The last few months have seen hectic activity in the Kashmir Valley. Not that this wasn’t the case a few years back, but then it was the separatists and terrorists who were ruling the roost. Today, it is the Indian Army and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
It is pretty obvious that there is a method at play to deal with the anti-Indian elements in the Kashmir Valley and those entering the state from across the border. Ajit Doval, our National Security Advisor, is a master at his job and his impression is visible on how things have panned out in the Valley.
The first important step taken by the government was ending appeasement. They decided they’d not talk to separatists as they had a deep disregard for the Indian constitution. The government even categorically told Pakistan that if they talked to separatists, then India was not interested in talking to Pakistan. This meant that the once important separatists began losing power and relevance as even Pakistan began entertaining them less as time went on.
The next step involved dealing with stone-pelters and the ‘azaadi chanters’. It became apparent that these people were receiving funds for carrying out their anti-national activities. The funds primarily flowed in from across the border. Prime Minister Modi has given the NIA a free hand to investigate, raid and interrogate anyone who they think is involved in receiving funds to destabilize the state. As the funding dries up, these anti-national elements will disappear into nothingness. Demonetisation also had a massive impact on the funding.
The last and most important of steps was to neutralize terrorists. When the UPA ruled, the BSF didn’t even have the permission to shoot intruders. This resulted in regular terrorist attacks in major Indian cities as these very terrorists successfully infiltrated our border and wreaked havoc in the nation. Such attacks have almost gone extinct (fingers crossed) as now our soldiers have the freedom to shoot down anyone they see crossing the border which has resulted in Pakistani terrorists being neutralized on the spot.
The other major change that the government has allowed for is bringing back Cordon and Search Operations (CASO) and Search and Destroy Operations (SADO) in the Valley. Villages where terrorists are suspected to be hiding are cordoned or surrounded by the forces who then close in on the terrorists eventually eliminating them. This tactic has led to around 135 terrorists being killed this year with still more than 4 months to go. The casualties that our forces have suffered has also fallen rapidly both in engagements with terrorists and in ceasefire violations.
The strategy has slowly and appropriately been evolved by NSA Ajit Doval. But any such strategy is useless if it doesn’t have the backing of the prime minister. Credit should be given to Prime Minister Modi for backing the forces and investigative agencies and giving them a free hand to deal with the situation as they deem fit. Kashmir is a very volatile region and it’s never easy to go aggressive in the state as propaganda is aplenty and anti-Indian forces are always ready to defame the government and the forces. Despite this propaganda, the forces are winning this war. Peace is more prevalent that before. And it is expected that before winter sets in, the Valley will be free from terrorists.