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Archive for category Pak Army Kargil Victory

Capt Romail Akram – Kargil War(1999) Hero – Indian General Admits India Lost Kargil War

Capt Romail Akram – Kargil War(1999) Hero – Pakistan Army – Full Video HD PakArmy

 

Capt Romail Akram – Kargil War(1999) Hero – Pakistan Army – Full Video HD PakArmy

 

 

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Kargil War and the reality behind Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

 

Kargil War and the reality behind Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Posted by 3rd Option on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

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اینڈیا مردہ باد ۔

 

جنگ شروع ہندوستان کرے گا.
ہم صرف گارنٹی دیتے ہیں کہ 
الله کی قسم اب دہلی سے پہلے نہیں رکیں گیں
ختم ہم کریں گے
انشا اللّہ
 
 
 
حیران ہو گئے ؟؟ یہ مقبوضہ کشمیر ہے۔۔۔ کیا آپ بھی اتنا پیار کرتے ہیں کشمیر سے ؟؟
 
 
 
دوستو !! اس کشمیری نوجوان کو دیکھ کہ ہمیں اتنا پیار آیا ہے کہ ہم نے سوچا کہ پورے سوشل میڈیا پر اس نوجوان کی تصویر کو آزادی کے موقع پر اپنی اپنی پروفائل میں لگائیں گے۔۔ کشمیر سے یک جہتی کا ثبوت دے دیں اور آزادی کے موقع پر سب یہ تصویر پروفائلز میں لگا لیں۔۔
قائد اعظم اور اقبال سے محبت کا ثبوت دیں۔۔ ایک قوم بن جائیں۔۔۔
 
 
 
 
٭٭ یہ وُہ مُسلم ہیں جن کو دیکھ کے کپکپائے  ننگے بھارت ٭٭
 
 
 
 
 
اینڈیا مردہ باد ۔
 
وہ حقیقت جو پاکستانی غدار میڈیا اپکو نہیں دکھاتا
 

 
 

تونے پاکستان پہ حملے کی دھمکی دے کر پاکستانی قوم کو متحد کردیا ہے یہی دھمکیاں دے کر تونے ہمیں اسلحے میں خودمختار بنایا.. ہم ایٹمی طاقت بن گئے.. اور تو اپنے کباڑ کے اسلحے پر فخر کرتا رہ گیا
دیکھ آج کیسے سب پاکستانی متحد ہیں.. ادھر بھول کے بھی مت آنا ورنہ اس دفع تجھے اقوام متحدہ بھی نہیں بچاسکے گا.. اور پاکستانی فوج سے پہلے پاکستانی عوام تیرے گیدڑوں کو مار بھگائے گی
 

 

کشمیر بنے گا پاکستان! انشآللہ۔
مقبوضہ کشمیر میں قابض انتظمیہ کے خلاف کشمیریوں نے بھارت کا پرچم نزر آتش کیا اور ہزاروں کشمیریوں نے پاکستان کا پرچم تھام کر عید کی نماز ادا کی۔ مقبوضہ فوج سے یہ بات رہی نہ گئی اور انھوں نے غیر معینہ مدت کیلئے کرفیو نافز کردیا اور حریت رہنماؤں کو نظر بند کردیا یہاں تک کہ انکو عید کی نماز پڑھنے سے بھی روک 
دیا۔۔
 

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NAWAZ SHARIF AND PAKISTANI TALIBAN ALLIANCE: DANGER TO ASIAN & GLOBAL SECURITY

The Punjabi Taliban

Rana Sanullah and Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi of Sipah-e-Sabah

Punjab, with Lahore as its bustling capital, contains half of Pakistan’s population. The provincial government is in the hands of the conservative, mildly Islamist party of a former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. In a speech in March his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who is chief minister, pleaded with the Taliban to leave Punjab alone as his administration shared their ideology of keeping out “foreign dictation” (ie, Americans). Officials bristle at comparisons between Punjab, which is moderately well run, and the lawless tribal areas.

It is correct to say that there has been no territorial takeover by extremists in any part of the province, nor any enforcement of Islamic law. However, Punjab functions as an ideological nursery and recruiting ground for militants throughout the country. Distinctions between the Taliban in the north-west and older jihadi groups in Punjab have broken down. The federal government says Punjabi groups have been responsible for most of the big terrorist attacks in the province.

Punjab’s minister of law, Rana Sanaullah, went on the campaign trail in February with the reputed head of Sipah-e-Sahaba, for a by-election in the southern town of Jhang. The two rode through the streets in an open-top vehicle. The minister says that he was just trying to bring the group into the mainstream. Jhang is Sipah-e-Sahaba’s headquarters; the group makes little effort to hide its presence there.

Another outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed, is based in Bahawalpur, also in southern Punjab, where it has a huge seminary. Former members of both organisations are integral parts of the Pakistani Taliban. Another group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the devastating attack on Mumbai in 2008, also has Punjab as its home. “The Punjab government is not only complacent, there is a certain ambivalence in their attitude” towards extremists, says Arif Nizami, a political analyst based in Lahore. “They compete for the religious vote bank.”

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Punjab’s minister of law, Rana Sanaullah, went on the campaign trail in February with the reputed head of Sipah-e-Sahaba, for a by-election in the southern town of Jhang. The two rode through the streets in an open-top vehicle. The minister says that he was just trying to bring the group into the mainstream. Jhang is Sipah-e-Sahaba’s headquarters; the group makes little effort to hide its presence there.

Another outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed, is based in Bahawalpur, also in southern Punjab, where it has a huge seminary. Former members of both organisations are integral parts of the Pakistani Taliban. Another group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the devastating attack on Mumbai in 2008, also has Punjab as its home. “The Punjab government is not only complacent, there is a certain ambivalence in their attitude” towards extremists, says Arif Nizami, a political analyst based in Lahore. “They compete for the religious vote bank.”

Source

Jan

07
2011

Musharraf Terms Nawaz Sharif ‘Closet Taliban’

“I call Nawaz Sharif a closet Taliban. He’s a man who is — who has been — in contact with Taliban. He is a man who, today, appeases the clerics and mawlawis [Sunni Islamic scholars] — the extremists,” ‘Foreign Policy’ quoted Musharraf, as saying in an exclusive interview. “Moreover, he (Sharif) has tried [his hand at leadership as prime minister] twice in the past — and he has failed. Why are we giving him a third chance to destroy Pakistan”

Source

 
Mar
23
2010

Nawaz Sharif Brags About ‘Old Friendship’ With bin Laden

In a country of 175 million, replete with some 15 million politico-religious extremists, opportunities for a positive geopolitical paradigm shifts are rare. Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Pakistan’s principal opposition figure Nawaz Sharif, tried to wreck this one by suggesting Taliban work out a “separate peace” with Punjab province.

“Cease targeting Punjab,” he said and focus on the other three provinces. Mercifully, there was a nationwide outcry against the wacky suggestion. Kayani summoned him and upbraided him in language he won’t soon forget. But this didn’t deter Nawaz Sharif from bragging about his “old friendship” with Osama bin Laden.

Source

 
Mar
22
2010

Research: Nawaz Sharif’s ties to Bin Laden

 

Daily Times of Pakistan reports – Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ex-ISI official says he arranged 5 meetings between Nawaz, Osama

LAHORE: Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Khalid Khawaja has claimed that he arranged five meetings in the past between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden on separate occasions.

In a recent interview with a private TV channel, Khawaja said Nawaz asked the al Qaeda chief to provide financial support for “development projects”.

“I still remember that Osama provided me funds that I handed over to then Punjab chief minister Nawaz to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government,” said Khawaja, adding that Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia alone. “Nawaz insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with Osama, which I did in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Nawaz was looking for a Rs 500 million grant from Osama. Although Osama provided a comparatively smaller sum … he secured for Nawaz a meeting with the Saudi royal family.”

The former ISI official also claimed that Nawaz had met leaders of Islamic movements around the world.

Khawaja said following a “forced retirement”, he went straight to Afghanistan in 1987 and fought against the Soviet forces alongside Osama.

Daily Times of Pakistan reports Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Osama introduced Nawaz Sharif to Saudi royals: ex-ISI chief

LAHORE: Osama Bin Laden introduced Nawaz Sharif to the Saudi royal family in the late 1980s, and – during a meeting – the former prime minister had asked the Al Qaeda chief to provide employment to Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, claimed former ISI chief Khalid Khwaja on Sunday. According to the Times of India, Khwaja – who was close to Nawaz in the late 1980s and early 1990s – made the claim in an interview. “During his first visit to Saudi Arabia as chief minister of Punjab in the late 1980s, no one from the royal family gave Nawaz importance,” he said. “Thereafter, on Nawaz’s request, Osama introduced him to the royal family,” said Khwaja. “A close aide of the Sharif family and I arranged at least five meetings between Nawaz and Osama in Saudi Arabia.”

While this happens to be not something new or unknown. Nawaz Sharif’s ties to Osama Bin Laden always bothered former Priminister late Benazir Bhutto, for which she had contacted George Bush Sr. in 1989. President Asif Ali Zardari had mentioned this in his interview to an American channel’s show “Meet the Press”

Former ISI chief Khalid Khwaja has confessed on various occasions to playing the role of a mediator for several meetings between Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Osama Bin Laden. On September 8th 2009 he again mentioned this on Ary News channel’s show 11th Hour.

A comprehensive timeline of Nawaz Sharif’s history and links to Osama Bin Laden is also mentioned with many other proofs and articles in a non-profit organization’s websitewww.historycommons.org:

Spring 1989: ISI and Bin Laden Allegedly Plot to Kill Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Hamid Gul, Nawaz Sharif, and Osama bin Laden conspire to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Husein Haqqani, a Pakistani journalist who claims to have been involved in the plot, will later say that ISI Director Hamid Gul contacted Osama bin Laden, who was then known to provide financial support to Afghan mujaheddin, to pay for a coup/assassination of Bhutto. Gul also brings Nawaz Sharif, then the governor of Punjab province and a rival of Bhutto, into the plot. Bin Laden agrees to provide $10 million on the condition that Sharif transforms Pakistan into a strict Islamic state, which Sharif accepts. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 193-194] Bhutto is not assassinated at this time, but bin Laden allegedly helps Sharif replace Bhutto one year later (see October 1990).

October 1990: Bin Laden Allegedly Helps Install Pakistani Leader Nawaz Sharif
In October 1990, Nawaz Sharif is running for election to replace Benazir Bhutto as the prime minister of Pakistan. According to a senior Pakistani intelligence source, bin Laden passes a considerable amount of money to Sharif and his party, since Sharif promises to introduce a hard-line Islamic government. Bin Laden has been supporting Sharif for several years. There is said to be a photograph of Sharif chatting with bin Laden. Sharif wins the election and while he does not introduce a hard-line Islamic government, his rule is more amenable to bin Laden’s interests than Bhutto’s had been. Sharif will stay in power until 1993, then will take over from Bhutto again in 1996 and rule for three more years. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 170-171] Former ISI official Khalid Khawaja, a self-proclaimed close friend of bin Laden, will later claim that Sharif and bin Laden had a relationship going back to when they first met face to face in the late 1980s. [ABC NEWS, 11/30/2007] There are also accounts of additional links between Sharif and bin Laden (see Spring 1989, Late 1996, and Between Late 1996 and Late 1998).

July 1993: Ramzi Yousef and KSM Attempt to Assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister
Ramzi Yousef and his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) unsuccessfully try to assassinate Behazir Bhutto, the leader of the opposition in Pakistan at the time. Yousef, with his friend Abdul Hakim Murad, plan to detonate a bomb near Bhutto’s home as she is leaving it. However, they are stopped by a police patrol. Yousef had hidden the bomb when the police approached, and after they left the bomb is accidentally set off, severely injuring him. [RESSA, 2003, PP. 25] KSM is in Pakistan at the time and will visit Yousef in the hospital, but his role in the bombing appears to be limited to funding it. [RESSA, 2003, PP. 25; GUARDIAN, 3/3/2003] Bhutto had been prime minister in Pakistan before and will return to power later in 1993 until 1996. She will later claim, “As a moderate, progressive, democratically elected woman prime minister of Pakistan, I was a threat to the fundamentalist zealots on multiple levels…” She claims they had “the support of sympathetic elements within Pakistan’s security apparatus,” a reference to the ISI intelligence agency. [SLATE, 9/21/2001] This same year, US agents uncover photographs showing KSM with close associates of previous Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Bhutto’s main political enemy at the time. Presumably, this failed assassination will later give KSM and Yousef some political connection and cover with the political factions opposed to Bhutto (see Spring 1993). Sharif will serve as prime minister again from 1997 to 1999. [FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/15/2003]

Late 1996: Bin Laden Influences Election in Pakistan
Not long after bin Laden moves back to Afghanistan (see After May 18, 1996-September 1996), he tries to influence an election in Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is running for reelection against Nawaz Sharif, who had been prime minister earlier in the 1990s. (Bin Laden apparently helped Sharif win in 1990 (see October 1990).) “According to Pakistani and British intelligence sources, bin Laden traveled into Pakistan to renew old acquaintances within the ISI, and also allegedly met or talked with” Sharif. Sharif wins the election. Bhutto will later claim that bin Laden used a variety of means to ensure her defeat and undermine her. She will mention one instance where bin Laden allegedly gave $10 million to some of her opponents. Journalist Simon Reeve will later point out that while Bhutto claims could seem self-serving, “her claims are supported by other Pakistani and Western intelligence sources.” [REEVE, 1999, PP. 188-189] It will later be reported that double agent Ali Mohamed told the FBI in 1999 that bin Laden gave Sharif $1 million at some point while Sharif was prime minister (see Between Late 1996 and Late 1998). There are also reports that bin Laden helped Sharif become prime minister in 1990 (see October 1990). While Sharif will not support the radical Islamists as much as they had hoped, they will have less conflict with him that they did with Bhutto. For instance, she assisted in the arrest of Ramzi Yousef (see February 7, 1995), who had attempted to assassinate her (see July 1993).

Between Late 1996 and Late 1998: Bin Laden Allegedly Pays $1 Million to Pakistani Prime Minister
According to FBI agent Jack Cloonan, in 1999, imprisoned double agent Ali Mohamed will tell Cloonan that he helped arrange a meeting between bin Laden and representatives of Nawaz Sharif, who is prime minister of Pakistan from 1990 through 1993 and again from 1996 to 1999. Mohamed claims that after the meeting he delivered $1 million to Sharif’s representatives as a tribute to Sharif for “not cracking down on the Taliban as it flourished in Afghanistan and influenced the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan.” It is unknown when this took place, but it is likely between late 1996, when the Taliban gain control over much of Afghanistan and Sharif as prime minister would have been in a position to crack down against them or not, and late 1998, when Mohamed is arrested in the US (see September 10, 1998). Cloonan will later say that he believes the information from Mohamed is accurate. [ABC NEWS, 11/30/2007] There have been other allegations that Sharif met bin Laden in 1996 and used his help to win the election for prime minister (see Late 1996), and also allegations that bin Laden helped Sharif win the election for prime minister in 1990 (see Late 1996).

For full timeline visit http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=nawaz_sharif

Source: Let Us Build Pakistan

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Posted in Terrorism | No Comments »

 
Mar
17
2010

Musharraf terms Nawaz Sharif as ‘closet Taliban’

Sounding like a man hoping for a political comeback, former President Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf has said that he would return back to Pakistan if the people wanted him and if he believed he had enough support to make a contribution.

“If I have to just go there and join a political fray and be involved in accusations and counter-accusations … like most of the politicians are doing,” Musharraf said at news conference in Seattle on Sunday, adding, “I am not interested in that kind of politics.”Later, addressing an audience of several hundred largely Pakistani Americans in Bellevue, Musharraf termed Nawaz Sharif as ‘closet Taliban’, saying he would cause destruction of the country. But he denied the charges that corruption has make its way into the rank and file of Pak Army.

He said the Taliban brand of Islamic extremism posed a serious threat to the nation. “We need to ask ourselves, do we or don’t we want a Taliban/Al-Qaeda culture in Pakistan … because every action then flows from that decision.”

The Friends of Pakistan First sponsored Musharraf’s visit to Washington, and after the speech he answered wide-ranging questions on economy, India, feudalism and other topics. He also was asked about recent terrorist attacks that killed World Vision workers in Mansehra, to which he replied that the aid organisation should show resolve and not withdraw from Pakistan.

The visit came at a time when the Pakistani press has been speculating on whether he has a future political role in the country. In December, a Pakistan Muslim League leader, Sher Afgan Nizai, had said his party would welcome the former president’s return, which was likely to happen this winter. But later, an aide said Musharraf had no plans either to return or to rejoin the political fray. Musharraf, in his remarks at the news conference, boosted his governance. He called Pakistan a ‘failed state’ that was defaulting on debts when he came to power in 1999, and said he was able to increase freedom of the press, improve rights of minorities and stabilise the economy.

During his evening remarks, Musharraf said he lacked one thing – legitimacy domestically and internationally. He conceded he was labelled a dictator. He also spoke about the tense relationship between Pakistan and India.

At the news conference, Musharraf denied that Pakistan had supported terrorist activities in India, which he accused of ‘hyper reactions’ after the Mumbai attacks. He accused India of supporting terrorism in Pakistan, including Balochistan province.

But he said, “We must stop this confrontation between India and Pakistan,” and, “We must go for peace for the sake of the world, because the world considers us to be a nuclear flash point.”

Meanwhile, his visit prompted more than 70 protesters to gather early Sunday evening on a sidewalk outside the Westin Hotel in Bellevue where he spoke. One sign read “Dictator Not Welcome,” while others read, “Stand for Peace” and “Mister Commando is on the Run”.

Meanwhile, talking about Musharraf’s return, Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador to Pakistan, said, “Security would be a huge issue for Musharraf if he returns. So there would have to be some very solid understandings, backed up by the Army.”

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COWARD OF KARGIL NAWAZ SHARIF: Kargil War was a victory for Pakistan

Kargil was a big success for Pakistan: Musharraf

Nawaz Sharif is mainly responsible for spreading the rumour, that FCNA was losing at Kargil. He keeps harping the same tune, even, though some Indian generals have reluctantly accepted it as a defeat of Indian Army. But, this coward leaves no opportunity to bad mouth Kargil victory.  Nawaz Sharif is an enemy of Pakistan. He puts his own interests above national interests. He felt threatened by Pakistan Army’s spectacular victory in Kargil War.

Cowardly, Kashmiri turncoat Nawaz Sharif was shocked by success of Pakistan;s Mujahedin of FCNA, who caused 3000 Indian Army Casualties, including the loss of two planes, death of one IAF Pilot and capture of Indian Pilot Lt.Nachikita by Pak Army. Being a US CIA Agent Nwaz was afraid that Musharraf and the Army would get all the glory, he ran to his patron President Clinton.

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Islamabad: Claiming that his 1999 Kargil operation was a “big success militarily”, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said that if the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had not visited the US, the Pakistani Army would have “conquered” 300 square miles of India. 

He defended his action to launch the operation in Kargil in the wake of fresh allegations that he masterminded the intrusions. 

Referring to Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz’s allegations that he had kept other military commanders in the dark about the operation, Musharraf said, “Telling everyone about it was not necessary at all”. 

He claimed Aziz had an “imbalanced personality” and had resorted to character assassination by making these accusations. 

 

“We lost the Kargil war, which was a big success militarily, because of (then premier) Nawaz Sharif…If he had not visited the US, we would have conquered 300 square miles of India,” Musharraf said in an interview with Express News channel. 

Though Pakistan had initially claimed mujahideen were responsible for occupying strategic heights along the Line of Control in early 1999, Musharraf later revealed in his autobiography ‘In The Line Of Fire’ that regular Army troops had participated in the operation. 

But Musharraf claimed the action in Kargil was a “localised” operation and not a major operation. 

“Kargil was just one of many sectors under a Major General stationed in Gilgit, (who was) in charge of the area. Exchange of fire was routine there,” he claimed. Musharraf said he would not go so far as to accuse former premier Nawaz Sharif of betrayal but his decision to withdraw from Kargil was a mistake. 

 

Unknown-2“Nawaz lost a political front which we had won militarily,” he claimed. 

The former general, who has been living in self-exile outside Pakistan since 2009, said the “prime consideration” for actions like the Kargil operation is security and secrecy. 

“So the Army leadership decides who is to be informed and when. As the operation progressed and the proper time arrived, a briefing of the corps commanders was held,” he said. 

Musharraf said he was “really astonished” that Aziz was writing about the events 10 years later. 

Blaming the nation at this juncture, as Aziz had done, seems to be “part of a conspiracy”, he claimed. 

“It was a tactical action that had a strategic importance in which no more than a few hundred persons were involved, but which engaged thousands on the Indian side and was of tremendous importance,” he claimed. 

Musharraf justified Pakistani casualties in the conflict, claiming the country lost only 270 men against India’s 1,600 soldiers. 

 
Courtesy
Press Trust of India
INDIAN VIEWPOINT: NEVER CALL A DEFEAT, A DEFEAT

Eyeball to eyeball   July 1999

India has to mask its initial intelligence failure by regaining the peaks regardless of heavy casualties. Both sides need a face-saving way out. Since early May there has been a see-saw military, political and diplomatic struggle between the two Subcontinental protagonists, Pakistan and India. Islamabad’s position has been that the guerrillas who have captured the heights overlooking the Drass-Kargil-Leh road, are Kashmiri freedom fighters struggling for their long-denied right of self-determination. 
 
 

India eventually decided, after examining the pros and cons of widening the conflict across the Line of Control (LoC) or even across the international border, on a strategy of containment within the narrower objective of regaining the Kargil heights. This narrower framework meant higher casualties on the Indian side because of the difficulty of traversing slopes against dug-in defenders where the terrain offers no cover.

New Delhi calculated that it does have the political will and military morale, despite the heavy casualties, and can sustain the cost in human and material terms. A near-consensus domestically and the willingness of the Indian military command to accept constraints allowed India to continue with an operation in which it suffered disproportionately heavy casualties.

With regard to Pakistan, the intriguing question is whether the Kargil heights seizure was part of the normal stepping up of guerrilla activity during summer, or whether it had more ambitious objectives. If it were the former, little can be added, except to mention in passing a failure of Indian intelligence. The guerrillas’ presence was only discovered by accident when two Indian army patrols happened to spot them. The true extent of the guerrilla presence did not sink in until the Indian army had carried out an aerial survey of the area, which revealed that between 400 to 700 guerrillas had seized the heights. This could have put them in a position in any future war to threaten the sole overland logistics link with the Indian forces deployed in Siachen, i.e. the Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh road.

But the Kargil seizure could have other strategic objectives with military, political and diplomatic dimensions. Militarily, if the seizure could be maintained for a reasonable period of time and at least until winter sets in, it could open up possibilities of forcing either an Indian withdrawal from Siachen, or a trade-off between the Kargil heights and the Siachen Glacier.

Politically, it could reflect the impatience in Islamabad with lack of progress in bilateral discussions on Kashmir under the Lahore Declaration process after the fall of the BJP government in end-April. Despite the fact that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of India heads a caretaker government until elections are held in September-October, the hope may have been to force New Delhi back to the negotiating table in a serious mode. Diplomatically, since the bilateral process had not yielded results, an internationalisa-tion of the Kashmir issue may have been sought to bring it back onto the frontburner.

If we assume for the sake of argument that all or some of these objectives formed part of the Pakistani thrust into Kargil, or at least were taken on board once things hotted up on the Line of Control, we can examine the results achieved or likely to be achieved in the foreseeable future and then draw up a balance sheet of gains and losses.

Missing Kashmir for Kargil

Militarily, the inherent difficulty of holding on to the Kargil heights in the face of overwhelming firepower and numbers has become a key question as the battle drags on. India has weighed the costs of heavy casualties against the bigger costs of potentially adverse international intervention if the conflict is widened. It has relied on the political consensus to hold on to Kashmir no matter what the cost, which informs its domestic political spectrum (the weak and scattered chinks of rationality represented by liberal opinion notwithstanding). India’s slow but definite gains against the guerrillas have produced collateral pressures for a withdrawal of the guerrillas from what is turning into a suicidal mission.

The political timing of the Kargil seizure, if the idea was indeed to force New Delhi back to serious negotiations, could not have been worse. A caretaker government heading into an election was hardly likely to be in a position to negotiate, let alone offer any flexibility or concession on such a major issue. There has been speculation in the Indian press after the visit to Pakistan by the US emissary General Anthony Zinni regarding proposals purportedly from Islamabad for India to allow safe passage to the guerrillas, quoting the precedent of the Hazrat Bal shrine siege. Whether these reports hold any water or not is not known.

However, Western diplomatic pressure on Islamabad is mounting, especially after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington DC and London, and these could take various forms, economic, political, diplomatic. The dependence of the Pakistani economy on the goodwill of the West, and particularly the US, to keep foreign fund flows going makes Pakistan that much more vulnerable to ‘persuasion’.

It goes without saying that such ‘persuasion’ seeks to maintain the status quo on Kashmir, while advocating peaceful negotiations. Pakistan’s experience indicates that retaining the status quo has always proved favourable to India. Any disturbance of New Delhi’s hold on Kashmir, even if partial or temporary, serves to refocus the attention of the global community on a long-neglected, festering wound. But in trying to disturb the status quo in its favour, the manner in which Pakistan pursues this tactical goal is crucial. This cannot happen by ignoring the ground reality.

The Pakistani army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, put his finger on the problem by describing Kargil as “a tactical, military issue”, while Kashmir as such was “a strategic, political” one. In other words, to see only the Kargil part of the picture represented by the Kashmir problem, is to miss the forest for the trees. However, in the present instance, Islamabad appears to have failed to persuade the global powers-that-be of the justness of this linkage. On the contrary, opinion seems to have hardened in the West that the status quo must be restored before diplomatic “business as usual” can be resumed.

Most thinking people in Pakistan are by now convinced that there is no (regular) military option to obtain a solution to Kashmir, particularly after both India and Pakistan have demonstrated their nuclear capability. The irregular military option (guerrilla war) faces considerable political and ideological disabilities, especially since the Kashmir guerrilla movement has acquired a fundamentalist hue over time. This does not appear to be sufficiently inspiring for large numbers of the Kashmiri people who are well known for their traditional religious tolerance. This despite continuing repression by the Indian military in Kashmir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been castigated by the right-wing, religious, fundamentalist opinion for stating an obvious truth that without both India and Pakistan going beyond their “stated positions”, no solution to the Kashmir problem is possible. The hue and cry against him for saying that, particularly in the Urdu press, reflects the limitations which restrict the country’s political leadership. No flexibility, political or diplomatic, is allowed to any Pakistani leader to even explore some middle ground. Any such suggestion is treated as treason, betrayal, the worst kind of skullduggery. For such ideologically ‘pure’ elements, it is either all or nothing as far as Kashmir is concerned.

Before it is too late, sober heads must begin to ponder how much cloth we have remaining and how to cut it. Passion cannot replace cool calculation required for a strategic plan for peace. The Pakistani leadership must take into account a heavily dependent economic structure, an inability to rouse the world’s conscience beyond rhetoric, and the lack of a solid consensus across the

domestic political divide. The risk is that any attempt to work out a strategy based on the art of the possible would fall foul of Pakistan’s ideological hawks.

 

 
 

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