It was shocking event, when a C.B.I official informed the apex judicial forum of the Jammu and Kashmir State, that the Prime Indian investigating agency has at long last, found about, the Gods truth about the murder of the two youngish village ingenus in God’s own country with Godspeed and discovered that divinity was mainly responsible for the irresovalbility of the real fact, and the evil doing was an act of divine-will. The trivial contentious lawyer P. Chidambaram from South India, as Home Minister was ecstatic.
The Kashmiris across the board felt like fishes caught in a fish Garth. The clunker CBI sleuths celebrated the event with lot of hubris and gaiety. The Hurriyat leaders without determining the lawlessness or lawfulness of the CBI claim and itty bitty conclusions laced with “garam masala” suggestions to prosecute local lawyers and doctors of Shopian garry owned to the landing ground to find the ball bounced is still high in the air. The garrulous talkative loquacious political class had a field day to theorise on possibilities. The nut-shell was the polarization of public opinion represented by ruling National Conference versus the rest. This polarisation reflects the alienation of the Kashmiri people from the mainstream Indian Politics that would enable ISI of Pakistan to take advantage of this new situation. To understand the conundrum we would have to focus our attention to the regional mosaic to the panorama. Debating Afghanistan is to understand what is happening in Kashmir.
First, we notice that the population in US has become wary of federal spending in Afghanistan. They would not meekly allow the administration to spend a couple of trillion more dollars in Afghanistan.
Second, the people in Afghanistan realise, the real problem for US administration is new jobs programme to ease unemployment. So the dramatic expansion of US military involvement in Afghanistan, at this time of economic distress will whet the understated appetite of the public for peace in Afghanistan.
Third the public researchers in US found to their horror that if taxes go up, then, automatically the debts would go up, and it will make people sceptical in large measure of the explosion in military spending. In common man’s parlance this means compulsions for Obama to downsize the campaign in Afghanistan. The remarks of President Ahmadinejad in Shiraz, that US realises it cannot succeed in Afghanistan are pertinent. The economic considerations will in a large measure determine the alignment of the redefined contour line of diplomacy in Afghanistan. US will have to correctly read the emerging new thunderstorm developing in Iran.
Fourth, we reach the conclusion that despite committing more than 30,000 more troops to Afghan campaign, Obama secretly is trying to reach some sort of concordance.
Fifth Obama realises that Pakistani Taliban from Waziristan under the guidance of Hakim Waliullah would join Jihad in Afghanistan, and ISI would enable a rump of Pak Taliban to open a second front in India. This is the core to my thesis after studying the facts of Pak army blitz in Swat and Waziristan. War in Afghanistan is turning out to be hazy, indistinct and convoluted. This new situation has made India to realise, that after spending several thousand crores of Rupees in Balouchistan and Waziristan, events have made the Indian demarche morph from concrete to abstract. In other words Indian economic investment in Afghanistan, Waziristan and Balouchistan is sadly appearing to be totally futile and meaningless.
Sixth, India realises that Obama administration is utilizing Pakistan to reach an understanding with Taliban and is willing to accept Taliban if it dissociates itself from Al-Qaeda, and declare itself as bellwether of Afghan nationalism. This is the core of the current toughest problem that U.S is facing. The World Bank stance that Kashmir is a disputed territory, can only be understood in the backdrop of these events. The U.S has also realised that Pakistan can be a good broker between Taliban and US but Pak intelligence agencies would do their best to avoid any confrontation with Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Omer who is supported not only by ISI but by the Pakistani administration as well.
My own view is that Pakistan administration has reached some sort of secret understanding with Mullah Omer and Hamid Karzai, the new satrap of Afghanistan. The conventional wisdom was that the success of Pak military campaign in Swat, and, the escalation of war on terror by Pak army in Waziristan, would to open civil war in NWEP, Sindh and Balouchistan. If this has not happened then the logical inference is that Pakistan has succeeded in reaching some sort of understanding with Mullah Omer to orient the Taliban movement under the banner of Afghan nationalism. The US troops commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended. It is directed to enable Taliban to assume the goal of Afghan nationalism. This is the limited objective of the U.S forces in Afghanistan; namely, to encourage Afghan nationalism. This stance suits Iran as well. Iran also wants that Taliban should dissociate themselves from Al-Qaeda and emerge as a strong Afghan nationalist force. President Asif Ali Zardari, Hamid Karzai and President of Iran have already drawn some sort of road map to reach this objective with the blessings of U.S. This inference finds some sort of indirect corroboration from the evidential material that shows that Turkey is distancing itself from U.S to convince Iran and Iraq that a new regional formation would allow greater leverage to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey axis, that would aim to isolate the Saudi influence, enabling Russia and China to fall along the line; with this new regional formation the situation is so convoluted that it is difficult for any one to ask Socratic questions and get finely defined answers, except that in this process the Pakistan army would endeavour to buy peace with Pakistani Taliban, and would, enable the rump of Mehsud tribe led by Hakim Waliullah to open a new front in Kashmir so that peace is restored in Pakistan. China in the meanwhile will provide full military succour to Maoists in Nepal to gain upper hand, as an ally of Pakistan. The military in Kashmir is directly proportional to military in Nepal and to the Maoists insurgency in India and is fuelled by arise of Hindutva concept in India. So we are at the threshold of tough and worse times. President Asif Ali Zardari realises, that if he does not co-operate with the Pak army, then his survival in this gory drama would become increasingly difficult. He is apparently the best option for India, but his own options are fast shrinking. U.S wants President Zardari as he is the only bridge between Iran and Pakistan. He alone can play a role to stabilize this region. His father in Law, Late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, played a crucial role in allowing Nixon to develop some sort of understanding with China.
President Zardari would be well advised to emulate this examplum and pay a proactive role is allowing some space to Barrack Obama to forge some sort of new understanding with Iran. So the think tank in US has found out that the so called US-Iranian cold war now is evidencing the signs of visible thaw. That is why Barrack Obama not even once called for overthrow of the regime in Iran. U.S. politicians call it “fundamentally different relationship with Iran.”
The upshot of my discourse is that these fast paced events only point out Kashmir is one again going to emerge as a new bitter South Asian irritant, as Russia would whole heartedly support Indian stance on Kashmir, as, counter to the U.S influence in South Asia. We are back to square one. India Russia, Israel under compulsion of circumstances have to forge a new alliance and spearhead a new cold war between U.S and Russia in this part of the world and Eastern Europe, a process that will gain momentum with the re-election of Validimir Putin, the new strident symbol of Russian nationalism in near future. Happy Moon Jacob and Parveen Swami the two Indian publicists who are over emphasizing the “importance of metamorphosis” in Kashmir, have disregarded the prime importance of regional factors, that are bound to impact Kashmir.
Author is a Senior Advocate in High Court Srinagar