Is There a Need to Change the Strategy?
The new breed of militants are abrasive, bold and ready to take risks. All have personal weaknesses and are not fair in their handling of public. The strategy to expose their misconduct or deeds in public eye is lacking. Through credible information there was a need to expose chinks in personal lives. The best way to kill a phenomenon is not by bullet but assassination of his character and conduct so that the same public that worship him detest him. But that must be exposed with certain truth and facts. There is a need to eliminate the image and aura before a militant is physically killed. Their façade of high moral stand on Jihad needs to be exposed in a carefully crafted strategy. There was complete silence on the part of political parties NC as well as PDP after Burhan Wani was killed (except for tweets of Umar that were not comforting). There were 16 hours before the valley actually plunged into chaos. The night should have been made use of. The family members and even the Hurriyat should have been told that they could gather peacefully and march with the procession without violence. Communication should have been made with the public through all channels to prevent any loss of lives. But it seems that state government went numb and thought that by imposing restrictions pent up feeling could be suppressed, a strategy that went horribly wrong. Communication with the public is vital and all efforts should be made to reach out so that no trigger is given to subversive elements to destabilise the environment. Kashmir is dynamic and ground situation changes fast. What succeeds in North Kashmir does not succeed in South Kashmir and what succeeds in Kashmir valley may not succeed South of Pir Panjal. This can only be understood by those who have been on ground and have hands on experience. Therefore, in the fitness of things the government should appoint in charge of Kashmir Affairs someone who understands the dynamics of Kashmir very well. A well-known Kashmiri author and journalist said that no one understands Kashmir better than the Army. He said that Generals Hasnain, Shubroto Saha and many of their predecessors knew the dynamics of valley far better than even the local Kashmiris and politicians. But to neglect their expertise and knowledge is a tragedy. The basic principle of appointment of domain experts is mandatory to head such sensitive appointment or an advisory committee. The centre of gravity in counter insurgency areas is masses. Thus connect and communication with the masses can never be severed. It is not important how good the centre state relationship is, but what is more important is relationship with the state and the people and centre government with the people. There is no interlocutor or a group of people who are in touch with locals so that communication can be established with the people how to resolve this paradox and deal with crisis situation. It is time that those who have ground knowledge and understand the ground reality are tasked to act as fireballs under such circumstances. The communication is required with ideologues, religious heads, youth leaders and even the local militants through over ground workers. Whenever there is chaos in the Valley the Army, CRPF and state police are left to fend for themselves. Political and bureaucrats go missing in action and when the storm passes by they emerge from the ruin of the society to regain their authority. This must cease, politicians and bureaucrats must be at the forefront instead of security forces. They must take responsibility and accountability. Clear directions must be given to the security forces what actions to be taken. If the political leadership is numb the bureaucracy should step in. At least one of the organs must function. Paralysis of state machinary is seen too often and too frequently in Valley. This happened during the 90s when insurgency erupted, it happened during the earth quake in the Valley, it happened during floods in the Valley. There should be a full stop to this practice. The Valley is already in disarray, efforts of the government should be to ensure that trouble not spread South of the Pir Panjals, . an area that has been a balancing factor and has not followed Valley in their footsteps to create turbulence. It must be nurtured, bridges built with public especially the youth and the Hurriyat kept under tight noose. “Doctrine of Restrain” is the need of the hour but it must have limits. It is the responsibility of the state to lay down the red lines. A nation can’t allow its soldiers and police men to be lynched by masses. Such a situation will lead to complete anarchy. It is not the choice of the masses to cause unacceptable collateral damage and loss of life and property, thus a limit is needed. A law abiding nation cannot afford such an absurd situation. There are voices in political circles that Burhan Wani alive was a lesser threat than Burhan Wani dead. Such utterances are made so that security forces are deterred and discouraged to undertake counter terrorist operations. What is significant is that Security Forces have killed all but two militants from the famous Facebook picture.