Terrorism is the biggest threat to human existence in modern times because it lacks human principles. Mostly, it operates based on religious radicalization rather than being rooted in social crimes and violence. In the end, terrorism is the murderer of humanity. Therefore, besides other convictions, religion plays an important role in motivating and radicalizing individuals for terror activities. The best example is a suicide bomber. It is motivation, not money alone, that drives them towards the path of violence and death. For the general public, the act of killing anyone is disheartening, and the perpetrator is not an ordinary individual. They are motivated by various reasons, but the primary one is religion.
Terrorism in modern times has evolved from bad to worse, involving in various social crimes. From drug trafficking to human trafficking, to killings and violence to harming humans, it has become entangled in numerous social aspects. Drugs provide oxygen to terrorism. In recent times, drug infiltration means the infiltration of arms and ammunition to achieve the objectives of the puppeteers. Drug addicts need no money; they only need drugs to kill anyone and engage in any destructive activities with increased courage and power supplied by the drugs. The most severely affected are teenagers.
Drugs are used in the region to make its residents addicted, with the intention of subsequently exploiting them for drug-related purposes. We observe a significant influx of drugs in Kashmir. The questions arise: Where are these drugs coming from? Who is supplying them, and to whom? It is an open truth that drugs and arms have been consistently supplied over the past four years, initially targeting Kashmiris with drugs before involving them in other terrorist activities. This appears to be a deep conspiracy.
So, the face of terrorism is changing, as we have witnessed in Kashmir over time, with severe effects and damages. From guns to glorification to radicalization, Kashmiris have been manipulated and emotionally blackmailed, turning them into puppets. All of this has been observed and witnessed by common supporters of terrorism.
The gun culture in Kashmir has been defeated. Some years ago, people witnessed a transformation in Kashmir, reminiscent of the situation in 1989, after 32 years of gun culture. Terrorism reached its lowest point as people embraced peace and prosperity while rejecting terrorism. This development frustrated the puppeteers of terrorism. They subsequently turned to narco-terrorism, targeting Kashmiri youth and trapping them in the drug menace. Narco-terrorism has been growing at an alarming rate in Kashmir. Both gun culture and narco-terrorism are disastrous to human values and existence. Narco-terrorism involves terrorist groups engaging in or benefiting from drug-related activities, such as trafficking and production, to fund their operations.
Narco-terrorism in Kashmir refers to the convergence of drug trafficking and terrorism in the region. It involves the use of drug proceeds to fund terrorist activities and the exploitation of drug addiction to recruit individuals for terrorist purposes. According to reports from various newspapers, 2.5 percent of the population in Kashmir is using drugs, making it the country’s top drug-affected region. This statistic surpasses Punjab, where 1.2 percent of the population is reportedly addicted to drug abuse.
With such a dangerous trend, Norco-terrorism is emerging as a security threat in Kashmir. Losing support in Kashmir due to the people’s rejection of gun terrorism and India’s efforts against it. No one is willing to support Pakistan in Kashmir, so they resort to trapping youngsters into drug addiction with the aim of making them dependably addicted for use in terrorist activities. Narco-terrorism is still in its initial stages, and those who have fallen into this trap need immediate rehabilitation; otherwise, the chain may expand and involve the entire country.
Kashmiri people are known for their hospitality. Pakistan misused Kashmiris on the basis of religion to disrupt peace and engage India in guerrilla warfare in Kashmir, which ultimately damaged Pakistan’s credibility and led to the rejection of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Now, failing in all their attempts, they have integrated drugs into terrorism, which is a matter we need to address.
In our strategy, the army should take the lead because in Kashmir, the army controls infiltration and terrorism when it reaches a mass level. The efficiency the army demonstrated during the peak of militancy was remarkable, even though they were newcomers to the region. They managed to identify terrorists and restore peace in Kashmir through various operations. The army is present everywhere and has access available throughout the entire valley, both on the ground and at the LoC. Their active involvement is necessary to cut off the roots of Narco-terrorism in the valley.
Mass awareness should be raised through a selective civilian village-level task force, which will vigilantly monitor individuals involved in drug and arms activities. The village-level task force can serve as a source of information and a first point of contact for security forces. This task force will operate actively in each village and will be compensated for each report.
Reported drug-addicted cases will be segregated from society and their homes and placed in rehabilitation centres. There, they will receive motivation, counselling, and participate in structured training programs. To protect our youth from the clutches of terrorism, we must address the issue of drug abuse, its supply, and control. In our efforts to reduce social crimes, terrorism, and the tragic loss of innocent lives, we must continue the fight against terrorism, which can take various forms to manipulate and exploit our youth for the benefit of the puppeteers. Drug addiction is a social problem present in every country, but in Kashmir, it has become intertwined with terrorism, which has become a serious concern for national integration.