Pakistan recalibrating its hybrid war tactics in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Pakistan is once again recalibrating its hybrid war tactics in Kashmir. For nearly three decades, its proxy war in Kashmir has been driven primarily by infiltration of trained terrorists into the Valley. With the onset of mobile-based internet apps and social media tools, it successfully scripted a new chapter on terrorist violence.
Using e-Jihad to brainwash and convert the vulnerable youth, Pakistan has accelerated the dark spectre of radicalised homegrown insurgency. In a latest move, Pakistan has started to fund terror organisations by pushing narcotics and drug money into J&K. This strategy is directed not only to generate funds from within India to finance terrorism in the Valley, it is also gnawing away Kashmir’s youth from within.
Media reports also suggest that Kashmiri farmers, especially in South Kashmir, are being forced into cultivating poppy to generate funds to finance street rage and terrorist violence. Given this sinister backdrop, it would be unwise to believe that this dangerous trend of drug abuse among the Kashmiri youth is only because of the socio-psychological impact of prolonged conflict, unemployment or family/social issues. There is obviously a much larger design to this growing menace that is damaging the already stressed social and moral fabric of the Valley.
It is time the political corridors in New Delhi and Srinagar, and the Kashmiri society as a whole got serious and thought about the way forward — especially since most of the state responses to the changing face of terror in Kashmir have fallen well short of their objectives.
The history of terrorism in the Valley indicates that the social disintegration of Kashmir directly as a result of Pakistan’s nefarious activities and proxy war is not likely to end anytime soon. First, Kashmir lost its aborigines — the Hindu Pandits. Then it lost an entire generation to the gun culture. Now, Kashmir seems to be on the road to losing yet another generation to drug abuse.
Terror commanders have emerged as cult figures and they continue to inspire their peers from their graves. The memories of the slain terrorists are kept alive and burning in the social mind space and all these accounts are being operated from Pakistani soil. Bright future in the world of terror? There can’t be a bigger myth than this. New Delhi can no longer afford to be stuck on the backfoot to foil our neighbour’s evil designs. Kashmir urgently needs strong socio-political leadership that can create an alternative narrative to terrorism and help the Kashmiri society realise the cost it has paid by embracing the gun.

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