Thus Speak Soldiers On Kashmir – OpEd


By Himani Chandel

The opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus route on April 7, 2005, became the inspiration for Trividesh Singh Maini, Richard Bonney and Tahir Malik to write a book on the bond that India and Pakistan shares on the issue of Kashmir. It was the first direct link between the two parts of divided Kashmir since 1947.

The book called ‘Warriors after War’ was today launched by Jaswant Singh, member of Parliament in the presence of other dignitaries, including Major-General (retd) Dipankar Banerjee; Mentor, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Major-General (retd) Gagandeep Bakshi; executive editor, Defense and Security Alert magazine, Dr Wael Awwad and Hartosh Bal, political editor, Open magazine.

There are references of a variety of authors in the book and the officers who have been interviewed cover many generations of experience of pre-independent and post-independent India.

The book is a narration by soldiers from both the sides of the border, who were actually involved in the wars happened over Kashmir.

“Most of the 26 retired military figures from India and Pakistan interviewed in the book accept that with both the countries possessing nuclear weapons, choosing war to resolve the outstanding disputes is no longer a sensible or realistic option,” said Maini.

“This is a book that will make you repeatedly dipped into the experiences of past 63 years of life in India and Pakistan,” said Jaswant Singh while inaugurating the book.

The book contains brief accounts of partition and reviews of many officers who have actually experienced and participated in the war.

“India and Pakistan have been in conflict for 63 years. We need to reflect on the problems facing the two countries. There is no resolution in war and we need to find an answer to the problems that confront us outside the war,” he said.

“Since retirement from the Army, I had the privilege to participate in the dialogues between India and Pakistan on various issues where we strongly recommended talks between the serving military officers of both the sides,” said Gagandeep Bakshi.

This article appeared at Tribune News Service and is reprinted with permission

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