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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

In a shocking revelation, National Investigation Agency in its charge-sheet has said that a PDP Youth leader Waheed Para on behalf of Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party gave Rs 5 crore to Altaf Shah, separatist leader of Hurriyat Conference to keep the situation boiling in Kashmir valley after the killing of Burhan Wani. Many mainstream local J&K-based political parties like Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party in past have been accused of running soft-separatism agenda to further their grip of power in the valley, while it continues to draw financial aid from Delhi. 

People of Jammu and Kashmir have seen nearly 4 decades of conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people due to predominantly ideological and identity-based factors, but still, it has managed to sustain the conflict via funds coming from Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world that is providing the economical motivations, at the individual and group level to continue this never-ending circle of conflict in the region. 

Goods and Services Tax (GST) from Jammu and Kashmir, has seen a considerable increase in coffers for New Delhi but it is Jammu that is driving and churning out the numbers in terms of sales and revenue collection and not Kashmir where economic activities due to the conflict are more or less staggered in last few decades. All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that often sides with Islamabad in promoting or defending a particular identity-based policy in the valley, leaders of Hurriyat fight for economic survival or enrichment of themselves rather than the people they claim to fight for. Many Hurriyat leaders own and run much of the business in and around the Srinagar region in dubious names of their aides with impunity and have created fortunes that could fund this conflict for decades to come. 

Enforcement Directorate and National Investigation Agency in recent times have started the crackdown on rich rebels of Kashmir who have created this massive fortunes over the years due to sustained Conflict economy in the region, that has helped contain the rise in youth joining and becoming Over Ground Worker that provides logistics to the terrorist in the region and also assist in a stone-pelting incident that is often carried out in sync to divert attention from trapped terrorists in locations where Armed forces often launch their operations. 

Recent media reports that Bangladesh-based Islamic organizations have sent bitcoin currencies to Kashmir-based terror organizations also show that revival is taking place that can be confirmed after a small spate of stone-pelting incidents that was reported recently. conflict economy has been tightly linked to the funding for arms, ammunition, and fighters and it is clear that such factors now play a critical role in the persistence of open fighting, localized violence, and coercion in the valley that is hand in glove with local politicians and hardline separatist.

Kashmir region is not a resource-rich region for this conflict to sustain for that long nor Pakistan alone has managed to keep the conflict in the region sustained for the last 4 decades. Prime Minister Modi needs to see the broader political economy of war at work in the Kashmir region, which has become part and embedded within a complex local socio-political system in the valley. 

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