Xinhua reports that skirmishes between India and Pakistan armies are going on almost at daily basis since Aug 10, 2013. Majority of the exchanges took place on ceasefire line in Poonch area of Kashmir. "Both blame each other of resorting to unprovoked firing that triggers skirmishes resulting in civilian or troop casualties on either side". The killings on ceasefire line come about at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad apparently are trying to normalize ties and resume talks. The confrontation has heightened tension between New Delhi and Islamabad overshadowing resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.
The Telegraph Calcutta reports (October 09, 2013) that former Indian army Chief VK Singh claimed that army has been bribing Kashmir´s state ministers to favour India politically to create a justification for continuing occupation. In a retracted statement, it was revealed by the general that money pumped in was mainly used to win over people of Kashmir. In October 2011 a case against the general was filed in Kashmir High Court accusing him of a fake encounter in March 2011 in which a local labourer described as a foreign militant was killed.
Khaleej Times (October 09, 2013) reported that Kashmir ´Assembly´ summoned ex-army general Singh to explain the funded money spent on the bribes in the state. The allegations triggered a storm that ministers had been receiving funds secretly since Indian intervention in Kashmir State. Gen Singh cannot see a problem as he argues that "Kashmir is a different issue altogether; a lot of things are done where money is needed. A certain amount of money is given for these works. So, where is the problem?"
The political controversies machinated one after another seem to be a deliberate attempt to confuse international community creating an impression that the problem in Kashmir has local dimensions and the uprising against India is foreign sponsored. It is also an attempt to give legitimacy to all installed puppet governments since 1947 to make military action in Kashmir look like a normal political marriage between Kashmir and India. Admitting the money was paid for destabilizing governments installed, the army general iterated that Kashmir´s bribed politicians and pro-India NGO´s are assigned the job to "blunt the anti-India propaganda" of Kashmiri separatists.
Indian army invariably uses novel methods to harass and frighten population like on May 24, 2013 in a crackdown, in Dadasara, Tral and Kuchmulla areas of Kashmir, army personnel yelled, beat drums and blew whistles for the whole night. "Children were so frightened and no one was able to sleep for the dreaded night" residents told reporters. The so called crackdown continued for 22 hours, sniffer dogs and all other means to nab the militants were used to enhance fear mongering.
Children are forced into spying for army using torture, coercion, harassment, intimidation and lured sometimes with financial gains. Amnesty International raised concern over detention of children and for the Juvenile Justice Act in Kashmir treating boys over the age of 16 as adults in violation of UNCRC and international human rights law.
Ben Doherty, reported (Sydney Morning Herald), "While rest of India forges ahead, Kashmir remains mired in a violent holding pattern of insurgent attacks on Indian security forces and army crackdowns on a population seething against what they see as a force of occupation". Quoting a local psychiatrist, he adds that almost sixty percent of Kashmiris experience trauma and fifteen percent of the population suffers from life time traumatic stress, and one in five is a victim of chronic depression. Drug abuse has increased manifold and as believed the worst has yet to come, as "young trauma generation peacetimes unknown to them are not able to get a buffer system to develop coping mechanisms".
The crackdowns of more than two decades are a chilling reminder when male members dragged out of their houses are lined up for identification parade and children and women left behind in houses face nightmarish experience to see armed infantry men barging in to search the premises. To add to the misery these belligerent people in uniform do not understand the language, customs and sensitivities of the local inhabitants. The army equipped with state of the art weaponry, draconian laws indulge in rapes and molestation which is reported as widespread.
Decade´s old worst conflict has witnessed war crimes across the region, killings, torture, molestation, rapes used as a weapon and sexual abuse by army and its police forces which are duly documented. Many unreported cases of rapes due to fear of reprisals; social stigma and lack of trust in fake state institutions will never see the light. One of the most horrible rape case documented from Kashmir is that of Konan-Poshpura where in February 1991 over 50 women in the age group of 12 to 80 were gang raped by army personal. People have been demanding justice for the last twenty three years but to no avail.
Indian Express reported that a senior officer N.C. Asthana of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) deployed in Kashmir in his book "India’s Internal Security" pens down controversial remarks saying that "there is a strong under-current against India' and that heavy turn-out in elections or flow of tourists should not be read as return of normalcy in the state" Asthana, who is posted as Inspector General of CRPF, looking after anti-Naxalite unit CoBRA, refused to answer any questions saying, "I do not wish to give any interviews or answer any questions," . Asthana was shunted out from Kashmir after CRPF had fired indiscriminately on protesters killing and injuring civilians in Bomai area of Sopor in North Kashmir.
It is worrying for peace-loving people of both countries and international community as well to see the attempt for peace negotiations possibly leading to solution of the core issue of Kashmir being sabotaged. The maintained political status-quo helps certain quarters to benefit economically and satisfies their egoistic bent of mind guided by nostalgia. It is noteworthy that Pakistan at the moment is faced with internal political turmoil, uneasy borders, organised terrorism and country on the verge of economic collapse. Under the circumstances, it would be suicidal for Pakistan to indulge in any military adventurism.
On the contrary, Indian army stands to benefit from Pakistan´s political dilemma and divert attention of international community from Kashmir to concentrate more on terrorism infested Pakistan. It also gives Indian army an opportunity to keep a lid on whatever is happening in Kashmir. Pakistan, it seems, is conveniently content with putting Kashmir on the back burner and turn a blind eye to intriguing NGO´s attempt to undermine a just solution of burning issue of Kashmir.
International community cannot ignore planned and systematic decimation of Kashmir´s entire population and being perceptive understands that unresolved Kashmir is detrimental for world peace. A third party intervention to bring India, Pakistan and leadership of Kashmir onto the negotiating table to thrash out a solution as per the wish of Kashmiris has always been imperative and indispensable. Kashmir needs a solution