Doha: The Pakistan Army has frequently intervened- both covertly and openly- in Kashmir, often with dangerous results, an analyst has said.
The problem started right after independence in August 1947, when the then Jammu and Kashmir’s ruler Maharaja Hari Singh “decided to join India after failing to maintain independence. Pakistan``s nascent political leadership then decided to reverse the decision by force,” Hamid Hussain, an independent analyst based in New York, wrote in an opinion piece for Al Jazeera.
He said the major flaw was completely ignoring the native Kashmiris- a mistake that the Pakistani army has repeated again and again over the past 60 years.
“After initial success, tribesmen were halted when regular Indian troops were introduced. Pakistan also sent regular troops but publicly denied any involvement. The fight resulted in a stalemate and when the ceasefire was announced in 1948, each side found itself controlling a portion of Kashmir,’ he added.
The second major attempt by Pakistan to change the status quo by military means occurred in 1965, when it decided to deploy clandestine troops into Kashmir and publicly denied any involvement or infiltration, Hussain said.
When discontent in Kashmir was rising after the disputed 1987 state elections, an indigenous Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) started to build a nascent political and paramilitary infrastructure there to confront India, and the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) patronised a parallel and separate structure, and brought Kashmiris to training camps in Pakistan, said Hussain.
“Pakistan endorsed three main groups: Hizb-ul Mujahideen, Harkat ul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said, noting that militants trained in Pakistan crossed back into Kashmir and started operations against Indian security forces, resulting in a very rapid increase in violence.
“In the early 1990s, the ISI decided to introduce foreign fighters to the theatre,” said Hussain. Many Pakistani, Afghan and Arab militants found their way into Kashmir, which was achieved under the influence of some "reverse indoctrinated" officers of the ISI.
In the spring of 1999, Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf and a small coterie of his inner circle secretly embarked on another adventure in the Kargil area of Kashmir, while “Pakistan, sticking to its historical script, denied any involvement - but kept awarding gallantry awards to soldiers and officers killed in the conflict,” Hussain said.
“It made the country a laughing stock, and even its staunch ally China asked Pakistan to pull back. Poor planning - especially on the logistics side - along with an overwhelming Indian military response and almost complete isolation” of Pakistan on the diplomatic front, forced it to pull back its troops from Kashmir, he added.