Kashmir’s Militant-Centric Flawed Policy Must Go. The State Must Focus on The Peace-Loving Larger Section of Kashmiri Society
DDC Elections: Poll Officers in Many Areas Abused, Cursed Voters, woke up government to impact of disastrous state policy
After the inception of militancy in Kashmir, policy focus shifted from the common Kashmiris to the militants. State planners devised ways and means through official policy so that militancy could be contained. Policies were framed for the rehabilitation of surrendered militants. They were offered employment or other incentives to return to the mainstream. State help was extended for the support of the widows and orphans of militants.
This policy making was deeply flawed. The larger section of Kashmiri society who stayed distant from the turmoil was not in the centre of planning or decision making. Every state action was guided towards bringing peace, and providing relief to end militancy.
This approach, which seemed reasonable at that time, had dangerous consequences. Surrendered militants had contaminated mindsets. This had initially led them into militancy. These same militants were co-opted into the system. They got the patronage of the powerful, which emboldened them. Crime got incentivized. Kashmiri society got criminalized.
Alarming experience in recent DDC Elections
In the recent elections to District Development Councils (DDCs) in Kashmir, polling was low across the districts of south Kashmir. At scores of polling stations, polling officers cursed and abused the local residents who had come there to vote.
Due to flawed Kashmir policy, thousands of individuals who were influenced by the deadly ideology of separatism and violence were co-opted into the administrative system of the state. The system now finds it hard to deal with them
This is the result of the flawed policy followed by the Centre and also by the erstwhile governments of Jammu and Kashmir. Due to the distorted focus in Kashmir, thousands of individuals influenced by the deadly ideology of separatism and violence became part of the administrative system of the state. The system now finds it hard to deal with them.
Kowtowing to the powerful Jamaati/Wahabi
Kashmir’s political class got habitual of appeasing those with deadly ideology for electoral gain or local influence. This influenced Kashmir’s administrative officers. The impact has been seen for decades, and is visible even now.
Those who have watched the Civil Secretariat closely have seen this first hand. When a powerful Jamaati or a Wahabi reaches the Civil Secretariat, it is the priority of officers at various levels to somehow appease this individual because he holds local eminence in his area. He is feared.
The common Kashmiri has been watching this for decades. He sees the powerful Jamaati or Wahabi intimidating the people in his area. He sees the administrative machinery at diverse levels kowtowing to this powerful Jamaati or Wahabi. The common Kashmiri, who has tried to protect himself and his family from this toxic ideology, is sidelined by the administrative machinery. This becomes one of the reasons for the social shift towards these violent ideologies.
How Waheed Para mollycoddled terrorists
Echoes of this distorted policy can be seen in the present. In Pulwama district alone, notorious double dealer Waheed Para got those people appointed on government positions who are closely related to the terrorists or are Over-Ground Workers (OGW) themselves.
Kashmir’s political class got habitual of appeasing those with deadly ideology for electoral gain or local influence. This influenced Kashmir’s administrative officers. The impact has been seen for decades, and is visible even now
It is amazing to see that that Waheed Para even ensured a government job for Maimoona, the Kashmiri wife of Abu Dujana , the deadly Pakistani terrorist. Dujana was commanding Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) in Kashmir.
As an additional bonus, Maimoona’s brother was employed in the J&K Police Department. Similarly, Para also got appointed the son of dreaded slain militant Tariq Aziz in JK Bank.
The Dachnipora Example
In Dachnipora in south Kashmir, the chief commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was Amir Khan, a dreaded terrorist.
Amir Khan’s son Naseer Khan is the main contractor and supplier to the Army since 2001. He is a rich and powerful man of the area.
All the common Kashmiris who stayed within the bounds of law and order are disenchanted with the system when they find that militants and rogues are rewarded.
How The Greedy Political Class Used This Policy Flaw
Kashmir’s greedy political class craftily abused the policy for the appeasement of militants. As ministers and legislators, Kashmir’s politicians got those persons deployed in their personal security, or in their offices as PAs or PROs, who were directly linked to militants and militancy. There are hundreds of such instances which can be quoted to prove the point.
Policy focus must be on Kashmir’s peaceful majority. It is they who should be rewarded and given incentives. Employment packages must be for those who have remained untouched by toxic beliefs
In Kulgam district, one Mohammad Afzal of Panipora Chattbal village was the Treasury Officer. In the 90s, Afzal joined militancy and became the district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Afzal’s son Mudassir Ahmad is today a contractor and the business partner of the son of a powerful political figure of the Kulgam district.
In the offices and residences of Kashmir’s ministers and legislators, one could see a number of surrendered militants. For example, the Khanabal residence of Rehman Veeri, former MLA and minister flocked with surrendered militants. In the Khanabal housing colony, which was posh government accommodation, political workers actually competed with each other to lure more and more surrendered militants and Jamaatis. It is because these surrendered militants and Jamaatis hold influence in villages.
Policy Review Essential
Government policy regarding militants and Over-Ground Workers should actually have been the reverse. The focus of state policies should have been the peace-loving Kashmiris who kept a distance from toxic ideologies. These people should have been incentivized with diverse welfare and upliftment schemes. These people loving people must be the priority of the UT Administration.
Why must Kashmir always speak of the rehabilitation policy of militants?
This skewed policy approach must be corrected. Policy focus must be on Kashmir’s peaceful majority. It is they who should be rewarded and given incentives. Employment packages must be for those who have remained untouched by toxic beliefs.
Debar Politicians Who Collaborated with Terrorists
All those political figures who associated, collaborated or helped the terrorists and their ideologues should be debarred from contesting elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Appeasement of militants and extreme ideologues by politicians amounted to incentivizing crime and terror. It set the agenda for Kashmir society. It is time now for the shift to happen.