Dialogue and delivery, Kashmir's mantra for the summer
The Jammu and Kashmir state government, in conjuction with the Centre, has worked out a two pronged strategy -- revolving around dialogue and delivery -- to stem a repeat of last year's turbulent summer this year. Arun Joshi reports.india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 21:03 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir state government, in conjuction with the Centre, has worked out a two pronged strategy to stem a repeat of last year's turbulent summer.
Enough is enough, is the message that New Delhi and Srinagar have decided to send this time, as trouble in the Valley for three consecutive summers, beginning 2008, has broken down the state economy and brought severe international embarrassment, according to official sources.
The strategy is : reach out to the people, both in political and administrative terms, combined with other visible steps like, gradual withdrawal of security forces and repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. In addition, stern action will be taken against trouble makers.
Two panels -- one of the army corps commanders in the state and another of the state’s home department and police -- are in the process of identifying the areas from where the Disturbed Area Act can be withdrawn. This would also mean an automatic repeal of the AFSPA from such places.
"We are waiting for the report of the deliberation of these panels," said chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Omar had voiced apprehension that some elements were bent upon disturbing peace, this summer as well. Though he did not identify the miscreants, but his reference was too clear to be missed; separatists and habitual trouble makers.
"Every effort would be made to ensure that there is no trouble during the summer this year," Omar said.
Sources said that the union home ministry has offered all cooperation to the state government to chart a concrete path towards peace. The home minister P Chidambaram had undertaken a joint review of the security situation.
"Both of them are on the same page,” a senior functionary told Hindustan Times.
The police and army recruitment rallies, held in the Valley in the past one month, have been a grand success, with thousands of Kashmiri youth turning up to join the forces.
Employment seeking youth are also being encouraged to compete for civil services at the national level, and the previous topper of the IAS examinations, Shah Faesal, is being projected as a role model, whose example should be emulated.
Dialogue and delivery are the two other major courses being pursued. The interlocutors are already on the job, they have held several rounds of talks with various sections of people and given their recommendations.
Chidambaram and Omar have credited them with 'changing the discourse' in Kashmir.
"There is no alternative to delivery and the Centre has been told that it should also help the state in doing so. The funds were not released in time. The release of the funds would help make payment for the works undertaken to provide education, health care and road connectivity to the people all across the state,” an official told Hindustan Times.
While all these measures are being considered mandatory to keep the situation under control in the Valley, there seems to be a strong consensus on controlling trouble makers by restricting their activities.