Every Kashmiri is ours, if he is misguided, lead him, if he is treacherous, banish him: Ram Madhav

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Srinagar: National General Secretary of ruling party BJP, Ram Madhav on Tuesday, in an opinion piece published in The Indian Express, said that the people of India must remember that when they say “Kashmir is ours”, that also means “every Kashmiri is ours”.

Calling Pakistan a ‘different neighbor singularly focused on harming and harassing India, irrespective of whether it benefits or damages its own interests’, Madhav referenced former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s famous quote that his citizens would eat grass ‘in order to fight with India for a thousand years’.

He further underlined feuds of other countries with Pakistan, including Afghanistan and Iran.

“Afghanistan’s foreign ministry recently complained to the UN Security Council against Pakistan’s direct engagement with the Taliban bypassing the Afghanistan government, saying that it not only undermines ongoing peace efforts but violates Afghanistan’s national sovereignty and UNSC Resolution 1988.

“In a recent suicide attack, 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards were killed. The chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, has accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to the perpetrators. ‘Why do Pakistan’s army and security body give refuge to these anti-revolutionary groups? Pakistan will no doubt pay a high price’, warned Jafari,” Madhav wrote.

Dubbing Pakistan as a ‘cantonment or a military barracks, run by its military and ISI leadership’, he quoted author Steve Coll’s book ‘Directorate S’, which called Pakistan’s ‘military industrial complex’ as its ‘binding force, alongside Islam, national pride, suspicion of India and America’.

Claiming that the country’s ‘real power’ lied with army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), he said: The deadly combination of military, Islamist radicalism and hate for India has wreaked havoc for India over decades. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had talked about bleeding India through a “thousand cuts”. Pakistan continues with that policy, irrespective of who occupies political power, a power that is just notional, as the real power is wielded by the army and the ISI.

He said its is no longer ‘a revelation or secret’ that Pakistan ‘has emerged as the global epicentre of terrorism’.

“The entire world knows about it. One can see it in the US White House statement after the ghastly attack at Pulwama on the CRPF convoy,” he further wrote.

Quoting the statement issued by Trump’s press secretary which called on Pakistan ‘to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence and terror in the region’, Madhav said that it showed ‘no ambiguity but an affirmation about the existence of terrorist groups on its soil’.

“The UNSC stopped short of naming Pakistan, but it too openly blamed the Jaish-e-Mohammad, an organisation based out of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, for the Pulwama attack,” he wrote in his piece.

Calling lack of global consensus on the definition of terrorism ‘tragic’, he wrote that the US and China, ‘guided by self-interest have ended up patronising the monster in Pakistan, namely the military-ISI establishment’.

“The Pakistan leadership has mastered the art of doublespeak and deception,” he wrote.

Touching on Kashmir, he said the region was at the ‘centrestage of this conflict as far as India is concerned’. He called it ‘unfortunate’ that India ‘has a huge problem with the regional narrative in the Kashmir Valley that helps Pakistan enormously.’

“That narrative is one of separatism — soft or hard depending on the situation — alienation and victimhood. Kashmiri regional satraps are not fully reconciled to the fact, even after 70 years, that they are an integral part of India and are like any other citizen of the country.

“They consider their relationship with India to be special, in which they had made a huge sacrifice in 1948 by choosing India over Pakistan, and hence the Indian state and people should ever be grateful to them,” he wrote.

Claiming that generations of Kashmiris ‘have been fed with the fallacy of the regional leadership’, he said that the Valley’s ’eminences’ had not taught its people how integral they were to India.

“Instead, to showcase their special status, they brandish Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This Article, inserted as a temporary and transient provision, has lived far too long. It only helped perpetuate the sense of alienation and separatism in the Valley.

“Mind you, even though this Article is applicable to the entire state of J&K, one doesn’t find alienation or separatism in its other parts, like Jammu and Ladakh. The leadership in these regions has ensured that the people there fully integrate with the rest of India,” he wrote.

He said that the ‘ordinary Kashmiri’ had been turned into ‘separatist or a terrorist or a stone-pelter’ by the regional leadership, and noted that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution ‘can go whenever the government of the day decides’.

“All that is required is a proclamation by the president of India. But of greater importance is to tackle these leaders in the Valley who continue to peddle the separatist narrative,” he wrote.

Madhav said that India has given ‘too long a rope’, hoping there would be greater integration and a much better integration process. He expressed sadness on Kashmiris ‘internalising their Indianness’ while ‘egional satraps are busy stoking separatist fires’.

“The time has come to make them irrelevant in the Valley. Just like in the other two regions of the state, the dominant narrative to be encouraged in the Valley should also be one of Indianness,” he said, in the piece.

He said that the people of India ‘must remember that when they say “Kashmir is ours”, that also means “every Kashmiri is ours”’.

“If he is misguided, lead him; if he is mischievous, punish him; if he is treacherous, banish him. But instill India in him. A billion plus population can’t be so powerless in tackling a handful of terrorists and their masters; but the real power lies not in hating every one, but bringing them to the right way,” he wrote.

Ending the piece, he said: “Kartum akartum anyatha kartum shakyate” — this is how power is defined in ancient Indian wisdom. “It will do, it will undo, and it will do otherwise”. Doing good, undoing bad and transforming bad into good is what is described as real power.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that he stood by his words of immediately acting if India provides Pakistan with “actionable intelligence” regarding the February 14 attack.

Fresh escalations of tensions occurred between India and Pakistan following the February 14 attack which was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad militant outfit.

Modi blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack and said that the country has become ‘‘synonym for terrorism’.

Following the attack, Pakistan called back their High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for ‘consultations’. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had written a letter to the United Nations secretary general, asking him to play his role for the “de-escalation” of current tensions.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in response to Modi’s comments, said that they would retaliate if India would start a war.

The attack led to Kashmiris being harassed and abused across the country, prompting Modi to say that ‘our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmiris’.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah in a series of tweets, while thanking Modi, said that the forces who are harassing Kashmiris would stop now.

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