The Indian Express reports Families coaxing militants to lay down arms:
The strategy adopted by security forces and police to involve the family members of militants to motivate them to join the mainstream seems to be paying off. The number of militants coming forward to surrender to the security forces has been going up in Jammu region of J-K.
In the past three days, seven militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit have laid down their weapons before the police and security forces in Doda district, which was once the hub of militant activities in Jammu region. In the past 18 months 114 militants have surrendered in Udhampur and Doda districts.
From the Rediff More ultras surrendering in J&K: Security forces:
They said 50 per cent of the militants had laid down arms while 10 per cent of their leaders gave themselves up due to sustained pressure from security forces.
Lack of finance, local support, arms, ammunition, infrastructure as well as fear and uncertainity among the leadership were the key factors for their unwillingness to continue on the path of violence, the sources said.
They said the three-progned strategy adopted by the army -- maintaining a check on infiltration, relentless operations against militants and winning of hearts of the people through active participation in the development process -- has paid handsome dividends.
Children being the worst victims of militancy, many new schools were constructed and existing facilities of army goodwill schools were improved and developed and a large number of children were taken on sponsored tours to other parts of the country in order to improve their awareness levels.
In February 2005, during heavy snowfall, a large number of passenger vehicles were stranded at Banihal and Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The army joined hands with the civil administration and local population to provide relief to the stranded people.
While the Daily Excelsior says Ultras attribute surrender to Azad becoming CM:
Motivated by Azad's vision of 'Khushal Kashmir', or prosperous Kashmir, several militants have started laying down arms across the state, officials said.
Nine militants surrendered in the mountainous Doda district, and some of those who surrendered indicated that several more would be giving up arms forever.
"We are impressed by Azad's vision of peace and prosperity. He has offered hope to all the people in the state and we too think that we will benefit by his efforts," Abdul Hameed Malik, a long-time militant of Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen who surrendered before the army and police on Monday, told newsmen in Doda.
Finally from the Times of India LeT militants kill Hizbul ultra in J&K:
In yet another case of inter-outfit rivalry, Lashker-e-Toiba militants killed a self-styled local commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.
Irate over Hizbul tehsil commander Mohmmad Sain's opposition to eveteasing by Pakistani-origin militants, LeT ultras shot dead Sain at Mahasha Ghati in Gandoh tehil of the district on Sunday night, the sources said.
This is the second incident of killing of Hizbul militant in Doda district by LeT in the last 15 days. On January 15, Lashker miltitants shot dead a self-styled area commander of Hizb in Doda.
At this point, we don't know if the tendency is a temporary phenomenon or a gradual reduction of terrorist capabilities. Surely the maturing democracy in J&K and the excellent fencing and counter-terror operations by the Indian Armed Force/Paramilitary surely played a major part.
We believe other factors to have played a part:
Despite the spate of terror attacks which struck J&K right after the earthquake, they could not be continued due to the loss sustanied during the quake. Their enabler Pakistani Army too is believed to have suffered massive losses along the border, much more than the official figures. Something is surely not right when Musharraf said "Hey, look there are no terror camps in POK! Even NATO forces did'nt find any!!". They did a houdini exactly due to the presence of international relief agencies and NATO forces. Nevertheless, front orgainzations masking as 'charities' continue to operate with impunity.
The harsh winter. Yes, it is normal for terrorist activities to reduce during winter. We will have to see the result during spring when the snow melts.
While we should take heart at the positive tendencies overall, we should not let down our guard. Not yet, with the Chief Terrorist, the Chief Terrorist Financier and the Chief Target Practice Supplier are all still in place.