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Indian Army Chief’s Admission of Failure

The admission by the Indian Army Chief General Singh that the prevailing situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir was a result of the failure of the Indian government to build on “the gains” that had been made there by the Indian forces is effectively an admission of the Indian state’s total failure. Of course, the Indian Army chief is trying to put the blame primarily on failed intelligence and the Indian state’s inability to connect to the “common man and build confidence in him” so that he stays away from the “miscreants”. However, the fact of the matter is that every Kashmiri is a freedom fighter and every generation has shown a readiness to sacrifice itself for self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation. The General knows only too well that the “miscreants” as he refers to the freedom fighters are not few in number but encompass all ordinary Kashmiris.

Interestingly, General Singh’s confession comes alongside a hard line anti Pakistani Indian-American academic’s claim that the military approach will not work in Kashmir and the Indian state has to look to devolution and development. Unfortunately, like General Singh, Sumit Ganguly, who is given to bouts of histrionics in defence of Indian occupation of Kashmir, misses the point: That the people of Kashmir do not want to live under the yoke of Indian occupation. They continue to remain committed to exercising their right of self-determination as promised to them by India in the UNSC and by UNSC resolutions.

Meanwhile, India continues to arm itself to the teeth, not only in terms of nuclear weapons but also conventional arms. It is too bad the US is encouraging this arms build up which will automatically have a multiplier effect in the region as long as the core issue of Kashmir remains unresolved. The US is offering all manner of weapons technology to India as well as giving its nuclear weapons a boost through the Indo-US nuclear agreement. Pakistan needs to ask itself why the US would deliberately seek to destabilise this region with these arms sales and technology transfers to India. While examining this question, the Pakistanis also need to take serious note of the latest US pronouncement on Kashmir which is a total reflection of the Indian position. Only then can even the most blinkered ruler will be able to see the US not as an “ally” of Pakistan, as it seeks to portray, but as a source of direct and indirect threat to this country.

As for India, it continues to pose a threat to Pakistan and continues to adopt a military-centric approach to the Kashmir dispute – but as one Kashmiri leader in the Diaspora explained recently, “India has lost Kashmir”. But until its ruling elite see the light, it will continue to kill innocent Kashmiri youth as it seeks to continue its brutal occupation. But failure is already writ large for the Indian state.

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