Editorial: Need To Fight Terrorism On All Fronts

Editorial: Need To Fight Terrorism On All Fronts

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, July 09, 2024, 11:28 PM IST
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The recrudescence of violence in Jammu and Kashmir highlights the ongoing struggle for peace in the two Union Territories. On Monday, terrorists attacked an Indian Army vehicle in Kathua district, resulting in the deaths of five Army personnel. This attack bore similarities to an incident in December 2023, where four soldiers were killed in an ambush on an Army vehicle. It is hard to dismiss the possibility that this attack was a reaction to the recent killing of eight people, including six terrorists, in Kulgam district. A Defence Ministry spokesperson has asserted that Monday’s attack will not go “unavenged”. The state is duty-bound to bring to justice those responsible for the soldiers’ deaths and their collaborators. However, words like “revenge” and “avenge” should be avoided, as they may cast the government in a needlessly negative light.

There is no doubt that terrorist incidents have been on the rise in J&K. In June alone, several such incidents were reported, including one that coincided with Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as Prime Minister for a third term. These incidents underscore that the fight against terrorism, which began in 1989, continues in various forms. Although there has been a temporary lull in terrorism for several reasons, it is erroneous to conclude that it has been eradicated. Terrorism has no place in a civilised society, and any measures to end it are welcome. At the same time, there must be a realisation that terrorism also needs to be attacked on various fronts, including the ideological.

Those who viewed the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution as a solution in itself may have missed the broader context. If it had been a genuinely popular measure, the ruling BJP would not have faced difficulties in contesting and winning the three Lok Sabha seats in the Valley. Additionally, the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories lacked political and constitutional legitimacy. The promise to restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, with appropriate autonomy for the Ladakh region, remains unfulfilled. There is an urgent need to initiate the political process in J&K so that the people can govern themselves within the boundaries of the Constitution. The fight against terrorism must be complemented by the restoration of democracy. By combining robust counter-terrorism measures with a genuine commitment to democratic principles and political engagement, there is hope for a more peaceful and stable Jammu and Kashmir.

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