Army Chief has not committed any blunder by sending a tough message to kashmiri stone pelters

Army Chief is right in warning stone pelters

Army Chief is right in warning stone pelters
Army Chief is right in warning stone pelters
By repeatedly targeting army men on ground zero with stones during anti terror operations some of the misguided youth in Kashmir valley have been desperately trying to reignite the spark which had earlier triggered cycle of violence in the aftermath of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

Total failure of the elite political class sitting in both New Delhi and Kashmir valley has also compounded the miseries of common Kashmiri’s since the outbreak of militancy post 1987 Assembly polls.

These youth have been extended ‘olive branch’ by none other than pro-Pakistani separatist leaders and even mainstream political parties staying out of power in Kashmir valley.

Agitational terrorism may trigger fresh unrest?

Though the idea of resorting to ‘agitational terrorism’ is not new in Kashmir valley at the same time it is gaining currency under the present circumstances as poor governance and average track record of BJP-PDP alliance govt is keeping senior officers in the security grid on their tenterhooks.

Total failure of the elite political class sitting in both New Delhi and Kashmir valley has also compounded the miseries of common Kashmiri’s since the outbreak of militancy post 1987 Assembly polls.

It is most unfortunate that the political and intellectual class doesn’t take the responsibility for the mess it has created in Kashmir and prefer to hide behind the barrels of guns.

Most of these questions remain unanswered and until satisfactory replies are received the seriousness attached with the subject cannot be rightly understood.

Why are politicians shying away from engaging alienated population?

Why aren’t politicians and intelligentsia going out there and pacifying the agitated mobs not to indulge in stone pelting on the security forces while they are carrying out anti-terror operations to ensure safety and security of state subjects?

Why aren’t they resolving the political problem, if there is one in Kashmir? How can and why should the Army do their job? The Indian Army is neither trained nor authorized to do what the political class is supposed to do.

Another round of proxy war?

After the centre government managed to break the back bone of the hawala racketeers and low profile conduits organising ‘easy money’ for terrorists and their over ground workers the militant handlers too thought of waging another round of proxy war.

Strongly worded reaction of the Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is also seen as a final warning to the misguided youth to return to the path of peace…

It is in this light the stern warning by the Army Chief was perfectly timed and much needed as any leniency showed by the security personnel was bound to trigger fresh wave of terror across Kashmir valley.

Strongly worded reaction of the Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is also seen as a final warning to the misguided youth to return to the path of peace and support the security forces else they should get ready to face consequences of siding with the enemies of peace.

By sending out a stern warning that the Indian army would be forced to take harsh measures against the ‘stone pelters’ and those waving ISIS and Pakistan flags Indian army Chief General Bipin Rawat has not committed any blunder either. Unfortunately, he is being painted as enemy of peace who is out to disturb and destroy the peace initiatives taken by the successive state/centre govt’s in office.

The fact is Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was forced by certain circumstances to deliver a power punch to the sympathisers of these stone pelters in order to keep their mouths shut.

Without mincing any words General Rawat had said security forces in J&K were facing higher casualties due to manner in which the local population was preventing them in conducting the operations and “at times even supporting the terrorists to escape”.

Taking strong note of these ground developments and based on fresh intelligence reports the army Chief went public with his strong reaction, saying “We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them.”

A review of tactics and stern measures against stone pelters will ease the Army’s job and fetch some returns for Gen. Rawat.

“They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue,” the Army Chief had said.

General Rawat said those supporting terror activities are being given an opportunity but if they continue with their acts then security forces will come down hard on them.

“We are giving them an opportunity, should they want to continue to then, we will continue with relentless operations may be with harsher measures and that is the way to continue,” he told reporters during the wreath laying ceremony in the National capital.

According to seasonsed security experts, the emerging threat of stone-pelting flash mobs forging a pincer with terrorists to inflict army (as well as civilian casualties) and lead to a spiral of mass disaffection will have to be worked out at the tactical level by Army, Police and CRPF.

However, it must be ensured that the statement of Army Chief is not used as an indiscriminate licence to slaughter mobs in tense face-offs. A review of tactics and stern measures against stone pelters will ease the Army’s job and fetch some returns for Gen. Rawat. But these must be complemented by a political effort to reach out to people and tell them not to form such suicidal mobs. Otherwise, tactical gains will erode soon enough, and the Kashmir situation will spiral out of control and weaken India strategically in this land without settled borders and two hostile neighbours.

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