NSA Ajit Doval reports Srinagar welcomes Amit Shah statehood assurance for Jammu and Kashmir
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who returned to Kashmir Valley yesterday, has told the government that residents of the state were supportive of Centre’s initiative on Article 370 and had welcomed Home Minister Amit Shah’s assurance in parliament.
Amit Shah had, during his response to the debate in the Rajya Sabha, promised that the union territory status for Jammu and Kashmir regions was not a permanent and the government would restore statehood at an appropriate time if the situation improves. Shah had also underscored that the Centre did not want Kashmir to remain a union territory but had to make the change to bring about an improvement in the situation.
In his ground report to the Centre, NSA Doval has said this assurance had gone down well with the people.
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Doval had landed in Jammu and Kashmir last afternoon even before Amit Shah started his hour-long response to the debate in the Rajya Sabha.
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NSA Doval has reviewed the security situation in the state with commanders of the army and paramilitary forces as well as the intelligence heads of the state. Apart from this, Doval interacted with locals for feedback on the article 370 move. A Kashmir expert, Doval has seen the worst of militancy in Kashmir from early 1990s and headed the bureau in Kashmir a few years later.
There was also considerable acknowledgement in Kashmir Valley that the change was well planned and the Centre had take care to send reassuring messages to the Valley, Doval told the government in his report.
It also noted that there have been no reports of agitations in the Kashmir Valley and people are moving about for essential work.
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The military had flown scores of sorties over the past few days and weeks to carry tonnes of food supplies and medicines to prep for all kinds of situations.
But there is a sense in the government that the Amit Shah’s emphasis to underline that Article 370 or statehood did not really benefit the people but just a handful of families had resonated in the Kashmir valley.
AK Doval’s report also echoed this sentiment. He said there was a feeling among the people in Kashmir that local politicians had vested interests and had taken people for a ride.
Former chief ministers, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, have been detained as Opposition parties grappled to put up an effective protest against the revocation of special status for J&K and the state’s bifurcation into two Union Territories.