One the one hand the federal government (through back channels of course) is trying to rope in separatist quarters in Kashmir and trying its level best to engage them in a dialogue to end the impasse that has gripped the state from the past several months now.
The government’s move reflects in Thursday’s meeting between the veteran Congressman, Mani Shankar Aiyar who met Hurriyat leaders, Sayed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Aiyar a former diplomat turned politician is in Kashmir from past few days. Earlier on Tuesday he attended a conference organized by an NGO, Centre for Peace and Progress. He among other politicians was talking on the theme ‘Discussion on J&K, The Road Ahead’.
Aiyar during the meeting, he had with the separatist leaders has requested them to ensure that steps should be taken so that Kashmir Valley returns to peace and normalcy.
This move by a politician that too from the Congress fold indicates that a section of the Indian political class wishes to carve out a fresh beginning to end the impasse in Kashmir. However, one feels a bit uncomfortable when the timing of the meeting is seen in a broader canvas.
The meeting comes days after an Indian army major, who was in the eye of a storm for allegedly tying a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, has been awarded the army chief’s commendation card.
Even the move has been confirmed by the army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand who said that the officer had been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation (COAS) card for “sustained efforts in CI (counter insurgency) operations”.
What is worrisome is that the Indian establishment during the past two months has been involved in a sort of diatribe against the people of Kashmir. Not only the media but the army and other paramilitary forces have been taking a tough posture against the people of Kashmir for showing resentment against the acts that have a direct bearing on the human rights of the citizens.
The case in point for the people is the Budgam incident and the army’s action against a group of students in Pulwama when army men beat the teenagers ruthlessly showing least concern for their human rights.
One ponders about the duplicity the Indian establishment is trying to pursue in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On the one hand a message is being sent to get people involved while as on the other hand actions that need to be condemned are being seen as an act of valour and courage.
This duplicity needs to be put kept on hold for the greater good. The understanding that the Indian media has about Kashmir should also be reassessed and measures need to be taken to create an atmosphere where issues can be taken forward for seeking their resolution.