Applying the logic of the two-nation theory, Pakistan attacked the former state of Jammu and Kashmir to annex it by force. The former state of Jammu and Kashmir joined India on October 26, 1947 and Indian Army troops were airlifted from Delhi on October 27, 1947. They launched multi-directional operations to repel tribal raiders , who had reached the outskirts of Srinagar. Unreconciled with the reality and consequences of partition, Pakistan has aided and abetted terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. Pakistan faced humiliating defeats in wars with India in 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
Pakistan proxy war. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was decisive when East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) became an independent country with the help of India. The then Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Bhutto, officially declared a thousand year war with India while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). General Zia-ul-Haq gave practical form to the thousand years war by launching a military doctrine to bleed India through a thousand cuts. This military doctrine placed greater emphasis on covert, low-intensity warfare with militancy and infiltration. This doctrine was first tested in Punjab and then in Jammu and Kashmir. Although in Punjab Pakistan failed miserably, in J&K it succeeded initially due to political, social and religious factors.
While denying freedom and democracy to the people of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), Pakistan was keen to promote Azadi to J&K. After returning from the UK, Amanullah Khan established the headquarters of his organization, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), in Muzaffarabad in 1984 in (PoJK). His return to the PoJK would not have been possible without the help of the authorities, where even normal political activities were not allowed and the basic rights of the population were denied.
Pakistani authorities exploited the JKLF to initiate J&K terrorism as the war in Afghanistan against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was over. The aim was to exploit the anomalies of the 1987 J&K elections. Nevertheless, Pakistan effectively hijacked Azadi’s narrative and the “Kashmir Valley” became the epicenter of terrorism.
General Zia promoted Nizam-e-Mustafa in Pakistan and led the country further down the path of a theocratic state. There was a proliferation of madrasas, which provided cheap cannon fodder for the jihad in Afghanistan, J&K and many parts of the world. According to the findings of the International Crisis Group, “At the time of independence in 1947, there were only 137 madrasas in Pakistan. Until Ayub Khan’s period, there was moderate growth. The pace quickened under ZA Bhutto, and 852 were added in 1979.’ Zia added only 151 new madrasas until 1982. “Over the next six years, as the Afghan jihad gained momentum, another 1,000 opened.” In 2002, when the ICG report was published, “Pakistani Minister of Religious Affairs Dr. Mahmood Ahmed Ghazi put the figure at 10,000. Millions of people were educated here.
These madrasas have further contributed to the radicalization and spread of extremist philosophy. Former Pakistani Foreign Minister Riaz Mohammad Khan writes: “The curriculum of most madrasas is confined to religious teachings and in some respects is more orthodox and rudimentary than the standard introduced in Deoband more than a century ago. ‘a century.”
General Zia’s emphasis on religion left a permanent imprint on Pakistani society and affected people’s psyches. This further reduced the political aspirations of the people of J&K, who did not realize this until very late. General Zia’s legacy is now hunting Pakistan in the form of sectarian violence. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TPP) is now seen as a significant threat to Pakistani society.
Fight against cross-border terrorism. The fight against terrorism is an entirely different form of combat and cannot be compared to conventional warfare. The fight against terrorism would include military operations, police actions, political measures, well-coordinated socio-economic and psychological operations. These operations are carried out at strategic and tactical levels and span different countries. Any weakness in any part of the operations would compromise the overall effectiveness of the counterterrorism strategy.
The Indian Army has rendered invaluable service to the nation through successful counter-terrorism operations and provision of much needed assistance to the civil administration and ordinary citizens.
Over the past two decades, the total number of terrorists eliminated was 13,181; 4904 civilians were killed and 3554 members of the security forces were martyred. (According to statistics from March 06, 2000 to September 03, 2022 from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), New Delhi). Approximately over forty different terrorist organizations work at J&K.
The Indian Army is determined to reduce violence to controllable levels to regain the trust of the people and provide a protected environment to enable smooth governance and socio-economic development. In addition to military operations, IA conducts various civic action programs such as Operation Maitreyi, Operation Sadhbhavana, assistance during natural calamities, organizing group tours out of Kashmir for students, teachers Islamic (Maulvis), elderly citizens, ordinary people, etc.
These unique initiatives are a shining example of the uniformed community’s commitment and dedication to the people of J&K. They succeeded in blunting the anti-Indian propaganda sponsored by Pakistan. It complemented government efforts to improve conditions to provide much-needed relief to the population severely affected by the proxy war. Initiatives such as these are reassuring not only because of the numbers and the positive results, but also because there is in these initiatives the possibility of social upliftment of a part of society that not only suffers socio -economic, but also lives under the constant threat of geopolitical instability.
Emerging challenges. Since Pakistan wants to boil the pot on J&K, it orders its actors to find ways and means to make terrorism a relevant tool in the ongoing struggle. proxy war. Emerging and evolving challenges encountered in J&K are:
- Radicalization : In recent years, the general trend among counter-terrorism experts is that radicalization ultimately leads to involvement in terrorism. It is a process of developing beliefs, feelings and actions supporting any terrorist organization. Kashmir, in many ways, is a unique case of radicalization because traditionally it was a liberal society. Over time, society in Kashmir has witnessed a gradual process of Islamic radicalization. It entered society, politics and culture, leading to the emergence of the Islamic concept of jihad. The factors responsible for radicalization can be very varied, such as economic, psychological, religious, political narratives, etc. The most important factor responsible for alienation and radicalization was Article 370, which has now been removed.
- Recruitment: Although the security forces have generally controlled the situation at J&K, their main concern is the slight increase in the process of recruiting local terrorists. This recruitment was done mainly in South Kashmir—Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Awantipora. It is certainly a source of concern.
- Hybrid terrorism: With the increase in CI operations and the neutralization of many active militants, the terrorist masterminds have now changed their strategy to obscure their activities. To commit acts of violence, they now use terrorist sympathizers. Most of them have no criminal record and are likely to escape police control. These “hybrid terrorists” are primarily responsible for recent acts of targeted killings in and around Srinagar.
- information warfare in pakistan: At J&K, veracity takes second place, and virality is the order of the day. Pakistan has weaponized social media to spread rumors against India. The coordination of the entire information campaign should be done with professional advice, and strategic communication should be created in conjunction with actions on the ground.
Conclusion: India’s territorial and sovereign integrity has been contested by Pakistan since 1947 when it first attacked Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. Although India has defeated Pakistan in all the wars fought between the two, Pakistan has not lost any opportunity to raise the issue of Kashmir internationally. After a long proxy war against India, Pakistan is now talking about peace. India’s position is very clear. He has always maintained that he is for peace and reconciliation, but that should not be seen as his weakness.
If Pakistan really wants to restore permanent peace, then it should give up its obsession with Cashmere and stop exporting terrorism. Only then can he build a healthy relationship with India. Talking about peace is not enough.
Pakistan is going through a particularly difficult period. Politically, it is polarized; economically it is broken and local terrorism is a big problem.
Despite the instability of the regional security environment and Pakistan’s attempts to stir up trouble, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has remained remarkably peaceful, calm and stable. Security forces have succeeded in countering cross-border terrorism. Now government agencies must take over to ensure good governance and create a sovereign mandate to maintain this advantage.
Colonel Balwan Nagial retired from the Indian Army in 2019 after serving for thirty years. Managed administration, security, project management throughout his service. He enjoys writing and contributing to newspapers and magazines in India. He loves Israeli culture.