Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kashmir: The Islamists are Pressing Ahead - Jagdish N. Singh




by Jagdish N. Singh

The designs of Islamist forces have to be foiled in the region. Their agenda is to carve out a separate Islamic country in the Kashmir Valley.

  • The members of Hizbul Mujahideen, a group designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US, have been at the forefront of killing, raping and pillaging Hindus since the nineties. Their campaign has led to the "ethnic cleansing" of the indigenous minority Pandits. An estimated 95% are said to have fled from the Valley to other parts of India.
  • Amnesty International's approach is fallacious. It only takes into account alleged rights violations by security forces and not by Islamist forces in Kashmir. Amnesty also seems to gloss over the violations of the rights of non-Muslim minorities in the Valley.

India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh has certainly tried to restore peace and normalcy to Kashmir. Since the July 8 killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, Burhan Wani, in an encounter with India's security forces, the region has been the scene of daily violence. The current turmoil in the Kashmir Valley is estimated to have resulted in the deaths of 66 civilians, with more than 4,600 security personnel injured.

During his second visit to the Valley on August 24-25, Singh reportedly welcomed talking with anyone in the Indian constitutional framework and emphasised the various governmental development projects and employment schemes in the Valley.

Regrettably, such efforts do not seem to be producing the desired atmosphere of peace. Militants, reportedly linked with the group Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, based the in part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan, apparently hid themselves among stone-throwing protesters and lobbed grenades. Some have been seen supporting the Islamic State.

Since Singh's return from the Valley, violent protests have continued.


Kashmir has recently been the scene of much rioting, which became extremely violent since Indian security forces killed the terrorist, Burhan Wani (left), on July 8.

Security action against the masterminds in the region needs to be taken. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently observed: "Those advocating the cause of stone-throwers are playing petty politics. Militancy and stone-pelting need to be dealt with firmly and no laxity should be shown in dealing with such situations."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a recent meeting with a delegation of opposition parties from Kashmir, defined as his objective: a "permanent and lasting solution." What did he mean and what is he prepared to do to achieve it?

India has waited too long for international cooperation to curb terrorism and protect the lives and liberty of its own citizens in Kashmir.

New Delhi might do well to upgrade its intelligence and security forces, and find out who the protestors in the present crisis in the Valley are, and who the elements behind them are that make them "addicted to violence of an ugly Islamist nature." The designs of Islamist forces have to be foiled in the region. Their agenda is to carve out a separate Islamic country in Kashmir.

The members of Hizbul Mujahideen, a group designated as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, have been at the forefront of killing, raping and pillaging Hindus since the nineties. Their campaign has led to the "ethnic cleansing" of the indigenous minority Pandits. An estimated 95% are said to have fled from the Valley to other parts of India.

New Delhi could also use an effective media strategy to counter the anti-India propaganda of a number of foreign non-governmental organizations. On August 13, for instance, Amnesty International India organized an event in Bengaluru, entitled, "Broken Families," with the stated objective of seeking justice for the victims of human rights violations at the hands of the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Amnesty International's approach is fallacious. It only takes into account alleged rights violations by security forces and not by Islamist forces in Kashmir. Amnesty overlooks the fact that Indian security forces have been "exercising maximum restraint" in the Valley. India has a relatively effective system in place to take care of any rights violations. The government of India has given strict instructions to its security forces "to respect rights of the civilians" and "act to remove any deficiency" in its implementation.

Amnesty also seems to gloss over the violations of the rights of non-Muslim minorities in the Valley.[1] In its recent the "Broken Families" event, Amnesty ignored the plight of the Hindu minorities that have been compelled by Islamist forces to leave the Valley.
Jagdish N. Singh is a journalist based in New Delhi, India.

[1] This has long been Amnesty's pattern. During its visit to Kashmir in May 2010 as well, Amnesty had discussions on the rights situation in the state with many officials, such as then-state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Leader of the Opposition Mehbooba Mufti, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Javed Mir, Maulana Abdullah Tari, Abdul Ahad Parra, family members of detained leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan, former detainees and families of those then in detention, and others. But Amnesty did not care to pay attention to the plight of the Pandits in the Valley.


Jagdish N. Singh is a journalist based in New Delhi, India.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8794/kashmir-islamists

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