Col B S Nagial (Retd)
‘Resistance & Violence’ might have begun with the creation of this universe and may vanish only on the day of judgement. Today, terrorism is the biggest threat to humankind and presents several unprecedented problems in modern history. It may have different shapes and sizes but has the common aim to spread violence to achieve its legitimate or illegitimate objectives. It is a challenge that a group of so-called like-minded inimical elements would contest the legal order and threaten the validity of the organised machinery of the government and society in general. Many times, such inimical elements are supported and promoted by some nation-states.
India has been suffering from terrorism for a long much before the modern world realised this menace. In 1947, India was partitioned, based on the two-nation theory, and India’s soul was maimed by uniquely exploitative colonialism. After getting much-awaited freedom, India faced an attack on its sovereign and territorial integrity. Pakistan launched its naked aggression on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under the guise of a tribals’ attack. Sincethen, the Islamic forces in the state have been trying to muster support from within and outside this country for the creation of NIZAM-E-MUSTAFA in J&K.
National interests dictate foreign policy, but we failed to safeguard those interests because Pakistan is still illegally occupying Jammu and Kashmir territories. Not only this, Pakistan is still obsessed with Jammu and Kashmir and designing new and false narratives to lay its claim on the state, contrary to the established facts. When Pakistan failed to instigate the people of J&K against India, then it decided to raise its stake by spreading terrorism in J&K in 1989. Before this, Pakistan had tried to spread terrorism in Punjab but failed miserably.
Since the onset of terrorism in 1989, abetted and supported by Pakistan, a total of 15,220 civilians were killed, 7,076 security forces personnel were martyred, and 25,617 terrorists (mostly of foreign origin) were eliminated till 27 Dec 2022 as per the data available with the South Asian Terrorism Portal(SATP).
Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave their sacred land because of the war waged by Islamic terrorists live now in deplorable conditions in their own country and are on the verge of extinction as a race. They are known as migrants by the administration, and the Kashmiri Pandits are refugees in their own country. In addition, many Muslim families and other Hindu families have migrated from the places such as Doda, Kistwar, Bhadarwah, Rajouri, Poonch, etc.
Roots. Noxious kernels were planted insistently in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, liberally fertilised and supported by those who were supposed to quell such emergence of inimical elements.
There was the fallout of a soft and permissive attitude. On 02 Oct 1988, the installation of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi statute in the High Court complex was stopped due to pressure from certain Muslim lawyers whom a specific political party patronised.
Then there was a politics of deceit and dishonesty. At the grassroots level, a sense of lack of self-confidence and contradictions were intricately interwoven. Most political leaders were communalists in Kashmir Valley, communists in Jammu and nationalists in Delhi, so the double-speak was a pervasive and accepted norm. Even they spoke pro-Pakistan stance at the same time. The underlying aim was to retain power by hook or crook. They tactically played the question of autonomy, the relevance of accession, identity crisis, etc, to their favour. It is pertinent to mention that before 1953, Sheikh Abdullah played the tune of secularism well. However, when the Congress party became a separate entity, he issued the ‘fatwa’. His legacy of using religion for politics continued even today.
The Jammu and Kashmir Resettlement Act of 1982 put the contrary apparatus to the integration process with the union of India. The aim was to provide the resettlement of Kashmiris who migrated to Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) or Pakistan itself. This was done to safeguard the images of Abdullahs in the National Conference.
The brand of democracy that political parties cultivated in Kashmir mainly rested on hostile forces and factors. The provisions of the Indian Constitution and Central Laws to the State were virtually stopped, even when these were beneficial for the public in general. The false alarms of autonomy were raised from time to time. They acted as local sultans. Elections were mainly held to protect the spurious elements.
Mirza Afzal Beg formed the plebiscite front in 1955, but the primary mentor was Sheikh Abdullah, who worked behind the scene. The primary aim of this front was to hold the plebiscite under the supervision of the United Nations Organisation (UNO). This front even justified the infiltration of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan. Our adversary fully funded it. After the disbandment of the front, funds and legacy were transferred to the National Conference.
Al-Fatah, the legacy of this terrorist organisation, was unembellished. It carried out espionage, bomb blasts, and hijacking of planes, leaving a marked impression on the people of Kashmir. Many present terrorist organisations derive their inspiration from this organisation. Al-Fatah was very active between Jan 1965 and Jan 1971.
Flawed policies.Since 1947, all the policies of the successive Central Government have been directed toward ‘Kashmir Valley’. The first major flaw was referring to the case of Jammu and Kashmir to the UNO in 1948. Had this not been done, the Indian Armed Forces could have cleared the areas of POJK. Secondly, grant of special provisions under articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution. Kashmiri separatists and alienated forces drew the inspiration of Azadi from article 370. The vested interests misused this article. It was held as a feeding ground for many parasites. Above all, it kept the legacy of the two-nation theory alive. Thirdly, the Delhi Agreement, which the Indian Parliament signed on 24 July 1952, abolished the hereditary rulership, vested the residuary power in the state and permitted to fly a separate flag with the national flag. Unreasonable demands of Sheikh Abdullah were met by then Prime Minister Nehru, which endeared the security aspects of the state in the following years. Fourthly, the demographics of Jammu and Ladakh were changed with the aim of ethnic cleansing in the coming time.
Conclusion. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir comprises three distinct identities,i.e.Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Rather than converting the harmful influence of Kashmiri leaderships on Jammu and Ladakh in an appropriate direction, the Central Governments knowingly or unknowingly allowed it to spread separatism and communal divide. The gulf between the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh was created, andthe national interests also suffered in the bargain.
Jammu and Ladakh demanded total emancipation from Kashmir, Ladakh was bailed out on 05 Aug 2019 when it was declared a separate Union Territory, but Jammu continued to suffer. The solution to Jammu and Kashmir problem lies in further bifurcation, declaring Jammu as a separate state and letting Kashmir Valley remain a Union Territory. Dogras of Jammu deserve an exception of their own.
Today, the Indian Security Forces remain firmly in control of the security situation in J&K. It has kept up the pressure on the terrorists through various means. It has denied support to these inimical elements from the environment. It has been targeting sympathisers of terrorists, taking a humanitarian approach and capacity building.
The final solution to the problem in J&K lies in returning Kashmiri Pandits with complete security, dignity and honour.
J K Solution A separate State for Jammu
Col B S Nagial (Retd)