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EditorialBe clear on Jammu Kashmir Policy

Be clear on Jammu Kashmir Policy


The turmoil triggered on the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Terrorist along with his two companions in an encounter last Friday continued for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday in large parts of valley especially in the districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam.

Loss of 32 young civilian lives including those from security forces and police is matter of great pain and anguish across the country. The on-going Amarnath Yatra was suspended; internet services snapped, movement restricted and curfew imposed in certain areas causing lot miseries. Wani was a home-grown terrorist who became notorious for the ease with which he used social media to fan militancy.

Pakistanis saw in this an opportunity to take advantage of the situation by portraying Wani's death as ‘martyrdom', with the UN-condemned terrorist Hafiz Saeed paying glowing tributes to the deceased militant. has asked Pakistan not to fish in the troubled waters and to mind its own business, asserting that there was no question of any compromise on terrorism.

The current situation in the Valley calls for a comprehensive approach to deal with the perceived Kashmir valley issue. Once the current eruption is contained, there is an urgent need to apply afresh to the three-decade-old problem of militancy. It cannot be business as usual, that is, the return of relative calm till terrorists forces a fresh cycle of violence and counter-violence by the security forces. It cannot just go on indefinitely.

The Prime Minister must convene an all-party meeting, and seek sanction for the best possible solution possible within the Constitution to try and resolve the protracted conflict. For, turmoil in Kashmir Valley is not a partisan issue. Every political party must feel a stake in its resolution. If the extraordinary alliance between the Kashmir-centric Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP has not made much headway in containing the sense of separatism among the Kashmiris in the capabilities of the local and central governments to address their concerns, there is something deeper that goes far beyond the fate of individual governments.

For peace to be established in Kashmir valley, it is crystal clear, the so called mainstream political parties are weak enough to develop the sense of integration with the mainstream despite enough has been done by the union government in terms of development and financial help to build J&K's . Strangely, the Chief Ministers calling for help from the separatists to bring the calm in the valley raises a valid question whether these elected representatives of Kashmiris are their genuine leaders. And If, that is so, then the political prudence demands that the government to engage with the ‘genuine representatives' of the people. Separatists in thrall to their Pakistani masters cannot have a role. The youth of Kashmir valley must be made to see a future in peace within India.

Peace may not be the most popular word in the militancy-hit Kashmir valley right now but ultimately without its return the future of every Kashmiri is blurred. So long as there is no realization among the young and old that any solution to the Kashmir issue lies within the four walls of the Constitution, no progress is possible.

Every stakeholder in Kashmir must ponder over the deadly consequences of a mindless confrontation with the security forces due to complete lack of trust between them and the locals. Yet, moderation will make their task easier in containing militancy.

Protection of human rights, though absolutely essential, must not be allowed to become an excuse to encourage separatist elements.

It is wrong to say that the armed forces enjoyed complete immunity from scrutiny of their actions under the sixty-year-old AFSPA. An internal mechanism of checks was already in place. Despite an occasional excess due to fear or under grave provocation, the AFSPA has helped in the restoration of normalcy in troubled areas, be it Kashmir Valley or Manipur.

Militancy fuelled by foreign powers cannot be fought by security forces with their hands and feet tied in restraints applicable elsewhere in the country. Determined militant groups, seeking the protection of human rights while engaging in guerrilla tactics, cannot be neutralised under normal laws.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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