Kashmir is facing a severe crisis of drug addiction, especially among the youth. Terror apologists and terror sympathizers claim that Kashmiri youth are getting trapped by drug addiction because of the socio-psychological impact of prolonged conflict, unemployment, family or social issues. Let’s get real about it.
Narco terrorism another face of Pakistan’s terror plot in Kashmir. This is a much bigger, much more sinister design to damage the already stressed social and moral fabric of the Valley by pushing Kashmiri youths towards deadly drug menace.
Pakistan has continuously upgraded and calibrated its proxy war tactics in Kashmir. It has constantly challenged India’s internal security. We Indians can no longer afford to let Pakistan gain the upper hand. We have to foil our neighbour’s evil designs. Effective and offensive steps must be taken by the Indian state to strike this problem at its roots and break the narcotics supply chain. The time is ripe for us Kashmirs to wake up from our deep slumber. It is imperative for us to understand the sinister plans of Pakistan and ISI to destroy our youth. We have to act in a manner so that we are able to give a befitting reply to Pakistan and its terror arms.
Pakistan’s Desperation To Bleed Kashmir
Post abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, Pakistan has become irrelevant in Kashmir. Its old terror tactics have either failed or backfired. The state is taking all measures to put an end to terror funding. With these moves, Pakistan is struggling to maintain its relevance in Kashmir.
Pakistan is unleashing a deluge of social media disinformation in Kashmir in order to grab the mindspace of the Kashmir youth. The fact is that more and more Kashmiri youngsters are becoming aware of Pakistan’s duplicity. They are becoming aware that Pakistan’s only motive is to bleed Kashmir and Kashmiris. For our neighbouring state, our lives, our peace and happiness matter nothing.
In a region when terrorists hold lives to ransom daily, political understanding dawns early. Through my college years, I started observing why terrorists were flourishing in Kashmir. The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has always provided training, supplied arms, and supported the terrorists. In 2015, former President of Pakistan Parvaiz Musharraf admitted that Pakistan had supported and trained terrorist groups in the 1990s.
In the present scenario, terrorists have lost much ground. Their role has shrunk. In order to remain relevant in Kashmir, Pakistan is trying hard to reach out to these terrorist organizations through different channels. Kashmir is also the victim of narco terror unleashed by Pakistan. Pakistan is pumping narcotics and drugs into Kashmir in order to support its terror’s arms. Narco-terrorism is a challenge faced by the state in order to restore normalcy and peace in Kashmir.
Pakistan’s Hybrid War Strategy
Narco-terrorism is part of Pakistan’s hybrid war strategy in Kashmir. Pakistan is sponsoring its terrorist allies in Kashmir by supplying drugs to the valley for sale among the local youths. This proves that Pakistan is no well wisher of Kashmiri people. It is using us as cannon fodder just to feed its nefarious designs in the valley and keep India engaged in a proxy war.
On June 10, 2020, J&K Police busted a module in Handwara in North Kashmir. This group was supplying drugs to many states of the country. Five Lashkar e Toiba terrorists were arrested. About 21 kg of heroin valued at Rs 200 crore approximately and 1.34 crore Indian currency were recovered from their possession. This case was later handed over to National Investigation Agency. On June 27, 2020, J&K police busted another narco-terror group in North Kashmir on June 27, 2020 and recovered huge quantities of drugs, arms, and ammunition from them. Two of their operatives were arrested. According to J&K Police, the information had been received regarding terrorists carrying drugs, arms and ammunitions. Accordingly, a naka was laid in Kupwara and a suspected vehicle was stopped. During the search of the vehicle, security forces recovered 13.5 kg of narcotics, two pistols and 4 grenades. The value of the drugs is stated to be Rs 65 crore approximately. The two operatives who were carrying these drugs and other ammunition revealed that the consignment was sent from Pakistan. The money from the sale of the narcotics was to be handed over to an active militant of Lashkar e Toiba.
On July 26, 2020 a joint team of J&K Police and the Army arrested three more terrorists from Kupwara district of North Kashmir. From their possession, 10 kg of brown sugar, one AK 47 rifle, two pistols, 20 grenades and other ammunition were recovered.
On June 19, 2021, Baramulla Police busted a Narco-Terrorism Module by arresting 12 over-ground workers of terrorists. Police recovered 10 grenades, 4 pistols along with as many magazines and 20 rounds, 11 packets of heroin, cash worth Rs 21.5 lakh and a cheque amounting to Rs 1 lakh from their possession.
On June 25, 2021, security forces foiled an Infiltration bid in at the Line of Control in Tangdhar in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir and recovered one AK47 rifle, one pistol, two grenades and other ammunition besides six packets of Heroin having market value of Rs 30 Crore approximately.
The drugs seized by police and security forces in Kashmir are supplied by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence for sale among the youth of J&K and neighboring Punjab. The amount realized from the sale is supplied to different terror groups in order to sponsor their terror activities.
The Drug Crisis
The drug menace in Kashmir is more severe now than yesteryears. This is evident from the seizure of a huge quantity of narcotics from terrorists and their over ground workers and sympathizers. According to the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), there are about 70,000 substance abusers in Kashmir, out of which 31 percent are women. According to addiction data published by the Government Psychiatric Hospital, Srinagar, around 90 percent drug abusers belong to the age group of 17-35. The curse of drugs upon Kashmir at the behest of Pakistan and its ISI is as big a challenge as terrorism.
Pakistan wants to destroy the future generations of Kashmir by making them drug addicts and supporting terrorist activities at the cost of the lives of Kashmiri youths. Pakistan often calls Kashmir as its jugular vein. But the reality is that Pakistan is hell bent upon destroying this jugular vein by making Kashmir’s youth drug addicts for fulfilling its vicious designs and terrorist activities.