By JK Verma
New Delhi. 20 September 2016. Pakistan bashing though genuine is the talk of the nation currently but the toughest challenge is the role of the separatist elements. They are influential with the masses, pampered by the government and funded by Pakistan’s ISI.
Kashmiri separatist leaders always criticize and condemn India and allege about human right violations by Indian security agencies. Most of them openly praise Pakistan and are agitating to secede from India and merge with Pakistan while leaders of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) are longing for an independent Kashmir. In this way all of them want to break away from India but still enjoy several perks on the cost of Indian citizens.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar correctly remarked on September 11 at Vadodara that withdrawal of various facilities accorded to Kashmiri separatists is long overdue. In reply of a question he also clarified that he was in favour of removal of all the amenities as the separatists have no right to enjoy conveniences on Indian tax payers’ money.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was so discourteous that he refused to meet the four member delegation of Members of Parliament (MPs) including Sitram Yechury and D Raja when they went to his house on September 4. While the attitude of leaders like Abdul Ghni Bhat, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Shah was negative.
The separatists claim that they are not Indian citizens hence Government of India should withdraw passports from them and no travel document should be issued to them and without passports or travel documents their foreign travel would be blocked. Here it will not be out of point to mention that these separatists meet their Pakistani handlers when they are on foreign tours. Their visits are not only sponsored by sinister Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) but they are paid hefty sums for creating disturbances in Kashmir.
Both Government of India as well as Jammu & Kashmir state government are providing security cover to the separatist leaders while they allege that India security forces violate human rights of Kashmiris and perpetrate atrocities on them. In this case their security cover must be withdrawn immediately. Once the security is not provided to the separatists several of them will be exterminated by their own people as there are several differences among themselves and they will fight on the distribution of ill-gotten funds.
The ISI which is only interested in creating disturbances in the valley will also injure or kill few leaders so that the trouble continues in J&K. The separatists are aware of this ground reality therefore they do not want to abandon security cover.
There is a danger that although these separatist leaders would be slaughtered by other separatists, may be on behest of ISI but they will allege the hand of Indian security forces in their killing but there is no doubt that if security cover is withdrawn the movement of these leaders would be curbed automatically.
No medical facilities should be provided to these separatist leaders or their family members by the government.
There are reports that few political parties are vociferously critical of ruling party and advocated soft policy towards separatists which is unfortunate. Few political leaders feel that the present coalition government cannot handle the worsening law and order situation and the cause of trouble is not the separatists but the security forces.
Sitaram Yechury General Secretary of CPM and Asaduddin Owaisi stated on September 7 after meeting of all-party delegation that Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that the facilities given to separatist leaders will not be withdrawn.
The time has come when all political parties should be united and instead of criticizing government or security agencies they must mention in one voice that stringent action should be taken against Kashmiri separatists and no facility should be provided to them. The persons who have no faith in Indian constitution or who do not want to remain part of India should not be provided any facility.
These Kashmiri separatists are not fighting for education, employment or basic needs but they are creating chaos in the valley on command of Pakistan hence they must be dealt stringently and the first step should be withdrawal of all facilities accorded to separatist leaders.
According to reports more than 80 persons were killed and more than 10000, including security personnel were injured after the security forces killed Burhan Muzaffar Wani, Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in an encounter on July 8, 2016. Hizbul Mujahideen is an ISI funded organization and there was a reward of Rupees One Million on Wani who was using social media to incite the youths by putting phony pictures and fake videos of encounter by security forces.
According to reports approximately 14000 persons joined the funeral procession, the militants gave a 21 gun salute and the dead body of Wani was wrapped in Pakistani flag.
It is unfortunate that instead of rejoicing the killing of a proclaimed terrorist the separatists successfully organized demonstrations, protests and strikes in the valley which is still continuing. The demonstrators attacked police stations, army and Para military forces as well as transit camps of Kashmiri Pandits.
According to intelligence reports ISI is not only assessing the situation but also issuing instructions to the separatists about the strikes, demonstrations and bunds in the valley.
The government must harden their attitude towards these separatist leaders first after withdrawing the facilities, their bank accounts as well as the bank accounts of their close relatives must be checked and in case of any suspicious funding a thorough probe should be launched.
The government must consider that leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and also former president of All Party Hurriyat Conference holds Indian passport and travels abroad but always denounce India. It is suspected that his son Nayeem Geelani is involved in transferring money to terrorists.
Separatist leaders, like Asiya Andrabi founder of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, whose son is studying in Malaysia on Indian passport is one of the staunchest critic of Indian government, Shabir Ahmed Shah founder of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) who pleads for self determination to the people of J&K. and mastermind of several demonstrations in the valley, Yasin Malik Chairman of JKLF struggles for independent Kashmir, went to Pakistan and met Hafiz Saeed who was an architect of numerous terrorist activities in India especially in Kashmir and known for hate India speeches, have no right to avail any facilities including the security cover.
The so called five star human right activists who always allege that the rights of Kashmiris are infringed by security forces but never speak a word when security personnel are killed. These human right activists beseech that all Kashmiri separatists should be released and negotiations should be held without any pre-conditions. They also insist that Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be withdrawn and security officers who dealt the protesters and demonstrators must be punished. These human right activists do not criticize terrorists, separatists, demonstrators, stone-pelting crowd, they only denounce security agencies. The intelligence agencies should also probe the reasons of their bias approach.
Both State and Central government should chalk out a long term plan to deal Kashmir problem which cannot be sorted out by extending concessions to Kashmiri secessionists. These separatists under instructions from ISI are evicting Hindus and Sikhs from Muslim dominated areas. These secessionist forces want to convert Kashmir into an Islamic state and will never reconcile with democratic, secular India. These extremists belong to Wahhabi and Ahl-i-Hadith school of thoughts and hate not only Hindus and Sikhs but also want to exterminate Sufis for which Kashmir was famous. Hence government must adopt stringent policy as the strategy of appeasement failed and it strengthened the resolve and power of separatists. Nonetheless the separatists are still in minority and the majority Kashmiris want to remain in India as they have seen the fate of Mohajirs, Baluchis and other nationalities in Pakistan.
Muslim leaders and clergy should issue appeals to all Kashmiris that Kashmir is an integral part of secular India and Kashmir has no future in Pakistan so that all Kashmiris should be united against secessionist elements who are acting on behest of Pakistan.
Separatists in Kashmir include both pro-Pakistan and pro-independence elements – who have different agendas. The pro-Pakistan and pro-independence elements should be clearly identified and dealt with differently. The governments both in the state and at the centre have to clearly tell them that there is only one line to toe and that is of Indian nationalism. Take it or leave it. Take it and you are welcome. Leave it and your nationality is no longer Indian. Pampering them has made them self proclaimed bosses. High time the red carpet from beneath their feet is removed.
(Jai Kumar Verma is a Delhi-based strategic analyst and a retired R&AW officer. The views in the article are solely the author’s. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)