Home Contact Us  
   

Terrorism - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5272, 19 April 2017
 

Special Commentary

Jammu and Kashmir: A Saga of Neglect
Arun Chaudhary
Former Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal (Armed Border Force), Government of India
 

The institutions that are supposed to establish calm in the Kashmir valley seem to be opposed or at least indifferent to this idea. The captains of these institutions have, since the 1990s, reviewed their strategies and made amends whenever violence has escalated. Since the summer of 2016 however the situation has been allowed to drift with no visible change in strategies, which has resulted in the present impasse.

Today, Kashmir watchers are of the opinion that the state is fast slipping out of hand and if something drastic is not done before the darbar moves to Srinagar, this summer will be the bloodiest since 1990. Although the central and state governments have the capability to reverse the trend, a lack of commitment and sincerity appear to lacking.

J&K politics and politicians pivot around an exhibition of blatant personal power that accrues after elections or appointments to any institution of ‘profit’. The main leaders of  the two regional parties - Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - make occasional statements speaking to the crisis but do not show any interest in its actual resolution at the ground level. There is absolute silence from this quarter when a police officer (Kashmiri) is killed or a civilian is brutally murdered by militants. There is also a lack of political will in the cadres and regional leaders of these parties to squarely face the atrocities of the militants. On the other hand, the local militant is freely allowed to ignite a situation, leading to police and army action that often gets bad publicity and affects the morale of the security forces.

Can politicians be expected to come forward and take on this miniscule minority of militants in their areas of influence? The answer is no - the politicians are themselves quite clear that the militants need not be dealt with politically. Occasional statements aimed at lip service when, for example, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans are stone pelted speak volumes of their resolve to bring the situation to normalcy. This is perhaps why no important mainstream politician been harmed in the last two years.

Of  the two regional parties, the one out of power will always evoke the sentiments of the youth indulging in violence; they will even advocate dialogue with secessionists (Hurriyat), and their masters in Pakistan. Yes, Kashmir is a humanitarian crisis and needs a political solution, but the stakeholders who should come forward are hiding behind a facade of fear. 

On a visit to the valley in June 2015, this author had the opportunity to talk to security and police personnel from both the state and central police organisations. All of them uniformly shared the view that violence and militancy were a thing of the past and Kashmiris were more keen on going about their daily routine and business. To this end, the boom in tourism was welcome. Tourists were flocking not only to Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg, but also to interior areas such as Yusmarg, Wular Lake, Kokernag, Aharbal and Daksum.

The situation seemed to be looking up on the militancy front - an operational officer of the J&K police, for example, said that the number of registered militants had gone down drastically and several were also on the run. However, he also cited a new trend where old militant leaders were now handing weapons to the youth to target police constables in market places or wherever they were alone and without support. About a dozen killings of this nature had been reported from Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama; districts in South Kashmir.

The government had decided, despite opposition from the security forces and intelligence agencies, that they would bring militant leaders and their families based in PoK back to the state. Their movement after arriving in J&K was to be regularly monitored. It seems this was not done meticulously, leading to some of these ex-militants successfully initiating many Kashmiri youth into militancy.  This induction grew apace, with the police failing to keep track of young Kashmiris leaving their homes. This time, they were not crossing the border but seemed waiting for an opportune moment to strike. 

At this time, a 'silent' social media revolution, especially out of South Kashmir, was developing. Youth like Burhan Wani made regular social media appearances, eulogising the virtues of taking up arms against the ‘enemy’ security forces. Looking back to the spurt of violence and large-scale disturbances that followed Burhan Wani's neutralisation, it seems that the security forces and intelligence agencies failed to see the potential of this growing band of ‘neo-militants’.

The youth were fed on Islamic State (IS) visuals and literature, and with every taste of success against the security forces, they were further emboldened. Further, the timely escalation of border violence by Pakistan and the actions initiated by Pakistan-based militant groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) lent a fillip to their resolve. They were also assured of continuing cross-border support following the Indian "surgical strikes." The casual attitude of the security forces in arresting this trend in 2015 gave rise to full-blown civilian unrest, resulting in bloodshed on both sides. 

The Kashmir valley continues to witness unabated violent incidents on a daily basis. The responses of the security forces to actions initiated by militants have been negatively highlighted by bad press. The central government thus needs to immediately review the working of security forces and intelligence agencies in the valley. There is a need to make the leaders of these forces realise that they are accountable for any lapse. Coordination between the state and central police forces should be made flawless; intelligence-sharing should be free, swift, and lead to exemplary operations. The army's role should be limited to guarding borders and anti-insurgency operations. With Pakistan trying to push in more militants, the borders must be completely sanitised. The J&K police is also under immense pressure from the local population to not act against the militants. These developments must be attended to immediately, and measures taken to keep morale high. Although directly talking to Pakistan or secessionist leaders in the valley at this point would be a futile exercise, the intelligence agencies should keep their dialogue with important and amenable secessionist leaders open. 

Mainstream political leaders need to acknowledge the stakes involved and attempt a dialogue with the disgruntled youth. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti must be more assertive and accountable, and demonstrate her resolve to the administration as well.

The J&K police is capable of sorting this out in their own way - it was done in the past and it can be done now. The state and its development departments have to be more visible and deliver projects in time, the ultimate objective being to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders, including the leaders of the youth brigade.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.