“No group in Kashmir is likely to turn into a new IS. But a few months ago, nobody thought it likely that ISIS would turn into a global threat. The time for contingency planning is before a shape-shift — particularly one as predictable and historically grounded as the possibility for jihadist fighters to flow from Afghanistan to Kashmir after the withdrawal of foreign troops.”
—Let’s Talk About Kashmir, Jonah Blank, Foreign Policy, September 5, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/09/05/lets-talk-about-kashmir/
If one follows the course of action in the troubled State of Jammu and Kashmir, one would wonder if the situation is so grave, how Bharat could retain this strategically important and politically sensitive State. If the cycle of violence erupts after regular intervals, what is that allows such activities in the Valley to continue? Why a phase of peace and normalcy by any government is not allowed to sustain? Does a common citizen of Jammu and Kashmir is anti-Bharat or he is just expressing grievances turned aspirations sporadically against the failed system of governance? Who is responsible for such a failed system? If we seriously address this question, we get a peculiar picture of the crisis which tells us that a set of vested interests are not interested in peace and normalcy but continuation of violence.
Since, Independence, there have been multiple international actors who are meddling into the issue either directly or indirectly, simply because of strategically key location of the Valley. In fact, in the international discourse it is just the Valley that is being discussed, forgetting the fact that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is much bigger than the Valley. The pathetic condition of people either in Pakistan occupied J&K or Baluchistan clearly shows that neither the unstable neighbour nor its international partners are interested in the people of J&K. Pakistan is a failing state and epicentre of terrorism is an accepted reality for most of the world. So preventing the international radical elements from entering into the Valley is the key factor in addressing this issue, especially with the growing menace of ISIS.
The open and tacit allies of Pakistan are active in the Valley since Independence. They are also hardly bothered about common people. Their economic and political interests are served with the turbulent Kashmir and not with the peaceful one. So otherwise busy in political checkmates, the splintered groups of Hurriyat give a call of unity whenever the process of peace and development is on track. Fortunately, they are also losing credibility on the ground. Barring some parts of Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Kulgam, nobody follows the dictums of these troublemakers.
The third set of vested interests is more dangerous as they pull over the veil of freedom of speech and intellectualism. They would give a communal colour to Article 370 and would never address the question on who are the real beneficiaries of the ‘temporary’ provision. They would forget that thousands of students studying in Bharatiya Universities are aspiring to pursue carriers and not separatism, are also Kashmiris. They use the loose term for ‘security forces’ without telling the fact that real operations on the ground, including the elimination of Burhan Wani, were carried out by the State police and not by army. The State police are using retaliatory actions only when they are attacked by the instigated mobs to restore law and order. As per the ‘intellectual proponents of self-determination’ neither these police personnel nor the UPSC and armed forces aspirants from the Valley represent the Kashmiri voices , only separatists have that right.
The reality is that the State of J&K has become a milking cow for these vested interests. International attention is gained and financial resources are poured. The more troublesome fact is PDP which was supposed to be on ‘their’ side is allying with the nationalist BJP and trying to provide governance in real sense. The ground reality is that nationalist voices within the State are strong enough to face the challenge. The police and armed forces are playing the effective role. Their only issue is not to allow these vested interests to wage the ‘perception war’ in support of Pakistan. For that strengthening the institutions of governance in J&K is the only option.