Dr. Simrit Kahlon
The state of Jammu and Kashmir continues to face disruption in the form of lockouts and Hartals (Strikes) in the Kashmir valley. For a casual observer the situation looks like a spontaneous reaction to some reason for dissatisfaction; a deeper analysis, however, leads to a conclusion that the seemingly isolated incidents are a part of an intricate and carefully laid out game plan to disrupt peace and give an impression of the region facing social and political turmoil.
A demonstration, stone-pelting or a lock out does not happen all by itself. It needs to be planned and executed in a meticulous manner. If stones have to be pelted, they first have to be collected; to stage a demonstration, adequate strength of people has to be arranged; For a lock out to be successful, shop keepers have to be coerced to bring down the shutters.
The anti-government and anti-people forces operating within the state are deeply entrenched, especially in the Kashmir valley. They are carrying out divisive and disruptive activities with clinical precision.
Two incidents have been narrated below to highlight the method behind the madness of social disruption and the careful planning that goes into keeping the entire Kashmir valley on the boil.
No one can condone the horrendous incident of a petrol bomb attack in Udhampur in which a young boy, Zahid Rasool Bhat, lost his life. The state government moved very fast to nab the persons involved in the crime. These persons have confessed to the same and are being tried under the law of the land. Undoubtedly, the miscreants will meet there fate in the hands of the law. The government has declared a handsome compensation to the family of the deceased.
The life lost, of course, can never be brought back but whatever is possible to mitigate the pain of the family and meet ends of justice has been done by the government.
The sad part is that while the state apparatus is trying its very best to provide emotional support to the bereaved family, the divisive elements are working overtime to derive as much of publicity from the sad incident as is possible; the home town of the deceased witnessed lock out, stone pelting etc. for days on end. The government was forced to impose curfew which caused a lot of avoidable inconvenience to the local people.
Two local terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian on October, 22, 2015. Their elimination should have come as a relief to the people and the administration. After all, such persons who had aligned with a foreign power to cause harm to their own people need to be eliminated.
The situation on ground, however, was entirely different. The home towns of the killed terrorists witnessed a shut down while demonstrators took to the street chanting anti-government slogans.
It goes without saying that these protests were also engineered by vested interests.
Those vested with the responsibility to keep the pot of disruption boiling in the Kashmir valley have become masters of the game due to many decades of experience. They are always on the lookout for the slightest opportunity to create disorder. They know how to blow up even the slightest incident. To carry out their devious designs they have a well tested administrative structure in place. They have a captive media whose job is not to carry news but to indulge in outright propaganda in favour of such activities.
These elements can do what they are doing since they have no dearth of funds. This apart, the liberal political democracy in the country allows them get away with their otherwise secessionist activities. In fact, their source of funding is also well known as is the manner in which the money is transferred, but still the government fights shy of cracking down on them.
Pakistan nurtures an aspiration to wrest Kashmir from India because some traitors are available within the state, ready and willing to sell their souls for money and power.
Pakistan, however, does not realise that it is living in a fool’s paradise. If the pathetic Hartals and Bandhs that its stooges engineer all the time had the potential of overcoming the aspiration of the locals for a decent and free life as citizens of India, then Kashmir would have been in Pakistan’s hands a long time back. If the puerile media that Pakistan controls had the potential of changing the narrative in its favour then the world would have been backing its claim on Kashmir by now.
None of the foregoing is happening despite its partners in evil having exhausted every dirty trick in their kitty.
It would be in the interest of Pakistan to understand that reason behind its failure. The reason is that its stooges have no mass support in Kashmir. They have only nuisance value on the basis of which they cannot deliver anything concrete. There is no movement towards the so-called “Azaadi” (Freedom) in the Kashmir valley let alone the rest of the state.
Now the good friends of Pakistan like the US are also nudging the leadership of the country towards a change in mindset on Kashmir; PM Nawaz Sharif went to the US recently with a lot of expectations, he sought US intervention in Kashmir but was shot down arbitrarily. Furthermore he was told to clamp down on the radical fundamentalist organizations that run free in his country. Many of these like the Lashkar-e Toiba (LeT) are directed only towards India and Kashmir.
It is time for Pakistan to read the writing on the wall and change its posture on Kashmir to accordance with the reality on ground. The leadership of the country has enough internal problems to contend with. It would be helping itself and its people by not playing into the hands of a few devious Kashmiri’s, who are taking it for a ride.