In Kashmir, Stability And Peace Are Priority

JAMMU & KASHMIR

For Kashmir, 2018 presented some of the direst numbers seen in recent times. Terror-related incidents, at 587, were at the highest since 2012. The deaths of 240 militants and 86 securitymen made it the bloodiest year in six years. Civilian deaths jumped 167% from two years ago. By December 29, forces killed at least 240 militants, including 12 top commanders of various militant groups. Most of the violence was centred in south Kashmir’s four districts – Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam.

Closely tied with the security situation is Kashmir’s political reality, and what many saw as an audacious experiment on that front began unravelling early in the year. Strains between Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party reached breaking point, ending the reign of the elected government. While both parties tolerated differences on their approach to critical issues such as security (the BJP was believed to be inclined towards a more muscular approach compared to its ruling partner) for most part of their three-year relationship, the parting of ways came in the aftermath of protests in