The unanimous resolve to engage with the democratic and nationalist forces in Jammu & Kashmir has opened new vistas for the perpetual peace
Deepak Zazia from J&K
Withdrawal of Border Security Force (BSF),
within a week after its deployment in the “turbulent” Kashmir, is an indication that initiatives being taken by the Union Government with the collaboration of the Jammu & Kashmir Government are yielding desirable results.
Despite strike extended by the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist groups on the directions of their masters from across the border, curfew has been lifted from major
portion of the Valley because there is visible change in the situation after over 50 days’ unrest and Pakistan
sponsored violence. It is peoples’ yearn for peace that despite Hurriyat strike call, business has started picking up in the Valley.
‘If Kashmir issue is not resolved under PM Modi, it will never be resolved’
SRINAGAR: With one stroke Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has frustrated evil designs of those who have launched a vicious campaign against security forces by projecting stone pelters of Kashmir Valley as “innocent” youth.
There are many reasons which are contributing in gradually restoring normalcy in the Valley. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sincere efforts to reach out to the Kashmiri people with the slogan of “Ekta (unity) and Mamata (love)” has sent a very positive and responsive message among the people. Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s consistent efforts, to involve as many as possible groups and political parties, in the peace process have also received encouraging response. It is first time in the history of J&K that a Union Home Minister has visited Kashmir twice within a period of one month to assess the ground situation. Decision of the Union Government to send All Parties Delegation has raised hopes of engaging all those in dialogue process who are interested in peace. And most important of all, such initiatives of Union Government are being effectively and vigorously complimented by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Mehbooba Mufti is perhaps the first Chief Minister of J&K who is speaking so boldly and bluntly against Pakistan for fomenting trouble in the Valley by exploiting gullible teenagers of Kashmir.
Unlike previous regimes at the Centre, the present Union Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working on two
different fronts to restore peace in the Valley. On one side the government is responding positively to the issues being aired by the forces, who want to restore lasting peace in Kashmir. On the other side, government is acting tough on those who are fuming violence in J&K. And on both the fronts, government has achieved success.
As far as political front is concerned, Prime Minister has himself made sincere and humanist attempt to reach to the people of Valley. Prime Minister during his “Mann Ki Baat” programme on Radio on August 28 said, “Ekta and Mamata are the basic mantras for addressing Kashmir problem” even as he slammed those pushing ‘innocent’ children to violence, saying they will have to answer them some day.
Seeking to strike a chord with the people of Kashmir, he said if any life is lost in the Valley, whether of any youth or any security man, “that loss is ours, of our own, of our own country”.
Fruits Market in Peril
August is the season to pluck ripe apples from orchards in the Kashmir Valley and pack them to be transported to all parts of the country and abroad. The last 50 days of unrest in Valley have not allowed the fruit to be trucked out. It is estimated that the annual apple business in the Valley amounts to nearly Rs 5,000 crore and the loss to farmers so far is approximately Rs 1,000 crore because of the unrest. Apple growers in Kashmir’s Sopore, Pulwama and Shopian, that are famous for its early
He said all the political parties had spoken in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a “message to the world as well as separatist forces” besides conveying “our sentiments to the people of Kashmir”. At the same time, he slammed “those people who push small children to try to create unrest in Kashmir”, saying “some day, they will have to give answers to these innocent children”.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came a day after Mehbooba Mufti met him and presented a “three-pronged action plan” that includes dialogue with all the stakeholders.
“This country is very big, full of diversities. To keep it united, it is the responsibility of all of us, as individual citizens, as a society and as a government, to strengthen the unity as much as we can, highlight it as much as we can. Only then can the nation achieve its bright future. I have confidence in the power of 125 crore people of the country,” he said in the 23rd edition of his programme.
Kashmiri Youth coming forward to don Khaki to take on terrorists
Notwithstanding claims of Hurriyat Conference and other
Similarly Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too has made similar attempt to heal wounds of the people of Kashmir. While winding up his
second tour to Valley within one month, Rajnath Singh said, “Children are children. If they pick up stones, they must be counselled”. He appealed to all Kashmiri leaders not to play with the future of youth in the Valley.
The Home Minister stressed that the future of India cannot exist without the future of Kashmir. “I have said it before also, youth in Kashmir should have pens, books and computers in their hands, not stones,” he added.
Singh added that security personnel have been told to exercise maximum restraint and that an alternative to pellet guns will be brought out soon. He also told the media not to question the government’s understanding of the situation.
Soon after his arrival in Valley for his second visit within a month, Rajnath Singh said that he was ready to meet anyone, who believed in ‘Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat’ at the Nehru Guest House, where he would be staying for two-days, and that any stakeholder can come and give his view point to resolve Kashmir unrest. “All the stakeholders are welcome to meet and inter-act with me on Kashmir situation,” he tweeted on his arrival at Srinagar.
Union Home Ministry said Rajnath Singh held a series of meetings with a wide spectrum of political parties in Srinagar today. He chaired a meeting of senior officers of security agencies and State Government to review the security situation in the Kashmir Valley.
The regional People’s Conference leaders Sajjad Gani Lone and Bashir Ahmad Dar held consultations with the Union Home Minister at the Nehru Guest House where he had opted to stay in an effort to reach out to all
sections of people in the Valley.
A 17-member delegation of the State’s ruling major ally, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led by party general secretary Mohammad Sartaj Madni and a 13-member BJP
delegation led by State President Sat Sharma separately met Rajnath Singh.
Former Chief Minister of J&K Omar Abdullah led a 7-member
delegation of the State’s main Opposition National Conference. The 10-member Congress delegation was led by G A Mir while the CPI (M)
delegation was led by J&K State Secretary MY Tarigami. Regional People’s Democratic Front delegation was led by its chairman Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen. A delegation of Democratic Party Nationalists-led by Chairman Ghulam Hassan Mir also held talks with Singh.
Apart from meeting delegations of several political parties and other organisations, Rajnath Singh had significant hour-long inter-action with Council of Ministry delegation late that evening. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, all Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State from PDP and BJP and BJP ally Sajjad Lone (former separatist) attended the meeting.
It was only after his second visit to Kashmir Valley; that Union Home Minister had announced that All Parties Delegation would visit the State. And this announcement of Union Government was welcomed by all political parties including opposition groups also. Opposition not only welcomed this move but also tried to take credit of this decision of the Union Government.
National Conference Provincial President Devinder Singh Rana referred to the proposed visit of all-party delegation to the Valley and described it as a positive outcome of the initiatives of Jammu & Kashmir Opposition-Prime Minister meet.
He said the opportunity should be availed to highlight the political issues in right perspective and called for national consensus over solving the Kashmir problem hoping that myopic or reactionary political approach will not prevail over the discourse. Rana called on for a collective approach to restore peace and normalcy in the Valley by addressing its political problems, saying it is necessary for peace in the state.
Union Government is also responding positively to the demands of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to single out those who are trying to create trouble in the Valley.
Besides taking some political initiatives, both Centre and State have also started to target those who are creating trouble in the Valley.
As perpetrators of violence continued to instigate over 230 dossiers had been prepared for detaining people under the Public Safety Act (PSA) to thwart protests following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani by security forces in Anantnag district on July 8. An official in the Home department said the highest number of people booked under the PSA belonged to Baramulla district in north Kashmir, where 30 people mostly associated with Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference had been detained. To contain the ongoing
violence, the State Government has detained 109 persons under the PSA and 121 more are likely to be booked under the Act in the coming days for being a threat to the security of state and public order.
Under the PSA, the government can detain a person involved in disturbing public order for three months and for six months, if proved to be a threat to the security of the state. However, in both the cases, the government has kept a provision for revision and the detention period can be extended up to one year and two years, respectively. Besides booking perpetrators of violence under PSA, the government has also started a campaign to check flow of money in Jammu & Kashmir.
A three-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team, headed by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG), has been probing “suspicious” funds transaction in over a dozen bank accounts in J&K that are suspected to have been used to fuel unrest in the valley. The NIA team, including two Superintendents of Police-rank officials, has been scrutinising details of fund flow of some accounts of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and some other private banks in which multiple transaction were made in the last few months.
“There are around half a dozen bank accounts in J&K in which some suspicious transactions were made in the last few months. As the transaction amount was higher than the income of the account holders, it raised suspicion. It seems that the suspicious funds were used to fuel unrest in the valley,” said a government official on condition of anonymity, reported a news agency.
The official said they were yet to confirm the exact number of bank accounts but it seemed to be more than one dozen. He said the banks are bound to disclose information to investigation agencies under section 43F UAPA Act and failure to do so can attract three years of imprisonment. The official said the details of certain bank accounts, having inflow and outflow of huge transactions in Jammu and Kashmir, came to light during investigations.
“We suspect that the inflow of
suspicious amounts was made from Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists,” the
official said. He added that JuD chief Hafiz Saeed had recently announced relief for Kashmiri people.
“As the JuD and other Pakistan-based organisations are under investigation, direct funds were not made. The funds reached to the specific persons through different transactions in several bank accounts.” n