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Is India less mindful of global censure of its hard military posture in Kashmir today than it was in the '90s?

Vacillating approaches to the Kashmir issue and the inability to manage perceptions have been India's enduring problems, rather than any distinction between a 'tough' or 'soft' line. At an operational level, 'minimal use of force' has been the dominant doctrine. This has been poorly projected, even as there has been an abysmal failure to understand the perverse nature of the global human rights regime. Brutal, genocidal campaigns by Western powers and their allies are ignored, while minor aberrations by independent states like India are infinitely exaggerated. Aerial, artillery and drone campaigns in populated areas, with massive civilian casualties, are justified; no one speaks of the depopulation of entire regions in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan, the indiscriminate bombings, and the unaccounted thousands killed and 'disappeared' in these regions, under a blanket ban on media coverage; but the narrowly targeted small unit operations in the full glare of media, that Indian forces engage in at great risk, are demonized. Saudi Arabia, with an appalling HR record, is 'elected' chair of the UN Human Rights Commission. What more needs to be said?

Massive social media mobilization by extremist proxies and biased HR groups controlled by the West, have enormously compounded the problem. The state and groups opposed to the Islamist extremist-terrorist campaigns in Kashmir have failed to adequately harness these media. The security forces pay the price of this failure in blood.

We must evolve a reality-based approach to the global HR regime. While our commitment to basic HR values must not be diluted, we must, equally, not allow false HR fronts and deeply politicized global HR organizations to influence our strategies and tactics.

(Published: The Print June 6, 2017)





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