At a time when India and Pakistan are engaging in peace efforts, India and Israel are entering into strategic co-operation against the Kashmiri freedom-fighters. Indo-Israeli co-operation especially in the defense field is a well-documented fact. The prestigious British publication on defense and strategic matters “Jane’s Defense Weekly” in it’s August 2001 issue too has given an insight into the developing alliance between India and Israel. Tel Aviv and New Delhi have developed close links to what they call “countering terrorism” in the two countries meaning thereby to formulate joint strategies and actions to crush Intifida of Kashmiri and Palestinian people.
While India is illegally occupying Kashmir, Israel is holding onto the areas snatched from the Palestinians.
Countries around the around the world, including the United States, have expressed their displeasure over such collaboration between the two countries.
Recently, an Israeli team including military intelligence specialists and senior police commanders paid a visit to occupied Kashmir in an effort to assist India in containing the freedom movement raging there.
This was a follow-up of Indian Home Minister LK Advani’s visit to Israel where he had sought the help of Tel Aviv in tackling freedom-fighters’ operations.
As a result of his visit, Israel has shown its willingness to provide training information and give specific instructions on operations, besides supplying the state-of-the-art equipment to India.
The two countries also agreed to discuss the possible purchase by India of Israel’s Falcon Airborne Warning and Control System.
Mr. Shimon Peres, the Israel’s Foreign Minister, said during a visit to New Delhi in January 2001 that Israel was prepared to cooperate with India to fight terrorism.
The question that agitates mind is: does Israel know the difference between freedom struggle and terrorism? It is an internationally accepted view that the Arab countries are fighting for their right of self-determination.
Same is the situation in occupied Kashmir where the people have been deprived of their basic human rights since the last 54 years.
Regarding the Middle East, Israel should withdraw from all occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, as directed by UN Resolution 242.
On the other hand, India should hold a plebiscite in Kashmir, in accordance with the UN resolutions.
No doubt, India and Israel have signed many defense agreements but when the Middle East and South Asia are going through peace process why have they engaged in such unholy alliance? Simple justification of this could be because both countries are facing intense pressure from the international community for the stoppage of atrocities in the occupied regions.
After the Agra summit, Vajpayee is facing political and domestic problems and is isolated from his political allies.
Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi has blamed him for the failure of the summit.
In the light of these facts, India’s objective for strengthening relations with Israel is to secure Israeli help in its confrontation with the freedom-fighters in occupied Kashmir.
India and Israel with the solid technological backing of US seem to have planned a joint information warfare operation against the Muslims in occupied Kashmir and the Palestinians, because despite all their brutal activities they have failed to quell their freedom struggle.
During the last 12 years in occupied Kashmir, 72,000 people have been killed, 67,900 houses burnt, 7,500 women raped and 40,000 people made disabled by the Indian forces.
According to a group of human rights activists, more than 30,000 Kashmiri women have been raped by the Indian security personnel, of whom 65,000 got pregnant and delivered illegitimate babies.
700,000 army and paramilitary forces are deployed in Kashmir to suppress 7.7 million population of the state.
In held Kashmir, one Indian solider is deployed for every six Kashmiris.
On Israel side, Prime Minister Sharon does not want to see a Palestinian state even on one inch of soil.
Israel did not implement the Oslo Agreement, resultantly thousands of young Palestinian are still in jails.
According to a survey, as of early November 2000, 170 Palestine’s people had been killed, including at least 22 boys under the age of 15 years, and 6,000 were badly wounded.
Both India and Israel have always been violating the UN efforts.
The invitation to the Israeli trainers exposes the duplicity of Indian foreign policy towards the Muslims and the Islamic world.
India knows that Indo-Pakistan relations will not normalize unless India resolves the Kashmir issue.
India has not only invited Israeli trainers but has also given a blanket amnesty to those who are involved in such heinous crimes as custodial deaths and rape in Kashmir.
Currently, 400 Indian security personnel are facing such charges.
This free hand would further increase human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
Indians give justification that this is the only way to boost the morale of the troops who refuse to fight.
Israel, it may be mentioned, was one of the countries that extended a lot of covert military help to India during the Kargil war.
This is the time for the UN to fulfill its responsibility of seeking an honorable solution to the issues of Kashmir and Palestine, because it is the only international agency that is obligated to maintain peace and security in both regions.
Writer works for Islamabad Policy Research Institute.