“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” ― Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
A nightmare for the Indian army—this is the 20th year of the Kargil war—, a historical event not just for the capture of Indian positions on the other side of the LOC by the Kashmiri freedom fighters tightening their neck but also given its nature of being one of the few high-altitude tactical warfares in history. However, in the midst of Kargil chaos, Pakistan and India need to explore opportunity by permanently settling the Kashmir issue in line with UN resolutions and the wish of Kashmiris—the Kashmiris who are facing worst kind of human rights violations at hands of occupying Indian army.
This year the Kargil Diwas is being celebrated by the Indians with a theme of ‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’ which seems farcical in the milieu of thousands of casualties and injuries to regain a territory—that too because of the volunteer withdrawal of the militants fighting in the region to give chance to peace. The Indian celebrations can more be termed similar as to the Bollywood styled psychological warfare of the Indian establishment which they are very fond of despite the fact that there is much difference between fiction and reality.
Both the rival countries of subcontinent have fought three wars since independence on the disputed Kashmir region restricting normal their relations despite shared history, language and common values. Due to the inflexible standpoint of India what happened 20 years ago in Kargil, it may happen again if the Kashmir issue is not resolved by the international community. President Donald Trump’s statement that he would love to be a mediator for the frozen conflict between India and Pakistan has been warmly welcomed by Pakistan but the Indian side is not showing any seriousness to resolve the issue. It has firmly rejected Trump’s offer under the vague cover that all outstanding issues with Pakistan can be discussed only bilaterally to which India has always been avoiding under one or the other excuse to initiate any meaningful dialogue. Generations of Kashmiris have suffered & are suffering daily and need conflict resolution but this callous attitude of India shows that it does not care about regional peace and stability. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he was “surprised” by India’s reaction to US President Donald Trump’s offer of mediation for resolving the Kashmir issue which has held the subcontinent hostage for 70 years.
No war should be celebrated as it is the outcome of hatred resulting in loss of lives leaving families of the dead ones with unconsolable tears. In his book “Guns and Yellow Roses: Essays on the Kargil War” Sankarshan Thakur opines in the following words, “Kargil was also India’s first “middle-class war”, one in which TV and
newspapers played provocative roles, stoking the fires of patriotism, parroting the official line, and, occasionally, bringing out objective truths. But the war also saw commentaries of distinction from writers with inquiring minds, from journalists who did not shrink from indicting India’s policy-makers for their strategic bungling, from analysts who were willing to excoriate the army’s brass for letting down the Indian jawan.”
Proving all claims and assessments wrong, a few hundred militants continued to control some of the most crucial mountainous positions in the Kargil-Dras region. It is undoubted that Indians were seeking political and diplomatic cover on Kargil clique as its military might was thwarted by the handful of freedom fighters. All attempts by the Indian ground and air forces to recapture the lost positions were frustrated by the well-equipped militants. According to Lieutenant General (retd) Mohinder Puri the 1999 Kargil intrusion was the fallout of the failure of the military intelligence as well as other intelligence agencies. Pakistan won its key aim to internationalise the Kashmir issue.
Unfortunately, the Indian come from the mindset that their forces are too big to get a shock from Kargil like campaign but they keep forgetting that USSR was way bigger to get beaten by the Afghan Mujaheedin who were also present at Kargil. Delusional attitude won’t change reality and this is what Indians need to learn in the backdrop of their Kargil festivities. Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa has wisely said that Pakistan wanted peace and integration in the region as it did not believe in zero-sum games. It is a fact that countries can not develop individually; it is the region which develops. For our region to develop we need to have greater regional connectivity among all neighbours. Both Pakistan and India should give way to opportunity, development and connectivity shunning away the chaos which has eclipsed the fate of over 1500 million people of the region.
Writer: Masroor Ahmad