Army believes Kashmir freedom is near

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:16:16 +0100

India seeks face-saving for resolution of crisis 

KARACHI: Pakistani military leadership under President General Musharraf
is "absolutely confident" that the freedom struggle in Kashmir has
entered a crucial phase where an Indian military adventurism along the
Line of Control or the working boundary would trap the Indian army in a
Vietnam or Afghanistan-like situation and hasten the freedom process for
the Kashmiri Muslims. 

Interviews with officials, familiar with the current thinking at the
General Headquarters (GHQ), revealed the government of Pakistan has also
determined that the recent international efforts for mediation,
particularly from Russia, represent an implicit Indian desire to
extricate itself from an untenable diplomatic and military posture. 

"In such a situation when the much awaited phase of international
diplomacy is just beginning, how can we give India a head start," says a
senior official, explaining the logic behind General Musharraf's
hard-line address to the nation on Monday. "Actual concessions to India
can only be part of give and take during bilateral negotiations." 

Relevant Pakistani officials believe that the robust military
preparedness by the Pakistani Army, Navy, Air Force -- all three forces
now equipped with tactical nuclear weapons -- and an expected "impetus"
to anti-military guerrilla activities by the freedom fighters may turn
the Indians' dream for a decisive war in Kashmir into a nightmare for
the Indian military. 

This military perception, enunciated very recently by the Military
Operations Directorate, Commander Corps 10, Inter-Services Intelligence
(ISI) and other relevant military formations, contributed to the General
Musharraf's address to the nation during which he resolutely refused to
give further concessions to the Indian military on Monday. 

General Musharraf, a veteran of 1965 and 1971 wars with India, is also
considered to be one of the most important architects of the military's
Kashmir strategy. The general had gained a rare insight into India's
military capabilities, while serving as Pakistan Army's Director-General
Military Operations (DGMO) in the early 1990s. 

A military source said: "Operational plans on Kashmir made under
Musharraf at the MO (Military Operations Directorate) still form the
core of the current strategy of the Pakistan Army in Kashmir." 

He added: "As far as the military strategy and planning is concerned,
Gen Musharraf is far ahead than the ageing Indian prime minister." Last
week, General Musharraf and the top brass of Pakistani military
establishment decided to stand firm on Kashmir policy after unanimously
agreeing that the recent military posturing by India may ultimately push
the Indian military into an even deeper strategic quagmire in Kashmir.
"Which army of the world can wage war when it is being attacked by its
own people from right, left, front and the back," asked a senior
Pakistani military source. "Once the hostilities break out, can anyone
perceive any other scenario for the Indian army in Kashmir." 

To meet the likely military scenario in Kashmir, one of the most
important military moves made recently by the GHQ was to deploy a major
chunk of Pakistani Special Services Groups (SSG) commandos all along the
Line of Control for penetration -- in case of Indian military strike --
into held Kashmir, where friendly population and battle-hardened
Kashmiri guerrillas are desperate to embrace them for a decisive
military push, leading to complete liberation. 

Sources close to two banned Jihadi groups have, meanwhile, disclosed in
separate interviews in Karachi that they were "not bothered" by the
recent decision of the military government to take new measures to block
the traffic of freedom fighters from Pakistan into held Kashmir. 

Responding to suggestions from the US government, the Pakistani military
leaders had decided last week to introduce new security measures to stop
the movement of Kashmiri militants from Azad Kashmir to held Kashmir.
"Three layers of security positions manned round the clock by the
heavily armed Indian troops can't stop us from reaching destinations
well inside Kashmir Valley," vowed a Jihadi, who gave his name as Abu
Hamza. "How can Pakistani troops do something that 12 divisions of
Indian army so grossly failed to achieve," he adds. 

Other Jihadi sources said that because of favourable weather condition
hundreds of fresh militants had entered Kashmir in April and in the
first three weeks of the current month, until a few days before the
military government announced fresh measures to stop infiltration into
held Kashmir. 

Local Jihadi sources have revealed that in the past few weeks they
received numerous calls for help from various Muslim groups in Indian
state of Gujarat and Maharashtra, where thousands of Muslims were killed
and their properties were destroyed in the worst anti-Muslim riots that
had erupted in March this year. "In the wake of a war with Pakistan,
Indian Muslims would give the biggest surprise to Indian security forces
all over mainland India," Abu Hamza remarked. 

President Musharraf's Monday's speech in general and his remarks about
attacks on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and scheduled caste by "extremist
Hindu terrorists" appear to have won him a rare appreciation from the
Pakistani militant religious quarters. "The freedom struggle in Kashmir
has primed to a point where the final push for liberation seems to be
the logical next phase," says (retd) Colonel Salman Ahmed, one of the
most reputed special forces officer of the Pakistan Army. "Neither can
we nor the Indian army forget what happened in the former East Pakistan,
where the Indian army has timed its military intervention with the full
bloom insurgency," says Col Salman, who thought that the Indian
leadership would commit a Himalayan blunder by igniting a military
confrontation in Kashmir. "Kashmir is going to repeat the scenes of
insurgency and the final acts of a liberation struggle seen in the last
days of former East Pakistan, but now the key actors have changed
sides," declared Col Salman. 

Pakistan military sources also draw some comfort from the fact that an
unprecedented concentration of Indian military resources in Kashmir has
stripped India of numerical superiority of its troops deployed along the
international borders. "For a conventional military ground offensive, a
numerical superiority of 3:1 is usually desired but because of heavy
concentration in Kashmir, Indian military can hardly maintain that kind
of numerical strength along the international borders," says an official
source. For its part, Pakistani official sources said, a favourable
situation on ground in Kashmir allows complete strategic manoeuvrability
for the strike corps of the Pakistan Army positioned at Mangla and
Multan. 

Informed sources said that to meet an all-out war situation with India,
the Strategic Command Force -- the central military organisation that
control Pakistan's nuclear assets -- was reviewing the recent reported
movement of tactical nuclear weapons by the Indian forces. "All the
money, research and energy spent on developing tactical and strategic
assets would go waste if we do not meet this great threat to the
security of Pakistan by keeping these assets wrapped somewhere in lock
and key," commented a senior Pakistani official. 

As the Pakistan Navy successfully test-fired a medium range ship-to-ship
missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on Tuesday, flotilla of
Pakistan Navy frigates and submarines was engaged in aggressive
patrolling of the sea, senior Pakistani officials said. The Pakistan
Navy has also commissioned its surveillance aircraft such as P-3 Orion
and Atlantique to collect real-time maritime intelligence on Indian
naval patrolling. 

Source:  The News

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