‘Na goli se, na gaali se…Kashmir ki samasya suljhegi gale lagaane se’, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort calling Indians to embrace Kashmiris, he was speaking for the suffering masses of the trouble torn valley. He was calling for compassion, understanding, and sympathy towards the people, especially women and children who have witnessed untold violence and torture at the hands of the gun wielding terrorists masquerading as mujahideen for an illusory ‘azaadi’. The PM’s words were directed at Kashmiri women and girls who lived and moved around with great freedom before terrorists and their sympathizers started imposing Wahabism in essentially Sufi Kashmir. PM Modi was talking about children who see more guns and bullets than toys, whose schools are burned down by elements operating at the behest of a hostile neighbor.
The people of Kashmir have gone through a lot in the past one year. It was only natural for the Prime Minister to touch upon their pain and suffering while addressing the nation on Independence Day.
What the Prime Minister did not mean was softness or sympathy towards persons wielding the gun who are fed and financed by Pakistan to create permanent violence in the valley by promising them that ‘azaadi’ everybody, including Pakistan, knows will never come. The Prime Minister also did not mean any softness or sympathy for people of separatist organizations like the Hurriyat Conference, their sympathizers, supporters, and elements running their respective ‘dhandas’ with support from the separatists. It is over ground (OGW) workers and sympathizers sometimes pretending to be NGO volunteers, sometimes media persons and sometimes religious scholars who have sustained terrorism and compelled the right thinking Kashmiri to withdraw behind the curtain.
That the PM and his govt’s policy towards Kashmir is crystal clear can be gauged from some recent data. Until this morning that is August 15, our security forces had killed 140-odd terrorists this year. Their most recent success was the elimination of Yasin Ittoo, designated commander of the Hizbul Mujaheedin after Sabzar Bhatt had been eliminated in a similar gun battle a few months back. This Sabzar was declared commander when Zakir Musa was expelled by Syed Salahuddin for claiming that the fight in Kashmir was for an Islamic Caliphate and not political freedom. The hot pursuit against terrorists started with the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016. Since then much water has flown down the Jhelum.
Our security forces have neither rested nor let down the vigil through this whole year. 115 terrorists had been neutralized till July end this year. More importantly, 17 dreaded terrorists including Yasin Ittoo were killed just in these two weeks of August. As mentioned the list included some of their top commanders thus breaking the back of their networks. There is sufficient indication that the strategy of hot pursuit will continue till winter sets in.
However, the govt’s strategy of putting pressure on Pak sponsored terrorism is not limited to gunning down terrorists alone. A parallel strategy of exposing all those elements who have turned terrorism and suffering into an industry is also being pursued. New revelations are hitting headlines every morning about hawala dealings and other sources through which Pakistan and few international organizations have been funding this dangerous game against India. Senior Hurriyat leaders are in custody and being interrogated. The top Hurriyat leadership and their relatives are constantly under the scanner. Their helpers, sympathizers are also finding it increasingly difficult to hide anymore. Very soon many more facts would be before all of us. No govt has ever dared to go into this aspect of terrorism or tried to isolate and expose the separatist lobby thus. No govt had ever given the kind of free hand either to our security forces or the investigating agencies like the NIA to unearth the terror ‘industry’ till now.
The people of Kashmir have gone through a lot in the past one year. It was only natural for the Prime Minister to touch upon their pain and suffering while addressing the nation on Independence Day. His words are meant to act as a balm on the wounds of the Kashmiri citizen caught in an unending struggle for peace. Perhaps the shrill tone of television debates and irresponsible political comments prompted PM Modi to speak in such clear terms. They are the words of a sensitive, compassionate leader ready to make a beginning towards normalcy. They definitely should not be seen as good news for gun wielding terrorists or their sympathizers.
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