harsh truth

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jun 2018 12:01:31

JAMMU and Kashmir Chief Minister Ms. Mehbooba Mufti is more than right that increased militancy in her State will step up military footprint as well in the area. And this must happen to cope with whatever level of militancy is visible there. For, the security personnel are being targeted by young mobs going berserk all the time. The manner in which the mobs attacked an Army vehicle last Friday without any provocation was certainly a very serious matter and called for a very serious review of the overall security situation -- internal as well as external. The overall scenario certainly calls for a stepped up ‘military footprint’ in Jammu and Kashmir so that separatism and separatists are thrashed severely. 

Combating separatism in Kashmir, however, is not going to be easy. It will require a long-time commitment of military resources plus very shrewd politics aimed at elimination of separatist in the most ruthless manner. For, the biggest misfortune of Kashmir has been separatist politics. Almost every political party and almost every political leader has thrived in Kashmir on the support of separatist lobbies. Even Ms. Mehbooba Mufti has been found sympathising with separatists and has talked a language of deceit and double-standards. Added to this reality is another dirty truth of an international conspiracy to convert Kashmir into something like any State in the Middle-East where senseless war among various groups goes on all the time.To defeat this dirty design, the Government will have to take extraordinary steps to control the situation in Kashmir. Stepping up the military footprint to suit the requirement is one of those extraordinary steps.

Other extraordinary steps may include removal of the current State Government, no matter if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a partner in it, and imposition of President’s Rule. Such a step would enable the Government to subvert separatism almost on its own terms. Though some political elements will see that step as an opportunity to create a bigger mess in the State, the Government, too, will have a greater opportunity to strike hard at right places to curb separatism. It will be a long process and every detail will have to be handled smartly. But that appears to be one of the best options the Centre has.

In a way, imposition of President’s Rule would also be interpreted by some as an admittance of failure of the political system. But then, is that not a reality in Jammu and Kashmir? So, admitting the reality and charting out a better course of response will be the best and wisest step available to the Government. At least until now, through succession of Governments in New Delhi over decades, only piece-meal steps have been taken to combat separatism in Kashmir. A lot of those steps were meant to please some or the other segment of Kashmir’s political eco-system. Obviously, such an approach was not going to help in seeking a credible solution to the Kashmir tangle. It is against this background that seeking a long-term solution and planning for it in a patient manner is the only route the Centre must take.

One of the approaches to this concerted action could be to form a high-power group of political, administrative, strategic, and military brains and allow it is to function in the most patient but solicitous manner to evolve a long-term plan. When the BJP agreed to be a partner with the People’s Democratic Party headed by Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, the idea was something like this -- to work on a long-term plan to resurrect Kashmir from the terrible mess. That method does not seem to have worked, no matter the tall claims the J&K BJP bosses may have made about their achievements. The other option, therefore, is President’s Rule in the troubled State. We believe that such a regime would offer the Government a greater freedom to act smart and tough. In the past, Kashmir has see President’s Rule. The remedy can be revived.