Jammu and Kashmir has always been the main focus of national security policy for every government, but no one could find a permanent solution to the problems and the situation is deteriorating day by day.
Since May 2014, when the BJP led government came into the power, the terror incidents in J&K and ceasefire violations along LoC and International Border (IB) have increased. In December 2017 Lok Sabha was informed that terror incidents have increased in J&K in the year 2017 in comparison to 2016. In 2017 there were 341 terror incidents while in 2016 there were 311 terror incidents.
Ceasefire violations by Pakistan have been increased in past years, in 2014 total 583 ceasefire violations were reported along LoC and IB, in 2015 total 405 ceasefire violations, in 2016 along LoC 228 and total 449 ceasefire violations were reported, in 2017 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along LoC increased by 230% to 771 and total 881.
Home ministry said in an RTI reply that ceasefire violation by Pakistan has been reported daily along LoC in 2015 and 2016. It said that 1142 terror incidents were reported in J&K in between 2012 & 2016 in which 236 security personals were martyred, 90 civilians lost their lives and 507 militants were killed in encounters.
Until June 20, 2018 Pakistan violated ceasefire on International border in J&K around 480 times that is a rise of more than 400% in violations over the last year. In ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2018 until June 20, 11 BSF personals have been martyred.
In Pakistan there are General elections on July 25, 2018. Absence of government in Islamabad during election time is one of the reasons of the increased ceasefire violations along LoC and IB, infiltration from cross the border and terror incidents in J&K.
Cross border firing has been increased as this is being managed by Pakistani Rangers and Pakistan military. In absence of government the local commanders are not accountable to any leadership and have taken matter into their hands.
According to the intelligence reports, these ceasefire violations may continue until general elections in Pakistan on July 25, 2018 and it may be considered that these violations will continue until a stable government is formed in Pakistan. ISI has also become active in the region to target the security personals using non state actors.
After BJP led government came in power in center in May 2014, J&K had assembly elections for 87 assembly seats in the state. In J&K assembly elections in 2014, PDP won 28 seats and BJP came as the second largest party with 25 seats. PDP-BJP together decided to form the government after weeks of negotiations.
On March 1, 2015, PDP-BJP took the oath of office. PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed became chief minister of J&K. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away on January 7, 2016 and after his death his daughter Mehbooba Mufti became chief minister of J&K on April 4, 2016.
Two months later, on July 8, 2016. Indian armed forces killed Burhan Wani, a commander of Kashmir based Islamic militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, in J&K. After his death anti national protests erupted in 10 districts of Kashmir valley. Stone pelting cases increased during the unrest following Wani’s killing, but significant fall in stone pelting cases was observed after demonetization on November 8, 2016.
In November 2017, Director General of J&K Police SP Vaid said,” There is more than 90% fall in stone pelting in Kashmir Valley compared to last year”. DGP said, terror incidents do take place in J&K and infiltration bid had doubled since last year. Meanwhile there were NIA (National Investigation Agency) raids and arrests, of those who were supporting and inciting violence, which complemented the improvement of situation there.
Police chief said, many youngsters involved in stone pelting were given counseling by police and were released, that has been effective in curbing street violence. At least 65 youth have been brought back from militancy to the mainstream.
J&K has been affected more by terror incidents and these are supported and sponsored from cross border and are increasing every year. As per government record until March 7, 2018, there were 4799 incidents of stone pelting and 872 terror incidents in J&K in past three years.
Recently on June 19, 2018, BJP pulled out of alliance with PDP that was followed by resignation of Mehbooba Mufti from Chief Minister of J&K. On June 20, 2018 Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. Immediately after imposing the governor’s rule in J&K NSG (National Security Guards) commandos have been deployed in J&K for counter terror operations.
Thought behind BJP’s decision to pull out of PDP-BJP alliance and imposing Governor’s rule may be to give more powers and freedom to armed forces to handle the street violence, to neutralize militants in the valley and to keep state police force free from political pressure to ensure better coordination among armed forces, state police, state intelligence and central intelligence agencies for real time information to eliminate any possible threat in the state and to establish peace.
Moreover, there is no government in Pakistan until general elections on July 25. In Pakistan’s general elections some militant outfits are also contesting elections including 26/11 attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s organization. There are chances that none of the party would gain full majority to form the government that may lead to political instability in Pakistan.
Until there is no stable government in Pakistan, there are less or no chances for India-Pakistan to have bilateral peace dialogue. If militant outfit government is formed in Pakistan in that case as well India will not like to have peace talks with Pakistan. As India has many times cleared its stand that peace talk and terrorism cannot go together. It may take months after elections to form a stable government in Pakistan and then there will be time of elections in India, so there are no chances of peace talks between India and Pakistan for next one year.
Meanwhile, Pakistani rangers and military, who are managing LoC and IB may indulge in more ceasefire violations and cross border firing to help infiltrators to cross the border to enter into India and create more disturbance in the valley.
Considering the increased incidents of militancy in J&K in recent time, Indian army has resumed its anti-terror operations in J&K after one month of ceasefire during Ramadan. Governor’s rule will help armed forces and state police to use their power with freedom against terrorist activities, street violence and to prevail peace in the long disturbed region.
But, only anti-terror operations and curbing the violence with force will not be a permanent solution for long lasting peace. For the permanent establishment of peace in the region, government must focus on counseling of youth involved in stone pelting activities and to motivate them to walk away from militancy and to join the mainstream. Initiatives should be taken by the armed forces and state administration to engage youth with various programs, events and activities of social and national building.
Imposing the Governor’s rule was a right decision taken at right time that will prevail the peace in J&K, every Indian national is hopeful for that. The most important step in the process of complete elimination of militancy from J&K and establishment of peace is to boost the spirit of Indian nationalism and respect for own tradition, culture and society in hearts of people of Jammu-Kashmir.