Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat talking to an Indian media outlet alleged that Pakistan had reactivated terror facility at Balakot and in a threatening tone said “ India will not allow Pakistan to vitiate the atmosphere in IOK any longer. Pakistan controls the terrorists, who act as its proxies. It’s no longer going to be a hide and seek. If we have to go across, we will, through the air or the ground route or both. The red line has been very clearly drawn as to what will be the future course of action.  Fighting a proxy war with us is the state policy of Pakistan” Responding to a question about the likely scenario after lifting of curfew he claimed that large number of people in the valley had come to realize that what happened had happened for their good. 

As is evident his statement reflects typical belligerent stance of Indian government towards Pakistan premised on fallacious contention of Pakistan supporting acts of terrorism in IOK besides being a premonition for the things to come. According to reports in the international media Indian armed forces special operations division has also carried out its first war games near the Pakistan border in Gujarat. 

The threat by General Bipin reinforces the fear expressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address to the UN General Assembly about India carrying out a false-flag operation in IOK after lifting of curfew in the valley and throwing blame on Pakistan. Pulwama was preceded by similar bellicose blustering by India. Imran Khan’s appeal to the UN and the world community to intervene to prevent the unfolding human tragedy and a likely clash between the two nuclear states was a timely warning to the world and it would be unfortunate if it failed to respond positively.  However, In case the Indians resort to the recklessness of committing any aggression against Pakistan as threatened by General Bipin, they would not find her napping. The response would be as determined and resolute as it was when India committed the indiscretion of sending its planes across the border in February.

His claim of Pakistan having reactivated terror facility at Balakot, is indeed a preposterous proposition. There was no terror camp at Balakot which India claimed to have hit killing nearly 350 alleged terrorists. The Indian planes only destroyed a few trees on a hill side. Indian lie was exposed by the international media which corroborated the fact that there was no training camp in the area and there were no casualties as claimed by India.

Pakistan does not want any conflict with India and still would like to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means in conformity with the UN resolutions. There is no question of any compromise on it or letting India go scot-free with what it has done. The Pakistani leadership both civilian and military and the whole nation have vowed to stand by Kashmiris they win their legitimate right of self-determination promised to them by the UN.

As regards his claim Pakistan fighting a proxy war with India by controlling the terrorists in IOK, it seems ridiculous in view of the fact that in an interview with The Economic Times last June he had admitted the indigenous character of the freedom movement in IOK saying the more we kill them ( Kashmir youth) the more join the fighting. He also urged giving peace a chance by initiating dialogue with Kashmiris. Similarly his assertion that people of Kashmir had realized that what had happened had happened for their good was belied by the reports of resistance against the Indian action emerging from IOK and continuously being reported by the international media. The New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian have been reporting harrowing stories of Indian atrocities against the people of Kashmir. On 30th September The New York Times carried a  report  by  Geffery Gettleman with a headline “ Growing Anger and Misery” portrays a heart-rending situation in the IOK supported by pictures of young women and boys injured by pallet guns, crowds protesting against Indian atrocities and Indian soldiers shooting into the crowd. The pictures would break the heart of even the most stone-hearted individuals. In the face of this reality the claim by General Bipin that the people of Kashmir had realized what had happened had happened for their good, is simply a callous and inhuman observation on such a tragic situation. 

The reality is that the people of Kashmir are fighting for their legitimate right of self-determination since 1989 undeterred by the atrocities committed by the Indian security forces. It was accepted by the world as a legitimate freedom movement and the international media is on record to have reported on it in that vein. Come 9/11 the whole scenario changed which led to the emergence of  ‘Islamophobia’ and those powers which acknowledged  freedom struggle in Indian occupied Kashmir as a legitimate phenomenon started subscribing to the Indian view of it being terrorism. This transformation in their attitude stemmed from their strategic and commercial considerations.  They grabbed it as a chance to exploit Indian market consisting of 1.2 billion people as rightly pointed out by Imran Khan. Humanitarian considerations took the back seat.

According to figures compiled by different Human Rights Organizations including Amnesty International, since January 1989 till 31st August 2019, the Indian security forces have killed 95,438 people including 7128 custodial killings, gang-raped 11,140 women and destroyed 109,409 homes.  It has been doing that because the international community looked the other way. Since Modi becoming Prime Minister of India the killing spree in IOK has assumed new dimensions. However the killing of a Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani in 2016 has given new momentum to the freedom movement. The Indian security forces have also raised the level of oppression in the valley. Since July 2016, 1031 people have been killed, more than 27000 subjected to torture, 11858 have been arrested, 10298 injured with pallet guns, 3306 homes have been demolished and 933 women have been gang-raped. But unfortunately all those killings and acts of barbarity have failed to stir the conscience of the world.

Freedom movements cannot be suppressed with barrel of the gun as testified by the world history. India needs to accept this reality because the continuation of oppression in Kashmir and hostility towards Pakistan will not only hurt both the countries but would also remain a perennial threat to the regional peace, security and shared economic prosperity. Prime Minister Imran Khan was right on money in observing that both the countries need to come together to fight the real issues of poverty, disease and backwardness. The racist ideology pursued by the Indian rulers is a threat to India itself and could have far-reaching consequences.  Therefore the world community needs to act now.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

Pakistan does not want any conflict with India and still would like to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means in conformity with the UN resolutions