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Bajwa Doctrine and the National Day of Pakistan

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani [1]

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

1499682-genqamardefenceday-1504725865-480-640x480 [2]India in the neighbourhood of Pakistan, has size, number, institutions and nuclear status to pitch against Pakistan. However, it may have overlooked, the broad spread of the other side. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a Dalit, one of the group who drafted the Constitution of India, said “Gandhiji,” he said, “I have no homeland. How can I call this land my own homeland and this religion my own wherein we are treated worse than cats and dogs, wherein we cannot get water to drink?”

In the end Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar converted to Buddhism and translated the Buddhist concept of individual suffering (dukka into his own awareness of social suffering, discarding a great deal of Buddhism and inserting in its place his own doctrine of social activism. In 1956 five million Dalits, led by Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism. Ambedkar was concerned that they would still be labelled Untouchables if they demanded places reserved for affirmative action. He insisted that even when they became Buddhists they should retain the rights that he had fought so hard to win for Dalits. [Source “The Hindus an alternative history” by Wendy Doniger. She holds two doctorates, in Sanskrit and Indian studies, from Harvard and Oxford.]

Pakistan in Indian neighbourhood, is a Muslim majority state. In addition to Muslims it is a home for seven non-Muslim communities namely Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Qadiyanis, In 2013 elections 1.40m Hindus, 1.23m Christians, 5,934 Sikhs, 3,650 Parsis, 1,452 Buddhists and 809 Jews played a crucial role in 96 constituencies. Of the seven minority communities living in the country Hindus constitute the largest group.

Pakistanis unlike majority of Indian Hindus, are not a racist or a communal people. The State has upgraded its role for all religions. On 14 March 2018 Punjab repealed the Anand Marriage Act of 1909 passed during British rule and passed The Punjab Sikhs Anand Karaj Marriages Act 2018. According to the bill, a marriage ceremony or ‘Anand Karaj’, defined as “the lawful union of a Sikh male and Sikh female”, will be performed in accordance with religious practices enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib. Family matters of the Sikh community, such as marriages, will be regulated separately by authorities.

Nuclear capability of Pakistan has cancelled out the Indian plus in size, number and in many areas of nuclear ability Pakistan finds itself superior over Indian nuclear knowledge and stock-pile. Pakistan has laid the foundations of US-China contact (friendship) and has been confident enough to give a long term developmental loan to West Germany in 1962. It has taken up many Muslim causes, Kashmir and Palestine, are the main ones. The country is a member nation of the United Nations and remains a lead nation among Muslim countries around the globe. It is returning to its corner to play a full role in the community of nations and has started revamping its image. Pakistan army is using its organizational abilities and military science to make an input as a force and as citizens of Pakistan.

There is a talk about “Bajwa Doctrine” in the media and other circles in Pakistan. DG ISPR General Asif Ghafooor in his press conference today (28 March 2018) has explained the “Doctrine”. As a spokesperson of the military discipline he has to be economical in his narrative. Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa heads world’s one of the best, toughest and battle hardened army and has an access to nuclear arsenal in the region. Therefore, as a military leader and leader of any future ‘war machinery’, General Bajwa has to have a doctrine to construct and guard peace and if need be to defend a war at the same time.

General Bajwa can be a partner in peace with India, if Indians come up with a genuine response to Pakistan’s concerns expressed at the 229th Meeting of UN Security Council on 17 January 1948. Pakistan has rightly informed the United Nations that “As long as the forces of the Dominion of India are on, Kashmir’s soil, the struggle of the Kashmir people will go on. What the Indian Government called the restoration of law and order is no more than an attempt to oppress, kill, terrorize and drive out the Muslim population of Jammu and Kashmir until, like East Punjab and the Indian States in East Punjab, the composition of the population is entirely changed.”

Indian Government has continued to seek a demographic change in Kashmir. It is engaged in war against a people unwilling to be subdued by its military and other apparatus. Therefore, President of Pakistan has very rightly warned India that Pakistan cannot let it continue atrocities against the unarmed people of Kashmir.

As a military leader General Bajwa, has to have a doctrine to address the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir where Indian army, has violated bilateral, multi-lateral and international agreements and has degenerated into an occupation force. Pakistan has a duty to protect the people of Kashmir. The fact that India has succeeded to frustrate the holding of a Plebiscite scheduled in October1948, raises the possibility of five out of six interest groups identified at the 241st meeting of UN Security Council, currently frozen by UN Resolutions, breaking away from any further trust in these pledges. Five of them could join the on-going armed struggle to undo the Indian occupation. One of these six elements is the State of Pakistan.

“Bajwa Doctrine”, has to address the situation that India has continued to renege on its pledge made before going to UN, to the people of Kashmir and to the Government of Pakistan and later made at the UN on 17 January 1948, that its army has entered temporarily, to assist in the maintenance of law and order in Kashmir. India has pledged that its army would not remain in Kashmir, more than necessary. After the cease fire of January 1949, the situation was reversed and India had no further reason to be in a part of Kashmir.

There is a case of equitable demilitarization pending against India. Pakistan has reiterated the pendency of demilitarization at the recent three UN General Assembly sessions. Sheikh Abdullah has mislead the UN Security Council by his speech on 5 February 1948, assuring the world community that “the Indian forces were there on a provisional basis and need not be feared because they would be supervised by the Commission of the UN Security Council.” General Bajwa as a military strategist and trained in war science knows that he has to have a doctrine in regard to the Indian army occupying part of Kashmir. Indian army has killed a generation in the last 26 years. Indian army has been flagged for committing war crimes against the Muslim majority in the Valley. Therefore, there has to be a doctrine to address the situation.

It seems part of “Bajwa Doctrine”, that is, build peace and guard it and be prepared for war, if it comes your way, that in an unprecedented move, an Indian delegation led by High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria, Deputy High Commissioner J. P. Singh and Defence Attache Sanjay Vishwasrao were invited to watch the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on Friday 23rd March. Inviting Indian delegation to the parade is mature diplomacy and an expression of good will towards the neighbour. It is a reflection of the growing confidence in the military ranks of Pakistan.

Growing confidence in the civil leadership was loud and clear when President of Pakistan warned India to end its atrocities in Kashmir. DG ISPR General Asif Ghafooor in his military manner and as a spokesperson of military machinery assured the media, “please don’t underestimate our response capability. Anything and everything, that we have, is for them”. India has a reduced capacity to fight, if Pakistan decides to make a military intervention in Kashmir. Five interest groups also remain in the reserve. India has a choice to make!

The author is the President of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He is on UN Register as an Expert in Peace Keeping, Humanitarian Operations and Election Monitoring Missions. He is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. Author could be reached at dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com