TOWARDS EVERLASTING PEACE

With the Centre’s interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma concluding his first J&K visit spread over two legs covering Kashmir and Jammu on 11th Nov, all eyes are set on the outcome of the first engagements. Scheduled to be in Jammu for three days from November 9 to 11, the interlocutor gave almost similar time to Kashmir skipping Ladakh in the first tour. However he would visit Ladakh region including both Leh and Kargil districts during his next visit to the State. While the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s initiative to depute another high-level delegation of the MHA to Jammu and Kashmir on November 10 and 11 accompanied by top officials from the State that would visit border areas of all five districts of Jammu region to assess problems faced by the people living along International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) and suggest measures for permanent solution is a clear indication of the Centre’s seriousness to resolve the K-Issue once for all, it needs to be seen how far the efforts will prove to be productive this time. Given the past experience and enormity of the complexities linked to the issue, restoring peace and normalcy in the state of J&K is not an easy nut to crack. It is really a great tragedy that the state of J&K that had been a show-window of plurality and inclusiveness in the country since the subcontinent witnessed mayhem, bloodshed and loot during the 1947 partition, is being looked upon with suspicion due to terrorism and separatist onslaught during the past about three decades. The deterioration on this count can be well gauged from the fact that even the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal to the people of the state seeking their support to make the state an abode of peace failed to make any substantial impact. It is a fact that there is a dire need for good governance in the state and it will continue to be a great challenge for the BJP-PDP coalition government unless peace is fully restored by it. For this the state government will have to deal effectively with all factors and forces which encourage confrontation, regionalism, communalism or any kind of divisiveness. The biggest factor responsible for dawning peace in the state is Pakistan’s failure to respond positively to India’s repeated initiatives to engender an environment that would nurture friendly, peaceful and prosperous relations between the two neighbours besides ensuring that the people of Jammu & Kashmir whose well wisher it claims to be, live in a peaceful and prosperous environment. The goal might seem to be difficult but it is undoubtedly achievable. The only thing required is not only the sincere efforts of the incumbent BJP-PDP coalition government but also that of all the stake holders especially the people of the valley. However, at the same time it is essential that all segments of the society shed their differences and endeavour to secure peace and normalcy by settling all the outstanding issues through dialogue and discussion as it is a well acknowledged fact that environment of peace and normalcy is imperative for speedy socio-economic development and the same has to be achieved at any cost. Mehbooba undoubtedly has the potential of transforming J&K into a model state to be followed by the rest of the nation and the role of the incumbent interlocutor can serve as the best catalyst if handled both seriously as well as properly. While much progress has already been made on this front, today there are quite a few irrelevant groups managing the show to prove their existence in order to appease their bosses across the border thus ensuring that their money minting industry remains intact. The people in Kashmir must understand that Pakistan for all practical purposes is a rogue state today and expecting any good for Kashmir or Kashmiris would just be a utopian concept. It is really an irony that despite Pakistan being itself bled by the terrorists that it nurtured all along refuses to reconcile to the ground situation which demands establishing peace in the subcontinent, at least in the interest of peace and prosperity in Pakistan which is today at the height of bankruptcy and on the verge of disintegration. Now that the interlocutor has begun to wind up its first chapter of his mission Kashmir for making J&K an abode of peace, it is hoped that that people will respond with full vigour and dynamism backed by a strong will and determination and work in unison so that the separatist forces become absolutely irrelevant and the interlocutor succeeds in achieving success in overcoming this great challenge towards establishing everlasting peace and prosperity in the state.