Pakistan-Sponsored Narco Terrorism at All-Time Low in Jammu and Kashmir Five Years After Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A

Jammu and Kashmir is experiencing a remarkable era of peace and stability, five years after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. This period has marked a substantial decline in Pakistan-sponsored narco-terrorism, which had long plagued the region. The number of active militants has significantly decreased, and security agencies are striving to achieve “zero terror” activities within the Union territory.

Efforts by security forces have been instrumental in countering Pakistan’s designs to instill a culture of violence in the Valley. Over the past 30 years, these efforts had been undermined by a self-serving political elite who used the guise of autonomy to perpetuate unrest. However, with stringent measures now in place, including heightened border security and intelligence operations, arms smuggling and terrorist infiltration have become increasingly difficult for Pakistan-backed militants.

Faced with these setbacks, Pakistan has adopted a new strategy to destabilize Jammu and Kashmir: narcotics. The influx of drugs into the region is seen as an attempt to corrupt and degenerate the youth, thereby financing terrorism through illicit means. This alarming trend was highlighted by Farooq Ganderbali, President of Voice for Peace and Justice, during a recent seminar on drug de-addiction. He described narcotics as “the biggest challenge” currently confronting Jammu and Kashmir.

The seminar, held at Hanfia Islamia Model High School in Sehpora, drew hundreds of participants, particularly youth, eager to address the issue. Dr. Darakhshan Andrabi, Chairperson of the J&K Waqf Board, attended as the chief guest. She emphasized the critical need for collective action against extremism, radicalism, and drug abuse, urging all sectors of society to join forces in combating these threats.

The statistics presented by renowned Social Activist and President Voice for Peace and Justice Farooq Ganderbali are stark and concerning. He revealed that the Kashmir Valley is slowly becoming a drug hub in Northern India, with more than 70,000 drug abusers, of which 90 percent are heroin addicts, using over 35,000 syringes daily. These figures underline the gravity of the narcotics issue, which poses a serious threat to the region’s future stability and prosperity.

Farooq Ganderbali stressed the importance of collaboration between the J&K government and civil society to combat these threats. He called for a unified approach to eradicate Pakistan-sponsored extremism and the drug menace, underscoring the need for robust community engagement and support. “The Kashmiri society needs to have an internal interlocution and take a serious look at Pakistan’s policies to foment trouble, especially through narco-terrorism,” he asserted.

The seminar showcased a strong community commitment to safeguarding the region’s future, highlighting a growing resilience against external threats. Various initiatives have been launched to address the drug problem, including awareness campaigns, rehabilitation programs, and stricter law enforcement measures. The J&K Waqf Board, under Dr. Andrabi’s leadership, has been actively involved in these efforts, promoting educational and de-addiction programs to help the youth steer clear of substance abuse.

As Jammu and Kashmir continue to navigate this transformative period, the concerted efforts of security agencies, government bodies, and civil society will be crucial in maintaining peace and fostering a drug-free, prosperous environment for the youth. The recent decline in terror activities and the community’s proactive stance against narcotics are positive signs of a brighter future for the region.

However, challenges remain. The persistent threat of narco-terrorism, fueled by Pakistan’s strategic shift, requires continuous vigilance and adaptive strategies. The government must strengthen its border control measures to prevent the smuggling of narcotics and enhance its rehabilitation infrastructure to support those affected by drug abuse.

In conclusion, Jammu and Kashmir’s journey post the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A is a testament to the resilience and determination of its people and security forces. While significant progress has been made in reducing Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the fight against narco-terrorism is far from over. It is imperative for all stakeholders to remain united and committed to ensuring a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for the region. The collaborative efforts witnessed in seminars like the one at Hanfia Islamia Model High School are a step in the right direction, fostering a collective resolve to overcome the challenges and build a better tomorrow for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is an Indo-Islamic Scholar, Sufi Author , Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Master Abdul Ahad renowned social activist, Adv Mubishar Rashid , intellectuals ,civil society members was also present on the occasion.

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