J K News Today Commentary
Union Home Minister Amit Shah hit nail on head when he elaborated on the menace of drug trafficking and reiterated zero tolerance towards drugs in the country. This zero tolerance is multi-dimensional, some may search in it the analogy of zero tolerance toward terrorism which has more of external than internal dimensions. The internal and external factors cannot be separated in either of the cases. This doctrine is full of relevance for one and all across the globe, it gels with the guidelines and objectives listed by the United Nations in curbing the menace.
Amit Shah’s reiteration at a conference on drug trafficking and national security in Chandigarh on July 30, needs to be understood in a context wider than the traditional assumption. As Home Minister as per his role, he spelled out the dangers that come with the drug trafficking, impinging on the national security. The essence of the matter is that the national security is much beyond the Cold War concept of military power, including possession of the nuclear power . It is now rooted in the national thinking, consciousness of the dangers that have been dug up not by the external forces alone but by the internal enemies as well.
It would be a mistake if the fight against drugs is restricted to seizures of the consignments meant for terror funding or for delivering it to the youth .Many more intricacies are involved : – drugs have destroyed societies , nations and more worryingly the families . This is an assault on our cultural values and ethos .
Amit Shah was right when he listed that the fight against the drugs has to be taken from the federal level to the states, from thereon to the provinces, towns and villages . This has to be a united fight in complete synergy between the peoples, administration and society . No alternatives or easy-looking solutions will yield anything.
India is surrounded by hostile neighbourhood . Yes . The hostile neighbhourhood needs to be redefined . One, of course, as is understood in general terms is the nation( s) from where the drugs are supplied to the this country . One, of course , is a drugs for profits as the growers and traffickers care less where the consignments land. They are concerned with their profits , which in turn they use for their luxuries , strengthening their militias , and patronizing and paddling the drug trade. The warlords in Afghanistan , Iran and Pakistan fall under this category . Afghan Taliban ran its operations , pre9/11 and post 9/11 periods through the drug money . It is also no state secret that Pakistan’s spy agency inter-services intelligence – ISI- the dreaded name in the world for doing all the things for which repulsion exists in the civilized world . The countries through which the drugs pass are no less hostile , whether they are routed to India or the territory of this country is used as a transit to other nations- Nepal, for example.
Aligned with this is more dangerous part when drugs are used to fund terror not only through arms and ammunition and indoctrinating minds to challenge that runs against the grain of the values of the civilized world . Jammu and Kashmir , Punjab have been the particular victims of this assault by the neighbourhood.. In 1980s , Punjab witnessed and experienced unprecedented drug and blood game which left thousands dead , and blemished the image of grain basket of the country and of its people known for their hard work and enterprise .
Drugs have wreaked havoc in Jammu and Kashmir is a gross understatement . The drug trafficking and addiction have assumed the proportions of revenge with self with the misplaced notion of undoing others and the idea of India. This is not a theory, but something happening on the ground .
Pakistan has been exporting drugs to India ,using the unscrupulous smugglers whose interest is in money making , some of them are also guided by the misplaced idea of serving their faith and the illusive goals of inflicting heavy costs on India . Now Pakistan is also using drones to drop consignment of drugs which are picked up by the smugglers and terror-promoting minds and hands . It has also resorted to use of the internet to lure the Kashmiri youth to drugs .
The sole aim of Pakistan is to prolong conflict in Kashmir – let there be a candid admission despite high-speed momentum that the anti-terrorism operations have gained which have lessened the severity and intensity of the conflict , the fact remains conflict is there. Pakistan has been relying on drug trafficking since 1960s to foment trouble . It doubled down its efforts in 1980s . Despite the fact that Pakistan itself is becoming a victim of this illicit trade , consumed by its unsatiated passion to bleed neighbours for varying reasons , it has not learnt any lessons .
The World Drug Report 2022 released by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in June has captured the essence of what the drugs can do : “ Drugs can fuel and prolong conflict, and the destabilizing effects as well as the social costs hinder sustainable development .” It also tapped the concern : “ illicit drug cultivation offers no way out for impoverished communities in the long run, that the drug trade has environmental impacts , and that drug trafficking along with associated corruption and illicit flows undermine the rule of law and stability.”
All these realties are alarming , but that’s exactly what Pakistan is seeking to do in Kashmir . It is not interested in the health and welfare of the people that it claims it respects . It is using the terminology of struggle and sacrifice for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir . The reality is that it is pushing youth to the graveyards , which Pakistan likes to claim as sacrifices . More the graves, more it is happy with the statistics of graveyards. Now it is inflicting “ sacrifices” through drugs by hollowing out generations .
“ We have to save generations,” this message of the Home Minister needs to be taken more seriously . The appeal is all inclusive and based on the doctrine of zero tolerance toward drugs .