Major Gaurav Arya’s Response To Kashmiri Youths’ Open Letters
On 11 July, 2016, Major Gaurav Arya wrote an open letter to the deceased Burhan Wani. The letter criticised the Hurriyat Conference and the violence that followed the death of Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Wani. While there were many who hailed Major Arya’s words, there were some who presented a different side of the story. Wasim Khan, a Mumbai resident wrote his own letter to Major Gaurav Arya.
In his poignant letter, Wasim Khan raised some important questions and described some spine-chilling stories of his own. This back and forth surprisingly, didn’t end there.
Now, the Major has responded to the allegations raised by many. Although, Major Gaurav Arya’s latest Facebook post can’t be considered a direct response to Wasim Khan’s letter, it does make a passing reference to it. Here are some excerpts from the letter.
The army is a blunt instrument. Think of it as a broadsword, not a scalpel. It functions on the basic premise of massive disproportionate force. We do not particularly enjoy laying a cordon at 03:00 hrs and doing a house-to-house search. It gives us absolutely no pleasure to search cars of civilians or do public pat downs.
Then why is the army there in Kashmir? Well, the answer is fairly simple. The militant dimensions of the entire Kashmir problem are artificially manufactured by Pakistan and its “deep state” agencies. The Kashmir issue was and remains primarily a political problem, but Pakistan has left no stone unturned in making it a military flashpoint. .
You, my Kashmiri brothers and sisters, are part of the strategic depth plan of the Pakistan Army. Pakistan went about this plan in a systematic manner. In the late eighties they introduced armed militancy in Kashmir. Young men were taken to Pakistan to be trained and were then sent back into India. That was not a resounding success because Kashmiris did not fight with the ruthless abandon of the Afghans and they still thought of the Kashmir issue as a political dispute.
As a next step, Pakistan sent in Afghan and Punjabi fighters into Kashmir. These were battle-hardened warriors who had fought the Soviet army during the Afghan jihad and who were unemployed, staying in putrid refugee camps in Peshawar or in non-descript towns of South Punjab (Pakistan). And into this toxic mix Pakistan introduced Islam. Not the gentle Sufi Islam of Kashmir, but the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia. Those fighting against the Indian Army became Mujahideen (holy warriors) and the fight itself became Jihad (holy war).
A lot of images have been circulated on social media by a few Kashmiris, which have shocked Indians. Images of kids being shot with pellet guns and women being manhandled. These images are not the complete truth. They are meant to convey a message to Indians and tell them, “Look at your forces. They are murdering Kashmiris and killing innocent children.” Let me tell you the truth. These protestors and stone-throwers never target a large cantonment or large presence of security forces.
They pick a BSF or CRPF picket, which may have ten to 15 people or more. Then they get a mob of hundreds of people to surround the picket and start pelting stones. Women and children are placed in front. As the mob advances, the pressure inside the picket grows. Firing starts and in the smoke, sound, pressure and confusion a bullet or rubber pellet hits a child, because the child is placed right in front of the soldiers. The child dies.
Why would a mob deliberately take a 5-year-old child to throw stones at a security force picket? Why would they place women in front when the firing starts? Because the dead body of a child makes for a perfect photo-op for the Hurriyat leaders and adds fuel to the fire. The Hurriyat accept money from Pakistan’s ISI to forment trouble in Kashmir. That’s all they do.
Someone from Kashmir wrote a response to my article and mentioned how he was slapped by the security forces when he was just ten. This is condemnable and in the strongest possible terms. My article was about Burhan Wani only, and not about security forces violations. And if every ten-year-old who is slapped, picks up a gun, we are going to have a lot of dead 23-year-olds.
Burhan Wani’s successor has a code name – Mehmood Ghaznavi. They could have named him Changez Khan and he would still have a remarkably short shelf life. A 7.62 mm full metal jacket round does not respect fancy historical names. The 7.9 g (122 gr) projectile flies at 2,350 feet per second and destroys whatever it comes into contact with. Mehmood Ghaznavi, the moment you were declared successor, you were a dead man. They have started hunting you. They will kill you. Soon.