Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hey BBC, Here are some Other Things to know About Kashmir

The BBC has a story about the death of a 12-year old in Srinagar that sums up the situation in the valley with the following "Five things to know about Kashmir."

  • India and Pakistan have disputed the territory for nearly 70 years - since independence from Britain
  • Both countries claim the whole territory but control only parts of it
  • Two out of three wars fought between India and Pakistan centred on Kashmir
  • Since 1989 there has been an armed revolt in the Muslim-majority region against rule by India
  • High unemployment and complaints of heavy-handed tactics by security forces battling street protesters and fighting insurgents have aggravated the problem.
That is not enough!

Anyone who wants to understand why Kashmir is the way it is, must also understand the following:

  • Britain deliberately created the dispute over Kashmir when they split India in 1947 to establish Pakistan; the aim was to prevent reconciliation.
  • The first war between India and Pakistan was in 1947, when the armies on both sides were still commanded by British officers. While it was going on a British officer established the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the spy agency that has effectively controlled Pakistan ever since.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan who got rid of the British General commanding the country's Army in January 1950 and signed a peace pact with India, was assassinated in October the same year.
  • In 1988, President Zia al Haq of Pakistan and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India tried to make peace and were close to signing an agreement on Kashmir when the former was killed when his aircraft exploded in mid-air. Three years later, Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated.
  • It is important for the British to keep the Kashmir situation boiling because it gives them the leverage over Pakistan necessary to maintain control of Afghanistan, source of 90 per cent of the world's illicit opium and heroin. Only about 2 per cent of the $60 billion annual revenue from that drug trade stays in the region; the rest is siphoned into British banks.
  •  Those banks control the global money laundering economy through a string of some 70 "tax havens," most of them in small former British colonies. That money laundering system supports every terrorist group in the world. The so-called "Islamic terrorists" who have spread out from South Asia and the Middle East to Africa protect the routes along which Britain ferries drugs to major markets. 
It is necessary to keep all that in mind in trying to understand the tragic unnecessary death of a 12-year old in Kashmir. 

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