The conviction and life term for Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik comes as a big milestone in delivering justice for innumberable acts of atrocities inflicted by them and also their separatist & secessionist activities in the valley. His sentencing more than 30 years later goes a long way in healing the wounds of Kashmiri Pandits and also gives fresh hopes about reversing the historical wrongs and making amends for them.
However, the recent targeted killing of Kashmir Pandits, non-Kashmiri Hindus & Muslims and also TV actor Amreena Bhat came as a big setback for the peace & consensus building efforts. The terrorists didn’t spare her 10 year old nephew and shot bullets at him. Similar incident happened when a Kashmiri constable Saifullah Qadri became their target while coming out of his home. When his daughter came to rescue, she was also shot at. These brutal & ruthless killings have left even the locals agitated & infuriated.
The selective killing of Kashmiri Pandits started in October 2021 and is still happening, with the terror target getting more intense & specific. Days ago, Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat was gunned down in broad daylight inside the premises of a secured tehsil. This shows a concerted attempt by Pak-based terrorists, with support from local sympathizers, to sow fear and disrupt normalcy in the valley.
Big ticket terror operations can be traced & tracked via intelligence gathering but the targeted killings are extremely difficult to prevent, as the security personnel remain in the dark about wicked designs of militants or who could be their next targets. And, this is probably why the terror sponsors have chosen this design to inflict fear in minds & hearts of locals. Large scale terror operations have mostly been neutralised in the valley in last 2 years, owing to alert & active security forces. And, therefore the terrorists have resorted to this hit and run tactics, also they don’t need trained militants for this, any local agent can execute this task.
Security forces have largely been successful in containing & thrashing the terror networks. This year alone, in 5 months, they have neutralised about 50 foreign terrorists. But, now they need to be aided by political transition.
The Delimitation Exercise is done and the panel has approved restructuring of Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory. Now, the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly elections must be conducted at the earliest and people’s representatives be elected to restore faith & belief among the locals.
Post the clipping of wings of Pak-sponsored militancy, the terror networks have resorted to propagating extremism and launching an ideological war.
The terror outfits are actively engaged in recruitment of local youths for terror activities so that this cadre can keep the valley on the boil. Given the political & economic chaos that Pakistan is in, it also suits their strategy. Changing their strategy from direct involvement in terror operations in valley, they have taken the opportunity to instil extremism and angst in locals.
Once democratic institutions are fully set up in the valley with Assembly elections, it will deal a body blow to their evil designs. As more & more people participate in ballot process, the room for extremists & terrorists will only shrink further.