India is failing in Kashmir, admits former GOC Indian Army

India is failing in Kashmir, admits former GOC Indian Army

ISLAMABAD - Syed Ata Hasnain, former general-officer-commanding of the Indian army’s Srinagar–based 15 Corps has admitted that Indian hard power approach in Kashmir is failing with rise in insurgency.

He wants the government to balance its hard approach in Jammu and Kashmir with ‘adequate doses of soft power’.

Lt General (Retd) Hasnain told officials, diplomats and researchers at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) that Pakistan’s ‘proxy hybrid war’ in the state could not be met only by conventional force or a counter-terror response.

The situation, he said, needs a comprehensive ‘all-of-government’ response that includes the political, social, economic and psychological domains, not only military. India also needs what he called ‘a mature information strategy’ to counter Pakistan.

According to him, Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations has created alienation among the Kashmiri people. With radicalisation rife, more IEDs and suicide bombings in Kashmir can be expected, he warned.

Shabir Choudhry of the United Kashmir Peoples National Party, who is also one of the founders and former president of the recently-banned Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front, wants India and Pakistan to focus on conflict resolution, rather than a conflict management strategy.

No party to the dispute could impose a solution, it has to be negotiated, and the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of that process, Choudhry told the event titled ‘Civil society in Jammu and Kashmir: democracy versus terrorism’ last week.