Ex-Indian General Admits Pakistan’s Support in Occupied Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir has been at the center of the dispute between Pakistan and India since 1947, when the subcontinent succeeded in gaining independence from British colonial rule. New Delhi refers to the Himalayan region as its integral part, but a retired Indian general has admitted that Pakistan has widespread support in the area. Retired Lieutenant General DS Hoda has also conceded that the Kashmir issue, which has bedeviled relations between India and Pakistan, cannot be resolved via military.

He said that Kashmir is a multi-dimensional and internal issue and Pakistan has a lot of support there. During an interview, Hoda said that it was the job of the Indian army to bring the security situation in the region to a level that can be deemed conducive for political activity. Pakistan has been accused by Delhi for causing a long-drawn separatist insurgency in the disputed area and this charge has been vehemently denied by Islamabad. A so-called surgical strike was also discussed by General Hoda, which according to Indian forces, had been carried out last year for neutralizing the militant bases in Azad Kashmir.

The ‘surgical strikes’ had been carried out under General Hoda’s supervision as he had then been the commander of the Indian army’s northern command. He said that they had held detailed consultations and decided that carrying out the strikes would not lead to an all-out war with Pakistan. They had gone over the plans and had decided to take the risk. He added that he couldn’t provide details, but several discussions had been held because such strikes cannot be conducted on a whim and lots of preparations had to be made.

After the surgical strikes were claimed by the Indian army, the opposition Congress party insisted that they hadn’t disclosed it to the public, but similar other actions had been carried out by them in the past. General Hoda agreed with this statement. He said that they had opted for plausible deniability in the past, but this time, the government had announced their actions. When questioned on how India benefitted from this move, he said that it was a way to send a message that we could enter your territory when we want and Pakistan’s refusal to acknowledge them was a moral and psychological win.

However, he said that every situation was different and such actions cannot be carried out all the time. General Hoda also acknowledged that Kashmiri people resented India and its army and this makes it challenging for them to carry out an operation there.