Demanding Land From Pakistan
By Moorthy Muthuswamy, August 1999 (Rewritten in December 2000)
It is notable that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is virtually cleansed off of non-Muslims, with most driven to India. Had India followed similar policies, the Indian part of Kashmir wouldn’t have Muslim majority -- negating the need for self-determination. The role of Pakistan in its sponsorship of terrorism that has led to ethnic cleansing of almost all non-Muslims from the Kashmir valley is well established. Fundamentally, Islamic Pakistan could not indoctrinate and sponsor acts of "self determination" of Muslims in a secular India while ethnically cleansing Hindus and other non-Muslim minorities (to India) wherever it encounters them. It is true that Muslims too got ethnically cleansed from India, -- in particular from Punjab. But it was a one-time event that occurred during the partition. The fact that Muslims remain in India in large numbers is an indication of its limited scale.
Thus, the Kashmir issue, originated in 1947, is intimately linked to ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities by Pakistan since 1947. Therefore, the Kashmir problem could not be discussed, without at the same time addressing ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities in the Indian subcontinent. Clearly, Pakistan must be made accountable for these dastardly deeds.
When India was partitioned, an understanding had been reached between Indian and Pakistani leaders that minorities in their respective countries would not be forced out. But Pakistan violated this promise and ethnically cleansed almost all of its Hindu and Sikh population to India. These refugees had to leave behind their considerable properties virtually overnight for India.
In 1947, at the time of partition, the population figures were 330, 27 and 30 million people in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh respectively. In terms of area, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh constituted 1.3, 0.3 and 0.06 million square miles. Population percentages were 85%, 15% and land percentages were 75% and 25% for India and the united Pakistan (West and East Pakistan) respectively. Thus, India had to accommodate 85% of the population in 75% of the land. So, Pakistan got a much better land deal during the partition compared to India.
It is important to realize that the partitioning of India in 1947 was made on the basis of population levels in various regions. Thus, these acts of ethnic cleansing has created a land imbalance in Pakistan's favor that can only be corrected by transferring land from Pakistan to India.
Let us now study this issue of ethnic cleansing. In 1947, Hindus constituted over 20% in Pakistan and 36% in Bangladesh. Now, they are less than 1% in Pakistan and about 8% in Bangladesh, thanks to Pakistan. While in India, the Muslim population has risen from about 10% in 1947 to about 15% today. These facts clearly establish India as the aggrieved party in the hands of a criminal Pakistan.
It must be clear by now that any fair and appropriate approach to dealing with Pakistan has to involve demanding land from Pakistan. What should be demanded? Pakistan owes India at least 1/3 of its entire land-mass, as it drove away more than 20% of its Hindu and Sikh population from Pakistan and POK in 1947; also over 10% Hindus from Bangladesh in 1971. India should therefore demand at least half of Sind and half of Western Punjab (only real state, without human subjects).
As a penalty for the expensive Kargil intrusion and ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Indian Kashmir, and in POK, Pakistan should vacate and the line of control should be moved further north, with areas including the Mangala dam becoming part of India.
Do only Kashmiri Muslims have the right to "self-determination" and join Pakistan along with the land? What about the human rights of non-Muslims and their descendants who have been ethnically cleansed to India while losing their properties, including land?
There is a vital human rights issue at stake -- the right of non-Muslims in the Indian sub-continent to have a secular land, where they feel secure and eventually prosper. That land can only be India as every Muslim majority area in the sub-continent has become virtually non-Muslim free due to ethnic cleansing and discriminatory Islamic laws. These are legitimate survival issues for the Indians. Indians both internally and externally, should bring focused attention of these genocide actions by Pakistan that has become almost free of Hindus ad Sikhs.
In summary, it will be to India's strategic advantage to bring up the issue of minority ethnic cleansing by Pakistan. This should be brought up in any future talks with Pakistan. India should also formally file a complaint to the UN Security Council and the International Courts, portraying India as a victim of minority ethnic cleansing and demand the kind of "accountability measures" suggested here.
These ideas also form a basis for a legitimate military pressure and future operations leading to the annexation of Pakistan's land-mass. If India couldn't make Pakistan accountable for its ethnic cleansing through land annexation, the proxy war through the acts "self-determination" of Indian Muslims would escalate. It will destroy India's economy and put its long-term survival under jeopardy.