• 28 July, 2021
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Why Pakistan’s Kashmir Obsession is Good for India

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)
Wed, 07 Jul 2021   |  Reading Time: 7 minutes

To use a business term to describe a national security priority is never a good idea. You can be seen as unfeeling and cold. But unfeeling and cold is what national security priorities are all about. If you are a keen student of geopolitics and national security and have had a longish stint in the corporate sector, a part of it managing profit and loss statements and balance sheets, you can be forgiven for looking at Kashmir through the lens of a cost benefit analysis paradigm. Let me explain.

India has absorbed losses in Kashmir, sometimes manageable and at other times, horrific. Loss of lives, a State (now Union Territory) shattered by Pakistan sponsored terrorism and two generations who are no longer excited by the sound of a grenade blast or the staccato of an AK 47. There are psychological problems which Kashmiris suffer from and many of these may be what we in the army know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Hardline Islamist terrorists in your backyard can be a terrifying experience. Having said that, India has managed to keep the problem geographically confined to the Kashmir Valley. Jammu has suffered violence but that is largely a thing of the past, barring a few incidents. Ladakh has always been terror free and is now a Union Territory, happy with its new and independent identity.

But Pakistan has failed in Kashmir. It wanted to use Kashmir as a bridgehead and various terror groups as proxies, to wage Jihad inside India. Minus attacks in the past on mainland India, like 26/11, Parliament attacks, 1993 bomb blasts and the Akshardham attacks, India is now largely secure. The Indian Army’s anti-infiltration grid is working fine, and the LoC is silent. The Hurriyat is confined to the dustbin of history and the tricolour flies proudly across the Valley.

We still sustain losses in Kashmir and these losses will not end anytime soon. More terror attacks on helpless civilians and unarmed policemen are expected. But these are the dying embers of a flame that roared unchecked for decades. Stone pelting is not Kashmiri by design and intent. It was imported from Palestine and planted in the Valley. Images of mobs streaming out of mosques after Friday prayers and trying to lynch policemen, burning of police vehicles and frequent hartals, or strikes, are now a distant memory. India has paid a steep price for this relative peace.

While the Pakistani establishment celebrated the bleeding of India, it hid an ugly reality from its own people. Pakistan was hemorrhaging. The pace has become more furious in the past three years. Analysts say that Pakistan will implode. It’s only a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.

Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir is as old as its creation. For Kashmir, Pakistan staked its sovereignty, its identity, its economy and even the lives of its citizens. Over decades, mass hysteria was created, and every Pakistani was expected to forfeit his life, property, and the future of his children; all for that mad dream called Kashmir.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s quote of Kashmir being Pakistan’s jugular vein was pulled out from the pages of history and burnished to a fine sheen. And under the glow of that sheen, the Pakistan Army wrote its strategic doctrines. Once the strategic doctrines were ready, Pakistan committed everything it had. The motto of the Pakistan Army became Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi-Sabillillah. It shed all pretentions of being a professional army. Jihad was its avowed aim, and its soldiers became mujahid or holy warriors.

Under the Zia-ul-Haq regime, Pakistan forever changed its trajectory. Perhaps it had hit its point of inflection. The army was radicalized and the population, weaponised. Madrasas became hotbeds of Islamic obscurantism and Pakistan gave birth to the Taliban.

Why is this history lesson important? Because Pakistan assumed that Jihad would be a twin-edged sword, targeting Kabul and Srinagar. They did not see the third edge, jutting out from one corner. The third edge was aimed at Pakistan itself. It is not just the bomb blasts and terror activities that seem to flourish unchecked inside Pakistan. Jihad has damaged Pakistan in ways from which it may never recover.

Pakistan may not show up on various global surveys on “Gun Ownership”, but that is primarily because gun ownership in that country is largely illegal. Darra Adam Khel in the Kohat Subdivision of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, is probably the largest gun market in the world. Cheap replicas of anti-aircraft guns, automatic rifles and even rocket launchers are manufactured and prominently displayed. Some say that Darra Adam Khel has been shut down. Some say it has merely shifted.

Guns find their way into Pakistan from Afghanistan and Iran, but that is not the true measure of the danger Pakistan faces. The problem for Pakistan lies in the carefully cultivated image of machismo that a Pakistani male must ideally identify with. “Aslah Musalman ka zevar hai” or “Weapons are the jewelry of a Muslim” is an oft quoted phrase, believed and digested with gusto. Some commentators put the violent death toll in only the city of Karachi, between 2006 to 2016, to over 25,000. And these were just deaths that were officially reported. Underreporting of crimes is par for the course for Pakistan.

Drugs flooded Pakistan after its Afghan Jihad experiment and they were used to fund the Jihad, a nod to Pakistan’s affair with narco-terrorism. In a damning indictment, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime revealed in its Drug Use in Pakistan – Technical Summary Report (2013) that Pakistan had 6.7 million users, including 4.25 million who were thought to be drug-dependent. Eight years on, the drug addiction in Pakistan has assumed horrendous proportions. De-addiction clinics are few and those that do exist, are so expensive that they are out of reach of the common Pakistani.

In May 1998, Pakistan went nuclear, in response to India’s nuclear tests. Most countries do not discuss their nuclear programs in public. Pakistan is not most countries. Taking forward the saying “Aslah Musalman ka zevar hai”, nuclear capability is flaunted, and threats of nuclear war made openly on Pakistan’s myriad TV channels. Many of these threats are made by sitting cabinet ministers. All this is noted, discussed, and debated by a horrified international media.

When Pakistan’s former Army Chief and President Pervez Musharraf said in an interview with top journalist Wajahat Khan that “Osama bin-Laden is a hero to Pakistanis”, no one was surprised. When the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said on the floor of the Parliament that bin-Laden is a ‘Shaheed’ or martyr, hence giving the world’s deadliest terrorist an angelic halo, many Pakistanis agreed with him.

There is a subject taught to school students in Pakistan by the name of Pakistan Studies. History is manufactured and shoved down the throat of impressionable children. They are taught that they are decedents of warriors and invaders and why Hindus must be despised. They learn that they are the Qila, or fortress of Islam and that the world is conspiring against them. It is such attitudes, built up over decades, that encourage the Interior Minister of Pakistan, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, to proudly admit on National TV that the Taliban finds safe haven in Pakistan.

Pakistan continues to be in the FATF Grey List. Rather than work on resolving issues and getting itself removed from the Grey List, the Pakistani establishment, through its controlled media, keeps spouting the same old gibberish about how FATF is Indian and Israeli controlled and how every move by the “Jewish lobby” is aimed to humiliate Pakistan, the only Islamic nuclear power.

This long list of endless misery would be incomplete without mentioning Pakistan’s economic woes. In a terrifying statistic often quoted by hapless Pakistani economists, each newborn is 200,000 Pakistani Rupees in debt, at the time of birth. Pakistan continues to borrow money from anyone who will lend it, irrespective of the terms and conditions. It borrows money to even pay back the interest on the previously borrowed loan. Concerned experts say that by the end of 2021, Pakistan will not have enough money to pay salaries.

When countries and international institutions stopped giving money or put too stringent a condition, Pakistan started mortgaging its national strategic assets to raise funds. International airports in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan have already been pledged. Add motorways, government building and parks to this list and a dystopian nightmare starts to unfold; except that dystopia is imagined. Pakistan is real.

Pakistan is the 33rd largest nation on earth, by size, and it is imploding because of its mad obsession with Kashmir, a Muslim majority area that is about 140 kms by 40 kms in size. Yes, Pakistan claims Jammu and Ladakh too; however, that is a moot point. Pakistan claims Sir Creek, Junagadh, and Siachen also, but the vehemence and naked aggression it displays for Kashmir belongs with the lunatic fringe.

Each time the Prime Minister of Pakistan speaks at an international forum, his domestic audience demands that the Kashmir issue be raised. In the past three years of the Imran Khan government, Pakistan’s foreign policy has become unidimensional. Khan could have asked for technology for desalination plants and drip irrigation. He could have asked for massive investment in primary education and technology or maybe a partnership to increase exports and put Pakistan on the path to economic prosperity. But for a nation that has been fed on the opium of “Aslah Musalman ka zevar hai”, weaponising its population is a far more urgent national imperative. Trade is not for warriors.

The Kashmir bogey is simply too powerful to ignore. No Prime Minister of Pakistan dare make it a second priority. Even Pakistan’s army chiefs, those demigods whose writ is unchallenged, bow before the Kashmir issue. This presents a unique opportunity for India.

Every conflict has its own economy and its own shelf life. Kashmir is no different. The more Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir grows, the more its national priorities will get skewed. Matching India weapon for weapon, mortgaging their strategic assets to the Chinese, allowing the State Bank of Pakistan to be run by the IMF, creating a foreign policy binary in which there is Kashmir or nothing and creating enemies out of friends by making Kashmir an “Islamic” issue, is all adding up rapidly. This is the beginning of the destabilising of Pakistan’s core.

Most of Pakistan’s elite have dual passports and the last three Army Chiefs of the Pakistan Army live abroad. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani lives in a mansion in Australia. General Pervez Musharraf shuttles between Dubai and London. General Raheel Sharif lives in Saudi Arabia. The list is long, and it includes bureaucrats, businessmen and the entire top shelf of Pakistan’s elite who use a second passport as a parachute to be used just in case the plane goes into freefall.

As the frantic loan taking exercise picks up pace, Pakistan’s elite gets wealthier and the nation’s condition, more precarious. The decision to take loans is taken by individuals, but the loan is paid back by the state. This cold reality is at the core of Pakistan’s impending implosion. And the nucleus of this core is Kashmir. Kashmir is the cause. Implosion is the effect.

Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir is detrimental to its national security and it is this obsession that is India’s biggest weapon against Pakistan.

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Author

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd) is Editor-in-Chief of Chanakya Forum. A noted public speaker, he was invited to speak at the UK Parliament in October 2017, where he articulated India’s stand on Kashmir. He is a keen writer.


Disclaimer

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POST COMMENTS (36)

Pradeep M. Gupte

Jul 27, 2021
A very well written article stating the reality which the Pakistanis must realize before they totally implode. JAI HIND. GOD BLESS 🇮🇳

Vipin

Jul 25, 2021
briefly explained problems in Kashmir good article jai hind🇮🇳

Abhinav Gaur Raghuvanshi

Jul 24, 2021
very well clearly explained the situation and terror state Pakistan will be no more in future

Ruchi Sinha

Jul 18, 2021
It's really a delight to listen and read your articles.

Vijay Vidhate

Jul 16, 2021
Thanks for providing this information.

Kanhaiya Kulkarni

Jul 13, 2021
Very well explained sir.. Reality has been exposed .. JAI HIND SIR

Pankaj

Jul 11, 2021
A country built on hate and fake identity can't last for long. Will be good riddance.

Radhika Ogale

Jul 10, 2021
If Pakistan implodes India will have mass of migrants entering thru Kashmir. So it will be same problem like Rohingyas in W.Bengal.

Anant Thapa

Jul 09, 2021
Very well explained.

Vikram G K

Jul 09, 2021
I'd like to disagree with the basic premise of the argument that Pakistan's impending doom and implosion is a given. The author with his long experience as a Pakistan watcher should be aware that such predictions about Pakistan's imminent collapse have been made many times during the last 30 years. They have experienced bankruptcy, coups, violence and terrorism, blacklisting by FATF, and even US sanctions. It's been almost a decade since President Obama called Pakistan a disastrously dysfunctional state. Pakistan has shown a remarkable ability to survive. The military has been able to anesthetize the public and redirect their anger by blaming India. Moreover, if you read/watch Pakistani news, you'll find that any negative news from India (floods, poverty, rapes, crime, lynchings, economy, unemployment etc.) is played up and makes for big headlines. The idea is to tell the people this: "You think you have it bad? India is worse. Their country is in tatters, they are more miserable than you. So be happy with what you have". Their public is kept away from India's success stories in IT, Healthcare, Urban Transportation, FDI, Foreign Reserves, etc. An entire generation of the population has been gaslit into actually believing that they're in a much better situation than India. Try putting things in perspective with a Paki on Twitter and you'll realize that you hitting your head against a wall. They actually believe that they won all wars with India. That's the level of brainwashing. In the face of all this, it is unlikely that there will be an implosion within Pakistan. The people are illiterate, brainwashed, radicalized, and have stopped expecting anything better from their government of just life in general. The elite just run away to developed western countries. The military establishment will impose a tight control over all aspects of life, including freedom of speech and thought. They'll keep taking loans from world bodies, sell national assets to China, or resort to narco-terror trade. If all else fails, as the revered Stephen Cohen said: "Pakistan negotiates with the world by holding the gun to its own head". By threatening to implode, Pakistan can get whatever it wants.

Gaurav Tiwari

Jul 09, 2021
Love u sir ❤️❤️❤️❤️🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 jaihind🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳❤️🙌🏻

G.vishnuvardhan Reddy

Jul 09, 2021
nice explains sir

HANUMANTH REDDY MADDURI

Jul 09, 2021
spot on analysis gaurav ji Pakistan has been an artificial creation....matter of time it implodes ..... only hope the debris do land on us

Radha choube

Jul 09, 2021
sir, ur parallel foreign, defense and strategic policy is doing great round for India. Though Government of India is maintaining diplomatic balance you give voice to people's sentiments.

Sandeep Johar

Jul 09, 2021
Very well said Major Gaurav Arya Sir

Saurabh Master

Jul 09, 2021
I always watch your shows Majorbhai all the shows including the one with Tahir Gohra sir.Salutes to you our Indian brother who served in our finest army.God bless.

Mukesh.Naik

Jul 09, 2021
Sir, Very true. Henceforth we must not entertain Pakistan on Kashmir on any National or International Forum .Kashmir is now our own internal matter this should made clear to Pakistan and others instead it's high time to take up POK , Gilgit - Baltistan matters with Pakistan Jai Hind Very true

Subrata Chakraborty

Jul 09, 2021
Sir, Why indian TV channel debate always in noise ? If possible , please arrange like YouTube debate one by one .

Vishnu bhat

Jul 09, 2021
Big fan major gaurav arya sir ! From defensive offense , tag t.v to Republic t.v I follow you . I am NDA aspirant sir . Hope we will meet some day . Well said about the pak in this article. Jai hind ❤🚩🚩🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳

Pratik Pawar

Jul 09, 2021
Very well explained sir.

Biki

Jul 09, 2021
lovely sir. you are doing wonderful job. keep it up

Pritam

Jul 09, 2021
We love u Gaurav Aarya sir.

MK Bhardwaj

Jul 08, 2021
Jai Hind Sir, agreed, Paxtan obsession with Kashmir will bring him on the verge of a big implosion. In every global forum their PM rakes up K-issue infact over last 20 years, also even their own foreign affairs ministers never ever in their 73-year history talk of tech., medical infra., women empowerment and raising education standards in paxtan. Coming to the Kashmir, terror incidents happen every alternate day, though it was reduced significantly since abrogation of art. 370, but yet its not fully tapped. Recent drone attacks is an example of 3rd gen. warfare strategy by Pak army. Many, rumours flies of 3rd surgical strike in PojK, but in my opinion we should hammer two places GHQ, Rawalpindi and PMA,Kakul those are real Cancer otherwise this jihad will continue forever, we can't afford to loose more of owr bravehearts anymore. Lastly, Major sir I request you to communicate with great Pojk leader Mr. Amjad Ayub Mirza. Despite being threatened by the ISI, his YT channel radio Himalaya has done a commendable job so far. He has deep assets in PojK and had already shown shocking video proofs from so called "Azad Kashmir" aka PojK and also PoGB on how Paxtan army forcefully grabbing locals land and also act as Timber mafia. He also had tons of documented proofs on exploitation of natural resources in Gilgit-baltistan & PojK by their rogue army. He even told there will be a joint military training with Turkish army in Muzaffarabad will seen in future. Our media never showed what is cooking on ground floor of both occupied territories of Kashmir and western Jammu when it comes to documented proofs by deep assets whose boots are in ground zero. Jai Bharat.

Vikas

Jul 08, 2021
Very good article major gaurav arya sir and very knowledgeable also for those who want to know about the geopolitics.

Vinesh Tyagi

Jul 08, 2021
Very nice article

dr.devesh pandey

Jul 08, 2021
best article ,thanks major gaurav arya ji jai hind jai bharat jai shree ram

Raju Thakur

Jul 08, 2021
Very well said Sir. Bharat mata ki jai.

Nitin Sharma

Jul 08, 2021
Sir, In long term parted parts of 'Bharatvarsh' reunite and glorify, But at which cost and after how many deaths. Shouldn't we punish all those who are responsible for crores of deaths.

Ujjwal

Jul 08, 2021
Great Article with True information about the reality of Pakistan's Govt. and Army(Mujahids), Kashmir issue work as lollipop for pakistan's general public.

deep

Jul 08, 2021
got to know reality about pakistan good article

Sandeep Singh

Jul 08, 2021
Well written article. This is what I thought all the time. I believe Pakistan will give his part of Kashmir to China in lieu of all debt.

Mr. Nobody

Jul 07, 2021
Dear Major Arya, Here, you discussed what Pakistan claims about Kashmir. I am sorry to say no one saying about What Pakistan did with the people of Baramula in Oct 47.

ASHOK IYER

Jul 07, 2021
I respectfully, beg to differ with the author on his statement that Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir is good for India & is India’s biggest weapon against Pakistan. I agree with him 100% on the current scenario in Pakistan & yes, it is on the verge of a major implosion that will lead to major instability in the AF-PAK region. This will seriously affect CPEC & China’s ambitious BRI initiative. However, one shouldn’t forget that Pakistan is a country in possession of nuclear weapons. Yes, the US claims that it has some sort of control over most of Pakistan’s nuclear assets but are you 100% sure that all their nuclear weaponry is under US surveillance or control?? Given the extremely high rate of corruption in Pakistan, & the unlimited greed of its military elite, isn’t it reasonable to assume that one or more of such nuclear weapons can fall into private hands?? One of the lessons learnt from the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai was that there are thousands of impoverished youths in Pakistan who, for a fair sum of money, are ready to be brainwashed & give up their lives by attacking the enemies of Pakistan. In the near future scenario of an unstable & imploding Pakistan, the highly radicalized Pakistani nutcases can be used to launch a nuclear attack inside India. How difficult will it be for the ISI or other radical groups to exploit such brainwashed youths and launch a catastrophic attack on India?? While the Pakistani obsession over Kashmir has certainly contributed in a big way to the internal destruction of Pakistan, it should be a cause of major concern to India. Therefore, in my perception, the Pakistani obsession over Kashmir is definitely not good for India.

Poonam Dave

Jul 07, 2021
MGA, I have been a fan of your writing for a long time and I've learned so much from your articles.  Napoleon once said - Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. And so let Pakistan keep talking about Kashmir as it is good for us.

Happychappy

Jul 07, 2021
Great article Major Saab. I feel sorry for ordinary Pakistanis - their kids blow themselves up for jihad. While the children of the Generals and Elite study abroad and stay there.

BHAVIL GOYAL

Jul 07, 2021
First of all a long time major arya sir i am reading a article from you it is brilliant. Kashmir is the elemnt of the K2 memorandum in which both Khalistan and Kashmir have failed brutally. Pak army has a nation to fool a 22 crores population has been fed the poor quality Jihad drug which has lasted longer than expected. Pakistan definitely will implode someday but now INDIA faces a major challenges concerning national security regarding china and interior states like Kerela, West( waste) Bengal and Assam. India should soon institutionalise the development in cybersecurity and AI. Pak media is not the only thing controlled in Pakistan chinese have almonst the entire land of pakistan and furthermore Pakistan has external debts more than its GDP. Top elite class of Pakistan knows that soon this rogue state gonna implode badly thats why they never stayed here and whatever mere develpment happens is only in Punjab province because they know it will be broken. Laslty very country having a army but the reverse with Pakistan also its motto "IMAN TAQWA JIHAD( ZAKAT) FI-SABILLILLAH. Mhd Jinnah and Imran khan is the best thing to happen to INDIA

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