A sage advice – no politics over terrorism in J&K

By Sahil Mahajan 

Veteran leader and DPAP  chairman  Ghulam Nabi Azad has  offered a sage advice that politics should not be played over terrorism. He was speaking against the backdrop of the terror attacks that have stained the soil of Rajouri-Poonch in the recent months , particularly since April 20 when five soldiers were killed in Poonch and later on May 5, when five more were killed. It is a sensible advice that all political parties and others must heed to help the security forces to trace terrorists and neutralize them. The political slugfest  on the acts of terror  muddles the waters . The discourse, in which  questions are raised  not to address the sensitivities and sensibilities of the situation , but to play  blame game and to put ball in each other’s court , dilutes the  focus,  of fighting terrorism  In this era of social media, each and every word travels everywhere and to everyone, the security forces too live and operate in this environment.

It  is a fact, which the countrymen and  the people in J&K know  very well  that Pakistan is behind all these terror attacks, and these are manifestation of the sinister designs  of  the neighboring country to cause troubles  in this territory. This time  it has chosen Rajouri-Poonch region  with  so many of its  designs  in mind. Among other  things, it is reasonable to presume that Pakistan is not unaware of the political dynamics in the country, and also within J&K .Therefore, any  politicization of the terror attacks goes  on to help the enemy, it doesn’t serve the national interest .

Terror attacks have their own dynamics. In places like Jammu and Kashmir, these have the dimensions which  cannot be understood so easily. Each and every terror attack in any of the parts of this Union Territory  resonates all over. These have the capacity, as these are  designed too,  to instill a sense of fear among the people . Injecting fear among the minds of the people, disrupting their daily routines , and changing their lifestyles are the underlying sinister objectives of the  perpetrators of  acts of terror. It is more so, in J&K , which has seen  and experienced various waves of terrorism in the past over 30 years. It doesn’t want to fall back upon the dark days again. Pakistan is having other plans . Islamabad is executing those with extreme ferocity in Rajouri and Poonch  areas, where 19 – 10 of them soldiers – have been killed since the beginning of this year.

After the terror attacks, and after the recent ones,  two narratives  hostile to each other, criss-cross. One is that of the BJP that  apart from blaming Pakistan and vowing revenge to Pakistan and terrorists, also charges the previous governments and other parties of being sympathetic to  terrorists. The purpose is to show and assert that the saffron party is the only one  fighting terrorists, others are shown  to be indifferent if not complicit. BJP as a ruling party in the country and controlling all levers of governance has a special  responsibility  of talking about such  incidents and generating the narrative thereof. 

he opposition parties, on the other hand, as has been seen and heard  all these years, particularly since August 2019, a month that redefined the status of J&K and its boundaries, appear to be pouncing on the government, accusing it of spreading fake narratives of peace having returned to the territory. They use these  terror attacks to lash out at the government. The parties, including Congress, National Conference, and PDP,  mock the narrative of peace having come to J&K permanently. They, as opposition parties, have the right to criticize the government on political and policy issues, but on terrorism, there should be restraint. The terror attacks don’t affect the government or the ruling party or parties  only, they are dangerous to the whole of the system. The terrorism, all the parties should understand is  not all about the gunfire  and the bomb blasts. It is a much greater menace  which calls for a collective response shorn of  the divisive political rhetoric. It is here that the advice of not playing games on terrorism should be heard and acted upon. There is no other  alternative to fight terrorism  and to usher in an era of peace, which is permanent. J&K needs it more than any other place .