As peace returns to J&K

The beneficiaries of Pak sponsored terrorism unhappy
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For three long decades Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the pervasive influence of terrorism. The question of why it sustained for such an extended period and how it was eventually eradicated within three years of the abrogation of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution, is indeed a matter of significance.

The developments that have taken place after August 5, 2019—when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status and divide the erstwhile state into two Union Territories—have proven beyond doubt that the former rulers allowed terrorism to continue to cling to power. Politicians were direct beneficiaries of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. This enabled them to manipulate New Delhi and extract maximum benefits by claiming that they only could save Kashmir from falling into the lap of Pakistan.

By perpetuating the conflict, these politicians could grind their own axe, consolidate their power, and maintain a stranglehold on the region. However, the revocation of Article 370 and the complete merger of J&K with the Union of India disrupted their reign, enabling the Central Government to take decisive action against terrorism. PM Modi led regime “bit the bullet” by taking a bold decision to end J&K’s 70-year long old status-quo. It marked a paradigm shift in the history of the Himalayan region. This move facilitated the dismantling of the terror ecosystem that had thrived for decades. Proponents of peace who had long claimed that normalcy could only be achieved by capitulating to Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists were proven wrong. The abrogation provided an opportunity for the Central Government to restore peace in the region. Under the leadership of PM Modi, the present regime demonstrated unwavering commitment to restore peace in J&K. The hegemony of the former rulers was shattered, and the sponsors of terrorism were confronted head-on.

Influence of separatists curtailed

The separatists, who had established a parallel system in Kashmir, were put in their rightful place, and their supporters were dealt with firmly. As of date all offices of separatist organizations have been closed in Kashmir, and their influence has been curtailed. The present dispensation has adopted a multi-pronged strategy that has gone beyond counter-terrorism measures. Instead of solely focusing on a security-centric approach, the government has recognized the importance of addressing the underlying socio-economic issues that fueled the insurgency. Relentless efforts have been put to empower the J&K people by promoting development, creating employment opportunities, and ensuring better governance. The government has won the trust and confidence of the local population and isolated the terrorists and their sympathizers.

Pak fake narrative countered

In the global fight against terrorism, India has successfully garnered support and understanding from various nations. After 2019, New Delhi intensified diplomatic efforts to expose Pakistan’s state-sponsored terrorism and garner international condemnation. By showcasing the reality of cross-border terrorism, India effectively countered Pakistan’s narrative, thereby isolating it on the international stage. Notably, the investigating agencies during the past three years have launched a massive crackdown against the separatist organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, All Parties Hurriyat Conference and others. All these organizations were funded by Pakistan with a sole purpose to keep the pot boiling in Jammu and Kashmir.

Illegal properties seized

According to the officials, J&K Police have attached 125 immovable properties (land and buildings) belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami at 83 locations under Sections 8 and 25 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It was found during an investigation in the cases related to terror funding and other cases of anti-national activities that these properties were either proceeds of terrorism or were used in activities aimed at strengthening terrorism in Kashmir. Several such actions have hit terror funding and have proven to be a huge step in restoring the rule of law and in removing fear from the hearts of the people living there. According to the officials, the State Investigating Agency has identified 188 JeI properties worth crores across J&K which have either been notified for further legal action or are in the process of being notified. The investigating agencies have unearthed a pattern of terror funding wherein the ancestral immovable properties of terrorists belonging to J&K, based and operating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), were sold and the sale proceeds of the same were utilized to fund several terror outfits in the region.

Inaction promoted terror

The terror funding patterns and the organizations responsible for providing succor to Pakistan sponsored terrorists were always visible but the former rulers just turned a blind eye towards them and allowed them to flourish under their watchful eyes. Pakistan, through various channels, supplied funds to sustain the activities of terrorist organizations operating in the region. These organizations not only received funds from external sources but also generated revenue through illicit activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling, and extortion. The funds were then utilized to purchase weapons, train terrorists, and carry out acts of violence. Several organizations played a crucial role in providing succor to Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. These organizations operated under the guise of charities, religious institutions, and socio-cultural bodies, allowing them to evade suspicion and scrutiny. While their public face portrayed humanitarian activities, they were actively involved in funding terrorism and promoting radical ideologies. Funds collected under the pretext of charitable causes were redirected to finance terrorist activities, thereby fueling violence and instability. Despite the visibility of these organizations and their involvement in supporting terrorism, the former rulers failed to take decisive action against the accused. This inaction allowed these organizations to operate with impunity, further strengthening the terrorist infrastructure in the region. The former rulers, for their own political gains or due to lack of political will, turned a blind eye to the alarming growth of terror funding networks.

Political considerations played a significant role

The political considerations of the former rulers played a significant role in their negligence towards terror funding. In some cases, these organizations enjoyed political patronage, shielding them from scrutiny and enabling their illicit activities. The rulers, driven by short-term gains or appeasement politics, chose to overlook the growing menace of terror funding. This not only perpetuated the conflict but also compromised national security interests. The absence of robust regulatory mechanisms to identify and dismantle terror funding networks further facilitated their sustenance. Inadequate measures to track financial transactions. The former rulers, by neglecting the establishment of stringent regulatory frameworks, allowed these organizations to operate freely and continue their support to terrorists. To address the issue of terror funding, it was imperative for the former regimes to implement comprehensive countermeasures.

Proactive measures hit the nail on its head

Present dispensation has strengthened financial intelligence units, enhanced cooperation between security agencies, and established international collaborations to disrupt the flow of funds to terrorist organizations. Additionally, proactive measures such as freezing assets, conducting thorough investigations, and imposing stringent penalties on individuals and organizations involved in terror funding have dismantled these networks. All these aspects were overlooked by the former rulers. During past three years the things have changed in Kashmir. The terror eco-system has been shattered. What couldn’t be achieved in 30-years has been made possible in 3-years. The security agencies and security forces have broken the back of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in J&K. Steps taken to dismantle the terror grid have paid dividends. Peace returning to Jammu and Kashmir stands testimony to the fact that the ones running a parallel system in the region have been cut to size and shown their right place, while the leaders who used to blackmail New Delhi for their vested interest have been made to eat a humble pie. Their actions and statements prove beyond doubt that they are unhappy with peace returning to J&K.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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