The heinous abduction from a marriage ceremony in Kulgam town and killing of Lt. Umar Fayaz followed by the brutal massacre and mutilation of six Jammu and Kashmir policemen in Anantnag district and the barbaric lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police Ayub Pandith by a mob outside Srinagar's Jama Masjid, mark an unprecedented high in the Pakistan-sponsored and supported proxy war and radicalisation of the Kashmir Valley.
Particularly Pandith's lynching by a mob only reinforces the fact that the separatists have sunk to their lowest in killing Kashmiriyat, which they claim to champion and expose them once again as vermin for the valley.
Further, the killings of the police personnel and Pandith in charge of Mirwaiz Omar Farooq's security detail being killing outside the Jama Masjid, where Mirwaiz was holding forth with his provocative discourse, both during Ramzan, only add to the utter dastardliness of the separatists-read dangerous traitors.
Finally, on 24 June 2017, youth addressed a large gathering condemning the killings of JK policemen and the separatists, but it still beats anyone's imagination as to why these traitors are still enjoying security and many other benefits at taxpayers' cost and why they have not been imprisoned in jails. Because frequent house arrests are a mockery as they do not prevent separatists from continuing their anti-national operations by telephone/ their network of foot soldiers.
Compared to 14 cease fire violations in J&K in 2016, there have been 193 violations in 2017, till 14 June. The breakdown is 8 in January, 13 in February, 22 in March, 29 in April, 87 in May and 34 till 14 June, when even half the year has not ended. Attacks in the J&K hinterland by Pak army/Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) trained and supported Pakistani and Kashmiri terrorists in 2017 have almost tripled in comparison with earlier years.
In Pakistan, Syed Salahuddin, the head of the Hizbul Mujahideen and United Jihad Council, in his mad-dog mode has reportedly threatened nuclear war against India over the Kashmir issue. Speaking to reporters in Karachi Salahuddin said there is a great chance of a nuclear war taking place between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. "Pakistan is duty bound, morally bound, politically bound and constitutionally bound to provide concrete, substantial support to the ongoing freedom struggle on the territory of Kashmir.
And, if Pakistan provides this support, there is a great chance of a nuclear war between the two powers," he added.
He said three wars have already been fought between the two countries over the Kashmir issue, adding that he can predict a fourth war with certainty because Kashmiris are no longer willing to compromise under any circumstances. "Whether the world supports them or not; whether Pakistan stands by them or not; whether the United Nation performs its duty or not; they have taken a pledge to fight up to the last drop of their blood," he added.
After over 12 months of dealing with rioting mobs of Kashmiri youth of the five' infected' districts of Kashmir Valley-Anantnag, Baramula, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian-who have been attacking the Army and security forces with not merely stones, but also petrol bombs, acid and even in some cases firearms, what Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was constrained to state in an interview by PTI - that it's a dirty war that is being fought in Kashmir Valley- stands vindicated.
"This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war... That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations..."People are throwing stones and even petrol bombs at us. If my men ask me what do we do, should I say, 'just wait and die? I will come with a nice coffin with a national flag and I will send your bodies home with honour'. Is it what I am supposed to tell them as Chief? I have to maintain the morale of my troops who are operating there," Gen Rawat said.
He wholeheartedly defended Major Leetul Gogoi for using a Kashmiri stone-pelter as a 'human shield' by, an action which has been praised / approved by many including Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, who did not mince his words when he stated in media: "The recent report about a stone pelter tied to an Army vehicle helped contain stone pelters and saved the poll officials". Gen Rawat said that as the Army chief, it was his duty to maintain the morale of the army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and by awarding Major Gogoi he did exactly that.
"As Army Chief my concern is morale of the Army. I am far away from the battlefield. I cannot influence the situation there. I can only tell the boys that 'I am with you'. I always tell my people, things will go wrong, but if things have gone wrong and you did not have malafide intent, I am there," he said.
Referring to the complexity of the security challenges in Kashmir Valley he could not but help expressing, that if people in any country lose fear of the army, then the country is doomed.
"Adversaries must be afraid of you and at the same time your people must be afraid of you. We are a friendly army, but when we are called to restore law and order, people have to be afraid of us," he said and simultaneously asserted that maximum restraint is being maintained while handling the situation in the Valley.
General Rawat said there was a ploy to break the trust between various security forces, and Major Gogoi could not have refused to provide security when polling agents had sought security assistance.
"Tomorrow elections have to be held in Anantnag and similar things may happen. If the army does not respond to call for assistance, then the trust between the people whom we are protecting, police and army will break. "That is something I cannot allow to happen. This is what the militants want. It can create a divide between the army and other security forces," he said.
The army chief also wondered why not much noise was made when young army officer Lt Umar Fayaz was killed by militants when he was on leave.
Asked whether there should be a political initiative to reach out to the Kashmiri people, the Army Chief said it was for the government to decide, adding such initiatives were taken in the past as well.
"Has political initiative not been taken in the past? What was the result, you had Kargil...," he said.
On 13 June 2017 Army Chief met and complimented Kashmiri students trained by Army's Super-40 coaching initiative for the Engineering Entrance Examination. The results broke all previous records when 26 boys and two girls from the state cracked the IIT-JEE Mains Exam 2017. Nine students have successfully qualified the IIT Advanced Exam, the results of which were declared on 11 June 17. The coaching is conducted at Srinagar jointly by Army, Centre for Social Responsibility & Learning (CSRL) and Petronet LNG. This was also the first batch in which five girls from Kashmir valley were coached, out of which two qualified in the JEE Mains.
This exam and the response to many recruitment tests by the Army and JK police, where up to 1500 applicants have been showing up only goes to prove that there is a fair constituency of Kashmiri youth, who do not subscribe to radicalization and rioting but who want to get ahead in life within the Indian system.
However, the great irony is that while the proxy war by terror and radicalization perpetrated by Pakistan is dirty, not withdrawing the separatists' facilities, not putting them in jails allowing them to continue their deadly activities, while some Indian political leaders, apologists, peaceniks, pseudo-secularists, pseudo-human rights activists vilify the Army and the security forces and keep harping on talks with the separatists/traitors, only proves that the politics of this war is even dirtier.
Terrorists and their supporters are intimidating young Kashmiris wanting to join the Army, police or security forces. A video of one of them being tonsured was widely aired. Many J&K police personnel' homes have been raided by terrorists/their supporters to threaten them for discharging their duties.
Separatists have also issued diktats against sending children to Army's Goodwill schools, which could not be burnt and where students have been faring well, accusing these schools of compromising 'Kashmiriyat', which actually is being erased and replaced with Wahabism by Pakistan supported Kashmiri terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen and the separatists, who are not even sparing their own fellow Kashmiris.
There is no dearth of evidence of the separatists' treacherous activities. One of them, Naeem Khan has had the temerity to boast of forgetting how many Kashmiri Pandits he killed after killing 25. Dangerous terrorists have been able to escape owing to orchestrated rioting by youth, including girls.
The Pakistan Army has reportedly raised a battalion or two worth of battle action teams to further raise the ante across the Line of Control and International Boundary in Jammu and Kashmir.
With the PDP-BJP government not being able to/not wanting to take urgently needed steps, it is now high time that New Delhi jettisons the politics of appeasing traitors/anti-nationals and instead meaningfully demolishes the entire separatist's network. Because no matter how many cross-border strikes or bombardments are undertaken, they will only affect Pak army and not the process of radicalising/poisoning the minds of the Valley's Kashmiris. The districts contaminated/commandeered by Pakistani and Kashmiri (Hizbul Mujahideen) terrorists must be cleansed effectively and equally important, FIRs against Army and constabularies must stop.
And if the only way of decontaminating Kashmir Valley is by promulgating a Central rule, then no more time should be lost in doing so.
The views expressed in the above article are that Col. (Retired) Anil Bhat.