Last week when the Union Home ministry tabled the Report in the parliament of last three years of militancy in Kashmir, it quickly reminded us all what Omar Abdullah had tweeted in 2016 on the death of top militant commander Burhan Muzaffer Wani. Burhan was killed with his accomplices in Bamdooru village of south Kashmir on July 6.
The former chief minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted immediately after the news about his killing travelled across. “Mark my words – Burhan’s ability to recruit into militancy from the grave will far outstrip anything he could have done on social media” he tweeted.
Omar was widely castigated for his provocative remarks by the mainstream politicians. However, down the line of three years the situation in Kashmir is proving him right. Since 2016 till now as many as 739 causalities have occurred.
In 2016 as many as 247 deaths took place with 150 militants 82 security forces and 15 civilians as per the data revealed. It further reads that in 2017 the total killings are 333 in which 213 militants, 40 civilians and 80 security forces personnel.
While there have been only seven months yet of 2018, there are as many as 159 killings so far in which 100 are militants, 43 security forces personal and 16 civilians.
Massive security measures taken by New Delhi conducting one of “Operation All Out” started last year seems to have been ill effective in finishing the militancy from border state. However, the initiatives prove counter offensive with more and more youth joining the militancy.
The data by the union government has been revealed at a time when New Delhi is mulling to start major political initiatives in state including the Panchayat elections which would be followed by Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Amid the political outreach in the Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi must differentiate between the security success and the political stability in the region.
The thick presence of security forces across the length and breadth of state may have managed to contain the number of militants, however, it is next to impossible for them to stop the fresh militant recruits. The trend of youth seeing joining militant ranks is itself termed as a grave concern by New Delhi and is seriously giving sleepless nights to the policymakers in country.
What is irony that the political class sitting in New Delhi is more cheering the success of security forces as counter insurgency measures instead of getting politically engaged in Kashmir?
At many times in past the forces have well managed to bring down the graph of violence, however, the political leadership has never been successful to reap its benefits and ensure the lasting peace in the region.
In case New Delhi wants to see the peace lasting in state, it needs to invest the holistic measures to reach out to the estranged youth and invest politically in the region. The prevailing situation in Kashmir is not totally in favour and the continues trend of seeing youth picking up the gun is worrisome. How this trend could be arrested needs a pragmatic understanding.
It is not only what has been contributing to the political uncertainty in the region, the rising level of unemployment, political inefficiency, nepotism, favouritisms and corruption has completely shaken the faith of common man in Kashmir over the institutions of democracy.
In over three decades, the worst thing Kashmir has ever seen is its institutional failure and restoring the faith in the democratic system will be a daunting task for the political leadership in New Delhi which has to look into Kashmir beyond its political goals.