You are here

Report of Monday Morning Webinar on An Assessment of the Security Situation in Jammu & Kashmir

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • February 07, 2022
    Monday Morning Meeting

    Dr. Manzoor Ahmad BhatResearch Analyst, Internal Security Centre, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, spoke on “An Assessment of the Security Situation in Jammu & Kashmir”, at the Monday Morning Webinar held on 7 February 2022. The webinar was chaired by Dr. Pushpita Das, Centre Coordinator, Internal Security Centre. Director General, Ambassador Sujan R Chinoy, Deputy Director General, Maj. Gen. Bipin Bakshi, Col. Vivek Chadha and other scholars of the institute participated in the webinar.

    Executive Summary

    With an overall decline in terrorist-related violence statistics, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has relatively improved over the last two years. More importantly, the security forces have succeeded in tapping the external influences in the Kashmir Valley. Although it is a positive indication, but this alone, cannot ensure long-term peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir. To bring Jammu and Kashmir back on the path of normalcy, the decline in violence should pave the way for strengthening of democratic institutions at the grassroots level. The dominant counter-terrorism paradigms advocate promotion of democracy as the best method to decrease the political utility of terrorist violence.

    Detailed Report

    Dr. Pushpita Das initiated the webinar by recalling the apparent security apprehensions which were associated with the abrogation of Article 370 from the state of J&K on 5 August 2019. She underscored that the security situation in J&K, on the other hand, had remained largely under control as several militants were neutralised in the past two and a half years. She attributed the success to the intelligence-backed security operations, wherein, intelligence was provided by the locals. Dr. Das, however, expressed her concerns over the challenges due to the creation of new militant groups, the emergence of ‘hybrid militancy’, cross-border infiltration of terrorists; and, smuggling of narcotics & small arms etc.

    Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Bhat began his presentation by giving an update on the security situation in J&K. Comparing the violence statistics (terrorist incidents, fatalities, cross-border infiltration, encounters between terrorists and SFs) for the two periods i.e. prior to and after the abrogation of Article 370; Dr. Bhat assessed that the militancy in J&K has registered a declining trend in the period following the abrogation of Article 370. 


    16 April 2017 to 4 August 2019 (841 Days)

    5 August 2019 to 30 Nov 2021 (841 Days)

    Terrorist Incidents



    Civilians Killed



    Security Forces Killed



    With respect to cross-border infiltration, a similar declining trend was evident suggesting that the security forces in J&K have been relatively successful in controlling the external influences in Kashmir in the period following the abrogation of Article 370.






    Net Infiltration




    28 (till Oct 31)

    Dr. Bhat discussed the important developments which were relevant to the changed security situation in the post-abrogation period. The three districts- Baramula, Kupwara and Bandipora- which were the hot bed of militancy earlier, have largely remained peaceful for some time. Listing the region-wise contribution to the militant violence, Dr. Bhat stated that the four southern districts of Kashmir-Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag-together accounted for 65 per cent of the total militant violence in 2021; followed by Central Kashmir (18 %); and North Kashmir (17 %). With respect to the district-wise percentage of the encounters between the militants and SFs, Shopian tops the list with 20 per cent of the total encounters, followed by Kulgam (19 per cent), Pulwama (16 per cent) and Srinagar (14 per cent). Rajouri and Poonch have remained relatively at peace and most of the encounters reported in these two districts were related to infiltration.

    Dr. Bhat also expressed his views on the changing dynamics of militancy in the Kashmir Valley. The militant outfit- Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), which had come into prominence during Burhan Wani’s leadership and after his death, has contributed relatively less as compared to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to him, the elimination of HM’s top leadership and its policy of giving room to freshly minted groups like The Resistance Front (TRF), Peoples Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF) etc. – were the possible explanations. He opined that the emergence of new ‘terrorist brands’ like TRF, the Ghaznavi Force, the Geelani Force, Kashmir Tigers etc., was mainly to ensure that the links of any big terrorist attack in J&K could not be traced back to Pakistan.

    Another perceptible change/trend was the dip in the killing of Pakistani terrorists compared to local militants in J&K. Dr. Bhat attributed it to the killing of Burhan Wani, as during his time and after his killing, lot of Kashmiri youth had joined militancy in the state. He also added that the same could also be a reflection of the changed approach of Pakistan to militancy in Kashmir, driven by the pressure from FATF and its preoccupation with Afghanistan. In the wake of  the recent developments in J&K, Dr. Bhat argued that there was an increased attempt to “secularise the Jihad” in Kashmir as all the new organisations had consciously avoided religious symbolism in their titles. The intention, according to him, was to project it as a resistance movement, which is somewhat acceptable to the international community.

    In order to explain the above-mentioned developments in the security situation in J&K, Dr. Bhat cited the ‘Strategic Model’ of terrorism that assumes terrorists as ‘rational actors’ and most importantly talks about ‘Political Utility’. Based on this model, reducing the political utility of terrorism is considered as the best counter-terrorism strategy. Dr. Bhat said that the recent changes in the Government’s policy with respect to J&K, and especially on terrorism in the Valley, have largely contributed to the improved security situation over the last two and a half years. The Government’s policy of non-appeasement and the resolve to directly deal with the sustaining factors of militancy etc., were a clear departure from the earlier period.

    Dr. Bhat concluded his presentation by outlining the security threats and issues associated with the relatively new "hybrid" militants/militancy in J&K. He anticipated that the new militancy-framework could appeal to a large number of militants, particularly locals, due to the greater impunity and fewer risks it entails.

    The following important points came up during the discussion.

    The Director General, Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy expressed his disagreement on ‘secularisation of the Jihad’ in J&K. He said that militancy in J&K has been largely Kashmir-centric, and that the state as a whole is not participating in militancy. Even communities such as Buddhists, Bakarwals, Gujjars and Kashmiri Pandits, among others, are never involved in terrorism. He advised the speaker to revisit his opinion/ theory on the ‘secularisation of the Jihad’ in J&K. Ambassador Chinoy also sought the speaker’s thoughts on anticipated changes in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy if FATF pressure and its preoccupation with Afghanistan change. In response to the Director General’s comment, Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, clarified that his reference to “secularisation of the Jihad” was to mainly emphasise that the intention is to make it more of a resistance movement that can garner more international solidarity. He clarified that this is not meant to widen the net to include recruits from other communities.

    Deputy Director General, Maj. Gen. Bipin Bakshi spoke on the efficacy of the robust counter-infiltration grid as an important factor responsible for the improved security situation in J&K. He opined that this is a manifestation of robust border management. Another important factor, according to Maj. Gen. Bakshi, has been the reduced influence of separatist leaders.

    Key Takeaways

    1. Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have managed to control external influence.
    2. The Government has reduced the political utility of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
    3. New terrorist outfits have propped up which avoid religious symbolism to garner international support.
    4. Hybrid militancy can challenge the security forces for some time, but in the long run, it cannot be sustained without any organizational support.

    The Report has been prepared by Ms. Rajbala Rana, Research Analyst, Internal Security Centre, MP-IDSA.