Opinion | Bankrupt Pakistan Can Still Conduct Terror in Kashmir; India Must Be Vigilant – News18

Written By: Zeba Zoariah
Last Updated: March 09, 2024, 16:13 IST
New Delhi, India
Under Modi’s strategic leadership, Kashmir has witnessed a remarkable 75 per cent decline in terrorism-related incidents, the eradication of stone-pelting, and a record low in local terrorist recruitment. (Image: News18)
In a stunning display of priorities, Pakistan, the nation that seems to have mastered the art of financial acrobatics, recently welcomed its newly ‘elected’ (or should we say ‘selected’) Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. One might assume that in the face of a dire economic crisis, exacerbated by a seemingly insatiable appetite for IMF loans, Sharif would dedicate his inaugural speech to addressing the fiscal catastrophe gripping the country. But no, that would be too straightforward for the land of paradoxes.
Instead, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, the freshly minted leader chose to divert attention from the nation’s financial woes and, true to Pakistan’s well-established playbook, promptly shifted focus to the “terror exporting” state’s favourite topic: Kashmir. In a stunning display of strategic amnesia, Sharif proclaimed, and I quote, “Freedom for Kashmiris.” Because when you’re drowning in debt and your economy is on life support, naturally, the most pressing issue is to resurrect the done-and-dusted chapter of Kashmir.
One can’t help but marvel at Pakistan’s remarkable consistency in maintaining its image as the perennial beggar on the global stage. After all, as Sharif himself eloquently put it, “Today, when we go to any friendly country or make a phone call, they think we have come to beg for money. We have been wandering for the past 75 years carrying a begging bowl.” Bravo, Pakistan, for staying true to your diplomatic charm offensive playbook – one that seems to be stuck on the same, well-worn page for decades.
The so-called “freedom” that Pakistan champions in Kashmir is, in reality, fueled by an Islamist terror insurgency that has plagued the region since 1989. This campaign is spearheaded by notorious guerrilla groups that operate with impunity under Pakistan’s patronage. The main players in this disturbing drama include Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Lashkar-e-Taiba. These groups have been responsible for a wave of violence, aiming to destabilise the region and undermine the peace and security of Kashmir, India. It’s crucial to see through the rhetoric and recognise the true nature of these entities, which sow terror.
In the intricate landscape of Kashmir, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) takes the forefront, led by Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin. Their explicit goal is to sever ties with India and merge Kashmir into Pakistan. Concurrently, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) establishes connections with terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. JeM’s mission is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan, consistently stoking tension between the two neighbouring countries. Notably, LeT, infamous for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, aims to liberate Jammu and Kashmir from Indian control, adopting a disciplined Salafi-jihadist stance. In this high-stakes game, these groups collectively shape the turbulent fate of Kashmir.
Adding an ironic twist to the narrative, a Pew Research report unveils a perplexing sentiment among average Pakistanis regarding India and the terror conundrum. Despite claiming victimhood to terrorism, a significant portion seems to endorse a rather contradictory stance. The report highlights that in the Punjab province, two-thirds of residents view India as the greatest threat, surpassing figures from Sindh (49 per cent) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (44 per cent). It’s a head-scratcher – a country grappling with the consequences of terrorism also harbours a substantial portion viewing its neighbour as the primary menace. The irony runs deep in the land where narratives seem as tangled as the geopolitics they embody.
In the shadow of Pakistan’s contradictory stance on terrorism, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s rhetoric finds a striking counterpoint in the leadership of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Sharif perpetuates a narrative that endorses terrorism, Modi champions a vision of progress and peace in Kashmir that defies conventional expectations. Under Modi’s strategic leadership, Kashmir has witnessed a remarkable 75 per cent decline in terrorism-related incidents, the eradication of stone-pelting, and a record low in local terrorist recruitment.
Contrastingly, Pakistan’s propaganda machinery persists in its efforts to radicalise Kashmiri youth through social media, local influencers, and narcotics. As Modi proudly highlights milestones like the world’s highest rail bridge and Asia’s longest tunnel, Pakistan’s agenda seems rooted in a regressive desire to spread terrorism.
The dichotomy between the two leaders is further accentuated by the aftermath of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in August 2019. While India embraces an era of peace and prosperity, Pakistan struggles to maintain the impact of its diminishing propaganda. In this narrative, Modi’s commitment shines through – not a single child of lesser Allah in Kashmir has perished in stone-pelting over the past five years.
In the aftermath of the transformative decision to revoke Article 370 in 2019, Kashmir has witnessed a remarkable shift. Gone are the days of uncertainty and fear that once gripped the valley. Now, as the national flag proudly adorns the skyline, it serves as a beacon of newfound peace and freedom. People move about with a sense of security, even venturing out at night without trepidation. The transformation is palpable, echoing the sentiments of hope and progress that have taken root in the hearts of Kashmiri residents.
As residents of Kashmir express their optimism about Prime Minister Modi’s visit, citing improved conditions and a resurgence in tourism, it’s evident that Kashmir is on a path towards a brighter future.
As we revel in the positive transformations since August 5, 2019, it serves as a potent reminder of the stark contrast between India’s pursuit of peace and progress and Pakistan’s dark history that once sacrificed the innocent children of Kashmir for its nefarious terror cause. In celebrating life, we must remain vigilant to prevent any regression to the dark days of violence.
Backing my plea for caution with Pakistan are the stark facts. Let’s check their position on Kashmir.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), led by Nawaz Sharif, firmly insists on normalising ties with India only if New Delhi reverses unilateral measures from August 5, 2019, regarding Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) accuses India of sidestepping peaceful negotiations, highlighting actions on August 5, 2019, as contrary to legal protections for Kashmiris. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vows an unwavering commitment to championing the rights of Kashmiris and Palestinians, emphasising their right to self-determination. No compromise on these fundamental values; diplomacy becomes a vehicle for justice and fairness. Amidst this diplomatic dance, one thing remains clear: Pakistan’s rhetoric is as consistent as ever.
Ever wondered how the average Pakistani views Kashmir and India? According to Gallup & Gilani Pakistan, a whopping 54 per cent of Pakistanis believe they can solve the Kashmir issue during their lifetime. Quite an unrealistic delusion! Hold on, it gets wilder – 58 per cent of them are convinced that Pakistan has the divine right to Kashmir. It’s like they’ve got their own Bollywood drama playing out in real life!
But wait, there’s more. According to Pew Report, Pakistan’s younger generation seems to be taking a front-row seat in this drama, showing a higher likelihood of sympathising with all kinds of extremist groups. Imagine, students from a well-established university honing their social media skills to cheer on banned terrorist groups like LeT and JuD. It’s like they’re getting an MBA in Extremism 101.
And if that’s not sufficient, our very own External Affairs Minister, Jaishankar, articulated a profound perspective: “What Pakistan was attempting, not just recently but over several decades, was essentially to utilise cross-border terrorism to compel India to negotiate. That, in essence, was its core policy. We have rendered that strategy irrelevant by abstaining from participating in that game now.” Kudos to India for steering clear of Pakistan’s terror-driven tactics. It’s an intricate web of statistics and narratives out there, resembling the complexity of a Pakistani soap opera, with plot twists that are anything but subtle.
In the midst of the statistical spectacle, let’s not forget the sobering reality: Pakistan, despite its bankruptcy and political instability, still wields the terrifying power to conduct terror activities in Kashmir. India must remain vigilant and not let down its guard. While the numbers paint a vivid picture of Pakistan’s rhetoric, the potential for destabilising actions looms large. So, as we enjoy the statistical rollercoaster ride, let’s remember to keep our eyes peeled and our defences strong against any nefarious designs emanating from across the border.
Not to forget, former PTI government minister Fawad Chaudhury callously celebrated the Pulwama terror attack in the Pakistani National Assembly, stating, “Hindustan ko ghus ke maara (We hit India in their home). Our success in Pulwama is a success of the people under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and we are all part of that success.” The chilling statement highlights a disturbing lack of empathy for the lives lost and exposes the depths some are willing to go to for political gains. Do not forget!
As Modi extends his congratulations to Shehbaz Sharif on becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan, his message echoes a shared desire for peace and stability in the region, free from the shackles of terror. The citizens of India, cognizant of the historic peace revolution led by Modi in Kashmir, stand united. We are committed to ensuring that Pakistan does not, even remotely, drag Kashmir back into the dark and tragic terror years that plagued the region from 1989 to 2019. The pursuit of lasting peace remains a collective endeavour, and we are steadfast in safeguarding the hard-earned progress in the region.
In Islamabad, the quest for the liberation of Kashmir is seen as a sacred mission, much like the vision of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Besides its historical significance, Kashmir serves domestic interests by diverting frustrations, rallying support from Islamist parties and the military, and providing access to Central Asian markets. Thus, let’s not forget the crucial lesson from the tumultuous tale of India and Pakistan.
Despite the incredible gains post the historic decision on August 5, 2019, where not one child of lesser Allah has perished in stone-pelting and the Indian state under Modi has dismantled intellectual ideologues and the separatist industry, the threat lingers. Pakistan, with its nefarious motives, seeks to reverse these hard-fought victories. So, ordinary Indians and the Indian state, keep your guard even higher, for the battle for peace and progress continues.
Stay vigilant, as the echoes of history remind us that safeguarding the gains of the present is our collective responsibility.
The author is a practising advocate. She writes articles on women’s rights, politics and law. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views.


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