Congress should forget Kashmir, resurrect sunk ship across India

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Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a critical phase. Militants are on the run. The separatists have nowhere to go. They are short of funds. Their Hawala routes have been choked and it is highly unlikely that they would be able to strike back with vengeance. Their days are numbered. The top terrorist commanders from Pakistan have been killed and the remaining are likely to be neutralised in the days to come. Situation is slowly and steadily limping back to normalcy. And this has been made possible by the security grid of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir Police alongwith Army and Paramilitary forces have tightened noose around those operating with or without gun to spread the ideology of hate, secession and communalism. Separatists have been shown their place. They have been made to realise folly of taking the state for a ride every time state tried to approach them for peace, progress and prosperity. They shut their doors on a delegation which was headed by none other than the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Backed by Pakistani Army and ISI, the separatists had turned Kashmir into their personal fiefdom. They would announce bands, strikes and Chalo Programmes, according to their own sweet will. No one seemingly had the courage to call a spade a spade and ask them to shut their business of destroying the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. From civil society to local media outlets, none dared to stand against them and tell them to mend ways. The calendars of these Pakistan backers would have nothing but a schedule of when to open the businesses and when to keep them shut. Now, when their business has been shut and they are running for cover, the Congress has got activated. Those who lost power in the year 2014 to a person whom they called ‘Chaiwala’ and dismissed as no match to their silent leaders are back in the valley. Mani Shanker Aiyer met Governor N.N.Vohra and is in the valley meeting people for the reasons best known to him. Not only he, several other congressman are in valley. They are meeting people, holding one to one discussions and convincing local Kashmiris that they are there in Kashmir for convincing government of India to hold deliberations with separatists for bringing permanent peace back in Kashmiri valley. It amazes how those living in posh areas of New Delhi suddenly develop extraordinary interest in Kashmir when they are out of power. One needs to remind Congress how they would prevent BJP leaders from coming to J&K during testing times and what their approach was when they were in power. Not only this, they need to be asked, what their approach towards Kashmir and Kashmiri separatists fetched the nation for years together? Anarchy, death and destruction is what their approach brought to Kashmir. Militancy was at its lowest abb in 2005 and within 12 years, of which Congress was in power for 9 long years, first with PDP and later with National Conference (NC), militancy returned to the valley. They allowed the situation to deteriorate and as a result, things went from good to bad to worse within 12 years. It is their created problem which the present BJP-led government is trying to resolve. They were in power and they allowed the situation to drift. Former DGP Kuldeep Khoda rightly said in an interview that while they were continuously apprising New Delhi about Hawala funding being the main reason behind separatists dictating terms in Kashmir, their reports were ignored. No action was ever taken against the separatists despite central government knowing well that they were being funded by Pakistan and ISI through Hawala Channels. Jammu and Kashmir Police alongwith intelligence agencies repeatedly told the policy makers in New Delhi to strengthen regulation of trade over the LOC but the same was ignored by the same people who are now talking of being Kashmir experts. People have been saying it loudly now that it seemed that there was policy inertia in New Delhi vis-à-vis Kashmir from 2004 to 2014. None knew what to do for bringing permanent peace in Kashmir valley. But the moment Congress lost power; it seems their mental capacities have got greatly enhanced. They have come to realise that they have all the formulas for bringing permanent peace in Kashmir valley. From Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mani Shanker Aiyar, Congress seems to have made up its mind to set-up a permanent base camp in Kashmir now. The party should realise that it is nowhere on the national scene. And for returning to the scene, it feels Kashmir is the only route. It was always wrong and it is again wrong. A course
correction might help the party but with no serious leadership around, this is highly unlikely.

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