Editorial: Act before it is too late

The reasons for delaying the dialogue process to resolve the Kashmir issue by the present right wing party heading the federal government is beyond anybody’s comprehension.

That dialogue is the only way forward to help get some sort of positive semblance in the state, is being ignored and the coalition partner of the BJP in the state is feeling helpless to get some initiatives moving.

The BJP’s tough posturing over Kashmir has puzzled many. Though it may be trying to achieve more vibrant base in the mainland India, however, the move is not helping the party reach out to the people in the only Muslim majority state and New Delhi’s neighbors like Pakistan and China.

The BJP, given its unexplained tough stand should be held to its promise of dialogue with all stakeholders, including Hurriyat, and even Pakistan, as that is the only way out of the present imbroglio in Jammu and Kashmir.

After having promised dialogue, citing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP needs to answer as to why is it going back on the agenda of the alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The BJP should be held answerable to their own promise in the agenda of the alliance where they have said they would talk to all internal stakeholders. However, even after the ruling dispensation has failed to get the centre moving on such crucial issue, the PDP should have tried to explore some other ways of getting some movement forward on the initiation of the dialogue process.

The BJP’s central leadership have already faced severe criticism by some of their own colleagues, like the former External Affairs and Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha, who headed an apolitical group of eminent citizens that visited the Kashmir Valley twice last year for initiating talks with separatists and other groups after months of unrest that left more than 100 people dead and thousands blinded by pellets fired by security personnel on protestors.

Even though the group he headed had given its recommendations to the government of India on bringing peace in the valley where the situation is going from bad to worse because people are getting more and more alienated.

However, still the BJP’s ally in the state is finding it hard to persuade the central leadership of initiating dialogue-even if given the circumstances-the dialogue process is conducted between New Delhi and the separatist leadership and ignoring the direct involvement of Pakistan at this juncture.

Even if Delhi excludes Pakistan for the time being, it has no reason not to have a dialogue with the people in Jammu and Kashmir. When the Indian government have talks with the Nagas, why ignore Kashmiris’, a question that needs to be answered.

The situation in Kashmir is a matter of the greatest concern and the problem should be resolved without losing any time, because it’s not merely the territory of Jammu and Kashmir that India claims to have a right to, it has to win back the hearts and minds of the people who have been alienated.

And rightfully so, the challenge can be taken head on by reaching out to the people, offering dialogue and if the offer is accepted then actually talking about the resolution of the issue.

 However, all this process needs a strong political will on the part of the PDP. The party needs not to shy away from the ground situation and get some tough questions addressed. May be the answer may not be as favourable for the party leadership, but they better accept the reality. The sooner, the better it is.


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