Challenging time for Mehbooba

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Early this month, Srinagar witnessed two terror attacks. They might not have received national attention as they were too “small” to merit it. In two incidents in less than two hours, the police came under fire in the summer capital of the state. What’s worse, they killed three policemen and in one case, took away the police weapons. Citizens of Srinagar as well as rest of the state do not remember such an incident at least during the last three years.
They are in a state of shock and yet to understand reasons behind this spurt of attacks. One reason is that youngsters have taken up guns and are behind these attacks but the basic reason is continued support to terrorism from Pakistan. What is significant is that the terrorists successfully attacked the police and got away with it. This is a matter of serious concern to the state and the Centre.
The incidents should be seen as a warning to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The terrorists have either gained in confidence or have found the situation conducive for their activities. In either case, it presents a challenge to the PDP-BJP government.
Add to it the recent moves of the separatists; from Yasin Malik to the Hurriyat leaders of different hues, to unite and create unrest in the Valley, the stage seems set for a turbulent time. As such, it is going to be a tightrope walk for the Chief Minister. In no case should her espousal of extremist demands in the past come in the way of dealing with terrorism with a strong hand.
As she is the first woman to lead the government in the state, the whole world has been watching how she tackles the problem of terror which has been haunting the state for a little over two decades. Her government certainly enjoys the goodwill of people in all the three regions of the state. It also has the support of the Central government which adopts a no-nonsense approach when it comes to terrorism.
Mehbooba should always keep in mind the trust that New Delhi has in her. She should not hesitate in being tough and taking action wherever it is required. She should show the world how a female can deal with menace of terrorism if she has the will to do so. She has to prove to the world that she is the best and there is no match of her potential in the state as well as in the country.
Given all the positive factors, she should not leave any stone unturned in her efforts to crush terrorism in the Valley. In the process, she should not alienate the people. Nothing would help the separatists more. The BJP, Mehbooba’s coalition partner, should also ensure that there is proper coordination and both must avoid unnecessary controversies.

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