Why only Milosevic, but not Musharraf?


By Moorthy Muthuswamy, July 2006


If Milosevic could be charged with crimes against humanity why not Musharraf?


The systematic pattern of escalating terror attacks in India—the wanton killings of civilians, deliberate destruction of public property, deliberate killings of civilians from majority community in certain parts of India and targeting of institutions belonging to majority community—constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity (http://www.internationalcrimes.com/war.htm). India may or may not be able to directly link Pakistan to the savage July 2006 Mumbai train blasts. But Pakistan’s well-established track record of sending terrorists into India, its role in setting up terror cells within India among Indian Muslim populace, its Foreign Minister’s statement linking blasts with a lack of resolution of the Kashmir conflict—and importantly, lack of viable alternatives connects Pakistan to the blasts. The nature and extent of Pakistan’s terror sponsorship in India is extensively covered in a very recent book by a former Intelligence Bureau official Maloy Krishna Dhar (http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/19inter.htm).


What was the basis of war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against Milosevic and his cronies? In a nutshell, they were accused of deliberately conducting a violent campaign of genocide against people of certain ethnicity/religion in order to drive them away from certain regions so that their land and property can be confiscated.


Since its birth in 1947 from British-ruled India, Pakistan’s military and religious establishments have either directly or indirectly succeeded in driving out most non-Muslims from every Muslim majority area of Indian sub-continent. Non-Muslims were driven out of Pakistani part of Kashmir to India, when it was overrun by Pakistanis in 1947. Even in the rest of Pakistan non-Muslims constituting over 20 percent in 1947 when it was part of British India have now reduced to less than 2 percent—with most driven to India. In the then East Pakistan, in 1971, the Pakistani army was selectively involved in driving out non-Muslims (to India) and killing many of them. In 1989, from Indian Kashmir valley, over 300,000 non-Muslims were driven out (to the rest of India) by Pakistan-influenced radical Muslims. This mostly one-sided genocide has marginalized non-Muslim access to land and opportunities, and has victimized India. As a result of this uneven partition, with most Muslims staying back, India ended up with almost 85 percent of the pre-1947 population in 75 percent of its new landmass. These Pakistani acts of ethnic cleansing legitimize Indian claims over some of Pakistan’s territory.


Under Musharraf Pakistan-influenced terrorists have killed scores of Hindu families—and have successfully created Hindu exodus out of certain parts of Kashmir. To put more pressure on India to give up Kashmir to Pakistan, under Musharraf, Pakistan sponsored terrorists are suspected to have escalated acts of terror in the rest of India. These escalating terror attacks have imposed a huge economic cost on an impoverished nation—and have indirectly undermined humanity in India. These attacks have escalated despite the promise given by Musharraf in the following joint statement released on January 6, 2004 in India: “he [Musharraf] will not permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any manner.”


Seen in the above context, Musharraf’s consistent declaration that “it [Pakistan] has a political and moral right to support what it calls a struggle for self-determination in Indian-controlled Kashmir” has become an immoral framework for extending radical Islam’s frontiers—through a combination of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (a form of genocide) and support for self-determination of Muslims (which in reality has turned out to be terror sponsorship). Because, having already worked to indoctrinate Kashmiri Muslims—the hatred of Hindu-majority India—Pakistan hopes, given the right to self-determination, Muslim majority Indian Kashmir will vote to join Pakistan, along with the land. Perhaps, given its track record of driving out non-Muslims, a morally right thing, Pakistan could have done is to take disgruntled Muslims from Indian Kashmir (minus the land) and settle them in Pakistani part of Kashmir.


These war crimes and crimes against humanity are carried out by Musharraf’s Pakistan to extend the frontiers of Islamic religion Musharraf identifies with—at the expense of non-Muslim civilians in the region. This is similar to the genocide and war crime charges Milosevic and his cronies faced at the international criminal tribunal.


Crimes against humanity campaign


This war crime angle—that of setting up the stage to charge Musharraf and his cronies with war crimes and crimes against humanity, offers a fresh, and possibly, the most effective way of discrediting Musharraf and Pakistani establishment—by making them pariahs in the eyes of international community. This has the potential to force America to at least downgrade its relations with Pakistan and look for alternate ways of “engaging” it. This angle also forms an internationally accepted basis for taking multi-lateral actions against Pakistan’s military and religious establishments that are at the forefront of sponsoring terror in India. Also, Pakistan’s foot-soldiers within India could be handled with a vision derived from this angle. Indian public and diaspora could be mobilized by clearly identifying the terror sponsors for what they are. In short, war crime angle potentially offers India the best chance of successfully repulsing a genocidal radical Islam, secure its citizens and their economic future.


Opposition parties, Indian public and military should put pressure on the ruling UPA regime to pursue this war crime angle—a very meaningful and long-term response to the ongoing genocide of Indians. To pursue “peace” with golf-wielding war criminals such as Musharraf is no better that pursuing one with cave-hiding Bin Laden. With Musharraf deriving his international legitimacy from American support, the following could be articulated to the Bush administration, the US Congress and media: