Goodby Kashmir


So far, the unusual war against terrorism in the Muslim countries, other than Afghanistan, was shaping up like an unusual war, with more emphasis on positive incentives than military attacks. After receiving a few carrots, General Musharraf promptly declared, his stance -- in other words his butchery of principles -- has been vindicated. We argued, this is too early to declare victory as we have yet to be bludgeoned with the hidden stick. We forgot that in nature nothing can be given, all things are sold. A few green signals from Washington to New Delhi, however, have done the trick to prove this point. India is at our throat and Uncle Sam is enjoying the show, telling us in unspoken words: you have not fully surrendered yourself, lets begin with what actually forced you to join my coalition?


We assumed that being on the American bandwagon, India would think twice before any adventurous move against Pakistan. We thought, the US words and deeds in Afghanistan are limited to Afghanistan alone. We didn't realize that the vague principles -- which were not even endorsed by the US extension of the State Department: the UN -- we approve today would come to haunt us to the grave tomorrow. We misconceived it as a war on terrorism, a war on Osama, and then accepted it even when it turned out to be a war on the Taliban. Even today, most of us still believe that the US and its allies' war is limited to terrorism - not knowing that besides many obligations as being Muslims, we have to say good bye to Kashmir as well.


We believed that like our myopic approaches, the US would also be taking every issue in isolation from the other. To us, the principles that we sacrificed in the case of US imperial war in Afghanistan, had no links to Kashmir or Palestine. But the US fully planned its present as well as future moves. It knew that the Indians would use the same principles to attack Pakistan and Israel would use the same principles to intensify its war on the enslaved people in the occupied territories. When our generals were busy preparing wish-lists to send to Washington for obtaining their rewards for cooperation, the Indians sent a very clever and logical letter to Mr. Bush arguing their case against Pakistan.


If we naively argue about the pending UN resolutions on the Kashmir issue; so are there more UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue and so was there no resolution at all to approve what the US has done and is doing in Afghanistan. The UN is absolutely irrelevant. It's only the US, which can utilize it selectively, sometimes to veto in defense of Israeli terrorism and mostly to justify its terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere.


Our destiny is in our hand. We reap what we sow. If Jihad is so irrelevant to us that we remove Jihad related Quranic verses from the school curriculum, why shall we force it in reality in Kashmir? If Afghans can live in peace under the so obvious CIA installed regime, headed by the CIA groomed leader, why can't Kashmiris live in peace under someone installed by RAW, or Palestinians under someone appointed by Mossad? If economic prosperity is the sole objective of our lives, why can't it be so for the Kashmiris and the Palestinians to whom their respective masters would open the doors of their respective caches only if they submit themselves as we did. If religion is irrelevant in Pakistan, so is our existence as a state and our demand for a separate homeland for Kashmiris or Palestinians or Chechens.


We blunder when we join the western chorus of secularism; launch campaigns against religious parties, religious institutions, religious curricula and governments called themselves Islamic states. The same blunder comes to haunt us where we want to use religious card either for the right cause or for our vested interest. We have to understand and admit that the US is fighting this war on Islam in a really sophisticated and refined manner. By the time, we realize our blunders, the onlookers would be looking at our fixed frozen eyes, telling the world, wish we could take a real principled stand when the first among us was attacked and we thought this is the only brother we have to sell to please our masters.


India is not escalating tensions without a sufficient US backing, which has already declared Kashmiris struggle for self-determination as terrorism. The US knew its targets on the international chessboard. When it moved Pakistani pawn forward to take out the Taliban government, the US knew exactly where and how much vulnerable Pakistan would be to the internal rifts and external attacks. The US knew that it cannot directly attack the only nuclear-Muslim state; one, because of its over due commitment to implementation of the US designs in Afghanistan and, two, due to absence of a perfect ruse to go to war. The US could not afford to go to war against Pakistan in a situation where it has to do more than the required groundwork to attack the already tethered goat, Iraq. India is the best option to subdue Pakistan and neutralise its nuclear capability.


The US is keeping all the options open. As a preventative measure, removing from office two powerful hard-line generals who opposed cooperation with the United States has consolidated General Musharraf's position. The General can now openly state that he would stay regardless of any democratic process. To neutralize Islamic sentiments - the sentiments that call for justice in international relations and pose resistance to foreign domination -- the General would crackdown on religion and religious institutions as and when advised and fully supported by the US agencies. To avoid the much-dreaded eventuality of falling our nuclear weapons in the hands of "Islamic fundamentalists," the war drama with India would wipe off our nuclear ability along with a million or so Pakistani and Indian civilian lives. And the US would happily live thereafter with perfectly neutralized Muslim countries.


We are set to lose the Kashmiri cause. Kashmir slipped out of our hands the day we joined the coalition without giving due head to the principles we were knowingly and unknowingly violating. It is just a matter of time, when we accept the reality that Kashmir can never be a part of Pakistan, or in any other shape to our liking. When you yield the right to defend one Muslim brother, you automatically lose the argument for another. When you allow an Islamic Emirate to become a US satellite state, you cannot ask for a portion of land, which never was a country, to be either independent or a part with Pakistan. We have cut our hands as well as our tongues. Where our hands are neither cut nor tied, there they are on the throats of other Muslim brothers.


Whether we believe it or not, the war on Islam has deepened. As far as  Pakistan is concerned, in the eye of the US a possible paradigm for a stable Pakistan, is: "the Turkish model of government in which the military acts as a fundamental guarantor of the political system while civilian politicians are given control of day-to-day operation of the country." This was stated by Anatol Lieven, Senior Associate, Carnegie endowment for International Peace, on October 25, 2001. On the international level, Thomas Friedman declared in the New York Times column on December 12: "we don't want a war with Islam. We want a war within Islam." This war is well underway: Northern and Eastern Muslims are at the throat of Southern Muslims in Afghanistan; Muslim military and militia against Muslim Arabs in Pakistan; Muslim leaders pitted against Muslim masses and religious institutions in almost every Muslim country; and disenchanted and desperate Muslims against the rulers (killing of Interior Minister, Moin ud Din Haider's brother in Pakistan).


The US armed forces are in Afghanistan not only for Afghanistan but also for Pakistan. Boston Globe editorialized on December 05, 2001 that the war "that has drawn US armed forces to Afghanistan had its origins in the chaos spawned by one failed and one failing state. And as recently as December 20, the New York Times lectured General Musharraf how to perfectly toe the line in the following words: "General Musharraf must crack down on terrorist groups operating in his own country." Anyone who talks or acts against the imperial designs is definitely a terrorist and must be dealt with as such.


We must give all credit to the American analysts, who so wisely help the US establishment shape its foreign policy. Why does Thomas Friedman consider that the "real war" with Islam has yet to begin in the Muslim countries in the "schools, mosques, churches and synagogues...with the help of imams, rabbis and priests" (NY Times, Nov. 17, 2001)? Simply because Mr. Friedman knows that once the Muslims are ready to compromise their faith; sovereignty, self-determination, independence, Kashmir etc then become trivial matters before the glittering dollars for material well being alone. Many analysts consider General Musharraf to be walking on the tight rope. In fact, he has long fallen to the glittering side of the divide along with the fate of Kashmir, and Pakistan as a bastion of Islam.

December 23, 2001

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