02 November 2011

The Beneficiaries of Terrorism in Kashmir

Bangalore: The troubled situation in Jammu and Kashmir is making it the favored ground for bandits and criminals as they are increasingly indulging in abducting people for money, raping, and using mafia practices under the cover of the 'terrorist movement' in the valley, says the latest report by the 'Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir'.

This is a lucrative industry (for criminals) and under the present circumstances, it is easy to blame the security forces of all crimes that are committed, says the report. "They are abducting people for money, raping, murdering, extorting money, using mafia practices, etc. under the cover of the movement," the report said.

The Belgium-based organization led by think-tank Paul Beersmans visited the troubled valley and met representatives from various sections of the society including people from the J&K State Government, separatist leaders, political parties and different organizations before preparing this report. The team met separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Bilal Lone, Abdul Gani Bhat and major political leaders from different parties in the state.

The report condemned the Islamic fundamentalist organizations and said such organizations, supported 'from across the border', operating in J&K State, have their own agenda. For them the Kashmir-issue is an occasion, a motive, a cover-up for spreading their ideas. "They have nothing to do with a genuine nationalist movement. In their eyes, a secular, democratic approach is not a solution and even if one presumes that a solution could be worked out between India and Pakistan, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiris, it is clear they will not stop their activities as the Kashmir-issue is not their final goal, it is just a phase," the report said.

"It's the security forces that are always blamed for any human rights violations in the state," says the report, citing the example of two sisters abducted by militants and shot dead in cold blood 'to teach them a lesson' and the report accused the separatist leaders for not being critical of this heinous crime.

It credits the Chief Minister of the State Omar Abdullah as a young man with a vision. He is honest, hard working, listens to the demands of the people and pays attention to their basic needs. However, it says his challenges are to eradicate corruption and improve the functioning of the administration, the educational system, health care, etc.