Islamic State influence making recent Kashmir protests different?


Warning of the threat of younger generation in Kashmir increasingly getting influenced by IS (Islamic State), PDP, a coalition partner of BJP in the state, has told the Centre that there is need to address the situation by creating a “counter-narrative of nationalism and democracy” for school goers, since the trouble in the valley is a “battle of minds”.Speaking at the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, PDP’s Lok Sabha MP Muzaffar Beg is learnt to have said that the current unrest in the valley is “different from earlier protests” in several respects, the first being it is more influenced by “religious extremism” and hence any patchwork solution will not work to resolve the situation. It is like a “subterranean volcano” that could erupt any time, with the involvement of a “foreign country”.
Asked how the Kashmir situation is different this round from earlier ones in 2008, 2010 and 2013, finance minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference after the meeting that “new trends that emerged after analysing the situation is that the change taking place in the world over also ideologically has a role to play in the valley”. It was seen as a hint at the possible influence of the Islamic State.Beg is also learnt to have said that unlike earlier protests, it has entered the rural areas, down to the tehsil level where it is difficult for even the Army to go. The other new trend is that women are participating in large numbers.
Trinamool MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said, “There is no point talking to old, staid leaders any more, instead the government should look for new leaders to talk to as mostly youths are involved in the new movement.”

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