Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has finally admitted that the governments much touted surrender and rehabilitation policy has got some flaws that are coming in the way of its smooth implementation. One would have felt better if he had mustered the courage to admit that the entire concept is flawed. Many eminent journalists and commentators have, for long, been saying what the chief minister has said
now. The surrender and rehabilitation policy has been written about extensively in a defence and security web portal www.defenceinfo.com amongst many others; it has also elicited a large number of opinion pieces by different writers carried by a number newspapers and periodical at the national and international level. The matter has been given particular attention by Jammu based newspapers. Some Srinagar based media that has the courage to call a spade a spade has also carried comments and opinions listing out the weakness in the policy. If good sense had prevailed upon the state government earlier on the basis of the sane advise carried in the columns then valuable time would have been saved and alternatives put in place to assist the misguided people of the state who are now stuck under the most pathetic circumstances across the line of control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
None of the commentators have denied the need to take all possible steps to get back and rehabilitate those who have realized the folly of having joined the terrorist movement sponsored from across the border. However, the matter is complex and the simplistic solutions offered by the government were more politically motivated than pragmatic. How, for instance, did the government expect the Pakistani government to agree to process? legally, the return of such misguided youth is not something that the Pakistanis can allow since they do not even accept the presence of such elements. There was never any question of a person coming in from the entry points earmarked by the government; this was known to everybody except the chief minister and the then home minister P Chdambaram. Why then did they stick to their highly impractical stand is anybody’s guess; it was probably politics all the way.
Surrender and rehabilitation is definitely not a new innovative idea mooted by Omar Abdullah and accepted by the government in the centre as they would like the people to believe. The option to lay down arms has been open to militants ever since terrorism raised its ugly head in the state. The first lot of such surrendered militants was the “Ikhwanis”; most popularly represented by Kuka Parry who even stood for elections and was later killed in a terrorist attack. It is well known that the Ikhwanis went to the extent of fighting against the terrorists in concert with the security forces. The PDP-Congress coalition government also had in place a similar surrender and rehabilitation policy under which many militants laid down arms and were rehabilitated. These policies were successful to an extent because they were pragmatic in nature and had set out achievable objectives. Omar Abdullah also has all the good intentions in this regard; his policy has failed because its parameters were not achievable.
Even now, not much has been lost; better results can be achieved by modifying the policy and taking a step by step approach. First and foremost, the legal options of getting back the misguided persons desirous of getting back to their home and hearth need to be identified. Once this is done on the premise that Pakistan is not likely to relent, therefore, some international human rights bodies and organizations like the United Nations will have to be approached to intervene and help get these persons back. The pilot project should be only of a few people, if success is achieved than a bigger project can be put in place.
The aspect of rehabilitation also needs to be given due attention. Incidents of former militants going back into the fold of terror, as in the latest instance which compelled the chief minister towards admitting to the flaws in the policy, need to be curtailed. This is possible only if those who have surrendered are subject to the due process of law before being re-inducted back into society. They need to be buy cheap clomid given psychological, economic and social assistance towards integration. All this is not happening, instead, buoyed by the policy of the government these people are resorting to illegal means to enter into the country and that too with large families. This is more of a law and order problem rather than the noble rehabilitation that it was intended to be.
The government also needs to ensure that more youth are not left susceptible to indoctrination by the terror mongers across the border. This is presently critical in view of the reports that are being received about enhanced attempts to increase local recruitment for terrorism in order to keep the movement alive. The recent turmoil in the valley in the aftermath of the legitimate execution of Afsal Guru and Ajmal Kasab has acted as a catalyst for the terror mongers. The resultant threat cannot be taken lightly.
There can be no two views about the need to reach out to such persons who wish to shun the path of violence, however, there are limits within which this assistance can be provided, these limits are because of the involvement of the second nation whose interest does not lie in letting the policy achieve success. Some modality, fair or foul, has to be found to get over this problem. International support to the cause is crucial. One can only hope that the new found awareness of the chief minister will translate into action on ground in removing the status quo that exists presently.