The new dispensation in India is considered to be a tough one and from the day the new Home Minister Amit Shah took charge, there was a feeling that something will happen. This is on top of the fact that in spite of Pakistan spending massive money and effort, India succeeded in limiting terrorism to just 4 out of 22 districts in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. And as anticipated, screws were getting tightened almost daily by the Central Government of India to fix Kashmir Issue.
In a sudden chain, a few events happened.
1. In the meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, American President Donald Trump said Modi asked him to intervene in Kashmir. It was repudiated by Trump’s own government within minutes. However, this hinted something is going to happen.
2. As anticipated, Pakistan initiated massive ceasefire violations (CFV) which escalated rapidly, leading to a situation where continuous firing, with heavy guns sometimes, is going on in a stretch of 200 km for days. Why would Pakistan initiate CFVs at the peak of the tourist season in Kashmir and GB territories it holds? What’s the rationale behind risking the lives of tourists, in some cases, foreigners?
3. Nothing changed in it’s attempts to send terrorists into India – as a result of the regular failures of sending terrorists across the border, a desperate Pakistan is activating it’s assets which are already inside India in spite of facing severe losses. Even today, it is understood that a terrorist by name Zeenat-ul-Islam was liquidated by Indian forces in Shopian in Kashmir.
4. The terrorist launchpads are activated again, after shutting them down after Indian attack at Balakot in Pakistan due to fear of Indian retribution and there are inputs of an impending major attack inside Kashmir.
5. Continuous provocations by Pakistan through provocative speeches on both sides of the borders, active engagement and funding of stone-pelters and other OGWs in return for their interference in anti-terror operations continue unabated in spite of India clamping on the terror finance networks with their origins across the border in Pakistan.
6. In a vicious display of how things can go out of control, India’s retaliation in Neelum Valley led to complete destruction of Pakistani military position in the area – with rumours floating that Pakistan is out of ammunition and the troops are no better than sitting ducks.
Additional CAPF(Central Armed Police Forces) or Indian Paramilitary into the Valley
And that’s not the end. India is tightening it’s grip on Kashmir Valley. After asking the details of every Mosque and Madarassa in the valley, it started pumping in troops into Kashmir Valley. In a week, India has pumped in close to 40,000 additional CAPF(Central Armed Police Forces) or Indian Paramilitary into the Valley.
No information is available why this is happening and there are only rumours floating around that these are for India to fix Kashmir issue. Here are some of the questions being asked:-
1. Is India planning to dismember the province of Jammu and Kashmir?
2. Is India planning to scrap off it’s Constitutional Articles 35A and 370 which are deemed responsible for blocking Jammu and Kashmir’s complete integration into India?
3. Is India planning to invade and capture Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan held by Pakistan?
4. Is it to control the situation before India’s Independence Day on 15 August?
The situation was further aggravated after the press conference by Indian Military which revealed Pakistan’s desperation to create disturbances in Kashmir Valley, especially targeting the annual Hindu religious event of Amarnath Yatra. It is understood that an American M-24 sniper rifle is recovered from a terrorist hideout in the area where the Yatra happens. Ignoring the military units like Pakistan SSG which use M-24s, the only area where one can procure an M-24 is from Afghanistan. It is already known Lashkar-e-Toiba, a major Pakistan based terror outfit targeting Kashmir and which has a regional footprint is operating in Afghanistan, supporting the Taliban.
The Military also revealed that to contain the threat emanating from Pakistani soil, the army conducted two raids into Pakistan to destroy the terrorist camps operating from it’s soil.
It is pertinent to mention that a brother of the internationally proscribed terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar who is being sheltered by Pakistan has surfaced near Indian border according to sources and this is considered to be a clear hint that Pakistan is planning something big inside India.
It should also be noted that America is planning to withdraw 5000 troops from Afghanistan and this places Pakistan in a better position to shift it’s assets from it’s Western Border to Eastern Border as like it did during the period of 1989 Genocide in Kashmir when Mujahideen from far off places like Chechnya fought in Kashmir.
Precautionary Measures, Advisories by Government of India
But the situation was still under control. It suddenly drifted out of control by the time the press conference ended – parallel to the press conference, Indian government has passed an order to the effect that the Amarnath Yatra will be stopped and all tourists inside the sub-province of Kashmir will have to leave.
But, a tweet from Gaurav Sawant conflicts what was said in the press conference.
As per an article published in Time of India, Government has ordered additional transport to ferry the passengers out of the Valley.
All hell broke loose in Kashmir Valley with that single statement. No one really has an idea of what government is planning to do, except a cryptic tweet by multiple handles to the effect, “If not now, never”.
The panic levels suddenly rose, with people queueing at Petrol bunks and ATM machines. Rumors are already afloat for something big planned and people started hoarding essentials.
Indian Government’s premier educational institution of National Institute of Technology operating from Srinagar is closed sine die.
It is pertinent to note that the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra relased almost 25,000 soldiers out of their duty of guarding the pilgrims and they will add to the total troop strength in Kashmir Valley.
Tweets by Junaid Azim Mattu, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – Creating Panic
One need not go further than the leaders in the Valley to understand the level of panic in the Valley. The flurry of tweets by Junaid Azim Mattu, the Deputy Mayor of Srinagar, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, both ex-Chief Ministers and coming from the most important political families of Kashmir Valley is enough to indicate the situation inside the Valley.
Omar Abdullah: Although this unprecedented order would seem to suggest a genuine fear of a massive terror strike directed at Amarnath ji yatris or/and tourists this will do nothing to dampen the sense of fear & foreboding that prevails in the valley at the moment.
Omar Abdullah: Seriously? You think an official order telling tourists to leave immediately will not cause them to run from the valley as fast as they can? Which tourist will hang around after seeing this order. The airport & highway will be choked with people leaving.
Omar Abdullah: What I don’t get is that the government has spent money flying in teams of journalists, foreign & Indian, to brief them about how good the situation is, about how well the yatra has been going & then this order is issued ordering yatris & tourists to leave immediately! #Kashmir
Mehbooba Mufti: You failed to win over the love of a single Muslim majority state which rejected division on religious grounds & chose secular India. The gloves are finally off & India has chosen territory over people.
Mehbooba Mufti: Mufti sahab would always say that whatever kashmiris will get , it will be from their own country India. But today the same country seems to be preparing to rob them of whatever little is left to protect their unique identity.
Mehbooba Mufti: Complete chaos on the streets of Srinagar. People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps & stocking up on essential supplies. Is GOI only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices?
Junaid Azim Mattu: Today’s “security advisory” merits clearer communication from the Administration. The panic is understandable. This order pretty much ends the tourism season in Kashmir for the year. Not sure what’s going on but one thing’s for sure – the people have been taken for granted.
Omar Abdullah: Friends staying in hotels in Gulmarg are being forced to leave. State road transport Corpn buses are being deployed to bus people out from Pahalgam & Gulmarg. If there is a threat to the yatra why is Gulmarg being emptied?
Omar Abdullah: It’s easy to accuse us of spreading fear but no one is bothering to tell the people what is happening so how do you expect that fear won’t be a natural result of this situation that has been allowed to fester?
Junaid Azim Mattu: That we’ve become a bureaucratic State in totality is an understatement. However, today’s “security advisory” is a new low. With one stroke of your pen, you have plunged Kashmir into chaos. The people have genuine questions and they deserve answers! Is this a mass crackdown???
Omar Abdullah: I have so many questions & not a single answer. I’ve met people today who occupy important positions to do with J&K, not one of them was able to tell me anything and I’ve been CM for 6 years. Imagine the plight of your everyday Kashmiri who doesn’t know what to believe.
Mehbooba Mufti: Restive situation in Kashmir demands that mainstream parties & stakeholders come together to deliberate on the future course of action. I will be calling on NC Patron Farooq sahab, my former colleagues
Mehbooba Mufti: After a brief discussion, we called on Shri Satyapal Malik ji, Governor J&K & requested him to dispel rumours that’ve caused a sense of panic in the valley. Thankful to Farooq sahab, @sajadlone, @imranrezaansari and @shahfaesal for their time today
Rumor Mongering Politicians – Aggravating situation
Initially, Mehbooba was not allowed to move out of her home and gates of her residence was locked inside. When she questioned the closure of gates. She was allowed to move out of her residence to meet Dr Farooq Abdullah (He was the Chief Minister who holds the ignominy of presiding over the 1989 Kashmir Genocide and Omar Abdullah’s father). After a brief meet with Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba left to meet other leaders. However the social media started spreading rumors and showing part of the video claiming she is put under house arrest. An article from local news website titled, After late evening presser, Mehbooba Mufti left to meet Dr Farooq, other leaders, clarifies that the rumors of Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest are false.
This will also explain the fact that, instead of asking the people to stay calm while India fix Kashmir issue or trying to normalize the situation, the leaders of Kashmir are further aggravating the chaos in the valley by covertly and overtly supporting Pakistan to spread their anti-Indian agenda. There are two reasons why they do that –
1. Their ultimate aim of merger with Pakistan or independence from India as an effective colony of Pakistan
2. Their fear from losing the position of eminence they have in the corridors of power
These were the same political families which ruled Jammu and Kashmir during the 1989 Pakistan sponsored Genocide and are, sadly, still not apologetic for the happenings in the Valley and stonewalled every attempt of bringing back the remnants of the Kashmiri Pandits who survived the massacre into the Valley.
Ruling BJP whip to MPs
To further add to the confusion, the ruling BJP has asked it’s Members of Parliament to be available for session between 5th and 7th August.
As per ANI sources, “Bharatiya Janata Party has issued whip for its Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs to be present in the Parliament from 5 to 7 August.”
Something big is expected in the next few days by India to fix Kashmir issue and it is possible that the presence in Parliament is mandated to legitimize whatever is planned. However, one should not ignore the fact that, unlike Pakistani operations inside Balochistan and Waziristan, India hasn’t broken even one domestic or international law yet over the way it’s handling Kashmir issue. Besides, there are no indications that India will break any laws while attempting to settle the issue. It is interesting to note that even if India crosses the border into Pakistan occupied Kashmir or GB, India will still break no law because the land, anyways, formally acceded to India and will still be disputed territory, whoever holds it. This may explain why India has religiously avoided taking fight to the International Border.
And in spite of everything one shouldn’t ignore Pakistani games to fish in troubled waters even if it means breaking law. For example, the OSINT handle @Natsecjeff which faced flak for teaching Sri Lankans how to break law during the Easter Bombings period is openly asking the people of Kashmir to join it’s propaganda channels on the gaming server Discord. But, for some reason, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Gafoor is maintaining a deafening silence. Is it because he understood the writing is on the wall and not even a single Pakistani is going to buy his propaganda anymore? Or is it something else they are planning?
However the things are going to unfold, one shouldn’t ignore the fact that after the Pulwama terrorist attack, the dynamics between India and Pakistan have changed completely and the sudden rise in escalation after Imran Khan beseeched Donald Trump to intervene in Kashmir only tells of Pakistan’s international standing in particular and Imran Khan’s standing in specific.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
Recently both the houses of Indian Parliament passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 or anti-terror law. The Law gives powers to central agencies and states to designate an individual as a terrorist and seize his properties. The bill is a cornerstone of Modi government’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism.
The bill, also known widely as UAPA, is aimed at effectively preventing unlawful activities in India. It basically seeks to empower the government to deal more effectively with activities directed against India’s sovereignty and integrity.
The bill seeks to empower National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct raids anywhere without the relevant state government’s prior permission
Besides designating an individual as a terrorist, the bill empowers the NIA to grant approval to seize/attach property when the case is being probed.
As per Indian Officials said the law will also prevent terror masterminds from setting up a new group after their previous outfit is outlawed.
According to Indian official sources, the UPAP Law will allow an agency or state police to initiate a host of actions such as passport seizure, asset confiscation and/or travel embargo, in line with US and UN rules.
This type of anti-terror laws are already there in countries such as US, China, Israel and the EU.
Whatever happens over next few days, questions will get answered. Will India fix Kashmir issue? Will the steps contemplated by the Indian Government, bring everlasting peace in India and especially people in the present state of Jammu and Kashmir?
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