If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Another attack, another mayhem, another outrage. While the entire nation stands with soldiers and calls for avenge of the ghastly Fidayeen attack in Pulwama on February 14, the expected voices emerge for ‘peace talk’. The narrative of ‘Kashmiri Students’ being attacked all over Bharat was systematically built, forgetting the fact that the students who either celebrated the killings of soldiers or shouted pro-Pakistan slogans were being questioned. If all this was not enough, the caste categories of brave-hearts were also counted by sick minds.
Even after the Pulwama attack, the army has already started the operations in the valley; Government is exploring diplomatic, economic, and military options for action across the border as expected by the outraged people and some diplomatic moves are already visible. What is missing in this battle of nerves is the real grasp of the nature of war and pro-Bharat narrative around the same.
Yes, the war has been going on since partition; only the instruments of war keep changing. The enemy enters as regulars, irregulars or terrorists. Internally, intellectual cover has been created through skewed narratives of Human Rights and Kashmiriyat. The Hurriyat and stone-pelters are extended arms of the same. The ideological fundamentals for all of them are the same, as it is evident from their slogans. The video of Adil Dar and the message delivered by the Pakistan Foreign Minister have a stark similarity about the contempt for Bharat and Hindus. This is neither a war for freedom or rights but an ideological war based on a theological foundation. Neither the people nor their languages and culture have any place in this so-called struggle. The fate of people in the Pakistan-Occupied-Jammu-Kashmir is apparent enough to prove this point.
‘All India Muslim League’, the first communal political outfit was formed at the residence of Sir Salimullah Khan, a Kashmiri of Bengal. And, the poet Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, another Kashmiri, peddled the idea of a separate nation for the Muslims of the Sub-continent. M A Jinnah told the Kashmiris: “Oh yes Muslim! Our Allah is one, our Prophet is one, our Quran is one, and therefore our Voice must also be one”. From the infiltration from 1947 and demonisation of Maharaja Hari Singh to systematic Islamisation of the discourse, giving space to radicalised voices in the valley and methodical suppression of pro-Bharat nationalist voices, everything is an extension of Jihadi radicalisation.
When Jinnah called ‘Kashmir’ as the ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan, it was mainly for the strategically most important region of Gilgit-Baltistan. International players, earlier Britain, then the US and now China, used the Pakistani ambition to keep their footprint on this resource-rich and strategically significant region. We failed to build a legal or political narrative for this region or the people, who were historically part of Ladakh, not the valley.
In tune with the peaceful aspirations of Bharat, every Prime Minister has explored some ground for dialogue with Pakistan but what they received in return was backstabbing. Pulwama is followed by the Kartarpur initiative as Kargil was followed by the Lahore initiative. For Pakistan and its stooges in the valley, this is an existential war and violence is an integral part of it.
Our strength lies in the strong legal position as the instrument of accession was signed by the Maharaja, and the UN pre-condition was for Pakistan to remove the forces from the occupied territories. The democratic rights we have provided to the people of the entire state are hailed even by international organisations. It is the fundamentalists led by Pakistan and voices nurtured by the epicentre of terrorism who violate Human Rights. The Human Rights violations in the Pak occupied territory are glaring enough to support our case. The socio-political situation in Pakistan is already fragile. Even at this critical juncture, we have to come out of ‘stable Pakistan is good for us’ mindset. As the army fights war with weapons and Government goes with diplomatic offensive, unless we counter this ideological, intellectual and legal war with full might, the ‘thousand cuts’ policy of Pakistan will continue to haunt us.