Satya Pal Singh. Editorial.XVIII.II.XVII
Time for Governor's rule in J&K
By Satya Pal Singh
Who says it is not the right time to impose Central rule in Jammu and Kashmir when the state's administrative machinery has almost collapsed and even the police and the army units stationed for keeping peace and order are being consistently attacked by anti-national elements? Even during encounters with terrorists, anti-national elements indulge in stone-pelting against security forces and help the criminals escape. In some recent instances, the army faced huge interference from civilians acting as cover for the terrorists, which lapsed into the soldiers holding their fire due to the presence of local youths who relentlessly pelted stones at them.
Hundreds of army jawans have lost their lives in recent terrorist attacks and in pitched battles between the security forces and the Pak-guided local trouble-makers. Developments over the years have amply proved that an active civilian-terrorist nexus exists in J&K. Pakistan-sponsored terrorists from across the border are getting shelter in villages, carrying full intelligence and logistical support. That they are increasingly using Kashmiri youths to foil counter-terrorist operations, killing in the process more and more of our soldiers with the help of locals is no secret now.
Going into the background of ever-expanding Kashmiri insurgency, it becomes extremely important for the govt to control the situation with a sense of urgency. Even though the internecine conflict between Kashmir's Islamist insurgents and the Union Government centred around local autonomy and looked within control in early stages, the situation kept worsening since 1988 when democratic reforms provided by Delhi were reversed under separatists' pressure and insurgency gained terrific momentum, giving rise to the advocacy for violent Kashmiri secession from India.
The strikes, rallies and attacks on Govt forces in mid 1988, all inspired by Pakistan's ISI, gave further impetus to insurgency which became a major challenge to the govt. The enemy's intelligence agency even trained mujahideen to fight and cause disruption in the trouble-torn state. Former Pak President Pervez Musharraf admitted a year back that Islamabad "supported and trained Kashmiri insurgent groups in 1990s." The fighting that raged between security forces and insurgents claimed 47,000 lives, including 7,000 of police personnel, as of July 2009. Mind-boggling casualty figures !
In the name of "Kashmiri Azadi", Pakistani agents, masquerading as Kashmiri separatists, invariably incite violence and arson. And these are the leaders of various secessionist groups who demand "freedom from India", regularly abet criminal activities, paradoxically live in luxuries under govt protection and travel in bullet-proof SUVs, all at tax-payers' cost. While the soldiers sacrifice their lives in line of duty for the country's sake, separatist traitors play their nasty anti-national games sitting cozy in their air-conditioned homes. No wonder then, if they remain on the pay rolls of outside inimical forces and splurge on the alibi of waging war against India. They do so merrily, fully aware that J&K is an integral part of India, now and for ever.
The trigger for Central rule in J&K comes from ruling alliance partner People's Democratic Party, which calls army chief General Bipin Rawat's warning to Kashmir's Pakistani-paid trouble-makers "unwarranted", maybe under separatists’ pressure. While state BJP leaders see Rawat's statement as "timely and overdue", PDP front-runners view it as "at odds with the restraint and reconciliation that is part of the ‘Agenda for Alliance’ document of the PDP-BJP govt. Ostensibly, CM Mehbooba Mufti's understanding of Gen Rawat's harsh words, in view of the mounting casualties of military personnel, looks miserably blurred. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, is apparently shocked over Opposition leaders' reaction to Gen Rawat's warning to anti-national elements. Governor N N Vohra has repeatedly impressed upon the CM to tighten the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
With this, the ruling PDP-BJP alliance seems to have lost its meaning and the ability to produce the desired results. PDP still wants "healing touch and reconciliation" for all the Pakistani-paid agents and rabble-rousers who have brought the state to such a difficult stage. All those who talk of 'Kashmiriat' and 'healing touch' have no political ground to stand and work upon in the present surcharged atmosphere. There can be a view that imposition of Governor's rule will be a dangerous proposition and a travesty of parliamentary democracy when an elected regime is in place, but that entirely is a notional perspective. In the present volatile situation, Governor's rule will come as a blessing in disguise. This gains credence also from the fact that in February 2016, terribly anguished J&K people had given thumbs up to the Governor's rule.
As indicated by Gen Rawat, the army is already at its job. It's time to withdraw the separatists' costly security and all benefits that come to them as state largesse. Let them create their own protective shield. The Supreme Court has already made it clear that providing security to separatists lies in the Central govt's domain. The govt has already pumped in heavy funds worth a whopping Rs 80,000 crore for the state's development and for employment of youth, but the Pak-guided Kashmiri disruptors want nothing, but trouble and turmoil to stay in limelight.
Now, the army will take care of them. But this will be possible only if the Governor's rule is imposed. So long as PDP and its leader Mehbooba Mufti play to the tunes of Muslim separatists and gains nasty inspiration for political divisiveness from the country's innumerable pseudo secularists like Congress, Communist, JD(U), RJD, Samajwadi Party, AAP, BSP, Trinamool Congress leaders, peace will not return to J&K. People had noted with anger in the past how a delegation of Opposition parties pointlessly knocked at the doors of Pak-paid secessionist leaders and pampered them. It's time all channels of Pakistani intervention in the state are effectively blocked. Only the army can do this when the state comes under Central rule.
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