Mehbooba remain firm on her ‘Healing touch’ policy in Kashmir Valley
After J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has formally approved withdrawal of cases against 4327 stone pelters involved in 744 cases related to disruption of law and order in different parts of Kashmir valley a section of moderate voices in the separatist camp are hoping for a second dose of healing touch’ in the form of review of cases slapped against their leaders and political prisoners under Public Safety Act (PSA).
In the absence of the withdrawal of cases against the separatist and some of their sympathisers the question of brokering a peace deal with these hardliners does not arise.
It is another matter some of the moderate voices have been sending feelers through their emissaries for a fresh beginning after smelling an opportunity that ‘peace currency’ is gaining momentum and the centre is willing to walk an extra mile before engaging with the separatists within the ambit of Indian constitution.
Some of the senior state politicians who are privy to these back-channel engagements revealed, “these emissaries have even set some pre-conditions like a review of cases of PSA slapped against a large number of political workers associated with separatist camp in Kashmir valley before responding to the dialogue offer with the centre’s representative”.
It appears that the leaders have managed to convince the moderate voices in the Hurriyat camp to participate in the dialogue process
At the end of his maiden visit to Kashmir valley, Dineshwar Sharma had entrusted the responsibility of establishing contact with the separatist leaders on three senior politicians and sitting members of the state legislature.
It appears these leaders have managed to convince the moderate voices in the Hurriyat camp to participate in the dialogue process and make fresh beginning instead of sitting inside their ‘ivory’ towers and remaining house arrest.
It is in the backdrop of these developments a recent statement of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq asking the government that if they are serious to hold dialogue then they should release all the political prisoners without any further delay, assumes far greater importance.
He had said that Hurriyat leadership was eager to play their role in promoting the atmosphere of peace. He called upon New Delhi to realize that Kashmir needs to be resolved keeping in view the “historical background.”
PDP pitching for release of political prisoners
BJP’s alliance partner People’s Democratic Party is also trying its level best to convince the top leadership in the centre to engage with the separatist voices to lend credibility to the recent initiative of holding sustained dialogue process. Reacting to the development PDP General secretary Nizam-Ud-Din Bhat on Wednesday said that political leaders lodged in jails should also be freed so that the ongoing Kashmir dialogue can be held with all political shades.
“We welcome the government of India’s initiative of giving amnesty to first time stone pelters. As the GoI has taken such a measure for political reasons to create a political atmosphere, it becomes necessary that the political leaders also are given freedom from jails so that the initiative taken to hold dialogue with the people of different ideologies becomes a reality.”
The PDP veteran also commented,“The way the central government is supporting our government, we feel empowered and would want them to release the political prisoners.”
At the moment the state government agencies remain non-committal but they are keeping a close watch on the activities of these moderate leaders. It is also not clear whether the joint resistance leadership in Kashmir valley is on the same page or the government agencies have managed to break their unity to push its ‘agenda of peace’.
“Let me correct this for you – Dineshwar Sharma & Home Ministry in Delhi ordered the withdrawal of cases. Ms Mufti was left to sign the file,”
“The ice has started melting and there is a realisation among the separatist camp that if the centre is keen on holding sustained dialogue to resolve issues and has nominated a special representative to kick-start the stalled dialogue there is no harm in climbing down from their stated positions before sitting across the table”, a retired professor of Jammu University explained.
In the light of these developments, emissaries of Dineshwar Sharma in Srinagar have been consistently following up with the separatist camp to explore the possibility of a structured dialogue in the coming months.
Meanwhile, reacting to the reports that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has withdrawn cases against stone pelters, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that there is no hand of Mehbooba in this development.
“Let me correct this for you – Dineshwar Sharma & Home Ministry in Delhi ordered the withdrawal of cases. Ms Mufti was left to sign the file,” he tweeted.
Mehbooba remain firm on her ‘Healing touch’ policy
Despite facing criticism from different quarters and receiving brickbats for her consistent approach on tackling the menace of terrorism in Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged her police force to adopt a “humane” approach in dealing with people and “remain soft with agitating youth” in Kashmir.
Addressing the attestation-cum-passing out parade of 947 recruits at the police training school at Kathua, Mehbooba said: “I congratulate all of you for completing the rigorous training. I have heard about your training and skills. It is not just about firing SLRs and AK-47s, it is about how you behave when you face a nine-year-old and an 80-year-old (on streets). The real test awaits you outside.”
“The real test begins once you have to deal with youth on streets; you need to do the parenting of these youth who are barely 12 to 14 years of age. They need to be counselled, educated and guided for which you people have to act as their guides and mentors,” she told the new recruits.
She said that instead of stones and bricks, children should carry laptops, computers and books in their hands. “You have to sensibly handle situations once you move out from this academy,” she said.
The Chief Minister said that militancy cannot be wiped out by killing militants alone. “You have to eliminate militancy. But it cannot be done by killing militants alone. A more humane approach is needed to tackle the problem. We need to understand the reason and the real problem behind militancy,” she said.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.