It is of lesser significance that the substantial seizures during the raids against the funding of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir puncture another myth in the demonetisation fanfare ~ that terrorism would be starved of financial backing.
What is of greater significance is that the raids conducted by the National Investigation Agency point to the injection of some “grey matter” into the counter-productive, escalatory, bullet-for-bullet strategy recently favoured by the NDA government: and implemented by an Army leadership that erroneously clings to the belief that there is a “military solution” to what has vexed the nation since Independence.
The raids in several parts of the Valley, New Delhi and its satellite cities confirm that a widespread, fairly efficient funding mechanism has been functioning for a considerable period.
Little point would be served in raising questions about why the crackdown was not initiated earlier: it is important to stress that there must be no relaxation after the raids have yielded their headlines and political dividends, and various financial probe agencies are drafted into the exercise.
Any choking of money flowing to terrorists or militants will hamper their nefarious activity ~ be it in J-K or the Maoist corridor. Sustaining the NIA drive will hurt the separatists’ campaign, as is evident from the strong reaction from the All Party Hurriyat Conferece: it will have to devise new systems to keep its poison flowing.
Both wings of North Block must join forces and keep up the pressure, break down the links between the militants and the common folk suffering economic hardship. It would, however, be incorrect to assume that the resentment to the “state” in the Valley is fuelled by a desire to have access to easy money.
Sure money did play a part in enabling the effective use of social media to spread anti-national propaganda, yet it would be self-deception and “suicidal” to think that the young men and women who pelt stones at the security forces are doing so only for pocket-money.
They have both aspirations and frustrations, some firmly believe their religion is under “threat” ~ and not just in J-K. Conventional methods of “reaching out”, activating back channels etc have hardly worked because there is no comprehensive policy, so no workable action-plan.
Cutting the financial supply line is not enough, like military action it can only provide a little breathing space. Such space has been created in the past, never utilised.
The Modi government is unlikely to muster the political courage to admit it, but its J-K policy is as ineffective as the UPA’s. The home minister claims to have a game-plan, little of it is visible.
And the manner in which BJP leaders use television to project every Kashmiri as a Pakistan-lover will thwart anything that Rajnath Singh may have in mind.