Kashmir continues to be a festering wound and needs remedy to heal it up permanently.
All genuine efforts from Jawaharlal Nehru to sheikh Abdullah, Indira Gandhi to Shaikh Abdullah , Tashkent agreement ,Simla agreement,
Vajapayee’s Agra Summit ,Lahore Declaration were made from time to time to bring sanity to the permanent solution and make people of Kashmir prosperous responsible citizens of the country.
But every time some disgruntled elements of the valley ,at the behest of Pakistan , fomented trouble and finally joined militancy to threaten peace loving Kashmiris to follow their dictates. Thus jeopardizing any attempt to heal up the wound permanently.
The Central Government over the years has always made efforts to reach out to stakeholders in the valley to help in keeping situation more or less under control.
Since the surgical strike the Central government and J&Kgovernment adopted a tough stand to deal with the situation to root out the militancy completely from the valley.
The counter insurgency operation has been on the upswing.
The number of militants killed since 2017 till date is 138 including 60 locals reported to be highest in the decade.
The top commanders of Hizbul including yasin Yatoo has been killed by Government forces.
Recently ( 26th August) at least eight security persons were killed by three JeM fidayeen militants at police lines pulwama .
Interestingly it has been a year since the surgical strike in Occupied Kashmir carried out by special forces of Indian Army ,having no desire for bilateral talks to pursue peace, the two acrimonious neighbours are simply engaged to firing across the borders in Jammu and Kashmir .They resorted to calling names in global forums. Just a few days back the External Minister Sushma Swaraj at UNO General Assembly termed Pakistan “exporter of terror”.To which the permanent representative of Pakistan Maleeh Lodhi responded India is “mother of terrorism’ in south Asia.
The people of Kashmir thus are caught in the melee ,and subsequently with each passing day the political situation worsens in the valley of Kashmir.
The college girls, boys filled the streets to give vent to their grievances and fight for their future. In the past Girls ,young women did not join protestors as such. The unique protests carried out by younger generation became a matter of concern .
The J&K government under C M MehboobaMufti earlier advocated talks with all stake holders irrespective of their political affliations ,but the Central government did not agree to her pleas .
Mehbooba Mufti said “Only way to face this new reality is that instead of using Kashmir as a political issue to divide public opinion, parties across the political divide should come together and country should be united on Kashmir”.
“There is no other way to resolve Kashmir other than dialogue with parties involved “
Ray of Hope
A ray of hope upon the gloomy Kashmir horizon was brightly seen as PM Mr Narendar Modi pitched for “love and “compassion”message in his 15th August address from the Famous Red Fort, as only possible solution to militancy problem in Kashmir.This was followed by the visit of Home Minister shri Raj Nath to the valley to pursue peace process in Kashmir much admired and applauded by one and all.
The challenges to bring back the people of Kashmir aboard Indian vessel are many but the most prominent ones could be following.
- To preempt any large scale protests seen in the previous year.
This needs earnest efforts to integrate with masses and youth in particular and try to understand the problems and work out the solutions..
- Stop Kashmiri youth to join militancy.
It is reported that about 80 young Kashmiri men joined militant ranks this year.
- Stop identifying every Kashmiri with a militant.
For instance I interacted with Kashmiri youths in Train to Jammu in April2017.
“whenever I introduce myself as a Kashmiri and muslim,I am termed as anti – national.” Said Ali Mohmmad an IT engineer working in Bangalore.
“my political position is to follow peace and work for my living. When people distrust me I feel disturbed.”
I replied trying to re-assure him “all this is due to certain elements you know better , mostly external forces, who try to wedge a deep divide and we must fight such forces together. The whole Nation will be with you ”.
“Let God listen to your prayers sir .” He replied hoping for a better tomorrow.
4. To involve women in Kashmir and empower them with responsibilities in administrative tasks to look after poor and needy .This should help to integrate the youth to a great extent.