Look beyond anti-terror ops

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Look beyond anti-terror ops

Thursday, 14 March 2019 | Sudhansu R Das

India lacks quality human resources to collect ground level intelligence and neutralise intermittent attacks

India bombed Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Balakot training camp inside Pakistan in a meticulously planned early dawn operation and avenged the deaths of 40 Indian elite soldiers. India has so far lost 5,000 soldiers not in war but in fighting Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the Kashmir valley. It has let 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits become strangers in their homeland and has paid a heavy price for its shabby Kashmiri policy. It had got three decades from 1950 and 1980 to de-radicalise Kashmiri youth and maintain the natural demographic composition in Kashmir. Even after the air attack, the fundamentalist controlled Pakistan government will continue to instigate Kashmiri youth in order to divert people’s attention from core Pakistan issues: poverty, backwardness, unemployment, internal strife and lack of economic growth. Its army will raise more training camps again and silence the sane voices in Pakistan. So, what should be the preparedness for India from now onwards?

First of all, our intelligence agencies should own the responsibility of security lapses for the horrific Pulwama attack, killing of innocent Amarnath pilgrims, the dastardly assault on the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai and Parliament. India lacks quality human resources to collect ground level intelligence to neutralise intermittent attacks on security personnel and innocent people. Recruitment to intelligence agencies and internal promotion in those agencies should be made on the basis of pure merit since the nation’s safety cannot be compromised at any cost.

Second, India should train the entire Army along the lines of the tough Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which was raised in 1962 soon after the China war. We can’t blame the Army for corruption in various purchases, recruitment and in buying armaments. Army people are the products of Indian families and educational institutions. The government should have revamped educational institutes by now in order to fill the shortage of morally and physically strong people.  

Third, any political or religious leader, if found covertly or overtly planting radical thoughts in the minds of the youth, should be booked instantly. There is a need for a state-of-the-art method for speech monitoring of radical ideologues. Schools run by them tacitly should be monitored closely. Any religious community, which is not compatible with the liberal philosophy of Indian religions, should be watched. Unfortunately, all of our political leaders almost block the process of de-radicalisation as they keep an eye on consolidating votebanks. The nation pays a heavy price for this brand of politics. De-radicalisation should start not only in Kashmir but in other parts of India with simultaneous greater integrative processes that stem alienation.

The disproportionate change in India’s demographic composition is not happening spontaneously. It is being done in a planned and systematic manner in border districts around Pakistan and Bangladesh as every party relies on immigrants of every hue to shore up votebanks. Settlers from contiguous states, be they Hindu or Muslim, disrupt the local economy and socio-cultural ethos.

Further, there has to be a severe crackdown on the terror financing industry. The Government should not show any mercy to those elements who want to push a potentially strong Kashmir economy and culture into the stone age. The new generation in Kashmir does not want to be hired for terrorism but wants peace, family life and jobs. Kashmir has world-famous handicrafts, a strong horticulture market and a healthy tourism sector. People there do not want this economy to vanish into smoke. Besides, its talented youth make for an incredible human resource in the country with their scientific temperament. A sensible handling of the Kashmir issue is the need of the hour. The Supreme Court has rightly directed State Governments to prevent violence against Kashmiri youth after the Pulwama attack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, has said the fight is against terrorism and not against Kashmiris. The government should pinpoint the religious ideologues who suppress the sane voices in Kashmir and hold them hostage to their beliefs.

The country has to create the right environment and set admirable governance standards so that vulnerable people can earn their bread with self-respect, which is the core strength of any country. Both India and Pakistan should internalise that sound socio-economics is the key to growth and prosperity. Both the nations are victims of greedy politico-global traders.