February 18, 2019

PULWAMA ATTACK AND ITS AFTERMATH

Sumit Kumar Gupta

The bifurcation of India in 1947 has yielded a chronic disease in the name of Kashmir terror outfits. Not to go into the nitty-gritty on why it started and why it is still continuing in our contemporary times, it is high time that Indian government should give a clear message to the people of the valley that India means business and those involved in assisting terror activities should not be spared.

Before continuing further, let me reiterate the failure of dialogue in the past which was met with unreasonable demand from those leaders of the valley. In the nearly three decades of armed insurgency, the successive central governments have appointed several interlocutors—some behind the doors while others were announced publicly. After the failure of earlier dialogues to soothe the issue related to Kashmir, the government appointed Pant Commission to involve in the dialogue. But the “Pant mission” was a washout. K C Pant could meet only Shabir Shah- a veteran separatist leader whose party was not a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference that had set a pre-condition that Pakistan needed to be involved in any talks over Kashmir. The mission was wound up in 2002 sans any success. Thereafter, the silent interlocutor of Ram Jethmalani and N N Vohra met a similar fate. Similarly, the stance taken by Manmohan Singh government who held round table conferences in 2006, inviting all Kashmiri political parties did not yield any desired results as it was more inward-looking and did not involve Pakistan as wanted by separatists. The process petered out from the scene. Again in 2010, the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram appointed a three-member team of interlocutors — Padgaonkar, Jamia Milia Islamia academic Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner M.M Ansari — with an objective to “begin a process of sustained uninterrupted dialogue with all sections of people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially with youths and students and all shades of political opinion”. They met some 700 delegates but nothing moved in that process.

Of all these failed dialogues enumerated above, I failed to understand since when did Pakistan became a stakeholder in the internal conflict of India? Pakistan was never in the scene of conflict in the valley as the major stakeholders should have been the people of the valley and their leaders. Ergo, the demand to include Pakistan is unreasonable and should not be entertained.

Therefore, the pressing need for dialogue should be silenced and India should do the Israel way in handling the volatile situation of Kashmir. I am going to use only one example (of the many) where Israel has gunned down the people involved in terror activities. The Munich Massacre of 1972 moved the whole of Israel to tears. Thereafter, operation ‘Wrath of God’ was launched by Israel whose code word was ‘Bayonet’. The team hunted individuals associated with planning the attack across Europe and West Asia. In 1979 Israel successfully located Ali Hassan Salameh, known as Red Prince, who was the operational head of the terrorist group and was put down in Beirut the same year.

Before Pakistan, we first need to give a clear message to the people of the Valley and to the forces to do something. India’s response should be swift, but with proper deliberations along with long-term objectives ad repercussions in mind, comprising military and non-military involvement, overt and covert operations and vigilant calculation of mass actions to avoid an untoward military escalation in the valley. The Pulwama attack does have a homegrown militancy angle. The unfortunate incident happened inside the Valley and not in Pakistan and therefore, the message should directly go to the perpetrators. The process of obtaining 300 kg of explosive was not a one-day event. It must have taken a lot of preparation and people involved — the people who brought in the explosives helped in storing it and organized the Pulwama attack. The Kashmiri youth was not radicalized in one day. There is an involvement of institution (the typical Madarsas which misguide the young minds of the Kashmir) and the army should destroy these institutions which preach toxic things to the youth of the Valley.

The second thing the defence forces can do is to destroy all the launch pads which brainwash, trains and sends the youth from the valley for terror activities.

Education and awareness are the key. Simultaneously, we should also involve the people and try to penetrate the patriotism in them. They should be taught to pay allegiance to the Nation. The nation comes first should be imbibed in the people of Kashmir. The solution is clear cut, the defence forces should wipe out all the terror organization from the valley and at the same time start education and helping innocent people from the valley.   In the end, India should do it Israel way rather than indulging itself in the futile dialogue.