It may be alright for terror sympathisers to play victim-card once, twice but not always. Kashmir is witnessing a dangerous trend of obstructions caused during anti-militancy operations with terror sympathisers coming out openly at the encounter sites in processions, raising pro-freedom and anti-India or anti-forces slogans and carrying Pakistani flags. Such obstructions have generally impeded the operations with security forces becoming fodder for the Pakistani and home-grown terrorist. Two such incidents occurred as latest as yesterday when two civilians got killed and scores were injured. Apart from separatists, National Conference was the first so-called mainstream outfit to cry hoarse over excesses. Its one of the lawmakers condemned the Frisal Kulgam civilian killing, saying ‘killing of innocent people (is) equivalent to genocide’. But did any of the party leaders even ponder why people should create obstructions when military action takes place to fish out terrorists.
Actually, inciting people to take to streets is a ploy and strategy of the terrorists and their mentors across the borders, first to create a situation where in the holed up ultras can make escape and second but most important, to have civilian casualties for creating unrest. Both are dangerous propositions which if encouraged can have serious ramifications in near future. The 2016 Kashmir unrest stands testimony to Pakistan’s machinations. Over a hundred civilians got killed and thousands injured over the assassination of glamourised terrorist Burhan Wani. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had rightly pointed out that those trapped in the firing had not gone for fetching milk or toffees from the market. Obviously, they were the part or pelting-squads that had taken virtual control of Kashmir for nearly five months.
The people of Kashmir will have to give a serious thought to where secessionists and soft-secessionists in the so-called mainstream camp are leading them to. While the hullabaloo of chronic secessionists over the Kulgam firing is understandable, the crocodile tears shed by National Conference are incomprehensible. More than expressing solidarity or sympathy with the grieved family, the out-of-power outfit is making awkward politics by blaming the ruling alliance or describing such killings as ‘genocide’. This is sheer politics and a competitive exercise to be seen on other side of the fence. Earlier, this used to be domain of the PDP and now the sides have changed with the changed situation. What could be worse example of this than a National Conference lawmaker describing terrorist Burhan Wani as martyr in Legislative Council?
This is the time when the people of Kashmir should see the things in a long-term perspective, with open mind and not with jaundiced eyes. After passionate introspection they may find themselves facing the toughest test of life- choosing between the graveyards and the vistas of opportunities across the world. Before taking to streets, either during encounters or after the elimination of terrorists, the people should understand the risks involved. Those defying the law have to suffer consequences. They should also ponder as to why such of the persons from the separatist or mainstream camps don’t become part of street protests aimed at creating obstructions in military operations, which later create a scene by crying hoarse on human rights violations.
As far as the security forces are concerned, they should draw a line between protests in a democratic way and obstructions under the garb of protests. While extra constraint is required to be maintained in the former situation, the latter scenario has to be met with iron fists.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has rightly stated that people creating hurdles during anti-terror operations and displaying flags of Pakistan and ISIS in Jammu and Kashmir will be dealt as anti-nationals and will face “harsh” actions, “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. They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue,” said the Army Chief.
While one expects the people to understand this terse and tough message, it is also hoped that the General will walk the talk, lest his tough posturing will end up as yet another rhetoric, which the nation cannot afford as the number of jawans and officers falling to terror bullets is alarmingly growing.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper