Valley Of Fear

Strong action needs to be taken to counter radical Islamic terror in the world and India

5/8/2017 1:09:15 PM
written By : Ashali Varma Print

The news from around the world is grim. Sweden, UK, and Egypt have suffered terror attacks. Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing burning of polling booths, schools and stone pelting. It is time to look all this in the eye and see the ugly face of ISIS. For it has never been Azaadi that was fought for but a caliphate. Right from when hardline Wahabi preaching clerics took over the mosques and more than five lakh Kashmiri Pundits were terrorised and made to leave their ancestral homes in the early 1990s, the valley has been staggering from one critical episode to another.

Yes, Pakistan is involved but should not some blame go to political parties who were at the Centre and took no action even though there was hard intelligence to prove that radicalisation was taking place? This was 26 years or more ago? Why were the Kashmiri Pundits not repatriated to their homes instantly and made to feel secure? What was the Centre and the state government doing all these years? Why did the media not keep up a relentless drumbeat about this?

Why are we still trying to win hearts and minds when so many pockets of the valley have been taken over by radical Islamic terror?

It is time we make a note of this fact and act swiftly.

First, the separatists have to be taken out of the valley and put in jail with no communication whatsoever with the outer world. Income tax cases against them that have been languishing for years should be fast tracked. The BJP government must stop paying them from our taxes. Their other sources of income including those from Pakistan must be stopped. Surely, we have the wherewithal to do this if we have the political will.

Second, the ring leaders who pay stone pelters should also be taken out of the valley and jailed far away. To jail them along with other radicals to be brainwashed further is a recipe for disaster. They will be monsters when they get out.

Third, all hardline clerics should also be removed. Surely, we have enough to implicate them – they have been preaching hatred towards India for decades. There was no place for mullahs and self styled priests in the time of the prophet and it is said by many followers that he did not believe in this cadre system.

Fourth, give the teenagers a different narrative. Something that would capture their interest like cricket and talent quests. General Ata Husnain, when he was Corp Commander of 15 Corps in the valley was instrumental in forming 350 cricket teams to play against each other. Whole families were involved to make this endeavour succeed. This would have been great if it had been continued but due to budget constraints it was not. We need an outreach like this for the younger teens and it is money well spent. Another interest would be singing and playing instruments for talent hunt shows. So many young people follow them week after week Perhaps a show based in the valley for the youth of the valley on television would inspire youngsters to be enthusiastic about music and dance. Bollywood is loved everywhere and the valley is no exception.

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