J&K Civil Secretariat A Thriving Ground For Separatism
A keen observation will reveal the fact that a considerable number of class IV and class III employees are enjoying life, in spite of having carried out militant activities for a long time and are completely illiterate. A number of them can’t even make their signature on attendance register. Since their masters are there at key positions to take due care of them, they carry out separatist activities passively even today
With the onset of Pakistan-sponsored insurgency in J&K, the enemies of the unique diversity-based integrated India began to devise means and methods to carry out their evil designs. In this pursuit, the secessionist forces sent a large number of young government employees to Pakistan for guerilla warfare trainings, and surprisingly, the blood relative of these absent employees from duty drew their salaries unhindered obviously with the active help of drawing and disbursing officers. After sneaking back into the territory of J&K the terrorist-cum-government employees fought security forces on the one hand and provided all kinds of security to their ilk, using their official positions, on the other. But when slowly and steadily the security forces overcame the militancy movement, the trained employee-militants maintained studied silence. This stark fact was/is known to all the governments formed since 1996 Assembly elections, but none seemed/seems interested in taking up the cudgels against them. The bureaucratic section hailing from the Valley occupying top slots in and outside of the civil secretariat was never unaware of the spine-chilling fact. Taking advantage of this disinterest of the powers at the helm, the diehard militant elements got a shot in their arm by planting separatism-loving bureaucrats at key positions successfully in almost all departments. These and a number of other facts, which endowed Jamaat-e-Islami, the mother of all political evils in J&K, with strength, have been disheartening for the peace-and-prosperity-loving people of the state. One of the unfortunate and shameful facts is: the school and college-going siblings of the Jamaat-e-Islami-linked people have been helped en-mass in copying in various examinations since 1990 onwards, due to which they obtained 90 per cent and above marks. This thing has since been providing them an edge over others in pouncing upon government jobs. The peace-loving section of the society stands awe-strikingly defeated on this front too.
Turning to militants occupying civil secretariat of Jammu and Kashmir state, a keen observation will reveal the fact that a considerable number of class IV and class III employees are enjoying life, in spite of having carried out militant activities for a long time and are completely illiterate. A number of them can’t even make their signature on attendance register. Since their masters are there at key positions to take due care of them, they carry out separatist activities passively even today. As a matter of fact, the higher and important positions have very successfully been occupied by anti-India, rather anti-establishment forces. The funds for active and indirect separatist activities are easily raised inside the civil secretariat stealthily. Against this backdrop, one fails to understand as to how could the power at the Centre altogether ignore the resolution adopted by a group of Valley-passed IAS officer of civil secretariat in 1990, in which Shiekh Ghulam Rasool also participated. The resolution ironically demanded separation of J&K state from India. Such acts always encourage militant ranks to creep into the ranks and files of the civil secretariat and thrive there. On his retirement, Shiekh Ghulam Rasool, the former Chief Secretary of J&K, was conferred with a seat in the upper house of the state legislature by National Conference. In this way, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool like silent separatists never retired or lost his undue influence over the government machinery. The ruling political elites always play deaf and blind to such stark facts. In this perspective, one is reminded of a sensational revelation by Kuka Parrey, a prominent counter-insurgent leader, that the Farooq Abdullah cabinet contained 12 ISI agents, to which the CM Farooq Abdullah responded, “Add 3 NC MLAs to the list.” And the buck does not stop here. In 2002, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed devised and delivered pro-secessionism speech by promising a healing-touch policy, opening up all routes to PoK and Pakistan, starting duel currency, and removal of AFSPA. Consequently, the militants were goaded to join PDP. The act brought the PDP to driver’s seat but at the cost of opening more doors of civil secretariat and other upper-level corridors for militant-minded people. The same thing got repeated after the 2014 Assembly elections. Mufti thanked Pakistan establishment, militant ranks and Hurriyat for heavy turnout and smooth conduct of polls. Furthermore, releasing of Masarat Aalam, the killer of 125 young men, and promise of freeing Dr Qasim Faktoo and others—these are all the signs of secessionist inclination and tight grip of militants on the civil secretariat decisions.
In the beginning, the separatist forces used to receive funds through hawala, but the ever-growing vigilant intelligence agencies tightened their noose to the extent that separatists found themselves forced to devise such mechanism that could generate a whopping and sustained income locally. The separatist forces with the active help of their planted people at secretariat level used the money power of banks—the J&K Bank in particular—to establish business units which include brick kilns, passenger transport, shopping malls, hotels at various tourist resorts of the Valley of Kashmir and at some large cities of the country besides some small scale business units. In this way, the separatist forces pulled themselves out of the threats of apprehensive of being under surveillance for fund sources. To cap it all, the separatist forces have been managing to plant their camp-followers at almost all recruiting agencies to help their favourites get government jobs. In this way, the separatist forces have got an upper hand at all levels, be it judiciary or executive. In addition to this, most of the separatist leaders have multiplied their assets manifold and some of the separatist leaders have chosen to be contractors for which they use their influence at government level to confer them huge contracts. A considerable number of class one officers of civil secretariat and police department are working hard to popularise the Jamaat literature at grassroots level.
Militant-minded young men, who are educated, are being lured by the secessionist forces to join the local and national level security forces to keep an eye on the activities of their units so as to keep their masters aware of the plans against militants. Another startling side of this scenario is that a large number of school and college teachers are on casual pay rolls of Radio Kashmir and Doordarshan news rooms, thus managing an eye on the government mouthpiece. All such casual employees are militant minded, save for a small number. Some of them have acquired the position of assistant news editor. Similar is the case with most of the Urdu and English dailies of the Valley. In this way, 90 per cent of the print and electronic media is under the heavy feet of separatists. Under these circumstances, the camp followers of Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Syed Ali Geelani, Aga Syed Hassan and a number of like entities are making merry under the very nose of government and its agencies, while the common man, who could not make it to the corridors of power, has all along been suffering and offering scarifies one after the other. Under such circumstances, one can do nothing but wait as a mere spectator until some big bang wakes the powers that be to a political and social earthquake of ten degree at Richter scale, moving everything upside down.
By Manzoor Zahoor from Srinagar