18 January, 2021

Jehad Spillover

Local militancy is at its lowest ebb. The foreign mercenaries—some trained in Osama Bin Laden's camps—have taken over the Kashmir cause.

Jehad Spillover

IN downtown Srinagar, where the anti-India refrain is still shrill, the new heroes of the liberation movement are no longer the rugged, gun-toting homegrown 'freedom fighters'. The jehad or the holy war, the committed tell you, will be fought—and won—by "motivated fighters", from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Mast Guls of the trade. With the Kashmiri militant losing stock fast for having failed in the azadi struggle, all talk veers around the never-seen-but-much-talked-about foreign militant who is keeping insurgency alive in the Valley, and spreading systematic terror through the slaughter of innocents.

Indeed, if foreign mercenaries hadn't made a beeline for Kashmir, senior army and police officers say the Valley would have attained an even greater level of normalcy than it is enjoying now. Observes a commandant of an army battalion close to Anantnag: "All it takes is a strike on a soft target for the peace to be disturbed. The foreign mercenaries who are holed up in their hideouts in the mountains come down every now and then and kill someone or...



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