The Bold Voice of J&K

Unfulfilled dreams

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With Assembly election process set  in motion, Jammu and Kashmir has some unfinished agendas left. Of the two main were withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and return of Kashmiri migrants to Valley. These two were even Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s dream projects which remained unfulfilled. Kashmiri Pandits have rejected the proposal of returning to Valley as proposed by the State Government where as several political parties especially Kashmir-based ones have been demanding either repeal or amendments to AFSPA. In J and K not only separatists, the mainstream parties and members of the coalition were singing the same tune over the issue. Even the Chief Minister too had expressed his desire to see the Act removed from the State during his tenure itself. The present Coalition Government has covered two terms and the Act remains where it was from the beginning. The continuation of AFSPA despite its stiff opposition has paid rich dividends in curtailing militancy. Narendra Modi-led Union Government is aware of it and that is one reason why AFSPA is still continuing in its original form. The other issue which the present government wanted to settle was of return of Kashmiri Pandits and the resettlement of displaced persons. Of the two, the first issue remains unsolved with Pandits refusing to accept the proposals and the other regarding refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 India-Pak war displaced; the State Cabinet had recently cleared the proposal for one time settlement of PoK and Chhamb refugees which the State Government has forwarded to Union Government for its approval.  The plight of refugees has always remained a political weapon. Kept as electoral fodder these refugees have little political weightage  except to hold political rallies and protests. Under these circumstances the role of regional parties to effectively solve such contentious issues vis-à-vis their political stand becomes debatable. A bit of optimism prevailed when BJP came to power at the Centre and three of the party candidates from State  were elected to Parliament. But with the passage of time the enthusiasm created seems to be dying its own death with no solution insight.

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