Narco-Militancy Emerges As Challenge In J&K, Centre Takes Counter-Measures

Srinagar, December 27: With the steps taken to combat militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-sponsored narco-militancy has emerged as yet another big challenge for the security agencies in the region.

According to a report, Pakistan, after losing the 30-year-long proxy war, is using drugs as a weapon to turn Kashmiri youth into addicts.

“Narco-militancy has emerged as yet another big challenge for the security agencies in J-K,” the report said.

“Drugs are being airdropped through drones and criminals have been hired to run drug trafficking rackets. By introducing guns in J-K, Pakistan targeted individuals, and by sending drugs now it’s out to destroy families and society as a whole,” it added.

However, the government has responded to the rise in drug abuse by setting up 10 drug de-addiction centres, including two large facilities in Srinagar and Jammu. It has also established a counselling centre in each district, with qualified doctors and counsellors.

“Seminars, workshops, and public lectures are being organized to spread awareness about substance abuse. The fight against militancy and narco-terrorism is on and it has almost been won,” the report said.

As per the report, the number of local youth joining militant ranks has declined significantly after 2019.

“As on date, local recruitment in militant ranks has come down to zero. On the other hand infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) is at its lowest ebb as the militants are finding it hard to cross the line due to soldiers maintaining a tight vigil,” it said.

“The decisive action taken by the government against the anti-peace elements has broken the back of militancy in the Himalayan region,” the report added.

It said that the militant handlers have come to the realisation that the foreign militants cannot be pushed into J-K due to heightened surveillance along the LoC.

“Local youth can’t be misguided anymore as they have understood that picking up arms means extending an invitation to death,” it said.

J-K Police has reportedly registered around 1,200 cases in connection with drug smuggling and 2,000 accused have been arrested during the year so far in the first 11 months of 2022.

“Pakistan is out to destroy Kashmiri youth and generate funds for militant groups by exporting drugs into J-K. It’s engaging new people into the illicit trade of drugs,” the report said.

It further said that separatists and militant groups in Kashmir used to employ various means to gather funds for militant activities till 2019.

“Some of these activities includes buying and selling properties, narco trade business, and operating hawala rackets, it said.

“During the past three years, security agencies have busted the modus operandi of separatist and militant groups. The illegal funding channels have been choked by seizing and freezing the assets of separatists and militant outfits. This has dealt a severe blow to the militant sponsors as the conduits through whom they used to operate in J-K have been identified and nailed,” the report said.–(ANI)