For last one week, Kashmir has been waking up to the horrible news of killings every morning. As security forces are in hot pursuit of militants, the Valley is witnessing killing of young militants almost on daily basis.
Ironically, 13 militants have been killed in last 4 days alone. 11 of them identified as local youth who had taken up to arms in recent times. 16 year old Yawar Nisar who was killed during a gunfight at Kanelwan Bijbehara had been in the militant ranks for barely 10 days.
Even on the other front, several security personnel lost their life in these gunfights and several others sustained injuries. Besides, the civilian causalities too were on the higher side leaving many a families devastated for life.
This includes the family of Firdous Ahmad Khan of Hakripora, who left a two year old daughter and a young pregnant wife behind. Similarly, Akkel Ahmad From Shopian Village too left his widow mother and two siblings behind. Like Firdous, Akeel was also the lobe bread earner for his family.
These developments apart, what seems worrisome is that ill trained youth who have taken up arms, surely are no match to the force and training of the security agencies and in the process of this imbalanced confrontation, these young boys are getting consumed. It can be argued that the developing situation calls for a strategy rethink from all the involved parties.
As death and destruction is fast gaining momentum in the Valley, it is time for everyone involved to take a step back and assess the situation, its underlying reasons and implications.
While militant and separatist leadership must intervene to ensure that we don’t loose our future in these young boys, the establishment must ensure that the dejected youth must be given a reason to be hopeful about life. The killing of Yawar Nisar should be a point for the present dispensation to ponder over. Yawar was the first youth after almost 12 years from Old Town Anantnag to opt for picking up the gun.
All these needs to be understood, but first the political question of Kashmir must be accepted and a mechanism for meaningful political engagement should come into play.
Given the record of broken promises, there would be only few takers of the rhetoric of concern and intent of political engagement from New Delhi, but that must not be an impediment in the process of actualization of such a process.
Neither New Delhi, nor Kashmir can afford a long drawn impasse.