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The General’s Fantasies

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Pakistan?s President Pervez Musharraf in a recent interview for CNN-IBN suggested that if India demilitarizes the three towns of Srinagar, Kupwara and Baramulla, badly affected by insurgency, he will make sure that there is no militancy. Obviously, India rejected this, saying, any demilitarisation or redeployment of security forces within the territory of India is a sovereign decision of the Government of India and cannot be dictated by any foreign government. Mr. Musharraf and Pakistan may have forgotten that in 1954 Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India was ratified by the state’s assembly. Furthermore, in 1957, J&K approved its constitution, in same model as that of Indian constitution. Since then India has regarded J&K as an integral part of the India.

Since Independence, from 1947 to 1971 India has fought three wars with Pakistan over Kashmir and has won them all. During the 1965 war, India defeated Pakistan and even drove them back till Lahore and hoisted Indian flag on Pakistani soil. In 1999 Kargil clash, Indian forces forced the infiltrating Pakistani forces back. This time, Pakistan even tried without success to fool everyone by calling its own forces involved in the act as the ?freedom fighters? fighting for the liberation of Kashmir. Pakistan may have forgotten that in 1954 Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India was ratified by the state’s constituent assembly. In 1957, it approved its own constitution, modelled along the Indian constitution. Since that time India has regarded that part of the state which it controls as an integral part of the Indian union.

Given our respect to our brave soldiers and our debt to their sacrifices, Mr. Musharraf?s proposal only defies logic. Moreover, with the records of Pakistani armed force?s humiliating defeats, anyone would rather rely on Indian forces to control things than that of Pakistan. Besides, on what moral grounds can they offer to defend our people?  However, Mr. Musharraf seems to think that Indians might forsake common sense and buy his recent proposal. All he wants is, to hog the limelight without realizing these disgraceful ?acts? are not fit for of a statesman.

In every conflict, Pakistan was the aggressor and has been responsible for the death and displacement of innocents on both sides. Kargil conflict saw Pakistan lose not only militarily but diplomatically and forced upon itself an internal unrest which resulted in the coup d’?tat where then Premier Mr. Nawaz Sharif was ousted by Mr. Musharraf. Following this, Pakistan lost commonwealth membership and the International community strongly condemned the manner in which Mr. Musharraf took reins of his country promising real democracy. No one is sure yet whether Pakistan is firmly back on the road to democracy. Moreover, unlike India Pakistani democracy has been playing musical chairs with dictatorship never managing to have a prolonged run at the top. Fortunately for Mr. Musharraf, events following 9/11 attacks in a way helped legitimize his otherwise widely disapproved act of deposing democracy when America promised help in return for using Pakistan?s bases to attack Taliban. Till then Pakistan was the only country which had formally recognized the Taliban government, notorious for its brutal human rights record.

However difficult it may be to keep up with his antics, India would be better off having Mr. Musharraf at the helm than an unknown miscreant in the form of Pakistan?s emerging religious fundamentalism in politics. Nonetheless, If Mr. Musharraf wants to do charity why not offer us POK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir)?

Author: Vijay DSouza- U.K.

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