The terror nexus created by Pakistan in Kashmir has failed. Its diabolic agenda has been exposed. Its structures are falling apart notwithstanding the fancy names being given to them. Jammu and Kashmir can now look towards a well-deserved era of peace and prosperity
Nine local terrorists have surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir in the current year of which five surrendered in October itself. Inspector General Police (IGP) Jammu and Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, has very aptly defined this as a "welcome development." There are many factors responsible for this situation, the foremost being "terrorism-related fatigue" among the locals in Jammu and Kashmir.
There is now the widespread realisation that this destructive path causes terrible pain to the families while giving no dividends.
The new reality is that the youth of Kashmir do not wish to join terrorism. They are intimidated into joining by the ISI-separatist-terrorist nexus through life threats extended to their families too. Fear has, since long, been the sole factor responsible for recruitment and support for the terrorist and separatist movement. With the security situation improving, youth and parents feel assured that they need not get swayed by the threats, leading to a perceptible decrease in recruitment. The security forces have felt the pulse of the people and are taking intensive measures to motivate entrapped terrorists to surrender. The good results being achieved by this humane policy are now visible.
The panic that this development has caused to terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir is quite apparent from how they are reacting. The Resistance Front (TRF), which is the latest fraud organisation created by the ISI in Jammu and Kashmir, has been given the responsibility to damage-control this huge setback. TRF, in turn, has made public a letter in which it has denounced the surrenders as "orchestrated by JK Police and Indian army in collaboration." The letter further states that the videos of the surrenders are being made viral to "demoralise Kashmiri youth and parents." The letter culminates with the threat, "the general public should not fall prey to such propaganda and stay firm. we warn against public involvement in these dramas." This malevolent warning exposes the actual brutal, coercive face of the TRF.
TRF has reacted in this manner because its narrative is failing. It has been exposed as a fake organisation espousing a fake cause. The attempt made by the ISI to position it as a liberal secular, indigenous outfit carrying forward the so-called "freedom movement" has fallen flat. What has emerged instead is the fact that the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not want terrorism to gain ascendency all over again and the authorities are to ensuring that it does not happen.
On earlier occasions, terrorist outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have been reconstituted as charity establishments to overcome international censure. LeT created the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation; JeM has a number of charity fronts like Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat.
TRF was created in consonance with the aforementioned time tested policy of the deep Pakistani state to put a veil on its diabolic operations when under international pressure. In this case, the pressure is emanating from the Financial Action Task Force that is seriously contemplating putting Pakistan on the ignominious Black List. Two more factors have been responsible for the creation of this new establishment. First, the bold action by India in reorganising the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and abrogation of Article 370 which called for a strong response from the Pakistani side to keep its demoralised cadre intact. Second, to offset the loss of terrorist cadre and Over Ground Workers (OGWs) in Kashmir due to relentless and successful operations by security forces. By creating the TRF, the deep Pakistani state sought to integrate its remnant terrorist and OGW resources under one umbrella organisation while ensuring deniability in terms of linkages with Pakistan.
The loss of terrorist cadre and Over Ground Workers in Jammu and Kashmir due to relentless and successful operations by security forces. By creating the TRF, the deep Pakistani state sought to integrate its remnant terrorist and OGW resources under one umbrella organisation while ensuring deniability in terms of linkages with Pakistan
The name was specially chosen to give the organisation a secular sheen and portray it as an indigenous movement. Many similar groups like Joint Kashmir Front, Jammu Kashmir Ghaznavi Force also came up, but TRF remained the most prominent.
The TRF has been tasked to enhance recruitment of local cadre into the fold of terrorism. It has been given adequate media support through structures located in Pakistan. It has a strong online presence in social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter, WordPress, TamTam, Discord, Hoop, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram etc. Its content is viewed across Kashmir through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass the restriction on internet accessibility. Pakistan is a past master of propaganda and has created methodologies to glamourise terrorism mainly through visual content showing the Indian security forces on the back foot. Other themes include posting provocative messages, which target security forces, mainly J&K Police, mainstream politicians, Jammu and Kashmir political bodies and civilians.
TRF did gain some success in the initial stages of its inception. It has, over the months, taken responsibility for grenade and gunmen attacks in public places and on security forces and for the killing of political leaders and workers mainly Ajay Pandit in Anantnag and Sheikh Waseem Bari in Bandipora, both workers of the BJP. TRF has also claimed responsibility for the counter-infiltration operation in Kupwara in April 2020 in which five Pakistani infiltrators were killed, and the Army also lost five brave soldiers. In all of these instances. Its information campaigns have grossly exaggerated the success to create a larger than life persona.
The Indian security forces and civil administration have understood the concept and modus-operandi of the TRF and have put in place effective countermeasures. The integrative plan of the TRF has not been allowed to gain the upper hand, most of its acclaimed commanders like Sajad Ahmed and Abu Anas have been killed. Now, its weakness has put contributing organisations like the LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen on the defensive. They have realised the folly of joining hands and losing their identity with nothing concrete having been achieved. With depleting resources, TRF stands weakened, and its very relevance is under the cloud. The possibility of a turf war is quite strong. This situation has led to the spate of surrenders.
(The writer is a political analyst, columnist and speaker)