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How to salvage Kashmir? A multi-pronged initiative, with security and reform is needed - Learn from Israel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Dr.Yogesh Sharma | 07 May 2017

Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India. But that very part needs to quick legitimate worry cutting across partisan political divides, on the speed at which the Valley is going out of control.

It needs a quick and bold remedy. It is a very easy solution. A nation only needs bold leadership. But a multi-pronged plan, carefully planned and honestly implemented, is the urgent need of the hour. India must empower her security forces with modern firepower. The power and rights of our security forces in Kashmir must be immediately improved to avoid or minimise the frequent loss of lives of our soldiers and paramilitary personals. 

Most security experts agree that the strength of our army along the LoC is much less practical necessities. We need to raise the numbers by at least 35% to minimise the infiltration of terrorists and jehadis from across Pakistan and create a fear in the mind of Pakistan's for its frequent ceasefire violations. Similarly, the equipment and weaponry with our armed forces require quick upgrading. Better night vision devices, improved anti-infiltration systems, like laser rays and ground sensors guarded borders, and much forceful and penetrative surveillance by UAVs to crush the homegrown stone terrorists, are required immediately. 

India must learn from Israel to protect her boundaries and citizens. The territories above 12,000 feet have only mountains and have so many nullahs and rocky projections that make usual and existing wire fencing difficult and ineffective. In fact, during winter, the fencing at the LoC is covered by 10-20 feet of snow. Funds must be ready to regularly repair damaged fencing and anti-infiltration devices and strengthen the fragile boundary security around military installations and air bases to prevent the Pathankot and Kupwara type terror attacks. These recent attacks show to look in this direction urgently. 

An evaluation and strengthen of our entire intelligence system is also far needed urgently. The government of India must understand that only rising plane of violence in Kashmir cannot be controlled by securing the borders. Whereas there should not be any laxity in security, and premeditated and paid violence against the state, security personals and Hindus must be dealt with firmly. The government must also tackle their supporters and financiers, disguised as human right activists, journalists, intellectual, academicians etc, those are clearly anti-India and pro-Pakistani agents, or separatists should be identified, arrested and punished under the law. This would also include the Hurriyat leadership, separatists, Jihadis, stone pelters, religious fanatics and Wahabi elements, maulanas and maulvis. No mercy should be shown to such elements. No attempts should be made to talk with these elements, as has been attempted in the past. 

The design of such anti-national elements should be understood. Tactically alert states create a strong hidden network to identify such disruption-ists and obstructionists but here none seem to exist. The government should give heavy motivation and safety. Sections from within Kashmir's and outside Kashmir in the garb of civil society should be avoided and exposed. There is no need for any dialogue. There is a strong network of Hurriyat leaders, clerics, scholars and ulemas who are hand in glove with terror groups. Even student leaders are also with them and working for them as dreaded stone pelters. The key thing is to convey that the government is not going to tolerate the anti- national subversive activities. 

Kashmir is a very rich and prosperous state. It does not need any special economic package in the form of growth and investments for the creation of jobs. The troubled situation is created by the rich and powerful. The economy of Kashmir is controlled by the Muslim population and in most of the government departments, Muslims are in majority. So there is no so-called alienation Indians are natural entrepreneurs, and if given the proper incentives and environment, will surely give a positive response. So if the government repeals controversial Article-370 and provide security to non-Muslims, accompanied by strong guarantee and measures of security and protection to private entrepreneurs from across India, huge investment will come to Kashmir. 

Tough steps must be taken to prevent the wild Islamic fanaticism engulfing the entire state, especially the Valley for the last several decades. Mosques and madrasas, under fanatic Wahhabi, Salafi or Ahl-al-Hadith sway, have breaded in every village. Funds for this have come surreptitiously from several Islamic countries. With digital tracking of monetary transactions now routine, the time has come to cut off the bloody and illicit chain of this financial support. The government must be ruthless with such TV channels, imams, maulvis, maulanas etc. who are involved in this game of hate and death. Islam must be reformed as a secular, liberal, modern, tolerant, peace-loving, hate-free and non-violent faith. Kashmir needs Mustafa Kemal Ataturk type, a revolutionary reformist. 
Diplomacy must be tactically tough. Bilateral talks with Pakistan should not begin till it stops supporting the Kashmir terrorists to give a tough message to hardliners in the Valley that we do not care your master. India should also use the explosive situation in Baluchistan to her advantage. India can issue a threat to repeal the Indus Water Treaty and the Most Favoured Nation Status of Pakistan. At the same time, international pressure on Pakistan should be built, mainly that of America. In the last decade alone, the US has given approximately $25 billion to Pakistan in military and civilian assistant. President Donald Trump can be easily persuaded because he is very stern about acting against Islamic terrorism. This is the right time to convince him to correct the rogue nation Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's must talk to him as early as possible. 

Finally, but most importantly, BJP and other secular and patriotic groups must highlight the communal rhetoric of Muslims in India. Issues like the beef ban, cow protection, Yoga, Sanskrit etc., should not be used to unsettle majority community across the country. Attacks on Amarnath Yatra and Veshno Devi pilgrims in Kashmir by terrorists, jihadis and stone pelters are most reprehensible. The nation must denounce these attacks but it appears that Islamic groups believe such condemnation is purely cosmetic. The government should create more seats in universities in Kashmir for outside students, to bring Kashmir students in the national mainstream. Islamic evils like Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala, polygamy, Mutha, burqa, hijab, Sharia courts etc. must be banned and declared an offence under law. Appeasement of Muslims must be stopped. The government must tell the regional parties like PDP, NC, Hurriyat, etc. to shun their communal politics. They are responsible for all the mess. The central government act ruthlessly, like Israel now, and execute a complete plan to clear the mess.