For the past several years, the lives of people in the valley have been coexisting with terror elements that go out of hand now and then. While the controversial issue of the AFSPA remains to be sorted, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is looked at with expectation to help maintain a better life for the people in general.
But given the present state of affairs in the special state of Jammu and Kashmir, a solution in isolation will never work. A situation that has become a problem of such magnitude over the past decades will obviously need a set of solutions to be implemented with a collective design aimed towards general welfare and development.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's comment about the economy being affected by the acts of separatists is but a very obvious one. The valley is also a region like any other that has people trying to earn a livelihood. Military occupation and insurgency are the two biggest realities that dominate the picture of the valley. But the truth is that underlying these phenomena are the lives of several people that are bound to that land.
The government, to restore order to any extent, need a mechanism to function as best as possible. Things like health care, education, transport, communication, industry etc. are crucial areas to develop to sustain the society better.
With such developments stalled, the terror elements easily make way into the society, agitating and brainwashing the youth and causing disruption to peace and order.
Although the presence of IS influence has been denied, it is not the IS but terror and rebellion that is capable of engaging the youth, in particular, in the absence of employment and other gainful opportunities.
On the other hand, with track-II diplomacy that seems to have taken a back seat, Kashmiri separatists with a moderate political outlook have moved toward the hardline secessionists. In order to restore peace, dialogue process should be resumed at the earliest.
As per a report in The Hindu, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of moderate Hurriyat faction, said a sense of unity prevailed as separatists from across the board began to feel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “buried Vajpayee’s vision” for Kashmir.
“The BJP government is unwilling to understand Kashmir through a political angle,” said Mr. Farooq. “It has decided to deal with Kashmir only militarily. That’s why the BJP’s MLAs are talking about housing ex-servicemen and soldiers here. They have taken a provocative approach and we felt that we must stand together and protest such advances.”
All said and done, militarily, there is not much left to be done. The Army has already done its utmost to keep the state from falling apart. Having reached this point, it is abundantly clear that the solution to restore order in Kashmir lies beyond military measures. The Army is meant to be at the borders. Within civil territories, it is the government that must strive to maintain welfare.
This is not to over-simplify the problem but the fact remains that Centre must cooperate and extend help beyond military measures. What is needed is that a set of measures be implemented in tandem.