Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Dost

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Why Parents of Hybrid Militants In Kashmir Can’t Face The Community

Gayatri Mohan

After the abrogation of Article 370, the government brought into place stringent measures to dismantle the gravy train feeding and financing the stone-pelting networks through hawala money. As the state agencies have tightened the noose and the funds have dried up, gangs of stone-pelters have done the vanishing act from Kashmir’s streets and roads.

Over the last two years, gang leaders of stone-pelters did not get the ready finance to keep feeding the violence. After 2019, the so-called spontaneous acts of stone pelting and the long summers of agitation are a thing of the past.

Then how does Pakistan try to spin the international narrative that the “resistance” in Kashmir is home-grown? Answer: By brainwashing teenaged Kashmiri boys and making them killers. By nurturing some vulnerable Kashmiri youngsters as ‘homegrown hybrid militants’.

The term ‘hybrid militants’ was coined by the security establishment in Kashmir last year after a new category of youth militants came to the fore. These youth do not run away from homes to join militant groups. They typically lead a normal life, commit grievous acts of violence to strike terror, and then return to their everyday lives.

“In this type of faceless militancy, hybrid militants kill people, including innocents and policemen, then go underground in a bid to give the impression that they have done nothing,” Jammu and Kashmir Police Chief Dilbag Singh had told the media in July. In the last couple of years, most killings in Kashmir have been carried out by hybrid militants.

Hybrid militants are given online training by Pakistan’s terror operators in how to handle weapons. A number of them strike within their community. Radicalized and indoctrinated by their Pakistan handlers, hybrid militants usually strike soft targets like off-duty policemen, Panchayat functionaries or people from religious minorities. Police is soon able to ascertain their identity, and within a few months, they are neutralized.

But the fact remains that they are young and they are Kashmiri. This gives enough space to Pakistan to claim that the “resistance” in Kashmir is rising from the people.

 

Social Impact Of Killings By Hybrid Militants

Parents Face Shame, Exclusion

 

What is the social impact of the acts of hybrid militants? What are the ripples being created within local communities in Kashmir after these acts of terror by the homegrown militants?

The following is the account of the shifts coming to the fore in Kashmir. As Shah Rukh Khan said in the Bollywood superhit Om Shanti Om, “Picture abhi baaki hai dost.”

At ground level in Kashmir, one can see among the common people a pattern of fatigue with violence. Social sanction to the terrorist belongs to the past now. It finds no place in the present. There is a clear pushback within Kashmir to acts of violence. The society is refusing to accept the killings as normal.

Families Of Killers Pushed To The Margins

The families of the hybrid militants or the terrorists are being pushed to the margins by the community. There is social disapproval for the heinous acts of terror carried out by these young killers. As a result, the families of these youth have to face shame in the society. They are not able to face the families whose member was killed by their son. They feel shame in even facing the larger community.

In the past, a family used to boast and be proud of the fact that one or more of its sons was a militant or an Over Ground Worker. This is not the case now.

Kashmir continues to be a deeply religious society, bound by the tenets of “being a good and godly human being” as shown the way by Islam. Parents of a hybrid militant are unable to come to terms with the shock that their son chose to become a killer. They are unable to accept that their son chose to take the life of a fellow man. They are unable to accept that as an Over Ground Worker, their son aided in the killing of an innocent human being.

Pakistan Is Honey-Trapping Kashmiri Boys

Why is it that most hybrid militants are boys who are not yet 18, or are close to this age? The reason is that as thought matures, the youngsters are able to comprehend the devious play by Pakistan’s terror handlers, and are instead focusing on building their lives and looking after their families.

In Kashmir, Pakistan is preying upon boys who are too young to comprehend the enormity of their actions. The Pakistan handlers of terror are radicalizing these mere teenagers by feeding into them notions of jihad. Kashmiri boys are being snatched from the loving folds of their families and indoctrinated into carrying out heinous acts of violence.

Why is it that the rite of passage into hybrid militancy is a killing or a grave act of terror? Why is it that the terror ecosystem supposedly gives a youth “respect” only after he carries out a murder?

Pakistan has deliberately romanticized the killings by these teenage killers so that they are never able to go back to the loving fold of their families. The terror handlers operate the strings from the back and push impressionable young boys into acts of severe violence. The boys kill and die. The terror handlers recruit new boys, while poor parents are left shocked and wounded for life.

Disapproval OF Killings Emerging In Kashmir Society

The Kashmiri society is now suffering violence fatigue. It wants a break from the spilling of blood. It wants the terror acts to end so that the children do not have to suffer the tragic consequences of conflict. There is increasing denunciation of violence and conflict within Kashmir.

But a peaceful Kashmir is not acceptable to Pakistan. The primary aim of Pakistan Army is to keep Kashmir destabilized. For this, it is important that Kashmiris are given the feel of a constant state of peril, so that life does not seem normal. The local youth initiated into militancy by Pakistan do not have the ability to face trained soldiers. Striking soft targets through pistol shootings is the easy option of them. Hence Pakistan has deepened the hybrid militant strategy in Kashmir.

What the youngster does not realize is that committing the act of murder is his limited utility to the terror networks run by Pakistan. After the youth commits even a single act of terror, he is identified and is on the radar of JK Police and the security agencies. Then it is impossible for him to go back to a life of normalcy.

The Pakistan Army is not interested in which particular youth carries out the murder. The most important thing is his Kashmiri identity. This is all that matters. The Kashmiri identity gives Pakistan the full space to keep making the claim that the “resistance” in Kashmiri is arising from the people. It is localized and homegrown.

The homegrown militant of Kashmir is so young that he is easily trapped in romantic notions of ‘religious war’ and ‘freedom’. Over the last few years, a pattern is visible. Poor, vulnerable teenagers are getting sucked into the vortex of violence.

Pakistan has no use for the young, thinking Kashmiri man who is able to clearly see that he needs to build his career to look after his family. All that Pakistan cares is that a Kashmiri must be old enough to squarely hold a pistol in his hand, take aim and shoot.

Pistols are small and potent weapons of violence. In terms of logistics, they are easy to smuggle, drop through drones, transport or hide. This is why Pakistan has chosen pistols as the chosen weapon of assault by hybrid militants in Kashmir.

Pakistan has lavishly funded outrage creators in countries across the world who keep up the chest-beating on Kashmir. Their role is to spin the tired old yarns over and over again.

Whatever the efforts made by Pakistan, what is happening at ground level is the real thing. The emerging realities of Kashmir demolish the claims made by Pakistan-sponsored spin merchants.

 

Samboora, Pulwama District

Families Of Killer’s Associates Cannot Face Victim’s Family

 

On June 17, Farooq Ahmad Mir, a sub-inspector with JK Police, was killed by hybrid militants in his native village, Samboora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Farooq was the son of 90-year-old Abdul Gani Mir, a farmer.

Farooq was “shot dead by terrorists using a pistol”. Three days later, security forces said that one of his killers was shot dead in a gunfight in Pulwama’s Tujjan village. He was identified as Majid Nazir Wani. He was the elder son of Nazir Ahmad Wani, a taxi driver.

Over the next few days, police arrested three teenagers who had given information to Majid Nazir Wani to kill Farooq. These teenagers lived in Farooq’s neighbourhood. One was even his distant relative. Two of these teenagers are minors. Police state that the third is an adult, but his family claims that he is a minor. The claim for minor status is made because of lenient provisions for law for juveniles in Indian Penal Code.

Now, the families of these teenagers cannot face the victim’s family. Kashmir is a very close-knit community, but the other families related to the three teenagers also cannot gather the courage to visit the house of Farooq Ahmad Mir. More than two months after the killing, the families of the accused teenagers cannot face their neighbours because of the act of their sons.

17-Year-Old Loving Son And Bread-Winner Turned Into A Killer

Ailing Father Blames Pakistan For “Luring Young Boys” Into Terror Ranks

 

Shahid Bashir Sheikh, 17, was a street vendor in the busy Batmaloo market in Srinagar. His father Bashir Ahmad Sheikh was bed-ridden due to a back ailment. Shahid had become the bread-winner for the family.

In August 2021, the family was ripped apart. Shahid went missing. Police said he killed Mohd Shafi Dar, an employee of the Power Department, on October 2. On October 15, Shahid was killed in a gunfight with security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

His parents Bashir Sheikh and Meema Bashir are devastated. Gone are the times when parents were proud that their sons had become militants. Now parents wail for their boys to come back. And if their sons are involved in any killings, it is fall from grace for the parents.

Bashir Sheikh wails that the men who brainwashed his son to take up arms should have at least informed him. “I would have begged my young, innocent son to come back. He was the light of my eyes. He was a loving and responsible son. What did they teach him to take him away,” cries Bashir Sheikh.

In his simplicity, the poor father even cries that the terror operatives who indoctrinated his son should have taken his consent. “Now all is lost. Our son is gone,” the poor parents cry. There is no one to wipe their tears

 

For Spin Doctors Of “Local Resistance”, New Questions To Answer

All those so-called academics, journalists and photo-journalists whether abroad or in India who spin the yarn of “homegrown militancy in Kashmir” and of “local resistance” must address the following questions.

If militancy and jihad are supposedly the answer of the common man, why are the families of these misguided youth facing shame and dejection within their community? If the claims made by the spin doctors are true, these youth and their families should be celebrated by the society as the upholders of the so-called “cause”.

Ground reports reveal that this is evidently not the case. Why has the home-grown militancy and the local resistance been rejected by the society? Why are the family members of the killers refused dignity within the village? Why do the family members of the killers face shame?

The reason is that the Kashmir society has rejected violence. The Kashmir society is refusing to normalize killings. The misguided youth are brainwashed by Pakistan’s terror operatives, and are pushed into militancy. They are soon identified by the police or the security agencies, and neutralized. But their families are being made to pay the price for the fall from grace.

 

Khonmoh, Srinagar Outskirts

Father Of Hybrid Militant Tells His Story Of Shame

“I am ashamed to go out. I can’t walk with my head high in the village”

 

“What did you do? Who told you? What was his fault?” Mushtaq Ahmad Khan Wants To Ask His Son, Now Dead

 

In Kashmir’s close-knit communities, social respect is a huge factor. All big and small decisions taken by individuals are based on one major consideration – one must not do anything that makes one lose dignity in society.

In Khonmoh, a village on the outskirts of Srinagar, the family of Saqib Khan is distressed that it has lost dignity. Saqib’s father Mushtaq Ahmad Khan cries that he is ashamed to go out. “I can’t walk with my head high in the village,” says the distraught man.

Mushtaq also cannot forgive his son Saqib for killing Sameer Ahmad Bhat, a local sarpanch, at his home in Khonmoh. The 17-year-old shot Sameer point blank at his house. He has been allowed easy entry into the house because the family recognized him as a local boy. He told one of the family members that he wanted to see the Sarpanch about permission for some electricity poles.

In Khonmoh, people still cannot believe that a boy who had grown up among them, played and frolicked among them, had walked up to ruthlessly kill a fellow villager. Even Saqib’s family members admit that he had no personal experience that would have initiated him to cold-bloodedly murder a man.

There is increasing realization in Kashmir that this is what Pakistan is doing to the Kashmiris. It is hunting on teenagers to make them killers and murderers. The indoctrination machine of Pakistan keeps brainwashing vulnerable boys who are still in their teens. Some are used as Over Ground Workers. Others are groomed to be killers.

A former militant told KASHMIR CENTRAL that boys are brainwashed into believing that they are part of some great project to save Islam and save Kashmir. “There are no small acts of violation of law that are given to these boys. They are instantly pushed into murder. After that, their being caught by the police is only a question of time. For Pakistan and its terror operators here, the Kashmiri life does not matter,” says the former militant.

Sadly, the teenagers caught in Pakistan’s terror tentacles are too young to realize the gravity of their actions. Parents are left behind to cry and wail, and hang their head in shame that their son killed a fellow man.

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