The Kashmir Valley continues to be a major zone of religion-based fault-line conflict in India. There have been frequent displays of ISIS flags and jihadi symbols along with pro-Pakistani activity by militant groups in the Kashmir Valley, especially in Srinagar and many other towns, after Friday prayers. The State has a wide array of fifth columnists and fellow travelers, too.
Kashmir has a long history of jihadi militancy and violence. A Pakistan propelled jihad raged in the Valley in 1989 and 1990 which led to the ethnic cleansing of Hindus. More than four lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate out of the land of Maharishi Kashyapa, their punyabhoomi. To date they have not been able to go back despite repetitive phony assurances given by the State government as well as the central government. In 1990 itself the Indian government should have dealt with the jihadi insurgency in an effective manner after placing the valley under Governor’s rule.
And thereafter within one or two years the displaced Kashmiri Hindus should have been re-settled in the valley by creating an exclusive security protected enclave for them. But that was not done lest it displeased the leading lights of National Conference and its followers. Now we are paying the price for that tactical blunder. The aggressive attitude of jihadis and their iron grip on Kashmiri Muslims has successfully blocked the return of Kashmiri Hindus to their homeland.
Since then the militancy, supported by Pakistani army and the ISI has continued uninterrupted. The latest upsurge in jihad began with Burhan Wani who was, by far, was one of the most wanted jihadi warriors operating in the valley. He acquired a larger than life image by gathering a group of nearly fifty Muslim youth, many of whom were proficient in using social media and weapons, for fuelling a new wave of militancy. Along with his band of handpicked terrorists Burhan used to post on the internet, pictures of himself and his team mates in combat fatigues, armed with automatic weapons for promoting defiance of law among youngsters. On several occasions, he was seen holding the black flag of ISIS, though his allegiance to the dreaded organization could not be established. Incidentally, the black flag of Islamic state is a replica of Prophet Muhammad’s flag which was black and had the ‘kalima’ inscribed on it.
Burhan Wani succeeded in starting a new trend of villagers coming out in support of the terrorists locked in gun battles with security forces which made the latter’s task more difficult. The insidious practice of attacking the security forces battling the jihadis from behind has now become a regular feature of the multiple battles ravaging the valley. On 8 July, 2016, there was a fierce encounter in the wilds of Kokarnag between a detachment of 19 Rashtriya Rifles (Sikh Light Infantry) and the notorious terrorist hiding in a house. The encounter lasted for nearly two hours and around 7.30 p.m. Burhan was killed. Along with two other armed militants, he had been hiding in a house, which was surrounded by the army. When he came out in a bid to escape, he was gunned down.
By allowing a public burial of Burhan Wani, a monumental tactical mistake was committed by the State Government. The funeral of the slain jihadi was attended by nearly thirty thousand mourners who set the valley literally on fire after returning from Burhan’s Namaz-e-Janaza. After his burial, a wave of gross violence and stone pelting at the police and the army, broke out in Kashmir valley in which nearly 100 civilians and one policeman was killed. There were well-planned attacks on several police stations and security posts, including army bunkers.
According to unconfirmed reports, by now more than 100 rifles and AK-47s have been looted by the jihadis. The number of injured was more than ten thousand. Among them nearly six thousand were civilians who received injuries caused by the pellet guns used by the security forces. Unfortunately many civilians received eye injuries, too, but that was unavoidable. At the same time, more than 4,000 security personnel were injured due to stone pelting by violent mobs. For nearly one month there was a forced lock down in the Valley due to the call for ‘bandh’ given by the leaders of the Hurriyat and other secessionist outfits.
The latest situation is very alarming. The families of policemen are being openly threatened and their houses targeted. Attacking policemen and security forces by relentless stone pelting has become the favourite weapon of gangs of mobsters. The strategy used by the militants is to keep stone-pelting tender-aged children in front of mobs. There are rumours that young children are being trained in madrasas and mosques to target the security forces and provoke them by hurling filthy abuses at them – even by trying to urinate at the members of police forces in order to provoke them to use force.
The whole drill of harassing and provoking the police personnel is a well-organized Hurriyat campaign. Instead of dealing sternly with stone-pelters and sentencing them for long spells in jail, the State government has been treating them with kid gloves by releasing them after a few hours or a few days detention. That has encouraged the Hurriyat leaders to organize more groups of stone-pelters. To deal with the stone-pelters, we must learn from Israel where the punishment prescribed for stone-pelting is 20 years jail. Incidentally the cowardly strategy of stone-pelting was first started by the Palestinian jihadis to target the Israeli troops!
Many myopic politicians and inadequately-read media commentators keep blaming the unrest in Kashmir on lack of employment opportunities and poor economic development, etc. They keep advocating grant of more autonomy and endless negotiations while separatists run riot.
While Kashmir burns and the security forces are busy battling the jihadis, the secularism-swearing ignoramuses are busy faulting the government. Their laconic refrain is that the Indian state must negotiate with the traitors and militants supported by the Hurriyat leaders. The biggest surprise was the singing of the hackneyed tune of advocating more autonomy by P. Chidambaram, the former Home Minister of India, who ought to have known better. But Chidambaram is not the only political heavy-weight recommending molly coddling of the gun-toting jihadis. He is in the good company of several inadequately-read politicians belonging to CPI (M), Samajwadi Party, Muslim League, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), et al.
Unfortunately these political busy-bodies have not cared to read the doctrine of jihad, even after witnessing the gruesome beheadings of Indian soldiers. Had these ignorant politicians read the ABC of jihad they would have known that beheadings of the ‘kaffirs’ is an integral part of the doctrine of jihad. Nor have the secularised Indian politicians cared to read Abu Bakr Naji’s book, Management of Savagery, which gave birth to Islamic State and has now become Bible of multiple jihadi outfits rampaging across the globe.
It is a matter of shock as well as amusement that two more ignorant politicians, Yashwant Sinha of the BJP and Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal United have clambered atop the bandwagon packed with self-styled peaceniks, who were made irrelevant by Burhan Wani. Now the likes of Yashwant Sinha, Sharad Yadav and Mani Shankar Aiyar are being shamed by Zakir Musa publicly saying that the battle in Kashmir is for the supremacy of Islam – certainly not for any democratic solution Led by Yashwant Sinha and Sharad Yadav some ignorant politicians are trying to organize a seminar on Kashmir at Delhi in which the ignorant lefto-liberals are billed to be star speakers. And to the chagrin of the beleaguered and battle-scarred security forces there are battalions of journalists pleading for appeasing the weapon-wielding killers like Zakir Musa by appeasing Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
No wonder, our vision-bereft forefathers remained slaves of invaders for more than one thousand years. They too must have been afflicted by the virus called political correctness aka self-deception! The ignorant peaceniks keep on singing a silly song calling for adopting the policy of Atal Behari Vajpayee. They should be asked to explain why did Vajpayee fail to defeat the jihadis of Kashmir valley? They must also explain the merits of re-trying a failed strategy. Here I am reminded of the rebuke of the celebrated scientist, Albert Einstein, to those who keep on repeating the same experiment time and again despite knowing that it had failed in the past. He had dubbed them as deficient in grey matter!
The political busy bodies and most journalists have failed to realize that the Islamic doctrine of jihad is the root cause of repetitive violence which sears the overwhelmingly Muslim-populated valley. What India is facing in Kashmir is not a campaign for ‘azadi’. Nor can it be categorized as a clamour for more autonomy. It is the monster called jihad – launched for total Islamization of Kashmir.
Unfortunately even after the violent ethnic cleansing of Hindus in 1990 by armed mobsters, the Indian strategist could not diagnose the Kashmir problem. As long as the global jihad remains in fast forward mode, Kashmir valley will continue to erupt in violence and mayhem. The malaise called global jihad and violence in Kashmir are intertwined. I must draw attention to the fact that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e Muhammad leader, Masood Azhar, on his website has referred to the unholy war in the valley as ‘Jihad-e Kashmir Aur Ghazwa-e Hind”. When will the likes of Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha and Sharad Yadav understand that the jihadis are determined to attack the entire India after overrunning Kashmir?
That is why the campaign in Kashmir has been designated as ‘Jihad-e Kashmir Aur Ghazwa-e Hind’. Our peacenik friends must know that Ghazwa is a higher brand of jihad. All 26 jihads led by Prophet Muhammad were called ‘ghazwas’. In mankind’s long history ignoramuses have never won any war! And Indian political universe has a surfeit of ignoramuses who don’t understand what jihad is. Nor have they tried to understand the significance of repetitive beheadings of our soldiers.
The old Defence Ministry files reveal that between 1996 and 2001, nearly 626 foreign militants were killed in Kashmir while battling the Indian security forces. Some of them came from distant lands like Sudan, Libya and Egypt. The overwhelming majority, however, came from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The appeaser politicians should explain why would militants from distant countries like Sudan, Libya and Chechenya come to India for seeking redressal of the grievances of Kashmiris? Our self-styled intellectuals refuse to understand the implications of jihad even after seeing how on 1st July, 2016, twenty innocent kaffirs, held captive in an upscale Café, were butchered in Dhaka because they could not recite ‘Kalima’ and verses from the Quran. All those who plead for granting more autonomy to the State are barking up the wrong tree. Financially, every Kashmiri Muslim is better off than his counterpart in other States of India. He is better placed than the Hindus and Buddhists of Jammu and Ladakh regions, too.
Then what is the jihadi militancy about? Why does Kashmir Valley burn? It is time that Mehbooba Mufti’s government and our inadequately-read secularized politicians understood what lies at the root of the Kashmir problem. Showering dollops of more autonomy and candy loads of financial grants cannot appease the die-hard militants waging anti-India war in Kashmir. Jihad has a 1400 years long history. Can the fire of jihad be extinguished by appeasement? No, never. Will anyone care to show one example of defeating jihad through negotiations or by making ultra-liberal concessions? With the fast-paced globalization of jihad, it is no longer possible to win the support of the jihad-obsessed Muslims of Kashmir.
Here attention of the Indian masses must be drawn to another sordid chapter of the UPA regime, which added fuel to the fire of militancy in Kashmir. In the year 2013, courtesy Dr. Manmohan Singh, nearly 25,000 Wahabi preachers from Muslim countries were allowed to visit India and tour various States and address the students of thousands of madarsas. They had been sponsored by several radical Islamic groups, including Tablighi Jamaat based in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi. It is not known how many of them managed to travel to Kashmir valley to preach jihadi ideology in madrasas. According to a reliable source, some of them did manage to go to Kashmir. It is certain that they did preach Wahabbi Islam in a bid to radicalize the youth studying in madrasas of the valley. The role of 25,000 Wahabi preachers in propagating the doctrine of jihad needs to be scrutinized and lessons learnt – at least for the future.
It may be recalled that the Jihad in Chechenya was defeated by Vladmir Putin by out-matching the savagery of Chechen Jihadis wearing caps emblazoned with the slogan ‘Chechen Gazhwa’ while fighting the Russian troops. Similarly the mighty terrorist outfit of Sri Lanka, the LTTE, was destroyed root and branch by Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajpaksa, in 2009 by launching a decisive war to the finish. Can India learn any lessons from the examples of Chechenya and Sri Lanka?
Before concluding, I must humbly advise Yashwant Sinha and Sharad Yadav to visit Al Baghdadi’s caliphate and use their formula of peace through negotiations for extinguishing the fire of global jihad. If they succeed in West Asia, the jihad in Kashmir will also die down. By going to the caliphate on a peace mission the Indian peaceniks will render yeoman’s service to the Indian nation.
Ram Ohri is a former IPS officer and writes regularly on security issues, demographics, and occasionally, on policy.