and the guess is that it is from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India in that order. The number of cars on the road is many times more than before. There are traffic jams and one has to keep the snarls in mind when one plans a trip. People move freely. I saw many women on the road without burka or headwear. 

Militancy is by and large over. Some terrorists strike once in a while. They attacked the police at Lal Chowk recently. But I get the feeling that the media magnifies stray incidents. When attacks were a regular feature, there was curfew after sunset. Now the people are on the road even at 11 pm. 

I did not see a single policeman on the road from the airport. Bunkers are mostly gone. I found one at Lal Chowk where some policemen stood with their fingers on the trigger. Papa One and Papa Two, the interrogation centres, have been closed. But detentions still take place. The biggest worry is the occasional disappearance of youth. Incidents like the rape of two women at Shopian are rare. But whenever they take place, they infuriate the people to the extent that they come out on the streets. 

The mode of search, whether of a vehicle or a person, has changed. Policemen are more polite and less intrusive. Still a member of a very respected family told me how he and his wife were stopped on the road. A policeman wanted to search the woman but on his insistence a female officer did so. 

The anti-India feeling is there beneath the surface. People are not afraid of saying so. However, pro-Pakistan sentiments have practically disappeared, more because of the Kashmiris’ perception of the mess in which the country is. 

I found the Hurriyat leaders sober. One leader told me that they had vibes from Delhi that something positive would emerge. They are looking forward to talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There is an effort to have a consensus among the different parties, including the Hurriyat, before the prime minister’s arrival. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wants New Delhi to talk to all political parties but has also emphasised that India should have a dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir problem. 

It was an interesting talk which I heard when I was sitting with the Hurriyat leaders. A young Pakistani American told them that what had surprised him after the span of three years since his last visit was that Kashmir was “being assimilated by India quickly”. They were embarrassed but did not want to reply to him in my presence. 

Born in Kashmir, this young man is a member of a think tank in Washington. He told them that free state elections, watched by a large number of Americans on televisions, had made a great impression. He said they were beginning to believe that the problem was “more or less over”. 

Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah is more candid than his son, Omar, who is losing his popularity fast. Farooq says there are “paid lobbies” in the state to keep the problem alive. He accuses security forces, politicians and bureaucrats of having “a vested interest in the Kashmir crisis”. He has a point when he says that New Delhi has failed to make headway in resolving the problem. Not many solutions are hawked about now. 

There is a suggestion that both Kashmirs should be demilitarised, India withdrawing its forces from the valley and stationing them on its border and Pakistan doing likewise and pulling out its forces from Azad Kashmir. But this depends on India and Pakistan reaching a settlement, supported by the Kashmiris. 

The problem of Jammu and Ladakh has become ticklish. They do not want to stay with the valley. Jammu wants to join India and Ladakh wants a union territory status. True, the Hurriyat has never tried to woo Jammu and has seldom cared for the Kashmiri Pandits languishing there. Still both Jammu and Ladakh can be brought around if they were to be given an autonomous status by the valley within the state. 

I have no doubt that the Kashmir problem will be solved sooner or later. But too much has happened in the state in the past. This makes it difficult for the old Kashmir to come back to life. Familiar symbols are dying. Sufism has been replaced by assertive teachings. Kashmiri music is dying out because society has been forced to acquire a religious edge. Old crafts attract fewer artisans because there is a race to earn a quick buck. The wazwan, a string of Kashmiri dishes served at one sitting, is still there but new cooks are hard 

to get. 

The reintegration of Muslims and Pandits appears difficult. An Islamic identity has taken shape, reportedly more in the countryside. Kashmiriyat, a secular ethos, is beyond repair. The animosity among the three regions Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, may dilute but will remain. It may still remain the state of Jammu and Kashmir. But its soul would be missing.

The writer is a leading journalist based in Delhi. 
Rgds all 
 > Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 05:36:35 -0700
> From: khurramparvez at yahoo.com
> To: reader-list at sarai.net
> Subject: [Reader-list] Press Statement: Militarized Governance in Kashmir
> Srinagar, June 29, 2010
> www.kashmirprocess.org
> From:
> Dr. Angana Chatterji, Convener IPTK and Professor, Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies
> Advocate Parvez Imroz, Convener IPTK and Founder, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
> Gautam Navlakha, Convener IPTK and Editorial Consultant, Economic and Political Weekly
> Zahir-Ud-Din, Convener IPTK and Vice-President, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
> Advocate Mihir Desai, Legal Counsel IPTK and Lawyer, Mumbai High Court and Supreme Court of India
> Khurram Parvez, Liaison IPTK and Programme Coordinator, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
> Queries may be directed to:
> Khurram Parvez
> E-mail: kparvez at kashmirprocess.org
> Phone: +91.194.2482820
> Mobile: +91.9419013553
> Military Governance in Indian-administered Kashmir
> The People's Tribunal feels morally obligated to make this statement today. Sustained alliances between local communities and IPTK have enabled us to bear witness to the escalating conditions induced by militarized governance, and the severity of psychosocial dimensions of oppression in Indian-administered Kashmir. From our work since being instituted in April 2008, from the reports and briefs we have authored, investigations we have undertaken and are in the process of completing, we find it ethically imperative to comment on the direction in which the Governments of India and Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indian Armed Forces, appear to be headed, and the consequences they will likely effect.
> Conflict Resolution?
> The Government of India has recently called for "creative solutions" to resolve the "Kashmir problem." If we map the events of the past six months inside Indian-administered Kashmir, the approach of the Indian state is aggressively militaristic. While commitments to political diplomacy frame relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, in Indian-administered Kashmir, there are no such engagements with civil society or with the pro-freedom leadership. There is no acknowledgement of civil society's insistent demand for the right to self-determination.
> Indian-administered Kashmir is not a "problem" but a conflict zone. India's militarization is aimed at territorial control of Kashmir, and control over key economic and environmental resources in the region, including those of the Siachen glacier. The Government of Kashmir is unable to prevail politically or exercise control over the Indian Armed Forces. India's political dominance hinges on its ability to possess Kashmir. Institutions of democracy -- the judiciary, educational institutions, media -- are neutralized by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Armed Forces as they function in tandem, continuing "military governance." State violence seeks to undermine people's capacity to resist and solicits collaborators.
> The predominant reality in Kashmir is that of militarized governance. The pervasive presence is that of the military and paramilitary, whose xenophobic and forceful infiltration into every aspect of economic and civic life is palpable. Armed forces are present at educational institutions, hospitals, shopping complexes, cafes and hotels, sporting events, playgrounds, and bazaars. They monitor people as they enter mosques and shrines. They also collaborate with Hindu nationalists in instituting "self-defence" campaigns and militias, such as forming the 100 Village Defence Committees announced in May 2010, promoting militarized Hindu nationalism.
> Zero Tolerance?
> Human rights violations in Kashmir are a means of maintaining military governance. The Omar Abdullah Government has repeatedly promised "zero tolerance" for human rights violations. Zero tolerance? What we have witnessed is "zero tolerance" for nonviolent civil society dissent, as security forces brutalize people on the streets chanting "Go India, Go back," chanting "India, Quit Kashmir." On June 24, 2010, Chief Minister Abdullah stated that separatist/pro-freedom leaders were instigating youth to violence, following which security forces ensued repression on political leaders calling for peaceful protests. Crowds marching to Sopore on June 28 to protest and mourn the death of three youth killed by the paramilitary were met with force. Police used tear gas and opened fire on the protesters and journalists, killing one person. In Delina, a nine-year boy was killed by security forces. Condoning and rationalizing the deplorable actions of the CRPF and
> police, the Home Secretary of India, G. K. Pillai, characterized civilians fired upon by security personnel as people who were culpable as they violated curfew and attacked police posts. This further evidences the patronage that the security forces enjoy from highly placed government officials, and emphasizes the state's view that civil society resistance to militaristic governance is criminal behaviour.
> From the actions and statements of security forces and politicians in power, it appears that all civil disobedience is being defined as anti-national, as equivalent to "terrorism." Peaceable protests are fired upon, as security personnel repress women and men participating in them. Stone pelting, a means of dissent in Kashmir, is termed violent. Stone pelting, Kashmir youth state, is an expression of rage by a subjugated people whose political means of expression and demands are systematically limited. Stone pelting, Kashmir youth say, cannot be compared to the brutish techniques of domination used by the state. 
> Pro-freedom leaders have been placed under innumerable house arrests. Even elected officials are prevented from staging public protests, such as an MLA and his with approximately 100 co-workers, who were stopped from protesting during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Srinagar. In 2008, the Prime Minister had stated that elections in Kashmir would render separatist leaders irrelevant, as elected officials would speak for the people. Ironic.
> There appears to be no governmental interest in acknowledging and responding to the actions of the military and paramilitary. People, including minors, and political leaders that participate in resistance are booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Undeclared curfews permit security forces to operate without noting cause or prior warning. In November 2009, Lt General, B.S. Jaswal, characterized civil disobedience in response to calls given by dissenting political leaders as "agitational terrorism" prompted by "terrorists." During the pacific resistance of 2008 and 2009, protests had also turned lethal as security personnel fired into crowds. Cyber resistance then was termed "cyber terrorism," and monitored.
> Real violence in the present -- bullets, torture, landmines, injuries, arrests, human shields, molestations, sexualized violence, forced labour, detentions, disappearances, murder -- is virtually monopolized by the military and paramilitary in Kashmir. The list of perpetrators is long. 
> Killings Without Accountability?
> Between January-June 2010, reportedly 40 civilians have been killed (25 of whom were killed by security forces), 107 persons identified as militants have been killed, and 57 soldiers have been killed (of the 57, 28 soldiers were killed by militants, 14 committed suicide, 2 died in fratricidal killings, 7 died in grenade/mine explosions, and 6 were killed by unidentified gunmen). Those killed by the Central Reserve Police Force and police were all young men, all Muslim.
> Over 20 persons have been killed in "encounters" in just April and May 2010; each reported as "infiltrating" militants. Only four deaths have been investigated, all found to be fake encounter killings. Reportedly, 335 militants were killed in 2008 and 236 militants were killed in 2009. There are no systematic investigations into alleged "encounter" killings. Promises made about inquiries and commissions are not honoured, as, for example, in Machil, where, after the three fake encounter killings, a Divisional Inquiry was promised but not authorized. In 2008, 367 Habeas Corpus Petitions were filed in the High Court at Srinagar, 272 petitions filed in 2009, and 159 petitions filed between January and mid-May 2010. International human rights law argues that a state must respect the right to life. The Indian Armed Forces repeatedly break this covenant in Kashmir.
> Some fake encounter and other killings have taken place around high-profile talks. Military and state discourse use these killings to hype fear of armed militancy and infiltration, stating that militants, scattered all over, seek to target Hindus, requiring hyper-vigilance on the part of security forces. The actions of the state and the military and paramilitary are calculated to provoke and inflame. The armed struggle in Kashmir of the 1990s abated, again becoming nonviolent resistance between 2004-2007; even as cross-Line of Control (between India and Pakistan) movements, infiltrations, and insurgency into Indian-administered Kashmir are significant issues. The Indian state, however, exaggerates these realities by linking Kashmiri civilian resistance to "foreign terror," to enable Indian's administration of Kashmir to proceed with impunity.
> The Government of India has stated that Pakistan does not want peace, and might encourage militant attacks. Does India want peace in Kashmir? Is India willing to recognize what "peace" will require, and take those steps?
> Military Governance?
> The Indian state does not define the present as a time of conflict inside Kashmir. Yet, the Armed Forces have become increasingly more powerful and entrenched in Indian-administered Kashmir. Both New Delhi and the Omar Abdullah Government appear unwilling, or unable, to control the military and paramilitary. Is the military more powerful in Kashmir than the civil administration? 
> Military-talk and dominant political speech state that the Indian Armed Forces are in Kashmir to protect citizens, and justify civilian suffering and killings as collateral damage in a war on terror. Akin to the George W. Bush era in the United States, this war of "good" against "evil" makes critique or dissent impossible without disagreement becoming affiliated with what is "evil," "dangerous," and "anti-national." There is no way out of the contradiction that India's military is the protector of Kashmiris who are also potential enemies, as long as military suppression of Kashmiris is understood as crucial to defending India.
> Questions regarding the Indian armed forces in Kashmir, with fifty-six soldiers committing suicide in Kashmir in 2008-2009, and fifteen instances of fratricidal killing, are muffled.
> The PSA, the Disturbed Areas Act, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) are security related legislation in contravention of international humanitarian laws that guarantee immunity to army and paramilitary forces. On February 26, 2009, soon after assuming office, Chief Minister Abdullah stated that AFSPA should be revoked. The armed forces challenged his authority, declaring such intent as "regressive," stating "any move to revoke AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir would be detrimental to the security of the Valley and would provide a boost to the terrorists." Dialogue with the Indian state and Kashmiri pro-freedom leaders regarding autonomy and the revocation of AFSPA were electoral promises made by the current Chief Minister. To revoke AFSPA would be to interrupt not only legal, but political, impunity. Kashmiris are now being told that it is better for their security to amend, not revoke, AFSPA.
> International Community
> Kashmir is a laboratory of violent experiments conducted by Indian military and state institutions. The sustained militarization in Kashmir is not called "military rule" by the Indian state and international community. Civil society in Indian-administered Kashmir remains "under the authority of the hostile army," whose reach and power "has been established and can be exercised," (Hague Convention, Laws and Customs of War on Land [Hague IV] Article 42, 1907).
> India's militarization is portrayed as an "internal" matter, refusing transparency, international scrutiny, and adherence to international humanitarian law of conflict and war. In the face of the Indian state's violations of international humanitarian law, of protocols and conventions, and perpetration of crimes against humanity, there is a deafening silence on the part of the international community. The Kashmir conflict, like other international conflicts, requires urgent attention and resolution. There is, at present, no monitoring, no sustained visibility, no engagement that can produce ethical and viable results.
> That Kashmiris must be an integral part of any resolution repeatedly escapes the international community, and India and Pakistan. If the current situation continues, and nonviolent dissent is systemically brutalized, might the Government of India force Kashmiri civilians to perhaps take up armed militancy once again, continuing the cycle of violence? Is the international community not accountable for averting this?
> The United States, the European Union, and other nations must recognize that the resolution of the Kashmir issue is directly significant to peace and security in South Asia. Institutions and states participating in military collaborations and exercises on Kashmir must yield to transparent dialogue, and address the difficult questions of conflict resolution.
> Recently, the Government of India took issue with the Canadian Government's scrutiny of Indian visa applicants with military backgrounds. In the past, among such applicants, some, for example, have been perpetrators in Kashmir that have sought residency aboard. A scrutiny of certain categories of military personnel travelling aboard is perhaps necessitated by India's apathy in prosecuting perpetrators. The Global North's desire to benefit from India as a vast/potential economic market must not continuously sideline egregious human rights violations.
> Concerns
> We wish to enter into public record that following the Majils-e-Mashawarat of Shopian's request that IPTK inquire into the death of Ms. Asiya Jan and Mrs. Neelofar Jan in May 2009, to deliver an accurate understanding of the matter and define a mechanism for justice, we wrote Chief Minister Abdullah in January 2010, requesting cooperation and access, which have been denied us to date.
> As well, we wish to enter into public record that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India have not undertaken investigations into the findings of BURIED EVIDENCE, IPTK's report on unknown, unmarked, and mass graves in Indian-administered Kashmir, or acted on its recommendations. Such action may have generated constructive interventions into the continuing chain of extrajudicial executions by the Indian military and paramilitary.
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