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Opinion
View from the Gallery
Dialogue alone can resolve Kashmir issue
By Brij Bhardwaj
With Government of India determined to treat Kashmir problem as law and order issue and State Government pleading for a dialogue no cohesion is possible. In clashes between militants and security forces both sides will continue to suffer loss of life. In addition civilians will also suffer including some innocents as civilians population is becoming increasingly involved in these clashes.



South Kashmir is becoming a war zone in Kashmir with encounters between the security forces and militants becoming a daily affair claiming lives of front ranks of militants as well as members of security forces. The security forces have claimed success by eliminating a few well known militants who had been operating in Kashmir for many years. As a result of recent operations, the authorities claim that they have got the situation under control and authority of state is being re-established.

The ground situation, however, indicates that both sides have enlarged the area of operation and are suffering causalities. Another factor is increasing involvement of local population which virtually invades the sites where encounters take place between militants and security forces and indulge in stone pelting to help the militants to escape. Militants have become bold and offer gun salutes during funerals of militants killed and are not scared to get themselves photographed.

The presence of militants during funerals help in attracting youngmen to join ranks of militants. For the time being there is no visible change in the situation and it looks that the battle between militants and security forces will be a long one . This is having its impact on the coalition partners and they have started contradicting each other. While Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has spoken about the sanctity of article 370, continuation of trade across the line of control and need for talks.

BJP leaders, however, have taken the view that in case security agency feels that border trade is helping the militants than the same should be stopped and they also feel that no negotiations can take place with those who are indulging in violence. They also argue in favour of financial integration of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the country. Another constitutional provision that protects the right of State subjects to own property, has also become controversial.

In such a situation one wonders how long the coalition Government will be able to work as with passage of time base of PDP is getting eroded. All those who in the past had supported PDP in South Kashmir have now shifted their allegiance to militants. The result is that poll for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat is not likely to be held for a long time.

With Government of India determined to treat Kashmir problem as law and order issue and State Government pleading for a dialogue no cohesion is possible.

In clashes between militants and security forces both sides will continue to suffer loss of life. In addition civilians will also suffer including some innocents as civilians population is becoming increasingly involved in these clashes.

The locals serving in police and Government service have also come under pressure . They are finding it difficult to visit their families living in villages and their relatives are under pressure. In Kashmir where families are closely linked which include blood relations between militants and policemen, the social cost of the conflict is very heavy.

The general view is that sooner or later there has to be a change of policy and a dialogue started. A hard line in which force is used freely against all those indulging in violence and others who are peaceful protesters, the alienation of people in Kashmir will only increase. In current age where there is free flow of news and use of internet it is not possible to kill an idea as pointed out by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti,

As such one hopes that sooner or later both sides will realise the futility of continuing an armed conflict in which there can be no winners. It is difficult to change ground situation. Use of force can work upto a point but real peace can retsurn to valley only though a dialogue. It is time for all to realise that people of Valley became part of India by free will and deserves to be treated with respect and not as enemies. Solution is possible if attempt is made to resolve it within limits of "Insaniyat an Jamhooriyat" as suggested by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

*(Brij Bhardwaj is a veteran journalist and commentator)


News Updated at : Tuesday, August 8, 2017
 
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