A few dozen Pakistanis in Athens protested near the Indian Embassy on Friday in opposition to India's revocation of Article 370 relating to Jammu and Kashmir.
Alarmingly though, seen among the three or four dozen protesting was the flag of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) Islamist party, known for its protests in opposition to any change to Pakistan’s blasphemy law and demands that Sharia be established as law.
According to Islam, death is mandatory in cases of blasphemy, for both Muslim men and women.
In 2018, when the Dutch politician Geert Wilders announced that he was planning to hold a contest to draw caricatures of Muhammad, there were large protests in Pakistan against it.
It was in this context that TLP leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi declared in front of media that he would order nuclear bomb strikes on the Netherlands to destroy the entire country and “wipe them off the map” he was given the chance to or if he became Pakistan’s leader.
He is quoted to have said at a press conference in Karachi: “If they give me the atom bomb, I would remove Holland from the face of the earth before they can hold a competition of caricatures… I will wipe them off the face of this earth.”
Eventually Geert Wilders cancelled his proposed cartoon contest citing fears of security risks.
In late October 2020, just after the killing of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty in a suburb of Paris by an 18-year old Chechen refugee, TLP published an article on their official website where they commended the killing.
They labelled the killer as a “Shaheed” and “Mujahid”, and posted a photo of the bloodied severed head of Samuel Paty in the same article on which the killer initially posted to Twitter just after the killing.
The post was deleted by Twitter soon afterwards.
The display of the TLP flag in Athens one that should certainly raise concern and catch the attention of the police.
Meanwhile, three years after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A by the Narendra Modi government, the security situation in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has shown marked improvement if a comparison is drawn between 2016-2018 and 2019-2021 data recorded by the Home Ministry and J&K police, Hindustan Times reported.
Despite Pakistan observing a Black Day and separatists giving out a bandh call, the situation is normal in the valley barring incidents of some posters being put up by subversives in Sopore and a grenade attack against a Muslim labourer from Bihar in Pulwama last night. Till now there has been no incident of stone pelting, street violence or closure of schools and colleges.
With Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and JKP police led by DGP Dilbagh Singh putting up continuous pressure on the separatists and religious extremists in the valley, there has been a 600 per cent decline in law and order incidents between three years before August 5, 2019 and three years after the abrogation.
According to data compiled by the Home Ministry and the JKP, extremist-related incidents have shown a decline of 21 per cent if the two three-year periods are compared. While as of July 31, 2022, there are 166 terrorists (86 locals and 80 foreign nationals) active in Kashmir and Jammu zones, as many as 44 top commanders were killed in year 2021 and 18 top terror commanders have been killed to date.
The uptick in counter—insurgency operations also manifests in the detection of no less than 11 tunnels in the past decade with seven cross-LoC tunnels detected in Samba, two in Kathua and two in Jammu sector.
However, the key indicator of improvement in law and order situation is that such incidents in Kashmir have dropped by 600 per cent in three years since the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir compared to the preceding three years.
Data shows from August 5, 2016, to August 4, 2019, the Valley witnessed 4,894 law and order incidents. However, for the three years from August 5, 2019 – when the Narendra Modi government revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union territories – the Valley recorded only 804 such incidents.
The data also show while 126 civilians were killed in terror-related incidents in Kashmir in the three years prior to August 5, 2019, there had been 116 civilian deaths in the next three years.
Similarly, there had been a 51 per cent drop in the killing of police personnel in Kashmir in the last three years. As many as 93 police personnel were killed from August 5, 2016, to August 4, 2019, as compared to 46 deaths in the preceding three years.
There had been also a success in the killing of militants' top commanders belonging to Pakistan-based terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Till July 31 this year, 18 top militants, including 11 from LeT, 5 from JeM and 2 from Hizbul Mujahideen, have been eliminated.
Last year, a total of 44, including 26 from LeT, 10 from JeM, 7 from HM and 1 from Al-Badr, were killed by the security forces in the Valley. There had been a 21 per cent drop in militant-related incidents in the last three years.