Home Opinions Kashmir 'conditional ceasefire' : Has the Narendra Modi government learnt nothing from the past?

Kashmir ‘conditional ceasefire’ : Has the Narendra Modi government learnt nothing from the past?

A wise man once remarked, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” With every passing day, British historian and philosopher, Arnold Toynbee’s words appear more and more appropriate not just for Europe but for India as well. It appears as days go by, we have lost the will necessary to survive and secure for our children and their children a future where they can thrive and prosper.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has instructed the Security Forces not to launch any operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan to ensure that Muslims can observe their festival in a peaceful environment while reserving the right to retaliate.

Our politicians may preach that terrorism has no religion. However, their actions and policies prove beyond any reasonable doubt that terrorism indeed has a religion and much of their policies are formed based on the constant fear that our actions, however necessary and just, may provoke a certain section of the population to take up arms against the nation. One is forced to ask how would operations conducted to eliminate terrorists disturb peace-loving Muslims from observing their sacred month and if certain people are indeed disturbed by operations conducted to eliminate terrorists, are they really peace loving?

- Ad - - article resumes -

History repeats itself, it is oft said, but people conveniently choose to forget that history repeats itself not because the entire universe is conspiring to make it happen so but because people do not learn from the events of the past and are even arrogant enough to believe they shall not suffer from similar consequences if they indulge in similar proclivities as those men who suffered the same in the past. A ceasefire during Ramzan has quite obviously been tried in the past as well. And the person to give it a try was, of course, another NDA Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Mr Vajpayee did get a lot of things right but the decision to pursue a ceasefire during Ramzan was not one of them.

Such ceasefires basically mean that the security forces have the right to retaliate when attacked but don’t initiate operations.

In the two months preceding the ceasefire from the 27th of November, 2000, 151 civilians had been killed as a consequence of the violence in the state. However, in the month of Ramzan, 96 civilians had died as a consequence. While 119 members of the security forces had died between September 26 to November 27, between November 28 to December 27 (Ramzan), 56 security-men had been murdered. Thus, there was hardly any decline whatsoever in the murder of security men during Ramzan and seemingly an increase in the deaths of civilians.

The ceasefire was eventually extended until May 31st, 2001. During the period between January 1st to May 31st, 233 security men and 445 civilians were killed and for the remainder of the year without any ceasefire in place, 389 security men and 627 civilians were killed (the numbers are provisional for the post-ceasefire period). Remarkably, while the terrorists suffered only 543 casualties during the ceasefire period in 2001, the number went up to 2094 for the post-ceasefire period (the numbers are provisional for the post-ceasefire period). Thus, there was a significant increase in the number of civilians killed during the month of Ramzan without any significant decrease during the post-ceasefire period. There was hardly any decrease in the casualties suffered by security forces as well during the ceasefire in Ramzan. However, the only thing that decreased during the ceasefire was the number of terrorists eliminated which dropped significantly during Ramzan and again increased remarkably post the ceasefire period which ended in May the following year.

The terrorists appear to be mocking the government’s decision of a ceasefire already. Within one and a half hour of ceasefire announcement by the government of India, terrorists have already targeted security forces in Shopian.

Moreover, terrorist attacks appear to increase during Ramzan. ISIS, for instance, has urged its supporters to commit more attacks during Ramzan and often called it the “holy month of Jihad”. A consequence of it has been the fact that in recent years, Ramzan has easily been the bloodiest part of the year. Most significantly, there is no evidence to suggest that the terrorists confine themselves to performing only acts of piety during the month while every shred of evidence suggests that terrorists do seek to commit acts of terrorism during the period. At a time when reports have emerged of ISIS gaining ground in Kashmir, does it really make any sort of sense for the government to tie arms of the security forces behind their back? And especially since there is not the slightest indication that their goodwill gesture will be reciprocated.

Negotiations can only be successful when both sides are clear about the intent behind it and the reasons to commit to such negotiations. When one side perceives a ceasefire as a goodwill gesture and the other a sign from above that their enemies are cowering before them and see it as a reaffirmation of the righteousness of their path, negotiations are fated to fail from the very beginning. The current ceasefire will suffer the same fate and only succeed in giving the terrorists enough time to recuperate and reorganize after they have suffered a series of heavy losses at the hands of the Indian Army.

A ceasefire is called between two conventional Army’s of two sovereign nations. Not between the Army and terrorists. Eliminating terrorists is the job of every sovereign nation and by furthering this “ceasefire” narrative the state unwittingly legitimises the skewed definition of peace that is oft repeated by Hurriyat, that the state is using ‘excess force’ and that use of such force is avoidable to maintain “peace”.

One wonders, what is the purpose of such a “ceasefire”? Many have said that perhaps this is a ploy to get the terrorists to lower their shields. Some have said that it is to reach out to the local population because the aim of Counter-Insurgency (COIN) is to reestablish the legitimacy of democratic government.

The aim of COIN is certainly to reinforce the legitimacy of democratically elected government and our Army’s COIN strategy is as good as any other country globally. ‘Operation Sadhbhavana’ is aimed at such a goal. The fact that the Army works hard to avoid civilian casualties and urges the terrorists to surrender rather than getting killed, is aimed towards that end. Who doesn’t remember the audio of a Major trying to convince Pakistani terrorist Abu Dujana to surrender? Who doesn’t remember the comfort with which the civilian, in whose house Dujana was holed up, spoke to the Army major? That is how legitimacy is restored. By instilling faith in the civilian population, that it is in their best interest to side with the state.

It is often theorised that the civilian population supports the side which can provide them with security. For example, if the terrorist presence is strong in a village, the villagers are likely to support terrorists. While if the Army presence is strong, and the civilians believe that the Army is equipped to provide them security in that village, they will support the army. Ergo, the way to win civilian trust is to let the Army do its job. Conduct aggressive operations to flush terrorists out, gain control of a village, thereby facilitating the process of trust between the civilian population and state.

The need to look for such ridiculous peace measures stem from two ailments. One is to not call out the Kashmir problem for what it really is. Islamic Jihad. And second, the urge of every single government to purport the cause of ‘benevolent state’. A benevolent state cannot fight the threat of radical Islam and that has to be understood not just by the government but even the population of the country on the whole.

The only saving grace appears to be the fact that the security forces reserve the right to retaliate and attack if necessary to protect the lives of the innocent.

Apart from this slim silver lining in the cloud, the decision does not bode well for anyone concerned.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

While the date of the recording is not clear, it can be inferred from above conversation that it took place sometime in July.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Barkha Dutt’s strange coincidences with a Kashmiri who wished death upon PM Modi and Amit Shah

Idrees ul Haq, with whom Barkha Dutt had a series of ‘coincidences’ is a known separatist sympathiser

Army veteran Surendra Poonia receives threats from Pakistan, files online complaint with cyber crime portal

Major Poonia shared screenshots of the threats he has been receiving as well as screenshot of message which said how an unknown number had threatened to character assassinate him and malign him.

Deplorable ‘journalists’ further Pakistan propaganda and undermine India: Why should their patriotism not be questioned

Indian 'journalists' and 'intellectuals' have taken up the mantle of peddling the Pakistan narrative on Kashmir it appears.
Shah Faesal was reportedly planning to approach ICJ over India’s decision to abrogate Article 370

IAS-turned-politician Shah Faesal was travelling to file case against India in the ICJ over Kashmir issue: Report

Shah Faesal was nabbed at the New Delhi International Airport on August 14 when he was trying to leave the country, reportedly, to Turkey

Here is why Shobhaa De could be first in a long list to be exposed by Pakistan

India’s stand on abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and dilution of Jammu and Kashmir from a state to a Union Territory has dropped the baby of pretence.

Purported email screenshots of Kavita Krishnan’s team show them discussing use of retired judges and ex-military officers for Kashmir propaganda

Purported screenshots of internal emails of urban naxals are being circulated on social media

After the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan Minister expresses angst over Rahul Gandhi not winning 2019 elections

After abrogation of Article 370 by the Modi government, Congress and Pakistan seem to have found an ideological soulmate in each other
Shehla Rashid bats for Armed insurgency in Kashmir

Career-protester-turned-politician Shehla Rashid downplays terrorism in Kashmir, calls legitimate action by India ‘state terrorism’ instead

According to Shehla Rashid, India has been inflicting atrocities on Kashmiris since 1953
PM Modi's debut on Man vs Wild becomes most viewed show worldwide with 3.6 billion impressions, leaving Super Bowl behind

PM Modi’s debut on Man vs Wild becomes most trending show worldwide with 3.6 billion impressions, leaving Super Bowl behind

The appearance of PM Modi on Discovery’s ‘Man vs Wild’ show with survivalist and adventurer Bear Grylls has garnered 3.6 billion impressions and counting.
Syed Akbaruddin addressed the media yesterday at the UN, affirmed that any decisions regarding Jammu and Kashmir is India's internal matter and if Pakistan wants any talks with India, it has to stop promoting terrorism first.

We do not need international busybodies to tell us how to run our lives, Pakistan using Jihad to promote violence: Syed Akbaruddin

"India is a vibrant democracy, we do not need international busybodies to tell us how to run our lives", India's ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

180,671FansLike
170,109FollowersFollow
89,077SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post