Ashish Sinha in Mail Today:
Any political decision on Kashmir — especially when the ball is in the Congress’s court — cannot afford to ignore the sentiments of lakhs of troops stationed here because, at least for now, they appear to be a more permanent fixture than any party, even the National Conference (NC). [Full text]
I told you so…
And Siddharth Varadarajan asks the right question:
But if these motives propelled the ISI to either mount or at best turn a blind eye to the Mumbai plot, why did the same agency — which essentially manages Rawalpindi’s links with militant groups active in Jammu and Kashmir — not seek to disrupt the assembly elections? [Here]
Guest post by K
In the summer of 2008, something impossible happened. To a number of Indians, Kashmir was no longer an atoot ung, an inseparable part of the Indian body politic. That image of Kashmir treacherously manufactured by the Indian state through lies, deceit and the media, was wearing down.
The atoot ung no longer seemed atoot to many voices in India and against all odds the people of Kashmir were changing many hearts and minds in India. The loss of soldiers does not worry India as much as the change in its public opinion on Kashmir. This had to be undone, and undone fast before it spread its tentacles. The evil image of Kashmiris had to emphasized and the non-violent protests discredited. What better than an election to do the task?
So the results will be out tomorrow, but do they matter? Continue reading Oranges in Kashmir
The Indian media has been expressing surprise about the high voter turnouts in the Kashmir elections. The expression of surprise sounds genuine. I am not sure how genuine it is. Is patriotism coming in the way of truth? How can we not see what a Wall Street Journal reporter can?
In the village of Samboora, residents said that Indian Army troops went from house to house on Saturday morning, rounding up families and taking them to a polling station. As a reporter drove into the village Saturday afternoon, an army vehicle with several soldiers stopped by the walled compound of Ghulam Mohammad, pulling the 59-year-old retiree onto the road. Seeing a foreign reporter, the soldiers jumped into their vehicle and quickly drove off. “They asked me why I’m not voting, and I said that’s because I don’t like any of the candidates,” Mr. Mohammad said moments later. “They said, if I don’t vote, I’ll be sorry later.” [Must Read]