The Nadimarg Massacre

Md. Sadiq
10 April 2003

The massacre of 24 Kashmiri Pandits including 11 women and two children on March 24 at Nadimarg, Shopian, Pulwama district, shows that the Pak sponsored Jehadis are pursuing their own murderous course in J&K. The war in Iraq and the US force's engagement in Afghanistan have not distracted the Islamic terrorists from their terrible agenda. It is even possible that given the anger against the Americans among the militants in Pakistan, the terrorist groups are being encouraged by their sponsors in Islamabad to direct their wrath against the targets in Kashmir so that they can vent some of their spleen.

The attack on Kashmiri Pandits has followed the gunning down of the former HM leader Abdul Majid Dar, a moderate among the militants. It is possible that the Jehadis want to send the signal that there is no back tracking on their acts of vendetta and terror.

The killings have received world-wide condemnation with US and UK issuing a joint statement 'Pakistan should do its utmost to discourage any acts of violence by militants in Kashmir'. The statement was issued by US Secretary of State, Collin Powell and British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw on 27.3.2003 in Camp David (Washington).

The carnage may have dual purpose of the terrorists not only advertising their continued presence in the State but also to sabotage the Mufti Syed's govt. efforts to restore a semblance of normalcy in the strife torn State by applying the so-called healing touch.

There is probably a third purpose of fomenting communal tension both in the Valley and in the rest of India. The exodus of Pandits from Kashmir has fuelled much discontent directed against the minority among sections of Hindus. The latest tragedy, specially after the attempt made by the new state government to rehabilitate the Pandits in the Valley, will tend to confirm the belief in these sections that nothing has changed.

The Centre as well as the State government must now help this disenchantment to spread by taking head on terrorists' efforts to paralyze the process through violence and showing conclusively that they will wipe out terrorism, whatever be the cost. The importance of this is all the greater because Pakistan is liable to step up infiltration of terrorists into India with the advent of summer when the melting of snow will open up the new frozen passes through the high ranges along the LoC in J&K. To counter this, the security forces, besides heightening their vigilance along the LoC, must resume their pro-active approach and launch a massive campaign to locate and destroy hideouts of the terrorists who are already in India and who are clearly behind the recent outrages. India must consider ways to make Pakistan pay for cross-border terrorism.