Indian media announced that special forces troops from the Indian Army, Navy, & Air Force have been deployed in Kashmir to carry out joint counter-terrorist operations. The joint operations will be launched in an unnamed area the Indian Army considers a ‘traditional terror hotbed near Srinagar’. Most of the one-million troops already deployed in Kashmir are considered counter-insurgency trained so it’s not clear how the special forces troops will differ except perhaps in more aggressive & brutal hunt to kill operations & in increasing the danger for Kashmiri civilians. One media report said they will be “practicing assault on strategic enemy positions & taking back captured areas.” You’d think they were talking about a war zone with an opposing army rather than an occupation zone with one million troops to eight million unarmed civilians locked down in their homes.
This terrorist-fighting military operation is grandstanding, intended mainly for propaganda purposes as well as more fascistic social control of Kashmir. In 2016, credible Kashmiri activists reported there were about 150 armed militants still operating in Kashmir & they were already extremely isolated. Since then, India has conducted several hunt to kill operations almost daily, boasting about the number of militants they killed. They didn’t cite that most of those killed were unarmed civilians, that livestock were destroyed, or that family homes were razed to the ground. But if the Indian government’s own statistics are to be believed, in the past three years they’ve killed all of the armed militants & most of the imaginary ones.
Terrorism is not a problem in Kashmir except the Indian Army terrorism of abducting, torturing, jailing small children, of arresting up to 30,000 civilians for having an opinion about Azadi, of forcibly disappearing up to 10,000 men & boys, of using mass rape as a weapon of war, of using pellet guns against unarmed protesters to blind, disable, disfigure, demoralize thousands. India will continue to link the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination with the ‘war on terror’ & all the rubbish about ‘Wahhabi/Salafi al-Qaeda affiliated jihadism’. We must oppose this rubbish with contempt & with every political weapon we have but especially by standing steadfast with the Kashmiri movement for self-determination.
Our chief demand must be for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all Indian troops. Get the hell out of Kashmir, lock, stock, & barrel.
(Photo of Indian special forces from ANI News, rightwing Indian media)