The June-July 2016 issue of SALUTE once again received a huge response from our readers. A sampling of the comments on POINT-COUNTERPOINT: THE J&K IMBROGLIO are published below. Editor.
I hope this will be read by those in-charge on both sides of the border, as well as the people of India, especially the hard line separatists in Kashmir valley. The current situation seems to be pushing GoI into a Hobson’s choice, and the ‘point of no return’ is fast approaching where political soft options are going to get closed. Honourable Prime Minister, this is the time to show your mettle as a ‘statesman’, rise above petty politics, where your mind is without fear and your head is held high. We the people, expect no less from you. Time to act is now.
Wg Cdr Unni Kartha (Veteran)
I have spent a good amount of active service in J&K and read the article with rapt attention. Containing Wahhabism in the Valley is absolutely necessary, and we should look into concrete measures that need to be taken to achieve the same. We need to choke their fund lines and expose their leadership, who have their children studying abroad, insulated from the violence. Control needs to be exercised over the mushrooming of mosques also. Pakistan has Kashmir as its unfinished agenda from the time of independence. They also have their own bleeding wounds in Baluchistan and Sindh which we must exploit. Gen. Musharraf has admitted to perpetrating the problem by looking after the radical leaders staying in Pakistan. A real aggressive approach only will bring about a solution and must be adopted. In the Valley, we need to have an effective perception management campaign. When I was there I had thought of screening films of Muslim heroines with suggestive approach but could not do so due to paucity of funds. Development of areas which are peaceful needs a thrust, to motivate the others towards peace. There is no need for a soft approach. It has not worked in the past and will not work now. Brig Ram Sharma Dear Sir, After a long time I’ve read an article on Kashmir that I agree with thousand percent. May I suggest something that I have professed vigorously when in position, that the Govt., both Centre and State, should lay their primary emphasis of development in areas of J&K that are peaceful or not much affected by militancy. There are so many, many areas within the Valley itself where ‘Fauj’is honoured and respected enormously. One can call it a reward for “Good Conduct” or whatever, but I feel strongly that bulk of funds should be diverted there.
Maj Gen Harwant Krishan
You have hit the nail on the head by identifying the Saudi Royals and their Salafi and Wahhabi supporters as the fountainhead of Islamist terrorism all over the world. The Pakistanis provide the foot soldiers, nuclear cover and intellectual inputs. The Western political, media and administrative elites have been in the pay directly or indirectly of the Saudis for a long time. They are no better than our ruling establishment who sacrifice national interest for their own short term gains – financial or political. This article needs to be read by all but I am afraid that our establishment elites just don’t care.
Maj Chandrakant Singh
The elements led by the separatist are indeed in minority yet they hold the entire population to ransom! It is hightime efforts are made to drive them across the International Border.
Lt Col K.S Puntambekar
Ground reality well narrated. Enough of talking about the Kashmiri population that has been discriminated against and needs the so called healing touch when they have cornered the major share of the states resources!
Col RC Patia
Two more aspects need to be looked into. First, how to disengage the hardcore leaders from public? Second, how to cut off the funding? We have to think of ways and means of creating a disconnect
between the hardcore leaders and Pakistan. Therein lies the challenge.
Lt Gen SL Narasimhan
The real contours of present Kashmir turmoil have been enunciated. However, to presume that non-Sunni sects in Kashmir are not siding with Sunnis in this struggle for secession may be a bit far fetched. If it was so, why should Shia clerics be part of Hurriyat conglomerate? For every mainstream politician or separatist leader, irrespective of Muslim sect he belongs to, Kashmir is a Muslim identity issue. PDP’s Mehbooba during last elections always campaigned in green abaya. Even PDP party flag is green and its symbol of inkpot has been borrowed from erstwhile Muslim United Front (MUF) of which Salahuddin, the head of the terrorist organisation, has been a part. PDP during early days of its formation brandished rock-salt at its rallies, which was imported from Pakistan before independence, to win over cadres. The message in all this is very subtle for the discerning. Laying all the blame at the doorstep of Pakistan is only being politically correct.
Col Yoginder Kandhari