This summer would definitely see a turnaround in the power of Pakistan-backed terrorists in Kashmir. Going by the relentless hot pursuit of terrorists by the security forces this year, it’s clear that terrorism is nearing its end, even though Pakistan would try to revive it at any cost. The point to be noted is that security forces are getting good information about the presence of holed in terrorists be it in congested alleys of downtown Srinagar or in the Alpines forests of Kupwara. Make no mistake, the information comes from local people, who obviously are wary of the intentions and machinations of the terrorists after so much of bloodshed. Srinagar downtown is a nightmare for any force to launch an operation against terrorists without causing heavy collateral damage. Yet our security forces managed to kill two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists and save all the locals. It’s indeed commendable. Very few forces would even think of starting a firefight in such a thickly populated and congested area where houses are multi-storied and mostly made of wood.

However, the forces have to be wary of the propagandists and those spreading fake news about the successes of counter-terrorism operations. The trapped terrorists who were eventually killed were using old tactics of summoning a mob to pelt stones on the security at the encounter site to enable them to escape the cordon. The recorded call from one of them to an over ground worker to this effect was quite revealing. Pakistan, on the other hand, is trying to send trained terrorists who are infected with COVID-19 to Kashmir for obvious reasons. Besides, all wings of government and public have to be aware of the terrorists attempts to disrupt the battle against COVID-19 by creating public unrest. Pakistan’s other strategy is to float a new name for the terrorist organizations active in Kashmir so to create a smokescreen on its role in fomenting trouble in Kashmir. The idea is to give a secular name to Kashmir’s terrorism so that Pakistan can wash its hands off its documented and known role in terrorism in the Valley.