“Gentlemen, as always, I would appreciate complete frankness in our discussions.” Major General Asif said as he addressed the high level gathering and gestured Colonel Sikandar to commence the proceedings.

“Kashmir is slipping out of our hands…” Was the loaded opening salvo by the Colonel. “Unless we take concrete steps….the damage will be irreversible. To start with, Imam sahib, the strength of fighters in the Valley is dwindling….why are they not able to infiltrate?”

Imam sahib replied in a musical voice – “Jenab, our boys are trying, but Indians forces seem to be everywhere, alert and waiting for them. Infiltrating was never easy but currently, it is becoming really difficult and if I may add, our fauji brothers are also not that forthcoming in their support.”

“Well, it is not that we are not forthcoming…. our posts assisting infiltration get punished effectively from India…you see…”  Brigadier Furkan explained.

“Infiltrating in large numbers is essential to show solidarity to our Kashmiri brethren…especially in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370.” Col Sikandar opined.

“Sir, I think the time to show solidarity is gone.” The young outspoken Major Hilal blurted impatiently. Colonel Sikandar raised his hand lest the discussion went astray but the General vetoed– “Let him speak his mind.” He said sternly.

“Sir, Kashmiris have lost faith in us. We were not able to do anything noteworthy after Article 370 was abrogated. Our leadership could not see it coming; they were busy bickering and trying to survive. Their response on the international stage was feeble and elicited lukewarm response, especially in the light of the our poor international standing, being on FATF grey list, our poor Human Rights records, our image of being the epicenter of terrorism, economy being in tatters, our leaders roaming around with begging bowls..…I mean; no one takes us seriously sir….” Major Hilal looked around to see if he was crossing the line. He continued on seeing the General’s encouraging nodding.  “…..And sir, the value of our passport has touched rock bottom and the way we are checked at the airports!! Sir our countrymen find it difficult to get a house or shop on rent abroad, leave aside jobs… in such a scenario…..Kashmiris too have lost faith in us and the famous slogan Kashmir banega Pakistan is no longer heard. On the other hand, we all know the spectacular rise of India on the World stage in every field.

A pall of gloom fell over the room. Colonel Sikandar however, moderated the discussion and following decisions were arrived at:-

“Enhance attempts to infiltrate from other borders. Try to keep separatists relevant, though their image is in tatters. Also, though the politicians have lost popular support, use their nuisance value to own advantage. Exploit opportunities to stoke religious sentiments and continue radicalizing the youth. derail the success of Panchayti Raj, exploit social & psychological divides of Kashmiri society. Use the famous rumour mill of Kashmir and gullibility of Kashmiris to own advantage, encourage narrative of Muslim brotherhood, let proscribed terror groups function in garb of pseudo fronts like ‘The Resistance Front’ and ‘People’s Anti-Fascist Front’ to project terror elements within Kashmir as non-Islamic, liberal and indigenous rebels.  Kill the ever growing enthusiasm of people with respect to political activities and elections by threats and intimidation, ensure hartals, bandhs, agitations, etc, on varied issues to discourage normalcy and undertake every other action required to keep the ‘pot boiling.’

“Well conducted Sikandar, remember, we have to downplay the Uighur Muslims subjugation.” The General reminded. He then added:- “I am now rushing to attend a meeting on ‘Saving Balochistan’. I am taking Major Hilal with me. I wish we had people like him with us in 1971….we could have saved East Pakistan.”

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