The asymmetric warfare started in Kashmir by the neighbouring ‘deep state’ since 1990s, after it got defeated by India in the three wars created a great chaos filled with gross sufferings to all the Kashmiris. The deep state(DS) used it’s experience of ‘training and arming the Taliban’ along with CIA( the US intelligence agency) in Afghanistan in 1980s, to create insurgency in Kashmir. It used the manufactured hardline Wahabi ideology to radicalise the Kashmiri youth in terror camps at Pakistan Occupied Kashmir( PoK).
With the sacred ethos of Kashmiriyat, the Hindu and Muslim communities had been living in Kashmir for more than past 600 years. The greatest loss of this asymmetric warfare to the Indian State was the severe erosion of Kashmiriyat from the minds of Kashmiri youth. Terrorists forced the Kashmiri Hindus to leave Kashmir under the barrel of the gun. Many Kashmiri Hindus were killed and their women raped brutally, leading to their out migration. Since then, Kashmiri Hindus have been made a refugee in their own country.
The successive Union governments managed to control the situation of Kashmir by 1999 and early 2000. The subsequent years saw relatively less insurgency and less ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC). This provides some years of “relative peace” to Kashmir.
But, since the encounter of Burhan Wani in 2016, the DS fuelled massive protests across the Kashmir Valley, using its social media groups of Whatsapp and Facebook. DS paid people for pelting stones on Indian armed forces, leading to the use of pellet guns by the forces. This injured a lot of people, many losing their eyesights causing further divide between the people of Kashmir and the Indian state. DS seemed to clearly win in this fake information campaign and in playing with the sentiments of young valley blood. This led the National Security experts led by NSA Ajit Doval to frame an effective counter strategy and they managed to stop these protest by the mid 2017.
New strategies by Indian State involved ban on internet for major point of time, demonetisation to nullify the money fuelled protests, increased visit of government officials to villages to root out grievances. Indian Army on its part laid even more emphasis on Operation Sadbhvana started in 1998, through initiatives like coaching centres (Super 30, Super 40), Army Goodwill Schools, Sports activities etc. The National Investigation Agency( NIA) probed the terror funding tovthe separatists by the DS, leading to almost blockade of the terror money. All these steps led to valley towards the peace.
In 2019, the NDA government led by PM Modi after landslide victory in 2019 general election, abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution of India and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir state into the two union territories of Ladakh and, Jammu and Kashmir (JnK) respectively. This led to the application of all Indian laws automatically to JnK like Right to Information Act etc, leading to further transparency in governance.
These years have also seen increased spread of social media deep in the Kashmir, giving voice to a large section of people. Many youths of the valley, now aware of the welfare activities of the Indian state are coming up openly thought social media platform in support of India. Many youths who had chosen the path of militancy are droping their arms and the government had made special schemes for their rehabilitation.
In this year 2020, the state has done away with it’s policy of allowing mass funeral of the killed terrorists , which used to be a place where emotionally charged youth used to take up arms. Recently , an IED carrying vehicle was caught with the help of intelligence agencies, thus preventing a Pulwama type blast of 2019. These better intelligence gathering by the Indian state also shows that the people of Kashmir are getting realigned towards India.
So, we can see that a positive change that started after the year 2000, has started to pick pace in the last five-six years. But at the same time all the government agencies will have to work on the same pace as of now or even better one. Sooner, we will restores peace in the Kashmir valley where all will be happy and the people from all over the world will come to enjoy the paradise on the earth.
ROHIT SINGH MER, Writer is a Student of Political Science with keen interest in international and security affairs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org