Going soft for peace in Jammu and Kashmir
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram is playing dirty politics. Jammu & Kashmir already enjoys some political autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution. However, the Union India still controls important portfolios such as defence and foreign relations. The solution, therefore, lies in de-militarisation of the valley. The reality is that all the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights stops right at the border of Jammu & Kashmir.
If India’s aim is peaceful integration of Kashmir, it has to shun the hardline approach. We can start with abrogating Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act altogether. Crowd-control mechanisms must be re-looked. Pakistani interference must be checked. Kashmiri youth must be motivated to join higher educational institutes, the civil services, the Armed Forces etc. The Army must remain in barracks and border areas, and must only be deployed while conducting security operations.