Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Revival of Militancy In Kashmir

In late 2012, I wrote up a piece on the issue of the revival of armed militancy in Kashmir. The piece was never published as it overlapped too closely with the view from the MHA and since that had been released from elsewhere - I saw no sense in "haan mey haan milana".

There was a portion of my old piece that was not covered by the MHA viewpoint. I am releasing this now as I feel it may be germane and the political climate is at a point where this discussion can be hand openly.

Mohammed Ashraf has written a very good piece on the issue of the militancy revival in Kashmir. I agree with his basic viewpoint - with a few critical differences. Sri. Ashraf is absolutely correct that in the intervening years India has failed to accommodate a significant number of Kashmiri grievances in the framework of democratic debate. While the rest of the Indian economy has surged and is quite robust, the Kashmiri economy is still recovering from the civil war years and it is very fragile. This has led to significant anger in young Kashmiris and that is welling up as support for militant behavior.

Unlike their older counterparts in the HM and JKLF, these "new" wave people have not felt the full brunt of the state machinery. The "new wave" were kids during the CASO years so they never had to stand for 72 hours at a stretch as a surrendered militant divulged their identities to the police.  The kids were also spared the months of pleading it took to get an arrested relative released from custody. As kids they never saw the inside of Akbar Fort and Papa II. The horrors that were visited upon the HM and JKLF cadre was somehow kept out of their sights.

As these kids come of age, they are learning about the war years and quite naturally their reaction is disgust and anger. This needs to be accommodated - the children are not to blame for that past. I  laud all efforts made by the JNU crowd to engage these young people in constructive political dialogue.

A great number of things have been done in Kashmir during the COIN operations that no Indian in their right mind would be proud of. It is best to come clean on these issues and apologise to unintended victims. Acknowledging their suffering is the right thing to do - even if it gets some chaddies in a knot!

A generation of Indians (Kashmiris and others) have died in a meaningless civil war and there is no sense in inviting the same alienation that led to this war in the first place.

That being said (this is where I diverge from Sri. Ashraf) - one of the underlying drivers of the *armed* militancy is weapons caches from the Jihad period. When Pakistan Jihadis came to Kashmir in 1992, a support system came into place to host them.

(now we get into elements of the unpublished piece I wrote that are not covered by the MHA viewpoint).

A part of this support system was a set of covert munition and cash dumps positioned in the Pir Panjal and in the valley. These dumps were in the control of hardened UGWs (underground workers) of various militant organizations. One set of such dumps was located and destroyed during the Indian Army's Operation Sarp Vinash in the Hil kaka area in the Pir Panjal.  The exact positions of the remaining dumps are known to the Pakistan Army ISI people running the show in Rawalpindi. Until those dumps are located and destroyed, the likelihood that they will emerge as the center of a new *armed* militancy is very high. 


At 9:24 PM, Blogger Nanana said...

This is like the provisional IRA accessing the IRA caches in Northern Ireland?

At 6:07 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Yes it is similar.

I usually use the analogy of the Italian Mafia accessing the Gladio munitions caches and using the RDX reserves to take out Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone.

It would be a significant contribution for the Pakistanis to help India recover these caches.

However if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to do so, then India should find the resolve and means to do this itself.


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