M. M Khajooria
The elimination of Abu Dujana, the dreaded Lashkar-i-Toiba commander of South Kashmir since 2015 after a seven hour long encounter in Hakir Pura, Pulwama comes at a crucial time when various terrorist commanders of the Axis of Evil are engaged in weighing ideological options. Should they persist with the soft Whabbism of Laskhkar with accession to Pakistan as the core objective or shift to the hard ISIS variety which mandated the Jihad for “Caliphate, Islam and Allah”conceding Azadi from Indian occupation and accession to Pakistan as the first step, is the critical option haunting the terrorist commanders in Kashmir? Zakir Musa has already made his choice and gone public. Dujana, though a darling of Hafiz Saeed was perceived to be gravitating towards the same option. Given the tremendous clout he had built up as the chief operational commander of post- Burhan Wani upsurge in Kashmir, his decision would have had far-reaching consequences for Pakistan establishment, the Jihadis as well as the security forces.
The joint operation by SOG of J and K Police, the army and CRPF that did Dujana in has rightly been credited as great success. The crucial contribution of JKP boys who made the operation happen have, surprisingly not been given due credit. They figured out timing and pre-arrival movements of DuJana, successfully trailed him to the his secret rendezvous with Rukiya, his wife in a highly professional, completely discreet and doggedly persistent manner at enormous personal isk. Dujana did arrive at the residential complex, of his father-in -law as expected but went to a different house in the neighbourhood. This was also anticipated and covered. It was here that he was cornered by the counter-terror forces and killed along with his accomplice Arif Nabi Dar, alias Arif Lilhaari. It may be recalled that, Dujana was directly linked to several terror incidents, including at EDI, Pampore, the 2015 Udhampur attack, bank robberies and killing of PDP’s Pulwama district chief Abdul Ghani Dar. To be derive maximum gains from this singular success, the operations must be pursued with greater vigour and persistence so as to hunt down as many of the listed terrorists as possible in this swing. No respite should be allowed to them either to quickly regroup of mount any major attack on the security targets with a view to offset the damage suffered due the killing of Abu Dujana and Arif Lilhaari.
The prevailing ideological confusion in the terrorist camp and inter-gang mistrust opens up a window of opportunity for the “Etqadi” faith establishment and scholars to reach out to the suppressed and scared faithful – a project in which Auqaf _Islamia and CM Mehbooba Mufti have to provide both the leadership and resources. It is the responsibility of the Indian state and security forces to remove the fear of gun and ensure a level playing field for all faiths to co-exist in peace and harmony. The pipelines of illicit funding both local and inter-national that sustain the deadly nexus between Whhabi cult and terrorism must be completely choked. Even the funds that Ahel Hadh receives openly from abroad must be subjected to close scrutiny to ensure that these are in fact used for the genuine religious purposes. As it is, a brave Etqadi Imam of a in Shopian mosque did dare to condemn the ISIS and AlQueda meddling in religious affairs. This drew an instant reaction from the Wahhabi camp. Not only the mosque was stoned but his family was attacked and the house subjected to heavy pelting. Nothing has been heard of the security provided to the Imam and his family and punitive action taken against the miscreants. Who tasked them to commit the crime? If the state does not come to the rescue of such brave Imams and encourage them, the battle in this front would be lost even before it took off.
Mercifully some one has after all woken up to the disaster the authorities have been courting by handing over dead bodies of slain foreign terrorists to their local over ground counterparts. I have, for at least two years been campaigning in the electronic and print media for discontinuation of this defeatist, illegal, absurd and internationally damaging practice. As it is, the inter-nationally recognised protocol mandates that the dead bodies of foreigners should be handed over only to the their families or the Embassies of the country to which they belonged. Moreover, dead bodies handed over to the local anti-nationals were taken for burial in huge processions mostly contrived through fear of gun. They were even ” honoured with gun salutes”there by boosting the morale of the enemies of mankind, overawing citizens and putting Indian state to ridicule. It further provided Pakistan with the handle to project the terrorism as “peoples struggle for independence from India”in the international forums. The damage to Indian cause and prestige was obviously enormous.
The over all improvement in the security environment in Kashmir and signs of recognition of both the need and urgency to join battle at the ideological level opens up a very welcome window of opportunity. The security forces especially the J and K Police who are definitely coming into their own with the spark back deserve full and unflinching support from the people as well as the political establishment both in Delhi and Srinagar. Here is the opportunity to turn the terrorist tide generated by the Axis of Evil. Will the political class, citizens and the media rise to the occasion or once again let the men in battle field down?
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