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 Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has confirmed his presence for the occasion. In an exclusive interview with INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India, Sidharto R.Suryodipuro, reminded Nilova Roy Chaudhury that the first Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations, in 1950, w
 
read-more
The words of Ho Chi Minh  “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty” rang true for the people of the erstwhile East Pakistan when, with increasing brutality, the West Pakistani oppression spread across the land, writes Anwar A Khan from Dhaka
 
read-more
In a significant boost to New Delhi's Act East Policy, India and Japan set up the Act East Forum on Tuesday as agreed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India this year for the annual bilateral meeting that would help to focus and catalyse development in India's Northeast.
 
read-more
  United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated on Friday Washington's warning that “all options are on the table” to meet North Korea's nuclear threat while offering to keep the lines of communication with Pyongyang open.
 
read-more
The 15th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China concluded in New Delhi on Monday with many nuanced takeaways embedded in the joint statement of 46 paragraphs. Reiterating that the forum “is not directed against any other country”, the statement underlined the importance of the establishment o
 
read-more
The first thing that one sees when a flight approaches New Delhi is thick smog that envelopes the city and its lack of greenery.  In almost all other major cities of India lack of greenery is the most obvious sight that one sees when approaching it by air.
 
read-more

Pakistan has agreed to allow the rupee to depreciate after holding talks with the International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) on the country's economy.

 
read-more

Two major global changes in the past year; the ‘Brexit’ referendum and the advent of Donald Trump, writes Sandeep Kaur Bhatia

 
read-more

It is also imperative for India to explore other regions for markets. Its trade deficit with Latin America has been narrowing. Also, its trade with Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala has increased, ...

 
read-more
Column-image

Over the last 25 years, India's explosive economic growth has vaulted it into the ranks of the world's emerging major powers. Long plagued by endemic poverty, until the 1990s the Indian economy was also hamstrung by a burdensome regulat...

 
Column-image

Title: A Ticket to Syria; Author: Shirish Thorat; Publisher: Bloomsbury India: Pages: 254; Price: Rs 399

 
Column-image

Gorichen, a majestic peak in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 22,500 feet, is the highest in Arunachal Pradesh. Beautiful to look at and providing a fantastic view from the top, it is extremely tough climb for mountaineers.

 
Column-image

It is often conjectured if the reason for long-standing conflicts and insurgencies, in the developing world, especially South Asia, is not only other powers fishing in troubled waters but also the keenness of arms industries, mostly Western, to...

 
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699