My Views

Military in kashmir – In or Out

Posted in Internal Security, Jammu & Kashmir, Terrorism by dullar on April 8, 2007

The issue of troops withdrawal means different to different sections of India. For political parties it is a new event that will open new ground for allegations and counter alegation. Congress is believed to be forced by its parteners in the J&K government coalition. For secutrity establishments, this is a security issue. For people of J&K it entails relief from tyranny of military, and for the rest of people the feelings are mixed. For the time being central government is taking a round about poistion on the issue and have deffered issue by putting up a mechanism to suggest the course of action.

The arguments that are given in the favour of troop withdrawal are: 1) Given the fact that there is reduction in the level of militancy in valley, the number of troops that are stationed there are more than what is required. The process is already going onfor last 3 months in a phased manner. 2) Military is a mechanism which is trained to deal with security issues, and by training not equipped to deal with civilians. This has led to a great anger among the people in valley which have complained about the atrocities of military. It is agreed that military is doing its job, and the conditions in the area are such that, its hard to make out the difference betwen civilians and terrorist under certain circumstances. There are also allegations of rape, and disguised murders against the military. The human rights situation is on the lower side of expectations.3) The political parties like PDP, Hurriyat are demanding the withdrawal and they to a certain extent can be understood as will of local people.4) Given the peace process that is going on with Pakistan, which has declared the J&K issue as the biggest bone of contention between the two counteries, policy establishments on this side of border are demanding a change of posture upto a particular degree. 5) Other options like replacing military with para military troops can also be exercised and army as such is not required in such huge numbers.

The arguments against the whole process of withdrawal are: 1) The matter of security and peace are supreme and can never be jeopardised under any curcumstances. 2) Though there is a decrease in militancy in valley, but troops are required to secure our long borders with Pak, PoK, and China. 3) There is increased activity of jehadi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Their presence in PoK can also not be negated under any circumstances. 4) Peace process with Pakistan do involve the long term and credible path, and the Pakistan also have equal responsiblity that they help the process move forward. It is required that they ensure that the cross border terrorism should be checked with firm hand. 5) Increased jehadi activity inside Pakistan has indicated that things are going out of control of Pakistan as well. Attacks on Musharraf, presence of al-qaeda in the northern areas of pakistan also are new matters for concern for India.5) Th issue of troop withdrawal needs an across the party discussions and a minimum concensus is needed to arrive at before any long term step is taken.This exercise is absent till now. But new mechanism as suggested by PM is welcome. 6) PDP shuld not be allowed blackmail the coalition government in J&K. 6) Consultations in a broad manner shoud be carried out with the local NGOs as well.

The ultimate goal of government should be unbreachale security of country, welfare of people, and not-at-all compromising stances with Pakistan in the peace process.


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