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What will it take, Mr Prime Minister?
May 09, 2006
January 25/26, 1997: 25 at Wandhama-Ganderbal
March 20, 1997: 7 at Sangrampura
April 18, 1998: 27 at Prankote
June 19, 1998: 25 at Chapnari
July 28, 1998: 16 in two villages of Doda district
August 8, 1998: 35 at Kalaban
February 20, 1999: 4 at Muraputta, 9 at Barlyara and 7 at Bllala
June 30, 1999: 15 in Anantnag district
July 19, 1999: 15 at Layata
February 28, 2000: 5 near Qazigund
March 20, 2000: 35 at Chatisinghpora
August 1, 2000: 31 Amarnath Yatris at Pahalgam
August 1-2, 2000: 27 in Qazigund and Achabal
August 2, 2000: 11 in Doda district
February 3, 2001: 6 in Mahjoornagar in Srinagar
February 11, 2001: 15 in Kot-Chadwal
March 2, 2001: 15 in Manjkote
March 17, 2001: 8 near Atholi in Doda
July 21, 2001: 13 including 7 Amarnath pilgrims at Sheshnag
July 22, 2001: 12 in Cheerji and Tagood in Doda district
August 4, 2001: 15 in Ludder-Sharotid Har area in Doda district
January 7, 2002: 17 in Ramsoo
February 17, 2002: 8 in Rajouri
March 30, 2002: 12 at the Raghunath temple in Jammu
May 14, 2002: 32 at the army camp in Kaluchak, Jammu
July 13, 2002: 20 in Kasim Nagar, Jammu
August 6, 2002: 9 Amarnath pilgrims at the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam
August 24, 2002: 10 in Rajouri
November 24, 2002: 14 at the Raghunath Temple in Jammu
March 24, 2003: 24 in Nadimarg
April 29, 2005: 13 in Udhampur district
April 30, 2005: 22 in Doda district
Wonder what these numbers refer to? Yes, these numbers refer to the innocent people who have been massacred by Islamist terrorists in the state of Jammu & Kashmir during last few years. And this is not a comprehensive list by any means. It just highlights the major massacres that have been undertaken by Islamist terrorists in recent years. In addition to these major massacres, there have been targeted killings going on at regular intervals all through these years.
And do you know what was common among these innocent victims? Yes, all these victims of Islamic terrorism were innocent Hindus, who believed in the Indian national flag and Constitution.
Targeted killings of Hindus in J&K continue unabated but nothing moves our state and central government. Instead of any concrete and decisive response, we hear oft-repeated sound-bytes from our politicians and policy makers. Here is how they reacted to the latest massacre in Doda and Udhampur:
'People of Kashmir have rejected and rebuffed terrorists repeatedly,' said our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
'We have advised the state authorities to review the security measures for the minorities in the state. This incident clearly shows the desperation of the terrorists who want to derail the peace process in the state,' said Home Secretary V K Duggal.
Our Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal chimed in: 'The terrorists do not want the peace initiatives being taken by the Centre to succeed.'
And finally J&K's Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad topped it off by saying: 'The killers will not be spared. We will not allow them to succeed in their designs. We would rather give a big push to the peace process. I want to make it clear once and for all that we will not bow to any pressure from terrorists. They will not be allowed to get away with their acts of mass murders.'
Mr Chief Minister, which planet are you living in? They have been getting away with these acts of mass murder all along without any punitive repercussions and you talk about not allowing them to get away. I know it is said that ignorance is bliss but not in this case. Please wake up and try to see the reality on the ground.
Do these sound bytes sound familiar? How many times have we heard these already? At this point, we don't even need to ask these politicians for their reaction. Don't we already know what they are going to say?
And what do the Opposition parties do? The age-old call for a bandh. That is what the National Conference and Panthers Party have done -- called for a Jammu bandh. The BJP has not even done that. It has totally given up. It might as well close the shop and go for a perpetual Rath Yatra touring every village of India. That will keep the BJP and its remaining leadership busy for a while.
The worst but most-repeated statement that the Government of India issues is: 'These killings will not affect the peace process with Pakistan.'
Why shouldn't these killings affect the peace process with Pakistan? Why shouldn't India withdraw from all the peace processes and so-called confidence building measures? Why shouldn't India demand the absolute closing down of the entire terror infrastructure in Pakistan and the verification of the same by joint Indo-Pak forces? Why shouldn't India be forthright and blunt about blaming Pakistan for this scourge of terrorism? Why does India have to play nice while its innocent citizens, including little children, are getting killed day in and day out by these Islamist terrorists who are supported and sponsored by Pakistan?
Until and unless Pakistan stops all the support -- moral, political, diplomatic, economic and military, to terrorists, India should not entertain any offer of talks from Pakistan. India just needs to focus on eradicating terrorists from J&K and I propose the following 13-step process to achieve that with immediate effect:
1. Stop all confidence building measures that are in process with Pakistan;
2. Suspend all diplomatic relations with Pakistan;3. Suspend the Caravan-e-Aman bus service between Srinagar and Muzzafarabad; 4. Cancel the scheduled meeting with Pakistan's puppets, the Hurriyat Conference; 5. Seal the entire border with Pakistan and Bangladesh; 6. Declare internal emergency in J&K, without suspending the constitution; 7. Appoint someone like K P S Gill as the internal security czar in J&K, who will oversee the entire security operations in the state and will report directly to the Prime Minister's Office; 8. Let the civilian state government, elected by the masses, handle the civilian operations within the state; 9. Give appropriate and required authority to security forces and agencies; 10. Ask all foreign reporters and so-called Amnesty International observers to leave J&K within 24 hours; 11. Give an ultimatum to all the citizens of J&K to stop shielding and supporting terrorists. Anyone found shielding and supporting any terrorists will be charged accordingly; 12. Give an ultimatum of 3 weeks to all terrorists in J&K to lay down arms and surrender or face the wrath of the security forces and; 13. Then let the show begin.
At the South Asia Journal conference organised by South Asia Free Media Association, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said, 'The dialogue process with India is underway. However, its pace is not very good and there is need to speed up this process.' He also said: 'Both countries now should move towards dispute resolution rather than dispute management.'
India should tell Shaukat Aziz to shut up and instead focus on his internal mess. It is about time to tell Pakistan to go to hell. India has no obligation to listen to Shaukat Aziz or any of his minions.
India does not have to worry about how the US and other European nations will react to her strategy to deal with terrorism. It is India's problem and India needs to deal with it in the manner that is in the best interest of India and its citizens. When a nine-year-old girl is killed in Doda district, it is the blood of India that flows. We need to be crystal clear in our dealings with US and other Western nations and tell them categorically that Indian blood is as precious as American or European blood.
If the US and other Western nations can take all the extreme measures, which they should and they are, to protect their citizens and land, India has the absolute right to do the same. When a terrorist hurts an innocent Indian child, s/he is hurting the whole nation of India and India will not tolerate that at any cost.
So I have only one question for our honorable Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh:
Having already lost so much innocent blood, what will it take Mr Prime Minister?