End This Mayhem

April 5, 2018 EDITORIAL 56 Views
End This Mayhem

With Pakistan’s celebrated crickter, Shahid Afridi coming in support of Kashmir, there is a lot more coming from the Bollywood actors, writers and Indian cricketers. Kashmir can’t afford more human sufferings and it has been going through a lot of bad times from last over three decades. The Indian and Pakistan government must work together to end this mayhem in otherwise beautiful and picturesque Kashmir. Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh had announced that the Government of India has decided to start a sustained dialogue on Kashmir. Singh said that the former Director of IB, Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed as government’s (union) representative has been asked to come up with n exhaustive report on Kashmir conflict and different shades. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who welcomed the announcement immediately tweeted “Dialogue is a necessity of the hour and the only way to go forward.” From what has been said by Singh, it is apparently a healthy development in regional politics and a respectable proposition in the wake of perfervid sentiment that has cast the Valley in political chaos. Earlier, dialogue process which was started by the Government of India in the past was criticized for dilating the space for dissent. The policy was attacked as being weak and conceding. While its demerits were blown out of proportion, the merits were hardly taken into account. As has been misconstrued, the process was not started to appease anyone, but the overall circumstances and political developments in J&K state had made it mandatory to address the most important issue before unrest could snowball into a mass revolt. The process itself was criticized for inconsistency as the change of guard in New Delhi was seen to either thwart or abandon such an interaction, to an extent that the government (union) refused to reckon the process not to mention appoint an interlocutor. But the announcement from the home minister will bring a change, and as is hoped by different stakeholders, quite a positive one. Meaningful dialogue that is sustained in its composition and consistency would shrink the space for sporadic violent outbreaks. There is also a visible change in the government vocabulary. “Legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir” will ring bells everywhere. The state government, a coalition government of PDP and BJP, headed by CM Mehbooba Mufti has high stakes in the sustained dialogue process. The government’s credibility is at stake as “dialogue process” and “peace talks” were among the primary agendas set by the government when it was formed. Any failure to fulfill these obligations will be reflected in coming years. New Delhi’s credibility is also at stake in the sense that it has been accused of failing to fulfill its obligations and mislead people by starting exercises in vain. It is an opportunity for New Delhi as well to reclaim its credibility in Kashmir.

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