interviews / November 20, 2016

Kashmir Interviews

Interviews with Lt Gen S.K. Sinha, Governor of J& K, Bana Singh, PVC and others

  • Bana Singh: a Warrior’s Tale – June 26, 2007 (
    To India’s surprise, in 1984 Pakistan began sponsoring mountaineering expeditions in the Siachen area and showing the glacier as its territory. The situation worsened in early 1987 when the Pakistanis established a post on a feature overlooking Indian defences located near the Bilafond Pass on the Saltoro ridge.
    The post was so important for Islamabad that it was named the ’Quaid’ Post, after its first Quaid-e-Azam, Jinnah. When the Pakistanis started sniping at Indian helicopters, some Indian posts maintained by air suddenly became untenable. The Indian Army then planned a daring, secret, operation to evict the Pakistanis from the post.
    At a time when the de-militarisation of the Siachen glacier is in the news, Claude Arpi spoke to retired Captain Bana Singh, one of only three living recipients of the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest award for gallantry, who captured the ’Quaid’ Post, 20 years ago this day, June 26, 1987.
  • Warrior, Governor – January 16, 2007 (
    Lieutenant General Srinivas Kumar Sinha (retired), PVSM, is the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Described as one of India’s most outstanding post-independence generals, his distinguished military career includes combat service in Burma and Indonesia during World War II. In 1946, when he was a captain, he worked for a year with Major Yahya Khan, who went on to become a general and then the military ruler of Pakistan.
    After Independence, he was a major at Army Headquarters in Delhi during the 1947-1948 war in Kashmir, and was later named secretary of the Indian delegation on delineation of the cease fire line in Kashmir at a meeting convened by the United Nations in 1949 in Karachi. He sought premature retirement in 1983, and has since served as India’s ambassador to Nepal, and governor of Assam, among other positions.
    In an exclusive interview with Claude Arpi at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu, General Sinha, 80, describes how India responded during to the first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir in 1949, how the two nations have fared since, and expands on his special version of Kashmiriyat.
  • Interview with Jagmohan – February 2007
    The local leaders started an agitation against me, because I was not respecting Article 370. They came in a delegation, it included the people from the area were the fire had erupted (and where there was no sewage). They told me that it is an infringement of Article 370. I told them: “Do you understand what it means for you Article 370?” They spoke of their self-identity. I told them: “I went to your colony and it was stinking, yourself told me that you were living in hell, now with this 60 millions I will provide you with proper sanitation. Do you want sanitation or Article 370?” They immediately understood.
  • Interview with Prof. Siddiq Wahid – November 2006
    I am born a Ladakhi, I belong to a Tibetan culture area, I was educated by Jesuits in Darjeeling, I live in a country which is overwhelmingly Hindu, I am married a Lutheran Christian, for the sake of travel, I have an Indian passport, so it hard for me to reject any of these identities…

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