MILITANCY IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
|MILITANCY IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR|
- After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and defeat of the Sikhs, Treaty of Lahore was signed.
- The treaty was signed by Governor-General Sir Henry Harding on behalf of East India Company.
- Treaty handed over the territory of the Kashmir to Gulab Singh, since then Kashmir was ruled by the Dogra dynasty.
With coming of Independence:
- Nearly 77 percent Muslim population ruled by the Hindu king Maharaja Hari Singh.
- Pluralism and culturally diversity are the hallmark of state.
- Main regions of state:
- North part of hill region is dominated by Sunni Muslims.
- Plains of Jammu dominated by Hindu.
- Hilly region of Ladakh was dominated by the Buddhist and some Shia Muslims.
- Region of Gilgit and Baltistan is geo-politically important location shares border with Afghanistan and China slightly populated with Shia Muslims.
- Sikh can be seen in Jammu as well Kashmir region of the state.
Accession of Jammu and Kashmir:
- At the time of partition of India and the political integration of India, Hari Singh, the ruler of the state delayed making a decision about the future of his state. Thus, he decided to remain independent by not joint either Pakistan or India.
- However, an uprising in the western districts of the state followed by an attack by the raiders from neighboring Northwest Frontier Province, supported by Pakistan, forced the Ruler to change his stand.
- On October 26, 1947, Hari Singh acceded to India in return for Indian military being airlifted to Kashmir to engage the Pakistan-supported forces.
- As per Instrument of Accession the subjects like Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance and communication were given to Indian parliament and rest of the laws need concurrence of state government.
- After the accession troops of Pakistan were expelled out of the valley by the Indian Troops except the area which is known as Pakistan occupied Kashmir in India and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan.
State assembly of Jammu and Kashmir:
- In 1951 constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir convened and assembly reaffirmed the Accession of the state to India and also prepared the constitution of the state.
- The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states that “the state is and shall be integral part of the Union of India”.
Kashmir and the United Nation:
- Mountbatten suggested the Government of India to refer the Kashmir problem to the United Nation. UN Intervention in the Kashmir led to ceasefire agreement between the India and Pakistan.
- The ceasefire Line established in known as the Line of Control (LOC).
- A UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan continues to report the violation of ceasefire.
- UN also passed a resolution for a referendum under the supervision of UN after the Pakistan had withdrawn its troops from the Kashmir which is under their control but till today referendum is not happened as Pakistan has refused to withdraw their troops from POK.
- Since the accession of Kashmir to India, the tension continues between both the countries have not died down and this tension resulted into underdevelopment in the region along with instability.
Kashmir as a battle ground of proxy war:
- Since the beginning, Pakistan tried to destabilize the Jammu and Kashmir region by direct military confrontation. Pakistan had suffered heavy losses in every war whether it is 1947, 1965 or 1971. In 1971 war Pakistan was humiliated as Eastern Pakistan was made separate nation where India played major role.
- After all these military confrontations Pakistan realized that direct military confrontation with India would be counter-productive.
- Pakistan resorted to the tactics of low intensity war and started the separatist and militant insurgency in Kashmir in the late 1980s in the name of Jihad.
- Existence of dis-satisfied group of Kashmiri’s named Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was used by Pakistan for insurgency. Yasin Malik was a leader of JKLF who organized militancy in Kashmir and demanded the independence of the Jammu and Kashmir but later on Yasin Malik denounced the path of violence and believed in peace talk to resolve the dispute.
- But with the help of Pakistan intelligence agency ISI infiltration through the border led to establishment of new terrorist organization in the valley such as Hizbul Mujahedeen, Lashkar-e-taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed Harkart-ul-Jehad-e-islami (Huji), etc.
- Establishment of these terrorist organizations in the valley resulted ethnic cleansing which forced many Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley and this resulted in demographic change in the valley.
- Pakistan’s direct or indirect involvement in the funding and training of terrorist organizations in the Jammu and Kashmir region became major external security threat for India.
- Along with role of external player i.e. Pakistan the Indian government failed to fulfill the aspirations of local people, lack of development, militarization of the region, disputed state election of 1987 fuelled the militancy in the valley which forced some of state legislative members forming armed insurgent groups.
- So, the Kashmir’s present situation is due to both the factors i.e. (internal and external). Lack of development, lack of education and unemployment has made Kashmiri youth easy prey for terrorists’ groups. The youth protest during Afzal Guru’s execution, sympathy rally for terrorist Burhan Wani shows how deep the radicalization has reached in Kashmir region.
Adoption of irregular warfare in Kashmir by the ISI:
- Irregular warfare consists of tribal warfare, small wars, and low intensity war. This aimed to psychological destruction.
- The results which cannot be achieved by direct war can be shaped by the low intensity war.
- In Kashmir we can clearly see the low intensity war front in the form of armed revolt, Guerrilla warfare, political revolution and war for independence became means of irregular warfare.
Mechanism used for proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir:
- Propaganda and various malicious campaigns to brainwash the people of valley and create trust deficit towards India.
- Infiltration of terrorists from across the border and affect the ongoing developmental works in the valley.
- Use of information technology in training and recruitment of the terrorists.
- Internationalize the issue of Kashmir at the forums like UN and create an image of India as biased towards a particular religion.
- Use of locals for intelligence sharing. The locals have become eyes and ears of terrorist groups. They provide sensitive information about military installations; base stations and they even provide shelter to these groups.
- As the Pakistan’s role in international forums is diminishing, India has strengthened its relations with foreign countries like USA, France, Israel, Germany, Japan, Australia and even Saudi Arabia and UAE. To avoid collective backlash from these countries, Pakistan has diverted its terrorist attacks on Indian military bases. This can be seen from recent attacks in Pathankot, Uri or attack on military convoys. As the security preparedness of India is strengthened during last few years, attack on military bases to weaken the security system has become new tactic of Pakistan to bleed India with thousand cuts.
Kashmir And Human Right Issue
- Indian armed forces are regularly accused for human right violation in the valley by various international organisation like Human Right Watch and Amnesty International.
- Human right violation in the form of –
- Extra-judicial executions
- Lack of freedom of speech and expression.
- Illegal detention under National Security Act.
- Indiscriminate use of pellet guns.
- Illegal use of powers under AFSPA.
Reach Of Terrorism In Kashmir
- The unrest in the valley after the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani .
- Mourn by 2,00,000 people during his funeral process.
- Violent protest started in the valley
- Shutdown of Kashmir was called by the separatist leaders.
- Police station and security force personnel were targeted by the mob.
- Then prime minister of Pakistan called Burhan Wani “martyr”.
All these shows how deep is the root of terrorism in Kashmir. Glorifying terrorism and such level of mass support forced central government to rethink on its Kashmir strategy.
Main tactics used by Pakistan is crowd mobilization, defame Indian security forces and internationalise the Kashmir issue.
Shift In Strategy Against The Militancy In The Kashmir
- Operation All-out- it is an anti-Militancy operation launched by the government to establish peace in the valley. In this various terrorist were shortlisted and their information and location were given to the security forces in order to flush them out of Kashmir.
- After the attack of February 14, 2019 in which more than 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives in the suicide bomb attack from terror group of jaish-e-mohammed.
- In wake up of this attack Indian Airforce launched a non-military preemptive attack after getting information about the terrorist camp in region of Balakot. In this attack many terrorist camps were destroyed.
- This policy of counter attack at such a large level would act as deterrence for terrorists.
Other issues like rehabilitation and resettlement of Kashmir pandits and referendum in the valley
- The UN mediated referendum was supposed to happen immediately after the Pakistan’s attack on India in 1947. But the referendum was never happened as Pakistan never withdrawn its troops from Kashmir region.
- Since the demography of Jammu and Kashmir has changed over the years and considering the radicalized youth in the region referendum would not be a viable solution, at least in a near future.
- Three decades are passed since the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the region. They are made live like refugees in their own country. Their resettlement in the region will become possible only when the region rips the fruits of development and security scenario becomes peaceful.
Issue of human shield
- In 2017, a person tied to a bonnet of jeep and used as a shield against stone pelters. This event was criticised by human right activists all over the world.
- Amnesty International described it as inhuman act and amounting to torture and according to Geneva Convention it is war crime.
- There are points in support and against over using human shield:
|· Using human shield bloodshed can be avoided and unnecessary use of violence can be avoided.|
· Life of Jawans and unnecessary sacrifices can be avoided.
|· Violence of human right and image of army also suffered due to the act.|
· In fighting militancy or any internal security problem state cannot denied the fundamental right of people.
Security forces can use more humanitarian methods which are more balanced in justice and fairness.
Use of pellet gun:
- Tear gas, Water cannon, Pepper, pellet guns are common examples of non-lethal crowd control method used by police and army.
- Pellet guns are made to injure individual. They are effective over a short range of 500 yards but it can be lethal when fired from very short range and can hurt sensitive parts very badly.
- Human right activists are against the use of pellet guns over the crowd so, less harmful method should be deployed.
TNSV Prasad committee report over the use of the pellet guns:
- MHA formed committee over the use of pellet guns here are important recommendation:
- Pellet guns should be used in rarest of the rare case.
- Instead of pellet guns use other non-lethal methods of crowd control like chilli grenade shell, tear gas etc
- Centre in response of Supreme Court order in which C order to consider more effective measures the government asked security forces to use Plastic bullet.
Status of Stone pelting in the valley:
- It is crowd mobilization method of ISI and supported by the Hurriyat.
- The incidents of stone pelting were at peak during the 2016-17 after the actions taken by the NIA against Hurriyat leader had brought down the event of stone pelting.
Issue of AFSPA (Covered in separate chapter)
- AFSPA confers special powers to the armed personnel including unwarranted arrest and search in disturbed areas.
- This is also controversial in the nature.
Various Initiatives and scheme by the government of India
The government wants to use development as tool against the militancy in Kashmir for that it launched several initiatives:
- UDAAN was started with an aim to providing skill to the youth of valley.
- PM’s development package for J&K: under this government focused over creating the new avenues of employment and better infrastructure in transportation, health, renewable energy, tourism etc.
- Creating institute like AIIMS, IIT, and IIM construction of tunnel to reduce time lost in travelling.
- Focus over developing new rail links.
- Project Himayat: capacity building and employment of youth.
- Project Sadhbhavana: of Indian army helping the youth in shaping their dream.
- Project Umeed: for empowerment of women.
Present situation of Jammu and Kashmir
- The articles which provide special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir were revoked by presidential order. It abrogated the article 370 and 35A.
- Now the constitution of India is applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh without legislature.
- (Note: For special provision refer the polity workbook)
Conflict over Siachen
- Siachen is a glacier lies in the Karakoram Range there was a military conflict between the Indian and Pakistan after that ceasefire line is established.
- In 1984 India started “Operation Meghdoot” to free it from Pakistani force. It is highest battle ground of the world.
- Siachen is region which is always in the news due to death of armed personnel due to harsh weather climate.
- Technology should be deployed in order to bring causality and guarding the borders properly.
- Note: Issue of Aksai chin is discussed in the chapter of border security.
- So, a comprehensive policy is need of hour which can bridge the trust deficit in people toward the government.