Homeland Security

Kashmir: De-radicalization is the only solution
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 22 Feb , 2019

The reality is that proxy war in India is not a very difficult proposition. Political parties in India can very conveniently be leveraged by external powers. Look at the Indian Communists! Most countries in the world are trying to de-radicalize the jihadis. Tajikistan has banned beard and burqas. France has prohibited burqas and other radical symbols. China also has banned beard and burqas, and has opened re-education centers in Xinjiang province for de-radicalization.

The Kashmiri politicians do not whisper a word of protest against China’s indulgence with Masood Azhar or its colonization of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Indian Communists do not decry China for these measures, but are fiercely opposed to any suggestion to de-radicalize affected Muslims in India. Most political parties dependent on Muslim vote-bank have similar attitude. It is for this reason that a Chief Minister visited Pakistan, only months after 26/11. It is for this reason that in the recent all-party meeting in the wake of attack on CRPF personnel, a collective statement from the political parties was elusive. It is for this reason that the Communists supported China in 1962-War.

All this drama of Pak sponsored global jihad whimpers when it comes to China. Pakistan and China seem to have reached an agreement or mutual assurance that whatever China may do with Ughur Muslims, Pakistan given its clout in the OIC will veto it in that Islamic forum. In return China will do so at the UN in respect of Masood Azhar. The Kashmiri politicians do not whisper a word of protest against China’s indulgence with Masood Azhar or its colonization of Gilgit-Baltistan. The clerics and the Muslim leaders in the subcontinent also maintain a deafening silence. Is it because of their innate hatred for Hindustan vis-à-vis India?

The most alarming aspect of the recent jihadi attack on CRPF personnel was the scale at which the vehicle borne suicide bombing was effected. This is a daily phenomenon in Afghanistan. Given the ongoing talks between the US and Taliban in Dubai, and the critical role being played by Pakistan, it was expected that this phenomenon would eventually make way into India. It was however not expected that it would be so soon. Pakistan is the mother of Taliban. It has provided shelter to the Talibani jihadis in the most difficult times. It is in the same manner that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed provided facilitation to the global jihadis and now her daughter has indirectly done the same with respect to the recent suicide bombing.

This is an inflection point in the ongoing proxy war. The second inflection point is the planning by the so-called Islamic State adherents to carryout chemical warfare in India. Recently the NIA rounded up eight young men in Maharashtra, who under the influence of ISIS, were assembling apparatus for mass attacks in India by chemical means. Their target included the Kumbh congregation. Ben Wallace, the Security Minister of UK, had warned that the jihadis have no moral qualms in use of chemical warfare. Nuclear weapon in the hands of jihadis is the worst nightmare for security establishments all over the world. Chemical weapons, it may be highlighted are referred to as poor man’s nuclear bomb. It may also be mentioned that Islamic State in India is a vector being used by the ISI.

The reverberations of Kashmir are as far as in Kerala. The proxy war zone is being widened. This was also the objective of the ‘Tukre-Tukre Gang’.

It is not that Saudi Arabia or US are not aware about the entire global jihadi narrative in the Indian subcontinent. Prince Salman does not trust the security establishment of Pakistan. For his security, a 235 member contingent of Islamic Counter Terrorism, military coalition headed by Raheel Sharif was deployed. During the same period, the US issued a travel advisory saying that the air space in Pakistan is not safe.

The reverberations of Kashmir are as far as in Kerala. The proxy war zone is being widened. This was also the objective of the ‘Tukre-Tukre Gang’.

What is the solution?

First the realization that the ‘war is on’.

Second, 1971 war template and mindset needs to be jettisoned.

Third, it should be remembered that the Soviet Union with all its arsenal of tanks, APCs, missiles, fighter aircraft and nuclear weapons collapsed after the onslaught of global jihad.

Prince Salman has said that following the Iranian revolution in 1979, Saudi Arabia embarked on a undesirable journey and therefore it was necessary to de-radicalize. He has taken many bold measures in this direction.

Pope Francis visited UAE recently and conducted mass prayers in a stadium in Abu Dhabhi attended by more than 10,000 Christians. He is a first papal to set his foot on the Arab soil.

This has not gone very well with the radicalized elements in the Indian Subcontinent. Most clerics and so-called Muslim leaders this author has met, indulge in the wishful thinking that the days of Prince Salman are numbered! His life is on a short lease. They imply that global Jihadis and radicals will again soon call the shots.

What we have not tried is to create an ideological antidote to the jihadi philosophy

The truth of the matter is that the situation in Kashmir Valley has remained static or as grave since 1989. If it was not grave there would have been no need to raise the Rashstriya Rifles. We have tried most military options. We have all this while exerted to isolate Pakistan internationally by diplomatic means, yet proxy war persists.

What we have not tried is to create an ideological antidote to the jihadi philosophy. What we have not tried is to change the religious syllabus and discourse in the mosques and the Madrasas that is common in India and Pakistan. What we have not tried is de-radicalization. The Chinese are no fools.

It must be remembered that, euphemistically speaking, the explosive laden vehicle that killed CRPF personnel was powered by the jihadi fuel, the AK-47s that the terrorists use has jihadi propellant, the grenades that the militant use are lobbed with jihadi objectives. Zakir Musa has said this very explicitly. If we do not heed to it and address the ideology, it would be a case of intellectual cowardice.

What we have also not tried is the territorial reconfiguration of J&K. Pakistan did it by expelling the Hindus from the Valley. It amounted to territorial reconfiguration by demographic means. Global jihad would not have been so pervasive without it. We need to do the reverse.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective, The Military Factor in Pakistan and The Unmaking of Nepal. His latest books are Know the Anti-Nationals (English) and Know the एंटी-नेशनल्स (Hindi).

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3 thoughts on “Kashmir: De-radicalization is the only solution

  1. De-radicalisation has to happen n be promoted at the same scale as army deployment.
    Though what percentage of population are we talking about here in valley ?
    Is it possible to de-radicalise in big numbers or is it time to hit refresh n start A fresh ?

    With this ideology they are neither good to themselves nor to others !

  2. Great article.
    What surprises me why it is not done so far under Modi? Does author or other experts can not reach Modi? Or is Modi under the influence of wrong advisors? Any effort happened towards creating fresh education content for Kashmir valley at least?

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