Disappointing visit

June 8, 2018 EDITORIAL 109 Views
Disappointing visit

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh’s, visit to Kashmir has been a disappointing sojourn. The Minister skirted a clear answer over whether New Delhi will extend the unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir. Rather he has peppered his announcements with such doles as speeding up the developmental process to secure the future of youth and trying to admire the sportsmanship. The Home Minister has refrained from extending invitation to the separatists for talks in Kashmir and has capped his dialogue process with the remark that “government is open for talks with anyone but they should be right-minded people.” The Government of India’s (GoIs) policy on Kashmir is bereft of any consistency as New Delhi has even tried to evade a comparison of cessation of counter-insurgency operations with the ceasefire. Though the militants have shown a lukewarm response to government’s offer to suspend the operations against them in which forces were ferreting them out from holed-in houses, the GoI’s failure to send invitation to separatists has further derailed the prospectus of peace. In Kashmir the young boys are turning to taking up the guns at an alarming pace and to prevent the streets protests and ensure peace it is important talks are started with the separatists. Such statements like that “various elements” are hell-bent to spoil the future of the innocent youth willn’t help secure peace in Kashmir. The region has been scarred by ongoing militancy and youth continue to brace arms. There are certain announcements which need to be welcomed like the withdrawal of cases against first time stone pelters and accelerating the pace of development under the Prime Minister’s package of Rs. 80,068 crores. But is more vital that the bloodshed in Kashmir is stopped as it is only in an atmosphere of peace that developmental activities can gain traction. The Central government shouldn’t adopt a policy of euphemism and evasion and rather be candid and honest in dealing with the public protests and the ongoing militancy. The security agencies have reported that the militant recruitments have increased since the killing of militant commander, Burhan Muzafar Wani. Since government announced the non initiation of combat operations (NICO), more than 25 youths have joined militancy in month of Ramzan. The grenade attacks have also increased and over 20 incidents have been reported in the same period while as IED blasts have returned back. There has been however a decline in the incidents of stone pelting since announcement of NICO. The writing on the wall is clear: a consistent dialogue will help the state to usher in peace and knee-jerk policy of rhetoric should be shunned.

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