Opinion: Exploitation of Women and Juveniles in Terrorism, A Disturbing Trend In Kashmir
Recent reports highlighting the involvement of women, girls, and juveniles in carrying weapons and messages for terrorist activities in Pakistan's Kashmir region have raised significant concerns. Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla, the General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, shed light on this alarming trend, exposing the dangerous strategies employed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and terror group leaders. This editorial aims to examine the implications of using vulnerable individuals for terrorist activities and the need for concerted efforts to counter such tactics.
Lt Gen Aujla's revelation about the increasing involvement of women, girls, and juveniles in terrorism underscores a distressing development. As traditional means of communication decline among terrorists, these groups have resorted to exploiting the vulnerability of women and minors as carriers of messages, drugs, and even weapons. This emerging trend presents a grave concern for the security forces and demands immediate attention.
The decline in mobile communication usage among terror groups, as explained by Lt Gen Aujla, can be attributed to successful intelligence and security operations that have disrupted their networks. As a result, terrorists have turned to women, girls, and juveniles as alternative couriers to ensure the flow of information and resources. This shift highlights the adaptability and resilience of these groups in the face of counterterrorism measures.
In addressing the challenges posed by terrorism, Lt Gen Aujla emphasized the importance of the "Sahi Rasta" program as a significant component of the deradicalization strategy in Kashmir. This program, implemented in collaboration with the Union Territory administration, has played a crucial role in achieving peace and stability in the region. However, Lt Gen Aujla stressed the need to consolidate the gains made so far and cautioned against complacency.
While progress has been made in countering terrorism in Kashmir, Lt Gen Aujla acknowledged the ongoing challenges posed by neighboring countries, particularly Pakistan. Recent infiltration attempts in the Machil sector highlight the persistent efforts of hostile elements to disrupt peace in the region. In response, all security agencies, along with the Union Territory administration, remain prepared to counter any malicious intentions.
Despite these challenges, Lt Gen Aujla expressed confidence in the progress made against terrorism in Kashmir. The decrease in terror attacks and encounters between security forces and terrorists signifies a positive development toward peace and normalcy. However, the battle against the "invisible form of terrorism" continues, demanding collaborative efforts to eradicate it entirely.
Lt Gen Aujla emphasized the importance of sustaining the shift in local sentiments away from violence. Building trust between the population, security forces, and relevant government agencies is crucial in consolidating peace and ensuring long-term stability. By adopting people-friendly operations and aligning with the changing security environment, a new normal of peace can be established in Kashmir.
The exploitation of women, girls, and juveniles by Pakistan's ISI and terror group leaders as carriers of messages and weapons underscores the evolving nature of terrorism. Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla's revelations serve as a wake-up call, demanding immediate action to counter this disturbing trend. While progress has been made in Kashmir, challenges remain, requiring continued vigilance and collective efforts. The commitment to national security and the preservation of peace must remain the utmost priority for all stakeholders involved.