The Death of Nirbhay and Mutilation of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh
One of the most important global development since September 2001 will be the withdrawal of NATO forces in Afghanistan between now and 2014. Clearly the mission has failed and insurgents and Taliban have the upper hand. Time is on the side of Taliban and history has shown Taliban can’t be defeated. While this has implications for Afghanistan, it also has implications on the geo global region of South Asia, primarily India and Pakistan.
Clearly on the Indian side of Kashmir, things have cooled down and insurgency has fizzled out due to lack of popular support. People there may still shout slogans of Azadi (independence) but what they really asking for is jobs and access to modern amenities like electricity and better infrastructure. There is a democratically elected government in place and most of the sensible politicians are fighting for political space rather than espousing the path of violence. Pakistan is now a dirty word in the Kashmir valley. Extremists and insurgents from Pakistan have nowhere to hide and are most likely to be killed as people reveal their information to police.
This is something that the masters of Pakistani army are finding very hard to digest. Since the past 2 decades they have been using terror as a state policy. The only shift in their policy now is to distinguish between the Good Taliban and Bad Taliban. As per their definition, Good Taliban is the group which attacks everyone except Pakistanis and Bad Taliban is a group which attacks Pakistanis.
On Jan 8, the two soldiers – Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj Singh were killed near the LoC by Pakistani troops. The soldiers belonged to 13 Rajputana Rifles. One of the most inhuman and barbaric acts perpetuated in recent times is the mutilation of an Indian soldier Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, in a forested area of the Himalayan territory on the side controlled by India. Sensing failure, hard-line elements within Pakistani army have resorted to low intensity warfare again. There are also reports that four Indian soldiers have been beheaded by Pakistan in the last 13 years.
Around the same time we had Wali Ur Rehman, a leader of the Pakistani Taliban who in a rare video statement has threatened “to send fighters in Kashmir and wage a struggle for implementation of Sharia rule in India”. Rehman is wanted by the U.S. for a number of crimes including the deaths of seven CIA officers in Afghanistan in December 2009.
This month there has also been increasing political turmoil in Islamabad, with Pakistan’s top court ordering the arrest of the country’s prime minister in a corruption case, and a firebrand cleric rallying thousands of people in the capital against the government. Clearly fringe elements in the Pakistani army are using the internal power politics in Pakistan to inflame the border situation.
Hemraj Singh has been brutally murdered and his beheading is a clear violation of Geneva Convention. This is also a preview of the things we would have to encounter once the NATO forces leave Afghanistan.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said there cannot be normal business with Pakistan after such brutal incidents on the Line of Control. India has also released more proof against the Pakistan Army. It released pictures of landmines, allegedly planted on the Indian side of the LoC by Pakistani troops. These anti-personnel mines were manufactured at the Pakistan Ordinance Factory.
The Army said the pictures were shared with Pakistan during brigadier-level flag meeting. Pakistan denied all charges of starting the aggression, Indian Army said, adding that it was “adamant and arrogant” in its attitude.
As we celebrate Indian Republic Day world over and in Australia, this is an appeal to all Indian community organisations in Australia to observe a minute’s silence in honour of slain Indian soldier Hemraj Singh and Nirbhay, the 23 year old Indian girl who was gang raped in a moving bus on the streets of Delhi. This is the least we can do for these brave kids of India.