Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was enacted and armed forces deployed, in the wake of continuing violence, unrest and mayhem in Kashmir! It is clear there are other vested interests in Kashmir that do not want peace on the streets. Yesterday, the worst happened : Curfew ( day and night) was imposed in the entire valley! But, the protesters defied and took to streets at several places. And there is talk that Farooq Abdullah may replace Omar as J & K Chief minister! Omar is too ‘foreign returned’ and cannot handle this any more, major flaw: he is not reaching out to people.
There are no solutions easy and plausible; I would say it is the complete failure of the state government that has led to imposition of curfew. Lack of action on the part of the state government and not reaching out to people, has led the state to be a fertile ground for terrorists or ‘freedom fighters’, as they call themselves. Now, it is getting out of reach! Political package for what? No! we cannot hand over the Indian part of Kashmir to any one! Or relocate anyone living in the valley! Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party in J & K and its President Mehbooba Mufti, should cooperate and attend the all-party meeting to work out a solution as early as possible. Prime Minister should step in NOW, as the condition in Kashmir is worsening! Mere offer of talks or economic package will not help to influence the current situation. The state has become economically backward over the last few years and no corporate or industry wants to be there, leading to youth unemployment, robbery, civil unrest etc.
No doubt, the curfew will cool down the tempers for now! But, what is needed at this time – is a strong state government that can work at grass-roots level. A government far removed from the people will not be perceived as able to understand or address the latter’s concerns.