Editorial: Rethink needed

The situation in Kashmir Valley continues to be worrisome for all including the Indian army which is directly engaged in fighting the armed militants. The army though, seems quite optimistic to control the situation.

The Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has exuded confidence that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir would be brought under control soon and said there was no cause for worry.

He said the situation was troublesome only in some parts of south Kashmir but he was confident that it would be brought under control.

The statement by the army general needs to be taken on its face value. Primarily, because it has been proven beyond any doubt that the situation in Kashmir Valley cannot be controlled by military means. If the army generals statement holds any water then the situation in the Valley should not have been what it is like today.

The army has been fighting the militants since the past 28 years and even after almost three decades have passed, Kashmir situation is as volatile as it was in the early 1990’s.

Now that takes us to an important question as to what should be the future course of action in case situation in Kashmir is to be brought back to some degree of normalcy.

The answer lies in analyzing the past and preparing a future course of action accordingly. Kashmir situation was not so bad as is being witnessed today. Today there is mayhem on the streets in most parts of South Kashmir. The situation is no different in other areas as well as a minute triggering factor like an encounter between militants and government forces sends the administration into a deep shock and they are left with no other option than to announce restrictions and banning the internet.

However, all these timely measures are not going to help. The wisdom lies in addressing the problem at its core for which some semblance of maturity needs to be shown by the political leadership in New Delhi, Islamabad as well as in Kashmir.

At the very onset, New Delhi needs to rethink its policy towards Pakistan. The reason being that the relations between India and Pakistan are witnessing a new low after the incidents of rising militancy in the Valley and border skirmishes along the LoC have gone up.

Any faceoff between the two neighbours has a direct impact on the lives of the ordinary citizens who happen to live close to the LoC. When the diplomatic row between the two countries intensifies, it steals off the peace and tranquility of every individual living along the borders from the either side. Unfortunately, this aspect of the public suffering does not count in the power corridors of New Delhi and Islamabad.

Going by the past experiences, it is evident that Kashmir has had periods of enviable tranquility when the two countries were on a path of engagement. The period between 2002 and 2007 can be gauged on this scale.

But when the hostility occurs and intensifies, the situation in Kashmir also goes out of the hands. Based on this premise, it is always sensible for the two countries to shun the bad blood and pick up threads for developing a friendly atmosphere in the region. This can save a lot of lives the important resources of the two countries, which can be utilized for the welfare of the people living in the impoverished countries.



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