J&K normalcy unnerves Pak, militant handlers

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Local youth losing interest in militancy and refusing to fall in the radicalisation trap seem to have become a cause of worry for the people promoting violence in J&K….reports Asian Lite News

Kashmiri youth saying no to guns and normalcy returning to Jammu and Kashmir have unnerved the militant handlers sitting across the Line of Control (LoC).

Their plan to keep J&K burning is falling apart. They are looking for other means to keep militancy alive, as local recruitment in terror groups is on the decline in J&K.

According to Jammu and Kashmir Police, during the past 33 days, three Pakistani militants have been killed in Srinagar and there are reports about more foreign militants being present in the city. It appears that Pakistan is back to its old tricks. Instead of relying on locals, it has activated the ultras of Pakistan origin to keep the conflict alive.

After August 5, 2019 — when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — militant handlers made every possible attempt to destabilise the situation in J&K, especially in the Kashmir region.

But the change in J&K’s status-quo opened a plethora of opportunities for the youth. They realised that picking up arms, pelting stones and staging demonstrations won’t help their cause. They went on to grab the employment and other opportunities that were provided to them from time to time.

Local youth losing interest in militancy and refusing to fall in the radicalisation trap seem to have become a cause of worry for the people promoting violence in J&K. The presence of Pakistani militants in Srinagar is an indication that the former has not stopped meddling into Kashmir’s affairs and wants violence to continue at any cost.

Pakistani militants being present in Kashmir is nothing new, they have been an active part of militancy in J&K during the past three decades. The militant groups sponsored by Pakistan used to operate openly in the Himalayan region and the three-decade long militancy in J&K has never been indigenous. It has always been managed and run by the people sitting in Pakistan. It’s no secret and the entire world knows it.

Pakistan home to 12 designated FTOs

According to a latest US independent Congressional Research Service report on terrorism, Pakistan is home to at least 12 groups designated as foreign terrorist organisations, including five India-centric ones.

The US officials have identified Pakistan as a base of operations or target for numerous armed and non-state militant groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s. The report stated that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was formed in the late 1980s in Pakistan, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) in 2001, while Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was founded in 2000 by Masood Azhar and was designated as an FTO in 2001.

Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was formed in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army and was designated as an FTO in 2010. After 1989, it redirected its efforts toward India. Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was formed in 1989 — reportedly as the militant wing of Pakistan’s largest Islamist political party — and was designated as FTO in 2017. It is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in J&K.

Militant groups change names

After August 5, 2019, many militant groups, including LeT, have changed their names in J&K to create an impression that militancy in Kashmir is home grown but the world is aware of the fact that Pakistan sponsored terror groups are responsible for the violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

The militant handlers sitting across the LoC are aware of the fact that Srinagar is heart of Kashmir and if the militancy related incidents are intensified in the city, they can create panic and would provide their agents sitting in the Valley with a chance to add fuel to the fire.

The killings of members of the minority community in October this year were carried out to recreate a 1990 like situation in Kashmir. Eleven civilians, including five non-locals, a Kashmiri Pandit, a Sikh woman and a Hindu man, were shot dead by the ultras to create fear psychosis, and most of the cold-blooded murders took place in Srinagar city.

However, the counter offensive launched by the security forces led to the elimination of most of the militants who were involved in these killings. Only one among the accused is believed to be alive.

Normalcy hurting Pakistan

The normalcy in Kashmir is hurting Pakistan badly. It is unable to digest that famous health resorts like Gulmarg are jam-packed, and tourists in hordes are expected to arrive in the Valley to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

The youth of Kashmir moving ahead and grabbing new opportunities to excel in life too seems to have perturbed the terror bosses. Street protests, stone-pelting and shutdowns have become history. In a nutshell, there is no semblance of the so-called “freedom movement” left in the erstwhile princely state.

The proxy war launched by Pakistan in 1990 to snatch Kashmir from India is almost over, as there is no one left to fight it. But the militant handlers are in no mood to give up and it appears that they are once again assigning the frontal roles to the militants of Pakistani origin as the participation of Kashmiri youth in the subversive activities is declining.

Pakistan not allowing Kashmiris to sit in peace has exposed its real face before the Kashmiri people, who were made to believe during the past 30 years that militants and the neighbouring country are their friends and India is their enemy.

But the actions of Pakistan and its militants speak louder than words. The activation of Pakistani militants is a message to the people of Kashmir that they cannot get away so easily. Their rights to progress and prosper have been snatched and they will have to live in chaos and uncertainty till Pakistan wants. They don’t care about the people of Kashmir, nor are they interested in their security. The only thing they want is the land.

Kashmiris have understood it and have turned their backs towards Pakistan, but the country which used to claim that it is their true friend is stabbing them in their backs and is out to punish them collectively.

Resurgence of Pakistani militants is not good news for the people of Kashmir. It’s an indication that the onslaught has not ended, and they should be prepared to face more.

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