Sunday, November 30, 2008

RAND editorial

Peter Chalk, September 1, 2001.

The Why: (notice that Kashmir is a factor in the perennial conflict with India, not the cause of the conflict.)

Islamabad's backing for these groups revolves around the perennial conflict with India - a militarily, economically and demographically superior state viewed as posing a fundamental threat to Pakistan's long-term viability and integrity.

Sponsoring militancy in Kashmir is regarded as a relatively cheap and effective way of offsetting existing power symmetries (essentially through the philosophy of a 'war of a thousand cuts') while simultaneously creating a bulwark of instability along the country's vulnerable southern flank. Both are considered vital to ensuring that Pakistan has sufficient strategic depth to undertake a protracted conventional war on the sub-continent, should this ever become necessary.

Religious imperatives also come into play, particularly on the part of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and executive space within Pakistan. The agency has specifically sought to replicate and transplant the success of the anti-Soviet Afghan campaign in Kashmir, exhorting foreign militants to participate in the conflict as part of the wider moral duty owed to the jihad. The medium to long-term aim, according to intelligence sources in New Delhi and Srinagar, is to trigger a generalised Islamic revolution across the northeast and eventually India as a whole.

I count this as an independent voice saying that the terrorism was going to happen regardless of the outcome of J&K.

[URL from Bharat-rakshak forum]