A TALE OF DISHONEST SOLDIERS

ALI SUKHANVER

 The enigmatic dreamlike valley of the Indian held Kashmir belongs to the people of Kashmir; says the history. The Kashmiris are a nation, having an individual identity, a separate culture and independent traditional values. It might be the fertility of their lands or the geographical importance of their sky-kissing hills which are pouring out precious rivers that the independence of this charismatic land is always in danger. Not a single moment without fear .No peace, no security. The people of the Indian held Kashmir sometimes feel that they are not human beings but lifeless objects; every morning a new saga of miseries, every night a new tale of suppressions. The Indian held Kashmir has turned into a land of death and harassment. The world peace-makers and the so called international peace-fighters are always dumb and silent at the continuous human rights violations going on in this charismatic valley of Indian held Kashmir; perhaps they are afraid of Indian aggressive temperament which never lets anyone talk against its atrocities. Moreover the American hand of grandfatherly affection has added a tinge of supremacy to this aggressive temperament.  Recently the Indian Chief of the army staff, General Deepak Kapur has proclaimed in one of his raging statements that India can give a harsh tough time to Pakistan and China. Though the two targeted countries have taken this statement as a cry of an innocent child weeping just to impress his parents, but one can easily feel the presence of the American patronization behind his words. It seems that the respected Commander has some severe type of misunderstandings regarding the two countries. He must keep in mind that these countries are not like the helpless valley of the Indian held Kashmir where the Indian soldiers are the lords of their own wills.

Different books on wars and battles say that the first step to lose a war is the underestimation of the opponent. The opponent must never be taken for granted. The second factor which pushes an army towards defeat is the over-confidence. General Deepak Kapur has fallen a prey to both these misunderstandings. A commander-in-Chief must not be a man of poor understanding: General Deepak is not only under estimating his opponent forces but also over-estimating his own army. The ‘wonderful’ abilities of the Indian army must not be a secret to him. The Darjeeling land scam case, the sex-crimes of Indian Army officers in Congo, the story of 41 serving officers caught  selling their personal weapons in the grey market, and the rape of two young Kashmiri girls a few months back; the same story with different titles . The respected General Deepak Kapur seems so pre-occupied that he could not spare time for listening to these wonderful stories of marvelous deeds.

A few weeks back almost all newspapers of India highlighted a very ridiculous type of scandal which proved nothing less than a blob of dirt on the face of Indian armed forces. The scandal was about   a scam in procurements of supplies for troops going on UN missions. A serving Major General was held responsible for this irresponsible activity. According to the details over the past few years the Indian Army shelled out double the amount for personal items of UN troops like shoes as compared to the market price. Moreover there were complaints regarding the purchase of two types of boots for UN troops that allegedly caused a loss of Rs 2.82 crore to the exchequer. The matter was so serious and the pressure exerted by media was so grave that the government of India had to take prompt action and order the investigations. According to the Indian Express, the scope of the scam could be much larger, given that the Court of Inquiry had been mandated to investigate all procurements for UN troops since January 2006. The, Court of Inquiry  headed by Signals Officer in Chief Lt Gen P Mohapatra, has been ordered to investigate irregularities in the procurement of items of personal clothing including shoes as part of the Personal Stores Kit item for troops proceeding on UN assignments. The senior serving officer, Maj. Gen G S Narula, was responsible for UN purchases as an Additional Director General (ADG) at Army HQ during the period mentioned in the inquiry. It is nothing but simply day-dreaming of General Deepak Kapur that he is going to give tough time to Pakistan and China on the basis of such morally bankrupt army officers who are involved in illegal selling of shoes and clothing.

The basic characteristic of a true soldier is that he at once sacrifices his life for two things; for the flag of his country and for the weapon in his hands. When we try to search for this characteristic in the Indian soldiers we feel very much disappointed. The army commanded by General Deepak Kapur is not only involved in selling shoes and clothing but also in the sale of its weapons. According to some very authentic sources, the Indian Army Headquarter has ordered to initiate an administrative and disciplinary action against 41 serving officers, one JCO and four retired officers for allegedly selling their personal weapons in the grey market. In such a shameful situation the India Army chief must reconsider his intention regarding Pakistan and China. No doubt It is his genuine right to wish for the materialization of his dreams but before that he will have to kick out each and every corrupt officer hidden in the rows under his command; but unfortunately in that case, he would find himself standing alone with no one behind him.

India is no doubt a very strong and powerful country but there are countless factors which are silently undermining its strength and power. There are so many ongoing separatist movements in different parts of the country which are badly affecting the whole of its social fiber. Poverty and lawlessness along with a feeling of deprivation in the low-caste Hindus combined with the bitter effects resulted by the Naxalite movement and a frightening scenario painted by the Maoist movement; the Indian army chief must pay his attention to these problems first.

 The writer is a Pakistan based bilingual analyst on international defense and strategic affairs.

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