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Tackling the resurgence of jihad in Kashmir

Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza
With three encounters taking place in less than 24 hours between October 10 and 11, terrorist insurgency has effectively resurged in the Kashmir Valley. And in my opinion it is just the beginning of a far more extensively destructive terrorist campaign launched by Pakistan against India in recent times.

Planning for terrorist attacks on Indian soil are not something that we are not familiar with. The Delhi (2001), Mumbai (2008) and Uri (2016) attacks still haunt their victims. However, after the victory of Taliban, at the behest of Pakistani military establishment, the rogue state of Pakistan feels emboldened.

On February 25, 2021, Pakistan and Indian Director Generals of military operations, at the behest of Pakistani military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, agreed to cease cross-border firing. This was an eye wash. As the Doha talks were concluding and American troops withdrawal was in plain sight, the real purpose of ceasefire by Pakistan was to focus on the northern front.
Pakistan military establishment spent the next six months in facilitating and installing a fascist Taliban regime in Kabul. Once ‘success' has been secured in Kabul, Pakistan terrorist infrastructure has returned its attention towards Kashmir.

Old training camps and launch pads have been reactivated and new ones established. The sudden influx of jihadis from Afghanistan into Pakistan occupied Kashmir was the actual cause for establishing new training camps in Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Bhimber, Bagh, Mirpur, Neelum valley and other places.

In July, more than 500 jihadi terrorist began their training to become suicide bombers, IED experts, snipers and commandos at the National Counter Terrorism Centre in Pabbi near Kharian cantonment in Punjab.

Currently, they have been moved to their launch pads from where they have begun infiltrating into Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The new recruits from Afghanistan reached Pakistan from two routes. Those from northern Afghanistan were sent via Peshawar where they were handed over to Corps commanded of 11 corps. Similarly, those entering from southern Afghanistan were received at Chaman in Balochistan by Southern Command.

After crossing over into Pakistan the 11 Corps and Southern command then transported the ‘package' to Rawalpindi where Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza would receive them and send them to various terrorist training camps. Once their training is complete they are then transported to different launch pads as per requirement.

India is faced with terrorism on two fronts. One is from across the Line of Control and the other is domestic grown terrorism. I will briefly try to look into practical steps that I consider fundamental when it comes to our counter insurgency strategy.

Let us begin with terrorism that we call home grown terrorism. In order to curtail indigenous jihadi terrorism, we must take bold measures and shut down all madrasas in Jammu and Kashmir. We should also stop any state funding or grants for jihadi religious sites. All Friday prayers congregations at mosques should be closely monitored for hate speech. Any person found propagating communal narrative should be named and shamed.

Meanwhile, our security forces can conduct their search operations and counter insurgency strategy that they have so far pursued.
Cross border jihadi terrorism can only be brought to halt if Pakistan would feel threatened by reciprocal action. An effective way would be to support the freedom movements currently going on in Balochistan and Sindh.

Another area of interest should be the people living in the Indian territories that were occupied by Pakistan through aggression in 1947. We should raise our voice around the country and world-wide to bring to light the sufferings of people living in the PoJK and PoGB.

Elements that are supportive of reunification of PoJK and PoGB with India should be facilitated by sending getting them into the Rajya and Lok Sabha on the reserved seats and financial assistance for them should be made available without any delay so that they can continue to conduct their non-violence propaganda work.

Surgical strike should be used as a last resort. Nevertheless, when the need for such an action becomes necessary we should not shy away. The fight against terrorism and violence might last on for quite some time before we can crush it. Having said that we have to start taking practical steps and not just depend on the efficacy of our border defence grid.

( is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in POJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.)