All party meet on Kashmir

Kashmir Times. Dated: 5/11/2018 12:22:11 AM

There is an urgent need for initiating dialogue for an end to vicious cycle of violence and pave way for peace and stability in the region

The all party meeting conducted by the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir to find ways and means for seeking an end to vicious cycle of violence in gun-battles between the militants and security forces besides deaths and injuries in pellet and bullet firings comes too late. This is mainly for the reason that the coalition government has already completed three years witnessing change of chief minister and numerous cabinet reshuffles in between. This period has seen increased violence and many youth taking to guns and appear to have been caught by romanticism and glamour of the gun. The new generation of youth joining militant ranks are ready to die and harbour the notion of martyrdom while fighting the mighty Indian state because they feel that they do not have any other alternative than choosing this route to highlight the pain and sufferings of the people. But still, better late than never, the coalition has embarked on a path that does not suit the political thought process of the coalition partner of PDP in J&K or New Delhi where it is leading the alliance. The proposal to send an All Party Delegation to meet Indian leaders for apprising them of the pain and sufferings of the people of Kashmir will be an attempt to change the perception of the BJP leaders about Kashmir. The expressed agenda of the right wing party has been oppression and crushing the armed resistance in Kashmir with a heavy hand because the BJP does not believe in any negotiated resolution of any issue be it Kashmir or Tribals in central India. Unfortunately, the unabated killings have increased over the past four years since BJP took over the reins of power in New Delhi not only in Kashmir but also strife-torn other parts of the country. It is a sad state of affairs that the present army chief has made it clear that the protestors at or close to encounter sites will be dealt with brutal force if they try to disrupt the Counter Insurgency operations. He is on record to say, "No matter how many people are killed or injured in bullet or pellet firing incidents in Kashmir". The cycle of violence has also witnessed an increase in human rights violations and killings of civilians in the process.
In such a situation when mainstream political parties have lost connect with the common masses, it becomes incumbent on the ruling coalition to take all stakeholders on board and initiate a process that seeks an end to killings of civilians. It is also a welcome step that the All Party Delegation meets the Indian leaders and impresses upon them for a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan that begins next week. This will a gesture from the central government as a first step to stop killings of civilians and stop human rights violations besides checking injuries to civilians in pellet and bullet firing incidents. Moreover, besides the mainstream political parties, Hurriyat factions and civil society need to intervene and make the youth in Kashmir understand that armed resistance against a mighty Indian security forces is a futile exercise. This is because of the fact, armed resistance is only leading to loss of human lives and human capital besides destruction of resources and weakening of the local economy. The argument that the angry youth should devise ways and means for a non-violent means of agitation gains importance as it seeks to protect the human capital of the state. The non-violent struggle requires training of the youth and patience for a long drawn movement. Moreover, the argument that all the stakeholders need to come up with an alternative political and socio-economic agenda with equitable distribution of resources also gains currency under the present circumstances. The agenda of the stakeholders in Kashmir has been missing since the strife began more than three decades back resulting in death and destruction. Since the international powers do not have any interest in Kashmir, the situation will continue to worsen with the passage of everyday. The home-grown militancy post-2008 and post-Burhan Wani in 2016 has been deadly resulting in loss of more precious human lives and injuries to thousands. Apart from seeking to address the vexed Kashmir issue through dialogue process and diplomacy with the neighbouring countries, there is need for dialogue initiation at the local level also. Only dialogue, reconciliation and end to cycle of violence will be in the interest of peace which is a pre-requisite for ensuring stability in the region.



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