- Whoever kills an INNOCENT life, it is as if he has killed the entire HUMANITY - Surat Al-Ma’idah 5:32
Jammu & Kashmir has been wrecked by terrorism since 1989, when Islamist extremist groups forcefully evicted the Kashmiri Pandits & other minority groups through violence, in an attempt to change the ethnic composition of the state & gain so called freedom. Pakistan played a critical role in fuelling the under currents of masses to a level of violent terrorism using religion as a tool. Money, weapon & trained terrorists were infiltrated into Kashmir to tilt the balance in favour of Pakistan. However, little did they realize that this unconventional attempt of Pakistan will also be as futile as three conventional wars fought with India. It only added to the misery of the people of Kashmir & over the years made them realize about the actual intentions of Pakistan. Former ISI chief has mentioned in his book ‘The Spy Chronicles’ that, even ISI was clueless about the magnitude of the problem that they had created. They could not limit it & it grew uncontrolled causing unprecedented levels of violence over the years.
Terrorism has resulted in killing of more than 26000 militants, apprehension of more than 7500 militants & more than 7000 security personnel have martyred over the years. Also, more than 60,000 civilians have perished due to terrorist activities. Pakistan has not only provided moral & diplomatic support, but also trained mujahids with an aim to create an environment of fear & instill violence in minds of the locals. In 2015, former President Parvez Musharraf admitted that Pakistan had supported & trained terrorist groups in 1990s. The youth from Kashmir are brainwashed, kept in the dark by hiding the real truth, made to believe that they are chosen by Allah & then tasked to carry out heinous crimes & projecting it as a struggle by civilians against the government atrocities. The over ground workers select the vulnerable youth based on their inclination & then systematically set up false narratives to target their gulliable young mind through social media & finally are able to convince him to cross to their side. However, the youth does not realize that they are just cannon fodder for the separatists, who do not value their lives & are only interested in their own evil agenda.
The separatists & politicians with similar ideology have not done any good to the state & rather than giving correct guidance to the people, they have actually pushed more civilians towards the destructive path. Terrorism cannot survive without the support of sympathizers & locals, who in the garb of innocent civilians cradle anti national sentiments. Over the years, Kashmiris have realized that all sorts of gimmicks from Pakistan & separatists are focused to set their own agenda & have not helped a common Kashmiri in any way. The only way to resurrect Kashmir & create a peaceful environment is of hard work & progress.
The government & security forces are doing their bit & have taken praiseworthy steps for progress of the state. However, it is the people who have to decide whether they want to reject terrorism completely or suffer at their mercy for another thirty years. They will have to complement the efforts of the government & abstain from any kind of support to the terrorists. Such kind of actions by the locals & their disapproval to the acts of terror will have a great hampering effect on the terrorism & would prove to be more effective in eradicating it.
To this day the dreams of Pakistan of merging Kashmir with them have been kept at bay & far from reality through humane & measured approach of the Indian government & Security forces, who have not only fought terrorists, but also created favorable environment for the civilians through massive Sadhbhavna projects aimed at making lives better for common Kashmiris. The government needs to follow a comprehensive approach specifically for Kashmir keeping in mind the long term goals to save the state from the path of violence & destruction. Investing in education, tourism, industries, infrastructure, sports facilities & similar people centric projects & policies will go a long way to uplift the living standards of the awaam, thus distancing them from radicalization & violence. The content population will reorient themselves & automatically focus towards contributing for the progress of the state.