Pakistan's support to separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir has been an open secret, even as the neighbouring country continues to deny it.
Pakistan’s support to separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir has been an open secret, even as the neighbouring country continues to deny it. However, in the last 7-8 months, especially after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in July, 2016, Indian forces have been facing a peculiar problem of stone pelters.
Whenever Indian soldiers start an operation against terrorists in any part of Kashmir, a large number of local youth start pelting stones at the soldiers to obstruct their way. When the stone pelting incidents had increased after Wani’s death last year, Indian soldiers were forced to use counter methods to defend themselves as well as to stop the protesters. The soldiers had started replying with pellet guns in which hundreds of Kashmiri youth were injured. Hundreds of soldiers were also injured. Terror groups in Pakistan, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and some sections of liberal Indian civil society groups accused the Indian forces of civil rights violation.
Amidst criticism, Indian soldiers started refraining from using pellet guns but the stone pelting incidents have not stopped. Several Indian soldiers have been injured and many lost their lives in the process. It has now been confirmed that the stone pelters are paid for obstructing Indian Army operations by Pakistan-based groups who coordinate with the local youth via social media apps like Whatsapp and Facebook. An India Today sting operation had recently exposed the entire stone-pelting business at the behest of Pakistani terrorist groups.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also talked about it in detail in Parliament today when asked about the “very grave” situation in Jammu and Kashmir by Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy.
Here is the full text of Rajnath Singh speech in Parliament today where he exposed how Pakistani groups are trying to destabilise India by inciting Kashmiri youth:
“Not only the House, the entire country is aware of the fact that Pak-sponsored infiltrators and Pak-sponsored terrorists are trying to create an atmosphere of terror in Jammu and Kashmir. And I believe that they not only want to create an atmosphere of terror in Jammu and Kashmir, or they are not only trying to destabilise Jammu and Kashmir, but they are trying to destabilise the entire country.
“I want to inform the House, and we should be proud of it Deputy Chairman, that the way the terrorists should be responded to, our soldiers are giving them reply in the same way, in the same language.
“A new trend has started in the last few months. Deputy speaker, the trend is this that whenever our soldiers start an operation, some youth from the villages come and start pelting stones on the security forces. But I believe, that our Kashmiri youth, who do stone pelting, are being misled by some Pak-sponsored sources.
“I want to appeal to the youth of Kashmir to please don’t get misled by Pakistan, they are regularly trying to destabilise India. I also want to inform the House that this crowd (of stone pelters) are assembled by some Pakistan-based groups with the help of social media applications like Whatsapp and Facebook. All of these are used. I want to say it again that the groups, which use social media for this, are based in Pakistan only.
“I also want to say, as far as terrorism is concerned, the way terrorism should be responded to, our soldiers are dealing with them in the same way and they will keep doing that in future also. And I want to say that will definitely become successful.”