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OPINION | Kashmir’s Third Dimension of Terrorism

File photo of an elderly voter being escorted by her daughters as she arrives to cast her vote in Kashmir.

File photo of an elderly voter being escorted by her daughters as she arrives to cast her vote in Kashmir.

When one does a root cause analysis, one finds that the first step of correcting a historical blunder was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2019 by abrogating Articles 370 and 35 A, which has fertilised the ground for development and expulsion of ghettoisation.

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Sumit Peer

Kashmir’s has been a tragic tale of myopic political vision and failed state policy which encouraged and groomed religious ghettoisation – guarded by absurd provisions like Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution. We have all seen the destruction which has happened over last three decades and left thousands dead and the rest deprived of their deserved share of development.

Unfortunately man’s greed runs deeper than the sea and is more daring than the height of the Himalayas. There are three infamous political parties and dynasties that have made fortunes at the cost of the common man, whose existence is immaterial to them.

Death and development cannot coexist. Hence, we have to put an end to the former for the latter to thrive. When one does a root cause analysis, one finds that the first step of correcting a historical blunder was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2019 by abrogating Articles 370 and 35 A, which has fertilised the ground for development and expulsion of ghettoisation.

Change can be cruel for some and the usual suspects have tried their best to threaten, create ruckus and raise sentiments. However, change is like a river which finds it way irrespective of the boulders and trenches that come in its way.

The central government’s schemes are now being implemented. Those who were deprived of their share are now getting it, thanks to abrogation of Article 370.

Politics in the Kashmir Valley is like a fixed match. A mere 15 percent of the total area, where 40 percent of the population lives, has approximately 60 percent share of the former state’s assembly seats.

When it comes to Modi, it is said ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’ (it is possible with Modi). After the repeal of Article 370 came a grassroot-level election which brought out new political options. This common man, who had been written off from the ground, emerged as a political option. With 51 percent voter turnout during the Covid-19 pandemic and despite the freezing cold, the DDC elections in Kashmir were held merely 15 months after the abrogation – something which could not be done in 70 years.

This irked many such as the ISI, the Pakistani cabal, some valley politicians, terrorist groups, their local handlers and overground workers. Desperation prevailed and they needed to do something to register their presence as a relevant force still. Looking for soft targets with a high media value has always been the game of blood-thirsty terrorists.

The unfortunate casualty of this was a 65-year-old jeweler from Punjab who had been living and working in Kashmir of four decades now. The reason attributed was his recent domicile certificate being a threat to the demography of the Valley. Such people forget that demographics are never cast in stone.

The point they are trying to make is simple –development and its fruits should not reach the common man, and the era of fear must be brought back. The jeweller will not be the last casualty. I trust these terrorists will be on the Rashtriya Rifles’ radar and it is a matter of time before they are neutralized.

The bigger question remains – how long can we cut and trim leaves? Operation All-Out was a phenomenal success, but now the time has come to look at the root of the problem – overground workers, ISI’s local handlers and the people who give intellectual cover to this dance of death. The need of the hour is an Operation All-Out 2, and no points for guessing who will be the targets.

Development has to win. Kashmir has to win. The resolve and belief of 1.3 billion people has to win. Targets are known and options are clear.


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