From Chinese drones to sniper rifles to stones: the weapons connect all the dots between Afghanistan and Kashmir. Imran Khan’s so called moment of truth in USA, masks the reality of Kashmir. His milstablishment is the only missing link.

Imran Khan, in the worst flap ever, concedes Pak Army and ISI trained the Taliban and Al Qaeda to fight Russia in Afghanistan. Parvez Musharraf had admitted raising them and had proudly called them, “our heroes” several years back. But militants in Kashmir continue to be portrayed as indigenous freedom fighters, despite piles of evidence pointing otherwise. The UN should carry out a survey of the weaponry recovered from the Talibans and the Kashmiri militants, particularly the Hizbul Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Mohammed to figure out the similarities. Lately, sophisticated American weapons have found their way into Kashmir , which is proof enough of the ISI’s involvement and the plan to use the same cadre of billigerants in Afghanistan and Kashmir. It also needs to be highlighted that the pistols and the grenades have mostly been of Chinese origin in the J&K. Since the success of armed forces and the police units were mostly based on the recovery of Kalashnikovs or AK47s, the pistols, grenades and the explosive materials never got the attention they deserved.

In the early nineties, the training of militants of indigenous origin was at its peak. I remember having personally seen the diagrammatic representation of AK47S in several schools. I also remember having seen long and shallow trenches in the paddy fields and orchards which led to deeper pits – telltale signs of IED training which pervaded the attacks on military and police convoys ’93 onwards. Incidents of grenade attacks increased since 94 as a contingency to deal with shortage of ammunition for the AK 47s. Intelligence reports those days suggested that the grenades helped the uprising in appearing widespread, as any youngster or poor Kashmiri was paid Rs 500- Rs 1000 for using them against the armed forces. Moreover, throwing of grenades didn’t need an elaborate training. It was cheaper, and more effective in terms of optics. This innovative idea later morphed into an even cheaper alternative and a phenomenal force multiplier and optical revolution of sorts- stone throwing. Stones do not have any markings – Pakistani or Chinese – they lend credence to the idea of a spontaneous rebellion by the dispossessed and helped rule out the “foreign hand”. So they helped in appearing to be “an indigenous struggle” more than ever. It needed no training, was cost effective and visibly and symbolically, the sight of women and children pelting stones at the uniformed personnel agreed with the idea of a mass uprising – an idea that has been wholeheartedly lapped up by the liberals in the media and abroad much to the glee of Pakistan’s milstablishment which clings to the “oppression” narrative.

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