Bharatiya Janata Party
National Council Convention
Rajmata Vijaya Raje Sindhiya Sabhagar,
Kushabhau Thakre Parisar,
Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
18th and 19th February 2010
Resolution on National Security and Jammu and Kashmir
The UPA rule at the Centre has witnessed the gradual weakening of India’s internal security and the undermining of strategic concerns. On one hand the country has witnessed the emergence of local terrorist networks, on the other there has been massive increase in Maoist-led insurgency. Some neighbouring countries have made no secret of their aggressive designs on India. Pakistan today is least apologetic about territory under its control being used to mount armed operations against India. Islamabad has stepped up its endeavours to internationalise its claims on Jammu & Kashmir. China, on its part, has demonstrated a new belligerence over its claims on Indian territory, particularly Arunachal Pradesh.
Jammu & Kashmir
The sixty-three year post Independence history emphatically establishes that the handling of Jammu & Kashmir by successive Congress governments has diluted India’s territorial sovereignty in the State. The special and separate status granted by the Constituent Assembly to Jammu & Kashmir was a monumental Nehruvian blunder. The journey of the past six decades has moved the demand from separate status towards separatism.
Jammu & Kashmir is part of the unfinished agenda of partition doggedly pursued by Pakistan. Islamabad’s attempts to grab Indian territory by conventional warfare did not succeed. In the past two decades Pakistan’s strategy has been centred on the systematic infiltration of armed insurgents and the recourse to cross-border terrorism. Thousands of civilians and security personnel have died as a consequence of Pakistan’s undeclared war on India. The economic development of Jammu and Kashmir has suffered adversely and the maintenance of security and counter-insurgency operations have involved a huge financial and political cost. National resources have diverted from development to security. Yet, the large security presence is imperative to safeguard national sovereignty though the inconvenience to the daily life of citizens is undeniable.
The unanimous resolution of both Houses of Indian Parliament in 1994 asserted Indian sovereignty over the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir. It acknowledged the national resolve to regain even those areas of the state under Pakistan’s military occupation. The UPA Government has no mandate to barter away any inch of Indian territory. Unfortunately, over the years the Congress entered into two political alliances: one with the protagonist of self-rule (PDP) and the other with the champions of political autonomy of the State (National Conference). These marriages of convenience have diluted Congress’s own commitment to Jammu & Kashmir.
The root cause of the present problem in Jammu & Kashmir is Pakistan’s inability to accept Jammu & Kashmir as an integral part of India. The resort to cross-border terrorism has made the State suffer. Investors do not invest in terrorism prone areas; tourists are wary of visiting such areas, job creation and economic prosperity are a casualty. Coupled with this, the regional imbalance between the Kashmir valley and the Jammu and Ladakh regions have created a general feeling of neglect in the discriminated areas.
The challenge before the Indian State is to eliminate Pakistan=sponsored terrorism. Instead of addressing this issue, regional parties like the National Conference and the PDP have started raising slogans of autonomy and self-rule. The State of Jammu & Kashmir already has more powers vested in the State Legislature rather than the Centre. There is no Concurrent List for the State; all Concurrent List powers vest in the State. The residuary power, which vests in the Central Government for the rest of India, is vested in the State Government in the case of Jammu & Kashmir. Yet the misconceived solution being suggested by some is to confer more powers on the State as a solution to the problem. Currently, it is only Defence, Security, Foreign policy, Currency and Communications that vest in the Centre. Most other jurisdictions vest in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
The problem of cross-border terrorism and its consequential impact are not linked to the inadequacy of political power in the State Government and the State Legislature. Yet a deceptive solution of vesting the State with more power by removing it from the Central List is being championed as a possible solution. The erstwhile Congress ally, PDP has even gone to the extent of advocating dual sovereignty—including the concurrent use of Indian and Pakistani currencies and joint administrative control of certain areas.
The Bharatiya Janata Party declares its unequivocal commitment to the complete constitutional integration of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India. Separate and special status is instruments of national disintegration. Far from being a solution, it is a manifestation of the problem and a psychological barrier between the State of Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of India. Instead of accepting complete integration of J&K into the Union of India as an obvious political solution, to consider further dilution of national control over Jammu & Kashmir as a possible solution would weaken India’s territorial integrity.
Two recent developments are indeed disturbing. The Prime Minister in 2006 at a Round Table conference announced the formation of a Working Group on the Relationship of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India. After some preliminary discussions the bodies did not meet for two years. A spurious report, not discussed or approved by the members of the said Working Group was released by its Chairman and the Government. The Chairman of the Group has not been seen in public commenting on the report giving rise to the speculation that the report is ghost written by the Government itself. The Report, championing more autonomy for the State, was prepared under pressure from the international community. This report is an attempt by the UPA government at the Centre to showcase to the international community that India is willing to dilute its control over Jammu & Kashmir.
The second disturbing signal is the unilateral initiative taken by India to commence a composite dialogue with Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s anxiety to exonerate Pakistan from the stigma of instigator and promoter of cross-border terrorism was evident in his generous description of Pakistan as a victim of terror. He conceded to have a reference about Baluchistan in the Shram-El-Shaikh document, thereby substantiating Pakistan’s allegations that India was fomenting trouble in Baluchistan. He reversed India’s conventional position on cross-border terrorism by agreeing to a draft written at Shram-El-Shaikh which effectively stated that irrespective of whether effective steps were taken against terror or not, a composite dialogue between India and Pakistan would go on. It is no secret that the international community has been persuading India to agree to resumption of dialogue. The United States in particular sees Pakistan as a useful ally in Afghanistan. It is least concerned with its ally fomenting trouble on its eastern border. To give comfort to Pakistan efforts are on to compel India to dilute its conventional position on Jammu & Kashmir. The statement of the Home Minister and the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir that persons from across the Line of Control should be allowed to come back to India are disturbing. This will legitimize infiltration which is already on the increase. There is pressure to pull out and dilute security presence in the valley. All these steps are intended to dilute India’s control over the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
The recent bomb blast at Pune has demonstrated the re-emergence of terrorist attacks in India. It has exposed the fragility of our security set up, and the challenges that we face. There appears a clear coordination between terrorists on both sides of the border. The whole nation is puzzled by the Government of India’s curious position that in spite of terror continuing, the dialogue between India and Pakistan will go on. In January 2004, the NDA government under Atal ji had agreed to the composite dialogue upon the pre condition of President Pervez Musharraf accepting that no part of the territory controlled by Pakistan would be used for terror against India. A ‘dialogue without terror’ was the NDA policy. For the UPA dialogue and terror can co-exist. ‘Dialogue without terror’ has today evolved into a UPA policy of ‘dialogue with terror’. The Bharatiya Janata Party demands that the Government revisit its decision to recommence the dialogue. When terror stalks India having no dialogue is a legitimate and expressive diplomatic option.
The conventional Indian position that no composite dialogue with Pakistan is possible till the terror infrastructure on Pakistani soil is not dismantled and cooperation is was based on Pakistan’s obstruction to the 26/11 investigation. The Prime Minister has not taken either the Nation or the parliament or even the Congress Party into confidence why this position has been reversed. Is India negotiating under Western pressure or are we negotiating out of fear? There has been no prioritization of the agenda. Understandably, both the Pakistan’s government spokesman and Jehadi Groups have been asserting that this is a negotiation over Kashmir. The Bharatiya Janata Party asserts that Jammu & Kashmir including every inch of land in the POK is an integral part of India and no compromise on the territorial integrity of India will ever be accepted. The Bharatiya Janata Party shall not accept any dilution of India’s control over Jammu & Kashmir. The party demands that the Prime minister assure the whole Nation that the commencement of the dialogue with Pakistan will not in any way dilute either India’s territorial control over Jammu & Kashmir or compromise any part of India’s territorial integrity. The principal agenda of the dialogue has to be terrorism and not Kashmir.
There is unquestionably an increased show of assertiveness by China. Its objections to Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh and the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tamang were gratuitous interference in the affairs of India. China has consistently been non-cooperative in the matter of settling all border issues with India. The joint mechanism for resolution of these issues between China and India has not been able to function effectively. Even the extent of the border dispute is not being adequately crystallized. Efforts are on by China to set up projects on India’s borders adverse to India’s interest. All these warrant a befitting reply from the Indian Government.
The last meeting between the Special Representatives of India and China was held on 8th August, 2009 to ensure that ‘peace and tranquility should be maintained along Indo China border pending a final solution to the border issue. However, there have been willful violations by China of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
After the Chinese aggression in 1962, there has been no change in the LAC. The Government of India has been giving the Chinese the benefit of doubt by saying that these violations are on account of a ‘differing perceptions’ about the LAC. The Chinese government has started issuing visas to Indian passport holders belonging to the States of Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh on independent pieces of paper and not stamping the visa on their passports. This is consciously intended to give a message that China does not consider both these States to be a part of the Indian territory and these visa applicants to be Indian citizens. Satellite photographs have now indicated diversion of Brahmaputra water by China before the river enters India. Such diversion is likely to create future problems leading to ecological and economic devastation in the North-Eastern States. The Bharatiya Janata Party is seriously concerned that the Government of India has failed to respond to this increased assertion by the Chinese.
The internal security situation in the country remains precarious and fragile. Post 26/11 it was expected that our intelligence networks would be fortified. The infrastructure of our security forces would have been visibly strengthened. None of this appears to have happened. The sloppiness of our investigating agencies besides the tall claims of the Home Minister is apparent from the fact that after one year of investigation our investigative agencies could not find out any clues with regard to David Hedley and Munnawar Rana. It was only the FBI in the United States which had to inform us of these individuals. Our diplomatic pressures on Pakistan have not yielded any significant results. The brazenness of the Pakistani Prime Minister that he could guarantee against any future 26/11 like attack on India from Pakistan’s soil is a case in point.
The non cooperation by Pakistan in terms of evidence being supplied is obvious. The number of local terror modules have increased. The failure of our intelligence is apparent from the fact that Hadley was visiting states and cities in India both before and after 26/11 without our intelligence agencies having any clue. States are still starved of funds, arms and equipments. The central intelligence reports reaching the States are at best casual. Coastal security remains a neglected area.
The increased activity of the Maoist organizations in India is a hard reality. Almost 25% districts of our country have a Maoist presence. In some areas the District administration and the security forces are unable to operate. Life and property have been threatened. Economic development and industrialization of these districts has been held to ransom.
For those who argue that economic development is a panacea for Maoist problem, are faced with the contrary reality that economic development has suffered because of Maoist activity. The assertiveness of ultra Left groups is visible from the fact that they are issuing pre conditions for dialogue, dictating terms to the State, addressing the media and simultaneously managing to evade security action. While it is true that economic and social discrimination must end and there must be an impetus for growth in backward areas, security response cannot be weakened. The arms and ammunition available with the Maoists have to be flushed out. The leaks in the border security which enable the smuggling of these arms have to be eliminated. A confused government will never respond to the challenge of Maoists. The authority of the State must assert before the Administration control of these districts is diluted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is of the firm view that the vote bank politics of the UPA is responsible for a weak Kashmir policy and the worsening internal security situation. Its inability to respond to the Chinese assertion betrays moral bankruptcy plaguing the UPA leadership. We appeal to the people of India to bring pressure on the UPA government to immediately correct its policies in the areas of internal and external security. Bharatiya Janata Party stands for a strong and resurgent India.