Sunday, 22 May, 2022
HomeOpinionBrahmastraKashmir policy can’t just be about Army flaunting the 'kills'

Kashmir policy can’t just be about Army flaunting the ‘kills’

Counter-terrrosim is not the main job of Indian Army and heavy deployment in such operations has led to a ‘Pakistan-centric thinking’, which is harmful.

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Two hundred terrorists had been eliminated, summer posture for counter infiltration was in place,” writes Lt Gen H.S. Panag (Retd) in his new book The Indian Army: Reminiscences, Reforms & Romance, which also talks about his tenure in Kashmir.

But Lt Gen Panag is not a recently retired officer; he was the Northern Army Commander in 2007.

This is an indication that the annual ‘kill ratio’ of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, much touted both by the security forces and the government, is not a new phenomenon but has been happening for years. It is the same story every year, no matter who is in power.

It should be understood that counter-terrorism is not the Army’s main job and its heavy deployment in counter-terrorism operations actually leads to a “Kashmir-centric or Pakistan-centric thinking” of tactics and planning, which is harmful.

What is happening at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is actually a blessing in disguise because we, as a country, have suddenly woken up to the real challenge – China.

Tackling this challenge would need a long-term change in the thinking process and the need to not bask in the glory of killing a few hundred terrorists every year.

Also read: Army not naming terrorists killed in encounters is a step back on its transparent culture

Important not to have a ‘kills’-driven mindset

It will be important not to continuously have a mindset driven by ‘kills’. The fact that terrorism continues to flourish despite the annual ‘kills’ is an indicator that this approach is not bearing the fruits. And yet, it is routinely used as a supporting element in official announcements.

In the run-up to the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370, the Centre and the J&K security forces referred to the number of terrorists killed to highlight the move as a success.

There is no doubt that the task of the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir is to eliminate the terrorists who are waging Pakistan’s proxy war against India. But this single-minded focus of the forces and the government is rather counter-productive.

The forces are there for tactical reasons and it will be wrong to expect them to deliver the Kashmir solution.

The fact that the kill numbers showed a sharp rise in the run-up to the anniversary is very disturbing, especially since most of the kills were of local youngsters who had joined the terror groups in the recent past.

Incidentally, unlike earlier, these youngsters are neither trained nor heavily armed. No wonder that a lot of pistols were recovered from recent encounters.

I have, in the past, argued against the whole new policy of security forces to not identify the terrorists killed.

There is already a storm brewing in Kashmir over the killing of three ‘militants’ in an alleged encounter in Shopian in July. There are reports that suggest the three could be innocent labourers from Rajouri, Jammu.

Only a sincere probe can reveal the facts about the ‘Shopian encounter’ but there is an eerie reluctance among the security forces, with even the local police being cautious and not playing the ball on the details about the encounter.

Also read: Missing Rajouri youth bought salt & chilli, did up house, then ‘disappeared’ into the night 

Not words but action will bring “new paradise”

In September 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “hugging each Kashmiri” and creating a “new paradise” in the Valley.

It is time for the Modi government to walk the talk when it comes to Kashmir. The high kills will give the government headlines in the media, but if it genuinely wants to leave behind a legacy and solve the Kashmir issue, it will have to work on the ground for the “new paradise”.

Looking at Kashmir through the prism of security will not resolve the issue. It is a welcome change that the Modi government has now appointed a new Lieutenant Governor, BJP leader Manoj Sinha, for the Union Territory, who is a true-blue politician. It is by now sufficiently clear that Kashmir cannot be managed by the bureaucracy. 

Another important thing that the Modi government needs to do is sensitise the news channels and make them aware of the harm that they cause with their endless high-pitched debates that consistently paint the Kashmiris as villains.

And this has been a serious concern even among the security officials who are genuinely working to change the situation on the ground.

The Centre’s former Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, had in 2018 said that “vicious propaganda” against Kashmiris by some TV channels was affecting the peace process.

And there is no doubt over this. I have personally felt this during my numerous trips to Kashmir and interaction with locals.

Along with the TV channels, the rabid radicals in Kashmir need to be tacked with. The government did good by cracking down on the terror financiers and backroom boys but this seems to have lost its steam.

The crackdown needs to be consistent and the civil administration must play a huge role in kickstarting new development projects and bringing change on the ground because only then can Kashmiris truly see the benefits.

While the government does its bid, the local people in Kashmir also need to know that their future is tied with that of India. Any dreams of being an independent state is just a dream and nothing else. Neither is India going to part with Kashmir nor is Pakistan going to let Kashmir remain independent.  

Views are personal.

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  1. I agree with you, Indian media should also show the issues of how Islam is basically not compatible with any civilized society and how it make a normal human loose its mind and blow bombs. You should start doing it with your articles, till then we gonna enjoy shooting down jihadis.

  2. Shehesh, You seem to expect normalcy in a year –when earlier governments both at Center and State have fanned the fires for 60 years rather than extinguishing them. Vert optimistic. Secondly, terrorist, young or old, recently trained or trained earlier cannot be a reason for treating with kid’s gloves. We forget how many Jawans, innocents he /she would have killed if allowed to come in. The change of Lt Gov and appointing a political person now is a step in right direction. You showed patience for decades earlier, now some at least for a few years.

  3. People of India mustn’t be fooled by sell-by date journalist funded, for the feel-good factor knowing China satanding on the border & Indian demise is inevitable because India has failed to push back China militarily” India is relying on others to do the job for them” Nations that lean on others for strength are not worthy for history books” Reports to have been leaked that Rajnaths repeatedly begged Israeli & French counterparts to visits India and stand against China border standoff’ People of India mustn’t rely on Indian army; If One Kashmiri fighter can take-down 5 Indian commandos in hand combat; This proves that The 1.3 million conscript army is mostly based on the progeny of coward fathers, Galwan valley flash-pointe hand to hand combat is another evidence, every combat of IA in the last decade has shown weakness in the IA & evidence of last [30] years against freedom fighters in Kashmir amplifies that Indian soldiers are coward on the battlefield just like their ancestors who turned a blind eye every day when their women were turned-over on royal pedestals by foreign rulers every night for 1000 years. Even the Mahatma Gandhi said Hindus are cowards. by DNA. The Sattelite pictures deny Indian narrative, The hourly online Sattelite images which show Modi capitulated after suffering 20 mutilated dead soldiers & 400 Indian soldiers injured for life in Ladakh hospital, Modi secretly negotiated a deal on Chinese term that India will start pulling back first, he pleading this deal since 22nd of June 2020 & started pulling back from the Galwan valley on 2nd of July, China waited till 5th of July to confirm if India has withdrawn 1.5 kilometers away from the flashpoint, only then China started pulling Back on Sunday the 5th of July 2020; Modi’s defraud means that he knew in advance that disengagement process has begun, He milked the political credit to save his face in front of gullible BJP voters, Rajnath was scheduled to visit Ladakh, but Modi pushed- Rajnath back & went himself to claim the credit & deceived the world in the heat of the moment. Modi failed to pushback China militarily & surrendered 90,000 sq miles of disputed territory which China claimed since 1959 in exchange for voluntary disengagement from Galwan & other flashpoints, in-order to save his political future. Indian PM Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit Friday on the back of a deal his government made on Thursday night with China that India will consider recognizing China’s 1959 claim on the Galwan valley. India claims 38,000sq km (15,000sq miles) of land currently under Chinese control while Beijing stakes claim to a 90,000sq km (34,700sq miles) area within Indian territory., which Modi has secretly agreed on a pullback rather than fight. Satellite Images show much small Indian camp started pulling back last Wednesday/Thursday on the opposite side of the river, kilometer downstream from the Chinese camp, which means Modi negotiated a deal with China on Wednesday 2nd June 2020 before his visit to Ladakh,​ It is so absurd that it indicates the most mainstream [Indian] media regard Indians as completely stupid. Modi illegally annexed J&K on 5th August 2019, The Chinese & Pakistanis are bound to contest it, It is extraordinary that the media and the proprietor of Indian TV News are so devoid of integrity that they make up out of thin air exaggerated India’s military strength narrative for the sole purpose of convincing Indians that their Rulership & the IA can confront China, the truth is that India has failed to push back or even avenge their mutilated soldiers on the battlefield. What good does Modi Ladaklh frontline visit achieved other-than expose cowardice of the leadership, Hallow speeches of Two front war or Military jets & hardware means nothing if the soldiers & the leadership don’t’ have the balls to confront the enemy on the battlefield or even call-out the enemy’s name? so far none-of the BJP leadership had guts to call Chine by name on the national TV broadcasts. The rampant delusion of the Indian elite pretend big & strong India is a waste of resources, Modi’s Ladakh hospital tour was, in fact, a fraud, these are over 400 poor soldiers who were beaten by the Chinese troops at Galwan valley.​ India can’t depend on the US & EU “It is an odd global affair, there is no global appetite to take concerted action for mere terrain of rocks, the USA demise another scenario USA itself is in middle of domestic civil war with black-lives protesters “India propagandists will have to de-annex A370 or’ells struggle=on with the opposing alliance of China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, and Russia

    • 😂😂😂😂😂 another paki spotted who is living in his own bubble….1st of all those converted like the whole Pakistan and Kashmir are the rape products, whose ABBA open their bedroom door and their AMMI got converted….2ndly, there is no report about Rajnath Singh calling France and Israel for military help….The reports may be published in some of your madrasa….Indin soldiers are coward???😂😂😂
      Yet we defeated Pakistan 3 times??? Including making Pakis surrender their 93000 soldiers in 1971?.?? Yet we hold Kashmir for 70 plus years??? Yet we contain China in galwan, ladhak???

    • Lol…on one hand you are flaunting an imaginary alliance of China, Pakistan,Iran, Turkey,Malaysia and Russia against a single India, and yet calling us coward???😂😂😂
      It proves you yourself is weak, coward, hinduphobic and un able to do anything against India other than barking….so you are the biggest duchebag…No wonder you guys got rapped and converted so easily by invaders

    • meet me face to face. I will show you what a cowardly hindu can do to you – brave mujahideen !!!! Got guts?


  5. SNEHESH while I agree to much of what you have said. How can a ideology of eliminating other faiths and establishing a puritanical state be responded to. It is ill will against others that drives them not welfare and good life but the “AFTERLIFE “.

  6. With reporter like you who require Pakistan.
    The summary

    1. Don’t kill terrorist.
    2. You have indirectly indicated the Shopian terrorist were common people.
    3. Local youth is joining terrorism.

    What’s new.

    Sir, you and Mr Gupta were proven wrong in 2019 and will be proved wrong again.

    And Kashmir me Kuch nahi hoga.

  7. I wonder if the author has lived in Kashmir during the militancy! He has no clue on the role of the Army.
    The Army has been deployed by the Govt because they have not been able to solve it politically. We have had various govts in power both in Kashmir and at the Centre. All have failed to find a solution.
    For 30 years we have been courting the Hurriyat which has been double faced, receiving money from us and across the border hoping corrution will get them on board. The fact is that corrution has made them depend on the same state of affairs.
    Now for the first time the Modi Govt has abloished 370 and are hoping that the Centrally administered Govt will be able to bring peace and elections will be held. We have lost the trust of the Kashmiris and it will take a miracle to get them on board..
    My personal views are that a decisive war which gets us back the whole of J&K ( will be a miracle?) with an internationally accepted peace treaty with Pakistan is more likely to bring long term peace – not the kind that Indira negotiated with Bhutto.

  8. Tyrranical tricks of the muslims are not new to the world, and certainly not to India. They will instill all kinds of fear to dissuade, but resilence is key. A lot of leftist leaning Indians join these ranks and need to be ignored, and if necessary subdued. These will be the perennial problem of Bharat going forward.

    • Islam is a universal declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other man and/or servitude to his own desires, which is also a form of human servitude; it is a declaration that sovereignty belongs to Allah alone and that He is the Lord of all worlds. it means a challenge to all kinds and forms of systems which are on the concept of the sovereignty of man; in other words, where man has usurped the divine attributes

      The fact of the matter is that Islam/Quran is an open declaration of war against all unbelievers. It is a myth that everyone can live together without Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong الأمر بالمَعْرُوف والنَهي عن المُنْكَر‎ Amr-Bil Maruf refers to encouraging people to do what is good. Maruf is anything that has been approved in Shari’ah law. Nahi Anil Munkar means forbidding evil by discouraging & stopping people from doing what is wrong.

  9. All over the world, after a contestant is killed in combat, the hostility to him personally ceases. It is deeply saddening that the bodies of slain militants are not being returned to their grieving families, for religious rites and a final farewell. They are buried in unmarked graves, which stirs other memories in the Valleys. The official explanation is that the gathering of people could contribute to the spread of the pandemic. What is more likely the case is that there would be images of a sea of mourners. 2. Counter terrorism is vitally important for the Army. The previous Chief superseded two officers because of his expertise in this area, the first such disturbance of the settled line of succession since Mrs Gandhi’s time.

  10. Mr Philip, your views are very much accepted.
    However,many at times the youth who believes in heaven are not soo order to make careloving country loving citizens in j&k , i feel good initiatives like urs should be sent as messengers of peace to PoK camps or militant hideouts ..soo that your politeness and strong convincing capabilities will be well utilised to bring home our young youth back to home.

    Pl continue ur peace loving spirits…all d very best to you and your polite team.


  11. I was following the debate in Parliament on 5th August, 2019 when Art 370 was being discussed. The provincial politician, Amit Shah, made a statement, amidst words of caution: “Kuch nahin hoga (nothing will happen).” No one has commented on or followed-up on this. Widespread arrests, continued incarceration of Kashmiri politicians, an unprecedented communications blackout which continues for over an year, a Valley in siege and the provision of a massive trigger to the Chinese with consequences not seen for 45 years. Is this, “kuch nahin hoga?” Inexperienced, rightist politicians have stirred the hornets’ nest and do not now know how to put the Genie back in the bottle (to mix metaphors).
    Great for the Bhakts but bad news for Indians.

    • Amit Shah was also going to “send termites to Bangladesh”. It takes long to build a nation, it takes few to undo it.

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