In the aftermath of the Uri attack, the accusations from India have been incessant. Non-state actors are the stick India, and even the US, use to beat Pakistan with. The attack on Uri has been widely equated with Indian atrocities in Kashmir. It is not likely that the attack was engineered in Pakistan at all. Yet, the very existence of elements in Pakistan who hold the desire to orchestrate such events, is a problem. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) are an international perception problem.

Both the All Parties Conference (APC) and the joint session of the parliament on October 6 devoted the agenda to the Kashmir crisis. The sessions also saw discussion on the role of the organisations repeatedly accused of being involved in violent activities.

While Uri is an attempt to cover its sins in Kashmir; the attack in Pathankot on January 16, the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 form a dangerous part of India’s arsenal. The Indian narrative is that these attacks were carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jamaat ud-Dawa or the Jaish-e-Muhammad, and action should be taken against them.

However, the leaders of the banned organisations in question have been unable to face conclusive investigation apparently due to a lack of adequate evidence. This allows the world to see us as the protectors of individuals declared terrorists internationally. It is natural then that the argument would be taken to the extreme, that it is these organisations that Pakistan uses to create unrest in Kashmir.

The freedom movement in Kashmir is indigenous, and this was seen to be true especially after the killing of Burhan Wani. The existence of LeT, JeM, the Haqqanis and so on, is of no use to the Pakistani state, or its goals for regional peace and security. If the state feels that they need to be disbanded, then there is no time to lose. That those accused by India should be handed over to it feels like surrender and cannot happen, but this does not mean that they should not be tried under Pakistani laws, or that their movement and influence in Pakistan should not be curtailed.

Pakistan’s prestige is the sticking point. And if no action is taken, in the words of a senior analyst MA Niazi, “This assumes that Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Azhar somehow perform, or have performed, services valuable enough to the Pakistani state that they merit such protection.”