Feelers for surrender by freshers

By K.N. Pandita

Like all regressive activities, militancy, too, has to come to its logical conclusion which is its total effacement. This thinking developed soon among Kashmirian civil society after the separatists refused to interact with the All Party Parliamentary delegation that visited the valley last August.

However, during the delegation’s two hour halt at Jammu, and its interaction with the representatives of local civil society, it became clear to them that astute statesmanship demanded that the separatist leadership in Kashmir is isolated and alienated on its home turf.

Herein lay the roots of changed strategy of the security forces in handling varying facets of Kashmir unrest, be it strikes calls or stone throwing or attacks on police camps.
The code named “All Out Strategy” is not to be understood in terms of tooth for tooth and cheek for cheek but much more beyond that. The fundamentals of new strategy are that of making the separatists are made irrelevant. That was precisely what the parliamentary delegation was told by the representatives of Jammu civil society in plain words.

Centre refused to talk to the separatists unless they publicly announced rejection of gun and gun wielders. This was no less than a bolt from the blue. Realising that the Centre was not in any mood of talking to the separatists, the neo-separatists meaning the leadership in or out of power shifted the goal post and began the tantrum of Indo-Pak dialogue. They used soft as well as hard narrative alternatively.

Second component of changed strategy is the change of pattern in ground activity. Intelligence input has been streamlined and most of the successful eliminations of terrorist leaderships have taken place on the basis of upgraded input from civilian sources. Army kills not arrests the terrorists. That is what the saner elements in Kashmir have been trying to make the Indian security forces understand for a long time. The demonstrating crowds trying to obstruct military operation receive what they deserve being considered seditionists and sympathisers of terrorism. Army and security forces have made a deep dent into the civil society which passionately wants to get rid of the menace. It is not just a gaffe but a scratching reality that the parentage of most of the below twenty-five stone throwing youth is shrouded in mystery. The statement of Kashmir IGP that Kashmiri girls are feeling relieved after Abu Dujana was eliminated is pregnant with meaning. This reality has played vital role in fresh recruits in Kashmir seeking surrender.

US’ designation of Salahu’d-Din as international terrorist and subsequently designation of Hizbul Mujahedeen, too, has had its fallout in the terrorist cadres in Kashmir. Their wings are getting clipped. Their supporters and votaries and particularly fund raising sources not only in western countries but more particularly in Saudi and Gulf States where Kashmir valley Diaspora has become very influential, all have become cautious and are creeping back into their shells.

An important and effective yet legal and procedural step taken was that the Enforcement Department opened its fangs and the first to fall in the net was the right hand man of the main separatist leader. Naeem Khan was the first to divulge something that would lead the ED to more action. The result was that the Hurriyat leader felt betrayed and in order to save his fragile position expelled Naeem Khan from the party.

But that did not salvage the situation. His two sons are being questioned. Those who lower down shutters of their shops on the bidding of Geelani were taken aback when they were told that Geelani’s bejewelled ring costs 1.5 crore rupees. Wherefrom had the money come to Geelani & Co to raise properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

Yet more surprises were in the offing for the prospective Kashmiri recruits for militancy. They learnt of crores of rupees received by Shabir Shah the so-called Nelson Mandela of Kashmir. ED’s action against these leaders and their kith and kin being fully legal and procedural left no space for the leaders to give a call for strikes. That would make their position ludicrous.

The cumulative effect of all these developments is that the Kashmir civil society has begun to ask who it is following and for what purpose. The Hurriyat is made a money generating machine and Indian media left no stone unturned to give it international hype. It should not be surprising if fifty per cent of fresh recruits for militancy have conveyed to their families that they should arrange for their surrender. Some of those who have expressed desire for surrender have not been with the militants for more than a month or two. Some of them saw the light only after a week or ten days of their recruitment.

But here is a crucial question. Surrender of these boys has to be dealt with utmost caution and care by the security forces and the police. If the diehard militants get a wink of their surrender wish, they will gun them down mercilessly. We do not want that these repenting boys should lose their precious lives. Therefore it is of prime importance that first their families are provided security and second these families are directly involved in finding ways and means of the rescue of their wards. In fact the Home Ministry and the State government shall have to draw a plan of rescuing the boys desirous of surrendering to the security forces. Protecting their families is of utmost importance. The government should wind up security to the known separatists of whatever status they are and in their place shift security to the families of the surrendering boys.

With President Trump openly and harshly bashing Pakistan for giving safe haven to the terrorists and facilitating them in their conspiracies of infiltrating into the territories of neighbouring countries, the backbone of all terrorist groups in Pakistan will break in due course of time and our country should prepare itself for possible repercussions. However, the more recent happening at home, viz. the Dera Ram Rahim Singh action by the government should send a message to the ambivalent Kashmir leadership and the militants that there is something called the might of the State which has never been taken resort to in the case of Kashmir crowds obstructing operations against the terrorists. The reason is that majority of Kashmiri people want to get rid of the menace of Theo-fascism.

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