The yet again mutilation of two Indian personnel by Pak troops and/or their terrorists comrades in Krishna Ghati Sector opposite Battal in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) on May 01 2017 has raised the level of public ire that has been simmering since further heightened heckling of security forces by Kashmiri youth of the Valley’s ‘infected’ districts. Mutilations and more exposures about separatists and their Pakistani contacts have hardened Indian public opinion/ rhetoric like never before. Never had one heard Indian TV news anchors refer to separatists as’ Pakistan ke dalaal’ (Pakistan’s agents). Some commentators referred to them as pimps.
Some top secret documents accessed by TV news networks, reveal various large amounts of money and their trail from Rawalpindi to Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, to Valley based separatists. It is already known that stone- pelting youth, now even including girls, are paid Rs.500/- to 700/- a day and/ or Rs. 5000/- per month. Their arsenal no longer confined to stones/rocks, includes acid bottles/bombs and petrol bombs/Molotov cocktails. On 28 March, the Army had to resort to shooting down at least four stonepelters, including three children throwing acid and petrol bombs on Armed Forces. While the Army is reportedly planning punitive action against the Pakistan army at a time and place of its choosing, there are some meaningful calibrated measures the government must take on incriminating evidence – some of which it has had since earlier and some which has surfaced very recently-and pronto.
Surgical strikes may cause lethal damage to Pak army and terrorists, but will not stop the ever rising level of bloody rioting by youth, who are being incited and paid by the separatists.Immediate actions the government must take are:
»» Stop the largesse/benefits to separatists, which should have been done ages ago.
»» Stop the totally ineffective house arrests and instead, put them in jails outside J & K State.
»» Expose Indian apologists/peaceniks and repeatedly criticise/condemn/ comment against them.
»» Publicise Army’s Kashmir ‘Super40’ initiative for coaching J&K youth for engineering entrance exams, breaking all previous records and overwhelming responses to recruitment into the Army, police and security forces.
»» Publicise Pak army’s atrocities in POK and Balochistan.
»» Take Pakistan to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on mutilations.
Interacting with this writer, Mr. Aman Hingorani, author of ‘Unravelling the Kashmir Knot’ (Sage), reiterated that mutilations by Pakistan are in gross violation of international law. There is nothing to prevent India from taking Pakistan to the ICJ at The Hague for condemnation, reparation and damages. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration do not preclude India from doing so. In any case, Article 103 of the UN Charter provides that in the event of a conflict between the obligations of the UN Members under the Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the UN Charter shall prevail. India would be well within its rights to move the ICJ against Pakistan for breaching its international obligations. For the purposes of according jurisdiction to the ICJ, India could waive its Commonwealth reservation with respect of Pakistan to this limited extent. However, such legal action should not be confined to this barbaric act. Given the absence today of a military, diplomatic or political solution to the Kashmir issue, New Delhi must at least now make the legal reference of the Kashmir issue to the ICJ on the lines suggested in Hingorani’s book,which has been endorsed as the way forward by Justice M N Venkatachaliah and Justice A M Ahmadi, former Chief Justices of India, Justice Ruma Pal, former Supreme Court Judge and several strategic, policy and defence experts. Such legal reference will depoliticise the Kashmir issue, break the current political stalemate, check the ongoing violence and pave the way for a lasting and comprehensive solution which could enable India to reclaim parts of J & K illegally occupied by Pakistan and China.
J & K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has made a bold statement,that only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can resolve the Valley’s imbroglio. It is high time to do so.