The Bold Voice of J&K

Ending cycle of violence


Dear Editor,

Kashmir Valley has witnessed at least 18 targeted killings since January 1 this year is a development that has left the security grid disturbed. It suggests that in spite of its best efforts to protect and safeguard minorities, the administration in the UT of J&K has been largely unable to stop these attacks from taking place. Of these 18 unfortunate deaths, nine have taken place in the last three weeks. Among those who have been eliminated by terrorists is a Kashmiri Pandit government employee, a Hindu school teacher working in Jammu, a bank manager from Rajasthan, a couple of Sarpanchs and some off-duty police personnel. Have the hard-earned gains of peace and reconciliation achieved over the last decade been reversed? The recent spate of killings would most definitely suggest so. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to think about reviewing the Centre’s security grid as well as its comprehensive outreach to all stakeholders in Kashmir, both politically and financially.
The Prime Minister’s Package for Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants that includes offering financial assistance of Rs 20 to 25 lakh per family (in three installments) is timely, well-thought-out and praiseworthy, but questions are being raised in certain circles about it not being implemented uniformly. “Policies implemented by the Centre regarding land and government jobs are perceived in Jammu and Kashmir as disadvantageous to locals, increasing the sense of alienation that is being exploited by separatists and Pakistan-backed terrorists,” pointed out a report. The need of the hour for both the Centre and the UT administration is to have a fresh rethink of its Kashmir policy to address new challenges to its diktat. The first and immediate response should be one of handling the current environment with patience and care, reassuring all people, including minorities and migrants, that their security and well-being is paramount and non-negotiable. Thereafter, the administration can think of creating the space required for dialogue. A policy that ‘only thinks of elimination of terrorists’ does not seems to be working. The chilling message from the latest round of killings of innocents suggests that hybrid terrorism in Kashmir continues to thrive in spite of best efforts to neutralize it. That the recent attacks have been carried out by local youth is proven as is the fact that the UT police force is being stretched beyond its capacities to provide security to individuals and groups. The bottom line is that the valley’s environment is fraught with fear and uncertainty. The question before all is whether dialogue and a healing touch would be really enough for those whose lives have been ripped apart by violence.
Mool Raj.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :