New Delhi: Any review of the restrictions on mobile and Internet services in the Kashmir Valley will be done only after the United Nations General Assembly session later this week, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan, among a galaxy of other world leaders.
While describing this period as “critical”, the security agencies feel any easing of curbs on mobile and Internet services, particularly in south and central Kashmir, prior to the crucial UN session, could be used by Pakistan-based terror groups to trigger violence in the Valley to internationalise the issue. Security has been put on high alert, both in the Valley and along the Line of Control, till the end September.
Security officials who are monitoring the situation in the Valley on a daily basis said any possibility of relaxing Internet and mobile curbs, particularly in central and south Kashmir, in the coming days “are completely ruled out”. An official said: “As of now, only five districts in central and south Kashmir have been totally insulated from mobile and Internet services as these are the most terror-prone areas. We have concrete information that ahead of Imran Khan’s address at the UN, Pakistan is desperate to trigger major unrest in the Valley in a bid to internationalise the issue. Pakistan is also trying to create trouble along the border, but our security forces are on maximum alert.”
Officials also claimed restrictions on communications networks in the Valley were to a large extent responsible for a sharp fall in recruitment of local youth in militancy. Since the revocation of Article 370 in J&K on August 5, only two youth from the Valley have joined militancy. On the other hand, around 50-60 militants across the border are believed to have infiltrated into the Valley.
“A complete communications blackout has been largely responsible for why terror outfits have not been able to mobilise resources within the Valley. This is the main reason why local recruitment by militants has been at its lowest in recent times,” the official added.
A review of the restrictions, sources said, is likely after around 10 days, and it is expected some relaxation might be offered. It is believed central Kashmir could see the restoration of mobile and Internet services before this is extending to the southern districts of the Valley.