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 NSA Doval’s new doctrine on Kashmir; breathe in pure Indian air

23/06/2022 at 7:26 PM

AJit Doval

Arun Joshi

National Security Advisor  Ajit Doval has anchored a  new doctrine, with minor modifications on the original one ,  on Kashmir ; government will go after terrorism and terrorism till it is finished.  He  signaled that there was something more at stake , shaping the public opinion rooted in the day-to-day lives of the people  whose aspirations for a normal life were getting realised , with an all-out offensive against   Pakistan sponsored terrorists and terrorism , and also with the new hopes and confidence dotting the landscape following the August 2019 constitutional changes .And he believes that this end-result would be visible in next few months .The newness of  this  rulebook  comes from the events and analysis of the situation  in  post -Article 370 abrogation of August 2019 .

Two fundamental points that NSA made are quite significant : ( a )  Kashmiris  are not in favour of terrorism and Pakistan , ( b) the dark pages of  shutdowns  and disruptions in life have been replaced  by the bright ones scripted with new hopes and future.

In the context of Kashmir  that has been battling terrorism since 1990 , it is important to understand the genesis of  terrorism . It arrived in the Vale  from across the Line of Control  or LoC that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan and its  support base  among sections  in the Valley . The optics and voices in 1990 gave an unmistakable impression that the  guns  in the hands of terrorists had the support of “ Azadi” slogan shouting crowds in streets . What emerged out of the scenes of blood spilled by guns and the endorsement of this   violent campaign  through anti-India demonstrations in streets, civil curfews and frequent calls for shutdowns , was the convergence of local support to gun and gun culture , though it pierced centuries-old ethos of Kashmir.

What  Ajit Doval has spotlighted in his interview with ANI  news agency  on Tuesday  is  the change in the mood of the people in Kashmir ; they  don’t favour terrorism and Pakistan anymore . .It needs a contrast of events to understand the real import of what the NSA is saying .  The change in the mood of the  people in Kashmir has come after they got the clear message that the world as changed post August 2019 when the constitutional changes , doing away with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its  exclusive privileges , were effected .It drove home the point that if the government can undo  what existed for decades , it could do anything . This firmness of the message with undiluted clarity , made  Kashmiris to see their future in the redefined  constitutional parameters – Kashmir , like the rest of the country, will  be governed by one constitution  of India only , for with the abolition of Article 370  separate flag and constitution were declared dead and buried.

When all these changes took place , Kashmir watched  the helplessness of Pakistan at the international arena, where even Islamic nations ,  operating under the .banner of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC) did not speak against the constitutional changes . Pakistan was left as a loner . There was inner realization that Pakistan, which itself is suffering from an isolation in the global scenario, cannot do anything for Kashmiris . Now this point has been further reinforced after  the influential voices from Pakistan  demanded that their country should open dialogue  and trade with India , stepping aside the issue of Kashmir. The most recent addition to this pragmatic thinking  was foreign minister Bilawal Zardari Bhutto’s assertion that Pakistan can end its global isolation by  fostering ties with India . He  saw the route to ties through “ engagement and trade.”

So,  the thinking has changed , “ if Pakistan  is keen on ending its isolation by engaging with India , why shouldn’t  they  as Indian citizens  not take advantage of  opportunities that have come their way with the removal of all the constitutional  barriers . They  were already getting convinced  that terrorism is  becoming biggest enemy of theirs in all senses of the  word . This change is crucial for the Indian  nation- one , it came about after the August 5, 2019 decisions , secondly  yearning of a vast majority of Kashmiris for peace and normalcy in their lives . Tourist arrivals – more than one million in this year so far  offers a glimpse of  the bright path . Tourism  in Kashmir is integral to the economy and social ethos of Kashmir , as also it makes a political statement , though few don’t agree, that it denotes a connect of the place and people with the rest of the country . It is more than one-time affair. It lays  foundation for  future relationship , and the word of mouth of tourists about Kashmiri people is multi-billion dollar advertisement for the Valley , many times ahead of the official publicity .

Doval was candid about the targeted killings , especially of Kashmiri Pandits , who he termed as one among the vulnerable sections in Kashmir. But with an all-out offensive against terrorism , he has reinforced  hope of their rehabilitation in the land of  their ancestors , from which they were separated in 1990 . In short , Doval ‘s new doctrine , which is a slight  improvisation of his original one , is a recipe for making Kashmir a better place to live in and breathe Indian air.

About the Author:

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, and The Tribune. He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with those of prameyanews.com.

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