FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Act fast in Kashmir before more virulent strains of militancy gain ground
Posted:Jun 2, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By Subrata Saha
 
In Nov-Dec 2014 India and its friends celebrated the unprecedented voter turnout in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections. 65 percent overall voter turnout in freezing temperatures, even as people were struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the terrible floods of Sep 2014. This was the victory of democracy, won over all attempts to boycott, disrupt and delay.
 
All political parties went on record to unambiguously acknowledge the fairness of the election. Arguably the successful elections removed the very cause for which the militancy began in 1989 i.e alleged rigging of elections.
 
It goes to the credit of all security agencies that not one civilian life was lost in the entire electoral process. This was the high point of military stability.
 
The atmosphere was charged with hope. Public discourse was on peace dividend, development and aspirations for a better future.
Unfortunately, the military stability was not followed by political stability. Two and a half years since then, the situation has slipped much down hill. While stone pelting by students is the new disturbing dimension in the visible spectrum of violence, public proclamation of Islamic Caliphate and Sharia by some militants is the other alarming component. The intensity and viciousness of the propaganda from Pakistan too has multiplied manifold.
 
Over the past couple of weeks we are witnessing some strict measures to regain military stability. In the past one week twelve terrorists have been eliminated in operations along the line of control and in the hinterland. With all the efforts put in by the security forces it is reasonable to assume that the military situation would stabilise once again. The challenge then is how quickly and how well we can bridge the gap between military stability and political stability.
 
Kashmir’s political space is usually contested between Hurriyat, Jamaat, militant and mainstream parties. This contest can get terribly complex as the new militant campaign driven by the idea of Sharia and the Caliphate is striving to capture the imagination of the people, particularly the youth.
 
Even though the Hizbul Mujahideen and the separatists seem to be distancing themselves from this new brand of militancy, it has ominous portent and merits close attention. The rapid spread of ISIS in Iraq and beyond, is a recent example in history of how horribly things can go wrong where political stability does not follow military stability.
 
In order to deal with the emerging situation, first and foremost the mainstream political leaders need to reassert themselves as the military situation improves. Last week there were reports of mainstream political rallies in Kupwara, Kalaroosh, Trehgam and Bandipura, all in North Kashmir. This is a positive development that needs to be intensified further, irrespective of ruling or opposition parties and extended to South Kashmir and Srinagar as well.
 
There was a statement from the Union home minister Rajnath Singh alluding to permanent solution on Kashmir. Both the content and timing of the message are very important. It has raised hope and more importantly it shows that the Central Government and the State Government are together and not in silos.
 
Kashmir has a huge youth population that is hesitant to step out because of lack of awareness, empowerment and apprehension. The spirit of entrepreneurship too is hardly developed.
 
Kashmir’s potential economic wealth remains much under actualised because of the prolonged disturbed situation and also lack of requisite skills and enterprise. Fortunately infrastructure like the internal road network is better than several other parts of the country. In order to optimise Kashmir’s economic potential all the three arteries connecting Kashmir to the other parts of the Country via Sinthan, Pir Ki Gali and of course Banihal need to be developed.
 
By connecting economics with security and education it is possible to actualise the untapped economic potential and also provide meaningful employment for the youth. With this potentially more virulent brand of Sharia-Caliphate driven militancy striving for popular support, time is of essence. If all the instruments i.e, politics, security, diplomacy, economic, social, information, education and justice get connected and focused, it is possible to turn the tables on our enemies in Kashmir.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
It wasn’t so long ago that the whole world watched as Donald Trump sashayed on to the Riyadh red carpet and stole the show with his tough talk on Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
 
read-more
A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive