DOST KHAN / ANCHOR
Kashmiri terrorists and their harbourers have come of age. Emboldened with the video showing a pelter, tied to bonnet of an armoured car, going viral and generating outrage across the Valley, a series of doctored footages have hit the social media. Latest video is showing scores of men in combat security forces’ uniforms beating semi nude young boys and ‘forcing’ them to raise anti-Pakistan slogans. Those having watched this video might have noticed some of the unformed persons covering their faces and one of them passing instructions to fellow guys in typical Kashmir dialect. This is where the ‘producers’ have erred, true to Locrd’s principle that every criminal leaves a trace.
The human-shield video has been owned up by the army. They have given a justification of ‘out-of-box and innovative defensive mechanism’ as well, which may be debatable, but given the end result of a win-win situation for all with not a single person among the hundreds of die-hard pelters getting hurt is something to cheer about. Remaining confined to the Standing Operating Procedure, the incident could have left scores of young people dead.
The admission of the army, however, is being used to their advantage by stone-pelters, separatists and even Kashmir centric mainstream parties. They have ganged up, of course, with substantial support from activists and pseudo political outfits of the country, to malign and pull down the armed forces on human rights front. As expected, the Congress loose cannon, Digvijay Singh has gone public, saying that ‘innocent civilians’ of Kashmir are caught between the guns of terrorists and armed forces. He has brought the two on the same pedestal. Similar is response of the various other disgruntled politicians, who have been thrown out of power by the people of India. Nobody has ever pondered, or even tried to know, as to why the human shield video went public after a week of the occurrence. It is a well thought over strategy, stitched across the border to first go with some authentic videos to establish credibility and then pump in motivated and doctored visuals. This is a dangerous side of terror war, more lethal than guns and stones. The Paki strategists will try to reach out the public psyche through horrendous visuals so as to have lasting impact.
Since a new dimension has been added to Kashmir militancy, the days ahead in the Valley are going to be very difficult. There is all possibility of disseminating the videos and visuals showing forces carrying out dissertation of worship places, humiliating civilians, inflicting torture and dishonouring women. Showing women being molested or disrespected by people in combat dresses has potential of putting the Valley on volcano. The 27 year old militancy is replete of instances when terrorists committed serious offences in military gears. At one point of time the administration had put a blanket ban on sale of ‘condemned army uniforms’ and combat cloth. Perhaps the ban is still continuing.
The ban was necessitated after widespread atrocities committed by terrorists in the guise of Indian forces, not only to satiate their physical lust but also to create ripples in the Kashmir society. This strategy has always worked. But the difference then and now is that the social media outreach was limited earlier. Now that every home and almost every individual is connected to the internet, the prospect of ferocious social media campaign is enormous. In the past two days, two to three videos have already gone viral, showing forces in a brutal posture. The perpetrators at this point of time, however, are little amateur as a result of which they are leaving many gaps for viewers to notice the loose points. For instance, the video showing a young boy being tortured depicts many civilians around. Filmed from a short distance, the dramatic effects of the visuals can’t go unnoticed. The conspirators must be aware about these and there is all possibility of having the services of professionals with ‘expert guidance’. Kashmir has a whole lot of technology savvy talent. Therefore, professionals getting involved into this vicious campaign will be a dangerous scenario. No wonder the social-media users may get disturbing videos, showing security forces in very bad taste. The hidden agenda obviously will be to instigate public unrest. Given a favourable section of national media in New Delhi and herds of pseudo secularists, the Pakistan game-plan has all the potential of putting the Valley on dynamite. The forces and the policy planners in the security apparatus will have to gear up for a big cyber challenge, which may be a last ditch effort by terror-mentors across the border to achieve their nefarious agenda in turbulent Kashmir.
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