New labels for old terrorists

K. P. S. Gill writes

The Muttahida (United) Jehad Council (MJC), which was shifted from Islamabad to Muzzafarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in order to assert the pretence of its ‘autonomy’, has been reorganized; component terrorist groups have been instructed by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to drop the expressions jehad, lashkar, jaish or mujahiddeen in their names in order to project a ‘secular political’ rather than Islamist image. As a result, three new ‘alliances’ have emerged: the Kashmir Resistance Forum (KRF); the Kashmir Freedom Forum (KFF); and the Hizb-ul-Mujahideeen (HM). The Hizb alone has been permitted to retain the ‘mujahiddeen’ in its name, since it is projected as an ‘indigenous’ Kashmiri group, as against the others, which are dominated by Pakistani and other foreign mercenaries…

The steady losses inflicted on the terrorist leadership have enormously affected operational capacities, and also brought pressure on ‘overground’ organisations, including factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) as well as a number of ‘human rights’ fronts to orchestrate systematic political campaigns, agitations, and judicial actions to blunt security force operations.
[South Asia Intelligence Review/SATP]

I agree with the view that the changed nature of the game has led terrorists and their sympathisers to increasingly abuse India’s democratic system and institutions to further their cause. But that is a leading indicator that the endgame is in sight.

If this means that the security forces may be unfairly targeted in the media, there are always people like Mr Gill who will step in to set the record right. Public horror on the excesses of power by security forces does not imply a lack of popular will to fight terrorism. In time, the advocates and perpetrators of terror will stand exposed, and hopefully punished.

The security forces should not be held back from their mopping up operations. If there are complaints of human rights abuses, these should be investigated and their perpetrators punished. Both scaling back counter-terrorist operations and sweeping allegations of human rights abuses under the carpet are flawed, dishonest responses that only demonstrate a lack of political resolve.