PULWAMA ATTACK AND HOW TO DEAL IT
By Saeed Qureshi
The only use of nuclear weapons in the history of armed conflict happened during the final stage of World War II. The United States dropped two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The two bombings killed 129,000–226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. The United States dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. Such was the colossal devastation of human population and territory caused by those bombs when the nuclear technology was a fraction of what it is today. The two cities turned into heaps of rubble. One can imagine what can be the scale of devastation if India and Pakistan go for the atomic warfare.
On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the district, of Indian part of state of Jammu and Kashmir,. The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)[a] personnel as well as the attacker. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. A Jaish-e-Mohammed member named Adil Ahmad Dar, a Kashmiri local, was identified as the attacker. It is the deadliest terror attack on India's state security personnel in Kashmir since 1989
In the aftermath of this horrendous attack Indian political leadership, the armed forces and extremist Hindu outfits have been calling for revenge against Pakistan by way of bombing Pakistan even with nuclear arsenal. Simultaneously, the Muslims in Indian are being harassed, terrorized and attacked wantonly
The United States condemned the attack and added it would work with India in counterterrorism effort; She singled out Pakistan for its alleged role in the attack. It also urged Pakistan to cooperate with the investigation and punish those responsible. Pakistan said it was ready to cooperate with such an investigation.
In response to Indian possible aggressive military response including a preemptive atomic attack on various cities of Pakistan, the response from the Pakistan military commanders has been to give a matching response to India by reciprocating the atomic attacks on the India cities. In a statement Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on Friday said Pakistan was capable of giving a response which would surprise India if any war is imposed.
The Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal condemned, through twitter, the killing of a Pakistani prisoner in Indian jail in the midst of frenzy created by Indian government and the media. Nevertheless, the threat can be feared, to the life and security of Pakistanis in India as well as to Kashmiris in the Indian part of Kashmir as well as all over the country. Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday visited Line of Control and reviewed state of preparedness of the Pakistan Army.
If a military conflagration is initiated by the Modi government, it might turn out to be another devastating holocaust after the 1971 military confrontation. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the liberation war in East Pakistan from 3 December 1971 to the fall of Dacca (Dhaka) on 16 December 1971. The war began with preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations, which led to the commencement of hostilities with Pakistan and Indian entry into the war. During the war, Indian and Pakistani militaries simultaneously clashed on the eastern and western fronts; the war ended after the Eastern Command of the Pakistan military signed the Instrument of Surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, marking the formation of East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh. Officially, East Pakistan had earlier called for its secession from the unity of Pakistan on 26 March 1971. Approximately 90,000 to 93,000 Pakistani servicemen were taken prisoner by the Indian Army.
But the new war would be colossally different from the 1971 war for the simple reason that Pakistan 90000 soldiers were fighting in a hostile territory which was thousands of miles away and thus was trapped altogether. But still Pakistan armed forces could have prevailed had the Indian forces not entered the arena on the side of separatist militants which was Mukti Bahni led by then popular political stalwart Sheikh Mujiburehman.
If an atomic war is set off by India, the response would be equally befitting by Pakistan. The population on both sides would be annihilated and cities turned into rubble. A whole generation on both the sides would suffer the devastating consequences for decades if not centuries.
The best and most viable resolution of the lingering and stalemated dispute of Kashmir state is to hold a plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations to elicit the opinion of the Kashmiris whether they want to be with India or Pakistan. This step would be in conformity with the Partition Plan enacted by United Kingdom 1947. The third option can also be given to the people of Kashmir which is whether they opt to be having an independent state comprising the two parts. Without a tangible and lasting resolution, the peace and fraternity would remain at the tenterhooks between India and Pakistan for all time to come entailing material and human loss. The plebiscite choice is a part of the independence plan chalked out between the two sides in 1947 when both countries became independent of the British colonial rule and over-lordship. That may be the only viable and wise route to the lasting peace in the Indian subcontinent.
Indian prime minister Nerendra Modi himself is an extremist Hindu. He could utilize this bizarre situation for his reelection as the prime minister of India for the second term. But that line of thinking and preference would spell disaster which would be colossal as compared to 1971 war and the wiping of the two main citifies of Japan in a fraction of second with millions of people perished.
The statement of the Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan is logical and sober. In that statement has mooted a peaceful dialogue to hammer out a workable solution in order to expose the perpetrators behind this incident, maintain bilateral peace and stopping such gruesome incidents for the future. The best solution would be to elicit the opinion of Kashmiris through a plebiscite which side they would go. If legally possible Kashmir can become an independent state by merging the two parts of Kashmir.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat.
This and other articles by the writer can also be read at his blog www.uprightopinion.com
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