17 April 2017

Rogue, Maybe. But The One Thing Pakistan Is Not Is A Failed State SNAPSHOT Ideology, not territory, is the motivating factor behind the idea of the Pakistan state. As long as it holds on to its idea, Pakistan cannot be called a failed state. To defeat a state defined by ideology, you need to defeat that ideology. Defeat in war is not good enough. Pakistan has a knack of getting our goat, and we fall for it every time. The latest reason for Indians to work up an apoplectic fit is the Pakistani Army’s decision to pass a death sentence on Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who was probably extracted from Iran. Reason: he is allegedly a Research & Analysis Wing agent spying for India or fomenting trouble in Balochistan. While Parliament went ballistic on the issue yesterday (11 April), security experts and analysts speaking on TV channels were busy accusing Pakistan of disregarding international law and condemning Jadhav through a sham trial. Some Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons worked up enough of a froth to call Pakistan a failed state. It may give us temporary and psychic satisfaction calling Pakistan a failed state, but its leaders cannot stop smirking at our naivete. Nothing gives the Pakistanis greater pleasure than to see Indians throwing a fit over what they have done. The least we can do is not give them this kind of vicarious satisfaction by exhibiting impotence. The Jadhav case shows how, despite 70 years of being witness to Pakistan’s perfidies, we seem to understand so little about them. The only way to handle the Jadhav crisis is to speak very little about it, find leverage and get his released in exchange for someone Pakistan values (like its own armymen). Pakistan may be a rogue state, which follows no canons of justice or law when it comes to dealing with us. It may be a “greedy” state, an ideological state whose sole purpose is to fundamentally change the status quo in the sub-continent. It may be a “security” state, one that is excessively obsessed with security. But the one thing it is not is a “failed state.” Given the contradictions emerging within Pakistan and its description of itself as an Islamic state, and a largely Sunni one at that, and especially following the separation of Bangladesh in 1971, Indians have come to believe that the idea of Pakistan will ultimately crumble and fail. Maybe it will. But “a failed state” is not one that is merely unable to keep itself in one piece. That has happened often enough – in Russia, Yugoslavia, Indonesia (East Timor), Cyprus, Sudan, etc. But the rump state continues as before in all these cases, and have possibly grown even stronger than before, now that they have shed their weaker parts. The only definition of a failed state is one where central authority completely withers and dies, and the economy is unable to provide it the wherewithal to defend itself. This is not the case with Pakistan. Since 2009, foreign investors have not given Pakistan a miss, and the Karachi Stock Exchange has been the third best-performing bourse in the world. Moreover, with the backing of the world’s second superpower, China, especially through its investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the puny Pakistani economy is gaining ballast, growing at over 5 per cent, annually. Terror may be tearing its cities apart, but the idea of Pakistan is holding. And let’s not forget: in terms of reforms, a Pakistan under army control will be able to push them faster than India with its fractious politics. So the economy will hold up in the foreseeable future. Most important, a state fails when it is unable to define itself or its strategic goals coherently. But this is the last thing one can say about Pakistan. Even when it was yet to be cleaved from pre-1947 India, Pakistan has never been unsure of its destiny or what it wants: an Islamic state that will ultimately rule over most of sub-continent. Not only that. In a country where the army is the state, political parties and civil society do not matter. At best, they may be used as temporary covers while the army recoups its credibility after reverses (as in 1971). It has the military, and nuclear heft, to hold itself together, even if it means perpetrating the worst kind of brutalities. It is happy to take one nibble at time, with Kashmir Valley obviously being the first objective. Venkat Dhulipala, author of Creating a New Medina, who looked at Muslim politics in the United Provinces (currently day Uttar Pradesh), says that from Day One the idea of Pakistan was modelled on the Prophet’s decision to create a new community of believers in Medina, when the Meccans were unwilling to accept his radical ideas. When the idea of Pakistan was being conceived and key leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind were supportive of the Congress in the name of a “composite” nationalism (muttahida qaumiyat), a prominent dissident from Deoband, Ashraf Ali Thanavi, said no Muslim could be part of a party or a nation whose leaders were not decisively Muslims. He asked all Muslims to stay away from syncretic ideas. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, after initially using the idea of Pakistan to excite Muslims and make himself their sole spokesman, soon gave up his “secular” credentials and started believing in Islamism. At one point, he fantasised that “Pakistan holds the key to the liberation of the entire Islamic world.” (Note: All quotes from pre-independence Pakistani leaders are from Dhulipala’s book) The Raja of Mahmudabad, a close Jinnah aide, told his Muslim audiences repeatedly: “The creation of an Islamic state – mark my words gentlemen – I say Islamic, not Muslim, is our ideal.” How much different is this from the Hizbul Mujahideen commander in Kashmir, Zakir Rashid Bhat, who said last month that the stone-pelters should think of themselves as fighting for Islam, and not a nationalistic cause. “I want to tell these brothers that they should not fall for nationalism”, for “nationalism and democracy are not permissible in Islam.” Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, another early convert to the idea of an Islamic Pakistan before 1947, went to the extent of comparing the Prophet’s moves as an attempt to create the first Pakistan in the Arabian Peninsula. The Indian one was thus the second Pakistan. He too bluntly declared: “Pakistan is not the final goal of the Muslims. We want more. Pakistan is only jumping off the ground. The time is not far distant when the Muslim countries will have to stand in line with Pakistan and then only the jumping ground will have reached its fruition.” In other words, Pakistan is the staging post for global Islamism. It may never happen, but the idea of Pakistan is about Islamist supremacy, not very different from the goals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. General Raheel Sharif, till recently Chief of the Pakistani Army, has been appointed head of an Islamic military alliance, which once again testifies that Pakistan is using events in West Asia to further its own existential cause. Ideology, not territory, is the motivating factor behind the idea of the Pakistan state. As long as it holds on to its idea, Pakistan cannot be called a failed state. Pakistan is a state of mind, not just a defined geographical area. To defeat a state defined by ideology, you need to defeat that ideology. Defeat in war is not good enough.

Sanjay Dixit

It is high time that the Kashmir Valley is made as normal a part of Indian nation as it is of the Indian state

Article 370 is India’s tribute to the two-nation theory propounded by Allama Iqbal and his disciple, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It is an implicit recognition of Pakistan’s position. 

For the sake of form, India and Sheikh Abdullah told the International audience including the United Nations that Kashmir was evidence that India did not believe in the two-nation theory. This is what Sheikh Abdullah said in the UN Security Council on 5 February 1948:

“I and my organization never believed in the formula that Muslims and Hindus form separate nations. We do not believe in the two-nation theory, nor in communal hatred or communalism itself. We believed that religion had no place in politics.”

If you told this to a Kashmiri today, he would probably laugh at you in your face, if not call you a downright fool. He would be justified in doing so, because this is exactly how India has behaved over 70 years. Jawaharlal Nehru succumbed to the wily designs of Sheikh Abdullah. He conceded Article 370 to Sheikh against the better judgment of Constituent Assembly. A history of how Article 370 came into being can be read here.

In the context of part 1 of this article, Article 370 only serves to strengthen the separate character of J&K in terms of the Islamic Shari’a ideology. Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits is direct result of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution. Therefore, no permanent solution for Kashmir can even be thought of before the abrogation of Article 370. India cannot honour the separate character of J&K in terms of Shari’a on the one hand and seek to integrate Kashmir into the mainstream on the other. This is where the game has to begin.

Second, the artificial artifice of Article 35A has to be taken out of the Statute book – this can be done even before repealing Article 370. This is a fraud on the Constitution of India and requires nothing more than a declaration that it was never made a part of the Constitution through due procedure.

Next, Jammu and Ladakh ought to be separated from the Valley and be constituted into an independent state or Union Territory. The politicians of the Valley have been ruling these two areas with the zeal of an Islamic majoritarian for the last 70 years, denying the greater area of Jammu and Kashmir (more than 80 per cent of the present area of Jammu and Kashmir under India) its due share in employment and economic opportunities. Jammu in particular has a great potential in industrial and agricultural development. Ladakh has the greatest potential as a tourism destination.

After these three steps have been taken, we can deal with the Islamic jihad of the Valley with a much greater focus and on a firm ideological footing. Once it is made clear to the Islamists and Jihadists that the Constitution of India shall reign supreme, the following Ten Commandments should logically follow:

One, the Kashmir Valley ought to be made a Union Territory with the Governor enjoying complete authority over law and order. The Valley elites have run with the hare and hunted with the hounds for far too long. India has to absolutely finish their divisive impact on the police and magistracy.

Two, having recognised the Taqlidi nature of Islam in the Valley (as in the rest of India), the Indian State can defeat the militancy if it concentrates on the clerics and mosques. Throughout the period of indoctrination, these two have been instrumental in fanning the flames in the Valley in league with the local politicians. Once the politicians are detached from law and order, it should not be difficult to target the clerics and mosques that are in the forefront of militancy. They have to be isolated by rigorous surveillance and exercise of legal options. These elements must fear the Indian State even as the public at large should feel that the State is just and fair. My impression is that the troublemakers are in a minority of less than 5 per cent, but occupy the vantage points.

Three, reoccupy the security grids which have gone soft over the last 10 years. Indian Army brought the Valley back from the brink in the nineties when the situation was much worse with thousands of mercenaries and local terrorists roaming not only the Valley, but also the upper reaches of the Chenab Valley. Today, there are fewer than 150 terrorists of the homegrown variety in the Kashmir Valley, and none in the Chenab Valley.

Four, end the endemic corruption in the Valley. A strong Governor to govern Union Territory of Kashmir would be required. A person with a military background may be advisable initially.

Five, resettle the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley after creating fool proof security conditions. Panun Kashmir has been a long-standing demand of Kashmiri Pandits. Though it fortifies the two-nation theory, yet an autonomous region for the Pandits within the Union Territory of Kashmir may be worth looking at.

Six, put the occupation of infiltration routes as a tactical priority for the military once the local militancy is under control. Occupation of the Haji Pir bulge and other Neelam Valley infiltration routes should be prioritised subject to operational feasibility.

Seven, development of tunnels and transmission lines into the valley must be given priority over all other infrastructure projects. Winters are the best period for building trust with the general population without interference from the clerics and militants. Power situation in the winters and road blockages have been a sore point with the Valley. An investment of national will and resources would strengthen a belief that rest of India cares. In any case, any solution to resolving the crisis in the Valley has to ultimately isolate the jihad merchants from the lay population.

Eight, India must attempt the final resolution of the long pending dispute with Pakistan and China. With Pakistan, it has to be on the basis of the Accession Treaty of 1947. The UN Resolution is nearly defunct, and would be formally buried if Pakistan incorporates Gilgit-Baltistan into itself. A Ladakh type Union Terriotry with a legislative assembly would be an attractive solution to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan as well. India will have to use a hybrid approach of saam-daam-danda-bheda to win them over. With China, a climb down on the Johnson Line could yield results in the foreseeable future if the Indian economy keeps growing at 7-8 per cent for another decade or so.

Nine, India has to bring all political parties on board to resolve the Kashmir issue. This may be possible in the near future if the same party gets majority in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

And last but not the least, there has to be absolute enforcement of Rule of Law.

With these Ten Commandments, we can expect that the territories of Maharaja Hari Singh would finally become an integral part of the Union of India de facto, rather than be so just de jure.

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