Union Minister Jitendra Singh on October 14 said “militants are on the run” and that militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is in its “last phase”. Whether such a view really holds water or barely reflects the self-absorption of the BJP leadership vis-a-vis ground situation in Kashmir asks for a look-over. It is a fact that counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir in the last couple of years have had a success, largely because of the ground intel and the tough policy adopted by the union government. But it is also a fact that violence has not come down but instead shot up many notches. Attacks on police, on armed forces and even on political workers have increased proportionately to the endless counter-insurgency operations. The armed forces who have killed most of the wanted militants in Kashmir by now may see it as a win, but even they know that it is impermanent. Going by the assertion of Jitendra Singh, if militancy in Kashmir is in its last stage, then the government as well as the armed forces must have a roadmap for reducing the footprints of Army in Kashmir. It would be helpful if the minister also sheds some light as when the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act will see its last day in Kashmir, since the end of militancy is very near. Perhaps, the Army is in a better position to share some information on the matter. With militants gone, there is no need to maintain the present civilian-military ratio in Kashmir, which in itself is not a sign of a healthy democracy. If the view of Singh is not fallacious then Army surely must have the endgame in mind. Army has all along maintained that as long as there is militancy in Kashmir, special powers ought to be granted. Do the armed forces deployed in Kashmir have a strong reason to forward in its defense of AFSPA in a militant-free Kashmir? The claims and the view of Singh lack insight as many perturbing questions pop up from the seemingly politically correct statements. Counter-insurgency operations are vindicated only when the end result is to eliminate the violence. Since violence has not come down, and opposed to it, more militant recruitments are taking place, it is not a win by any means. It does not work because violence cannot be eliminated by violence – a point where a politician has a greater role than an army man. Politics postulates that parties having differing views step forward peacefully and negotiate on both claims and terms. The confidence building measures is but politics, and they are far better and far more efficacious than the find and kill philosophy of gun-wielding. There is no peace on LoC, no peace on International Border, neither any peace in Kashmir – so where are the dividends of the government’s policy? Lack of political insight is mostly responsible for the Kashmir mess.