The post Burhan period has dramatically changed the comppexion of armed struggle which began way back in 90's. The most sensitive aspect of the present militancy is rising trend of domestic support and local recruitment as well as mass support for activities. This narrative has got a boost with the notion that armed struggle is part of a religious duty to safeguard Islam in particular and Kashmir in general.
The religious fervour and zeal came with awareness and spreading of Islamic knowledge through social media. Highlighting activity of militants through social media clips has attracted them a sea of following. Therefore what is seen today in South Kashmir is the parallel authority enjoyed by militants who appear during braod daylight and deliver speechs and participate in the funerals of slaimn comrades.
This all shows failure of military strategy of New Delhi and its 'Operation All Out'. Although the security forces make tall claims but the recent episodes of involving innocent families speak volumes about the failed strategy. The arrest of families of militants who are often seen wailing over recruitment of their wards into rebel ranks is worrisome. We have most often seen the video clips of families requesting their wards to shun violence and return home. However instead of capitilising on it powers that are have begun indulging in targeted arrestes of these very people.
Their houses are burnt and members are arrested. AFSPA support the strategy? Are security forces actions legitimate? The vanadalising of Azad Malik's house in Arwani Bijbehara is a case in point. Article 51 directs state to owe abidence to international peace and international law.
On the other hand militants have come up with a strategy to counter this by kidnapping relatives of the police personnel from different parts of Kashmir. Thereafter the videos of relessed personnel appealed DGP Vaid to keep families aloof from conflict. However Operational Commander himself in the audio tape elaborated the step taken in aftermath of his father's arrest and sent a stern warning to police personnel. Although the militants explained and defended their action on grounds of tit for tat strategy but the step is wholly un-Islamic and inhuman on similar grounds as that of security forces.The relatives of police personnel have far off connection with the duties performed by thier wards on ground. It's illogical to believe that parents would encourage their wards to go for violence which may in turmn cost their ward his life. Therefore to include these innocent families as a pressure tactic can not be defended with Islamic jurisprudence and humanitarian principles and law. On this spree of arrests and counter kidnappings statements criitical of these actions from senior leaders in mainstream are welcome. However mere condemnations are not sufficient.
The tug of war started after 2016 has failed to put full stop rather it helped the design of rebels to gain mass solidarity. Therefore strategy of violence is to be forgotten and replaced with political measures.
Shahid Majeed Mir
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