Syed Ata Hasnain on Anantnag attack: Dying embers, but terrorism threat not over

Source– The post is based on the article “Syed Ata Hasnain on Anantnag attack: Dying embers, but terrorism threat not over” published in “The Indian Express” on 16th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS3 – Internal Security

Relevance- Terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir

News– Over the last six months, encounters with Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in the region immediately north and south of the Pir Panjal range have been frequent. Army has lost several brave soldiers in these incidents.

What is the current situation of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir?

The recent occurrences represent the fading remnants of terrorism, despite Pakistan’s efforts to revive them.

In the four years following the amendment of Article 370, significant progress has been made by concentrating on eradicating Pakistan’s networks involved in proxy warfare.  

This has involved targeting over-ground workers, reducing infiltration, diminishing local recruitment, and accelerating development efforts.

Several factors that contribute to supporting terrorism have witnessed a significant decrease. Infiltration and local recruitment have seen a dramatic reduction.

The counter-infiltration measures in the Kashmir Valley are highly effective and multi-layered. Consequently, there has been a shift in the actions of terrorists toward the borders of Jammu and Punjab.

These borders serve as routes for smuggling narcotics, weapons, and equipment.

The triggers for negative sentiments have decreased. Public funerals for terrorists, both foreign and local, are no longer allowed. Efforts to empower the youth have also intensified substantially.

Why would it be incorrect to claim that the issue of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir has been entirely resolved?

Pakistan has invested considerable resources, time, energy, and personnel in conducting this proxy war for over three decades. It is unlikely to stop these efforts easily.

Following August 5, 2019, there was a decrease in violence. It led to a misconception among the public that the proxy war had nearly ended.

The absence of violence does not equate to normalcy. It is a multi-faceted concept. Over the course of 30 years, terrorism and proxy warfare have given rise to covert networks that continue to operate.

It will take a considerable amount of time to attain the desired state of normalcy. Pakistan will attempt to reignite separatism through the remaining elements of terror.

Way forward-

It is essential to maintain realistic expectations. A region that has experienced abnormality for over three decades will not easily overcome negative sentiments.

It will require time and sustained efforts in outreach and the promotion of patriotism. More influential speakers, writers, and intellectuals should engage with the youth to bolster their aspirations.

The “all of government approach” adopted in Jammu and Kashmir is proving effective. But the national electronic media also needs to contribute positively to this effort.

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