New Delhi’s Kashmir policy crystal clear, no appeasement

New Delhi has never been as clear in its Kashmir policy as it has been since the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over. He invited ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif for swearing-in ceremony and followed it up by an unannounced and surprise visit to Pakistan. The intent was clear and then message was loud. Prime Minister Narendra Modi meant business and he was serious in engaging Pakistan in a sustained dialogue for peace-building and progress in this region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi desired to have long-lasting friendship with Pakistan. He wanted to rewrite history and he is still in the same mood. But Pakistan has its own problems. The deposed Ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif desired to change the course of the history by following up on the issues raised by India with regard to fighting terror in the region. But media in Pakistan reported in detail how his mission was cut-short and how the Pakistan Army forced the democratically elected ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to let them dictate terms over relations with India. Pathankote attack was followed up by an attack on Army in Uri and then, Nagrota was last nail in the coffin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team of officers decided to respond in the language which Pakistan understands. Surgical strikes across the line of control (LOC) were meant to send a stern message to Pakistan. Behave or else, we won’t be sitting ducks anymore and we won’t tolerate causalities. We will respond aggressively to every bullet fired on us. Pak Army and ISI changed track and returned to their strategic assets, the terrorists operating from Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Social media was used aggressively to fan fires across Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir seemed slipping into complete chaos until the day government of India decided t shift gears and tighten noose around the separatists. But this was not before making an attempt to listen to the arrogant and Pak friendly separatists.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh-led delegation knocked at their doors but they refused to even listen to them. The hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani did not even open the doors for the guests from New Delhi. And it seems, New Delhi learnt the lesson well. They decided to go back to the reports and recommendations of the intelligence agencies. And then began the operation to restore order which is continuing till date. Geelani’s Hawala operators are behind the bars. His relatives and friends are running for cover. NIA has broken the backbone of terrorism in valley. From Mirwaiz to Geelani, all are wailing over the unwise moves that they made since the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over. They should have heard the delegation led by Rajnath Singh and allowed peace to return to Kashmir valley. But they failed to realise that New Delhi had changed and they won’t be allowed to take the law in their hands. NIA is after Hawala operators while the Army, Police and Paramilitary forces are after the terrorists. Financers are behind the bars while the terrorists are getting killed on daily basis. Several top commanders have been killed and the remaining are likely to be neutralised in the next four months. But there still some leaders who believe that separatists should not be ignored. They seem to be ignorant of the fact that it is we who have kept them relevant. The moment we shift gears, engage civil society, youngsters, school and college going students, businessmen alongwith university scholars for a dialogue, things would start changing in Kashmir. The groups who claim to represent India and want a dialogue process to start should leave separatists out of the discourse. They should listen to the grievances of the commoners, talk to them directly and ensure that they are heard loud and clear. Those who talk about Pakistan and justify terrorists should be allowed to rot. They have made life of the common Kashmiris miserable. They have ruined several hundred families. Youngsters who could have become future IAS, IPS, IFS officers picked up guns due to the false narrative promoted and propagated by these Pakistan friendly separatist leaders. Time has come for all the civil society groups who are advocating dialogue with separatists to realise how discourse on Kashmir can be changed by engaging everyone but not Pakistan friendly separatists. We have to show courage and instead of becoming slaves of the past, live in the present.

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