New Delhi, July 16: There were a war of words between India and Pakistan after the latter declared a day of mourning on July 19 for slain Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. India was quick with a response and advised Pakistan not to meddle with internal affairs.
Now why would Pakistan want to mourn the death of Wani who effectively ensured that the number of local militants outnumbered the Pakistan terrorists operating in Kashmir? The Pakistan's ISI was never appreciative of Burhwan as they felt that he had localised the Kashmir issue and taken the perspective away from Pakistan.
Why is Pakistan mourning Wani's death?
There are a lot of statistics to show that since Wani took over as the Hizbul Mujahideen commander the Kashmir issue had become extremely localised. Wani had captured the imagination of the youth and several of them blindly followed in his foot steps.
The Valley was no longer dominated by Paksitan's Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Wani with his constant Facebook updates had become an icon for the militant youth in Kashmir. It was the Hizbul Mujahideen that the locals had started to back and this only ensured that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the JeM were losing space in the Valley.
For the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammad to succeed in Kashmir it would have needed not just local support but recruits from the Valley as well. Infiltrating its terrorists every now and then was not an option as it is a risky proposition and 8 out of 10 there was a chance that they would fail.
The Lashkar-e-Tayiba did attempt dishing out local support, but there were too many takers for the Hizbul Mujahideen thanks to Wani. This led to a great deal of frustration for the ISI which watched its Kashmir battle slip into the hands of a local militant group.
Every one wants a piece of Wani:
Nawaz Sharrif the Prime Minister of Pakistan was quick to condemn the killing of Wani. This was followed up by a declaration to mourn his death on July 19. This is a very clear message to the people of Kashmir backing Wani that Pakistan does share their sorrow.
In fact Pakistan's quick response to Wani's death was only a way of getting back the local support that it has lost considerably over the past year. Pakistan does realise that there is not much backing for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammad in the Valley any longer. The support that they had from the separatists too was fading away following the death of Wani.
In this context one must also look at the government data between the years 1990 and 2011. There have been 13,226 civilians who have been killed by terrorists. In addition to this 5,369 security personnel have also been killed by terrorists. The data would also reveal that 95 per cent of the civilians killed were by terrorists from Pakistan.
This was not something acceptable to the people of the Valley. What Wani managed to change was that perception. He only targeted the security personnel and ordered that no civilian should be touched. This became a game changer for Pakistan and its terrorists were looked down upon and became the villains of the Valley.
The separatists too are backing Wani heavily today because they want a local hero. They are trying to make him out to be another Maqbool Bhat or Afzal Guru out of him. It is through these separatists that Pakistan now wants to send across a message that they are for the locals. Another message is that unless there is support given to Pakistan by the locals, the Valley will loose many more Burhan Wanis.