Follow words with action

Published at August 16, 2017 12:01 AM 1Comment(s)13080views

Follow words with action

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday reached out to Kashmiris, saying abuses and bullets would not resolve their problems but embracing them will. Modi said the entire country is with people of J&K and that his government is committed to “making Kashmir a paradise once again”. It’s a welcome statement and has been hailed by one and all. However, given the past experiences, such statements are not followed up with action on ground. As a result people become disillusioned as is the case with dialogue, which has remained a popular topic for the politicians as far as Kashmir issue is concerned. People have become disenchanted with the talks. After all, over the years holding talks has been reduced to a monotonous ritual. Even if an agreement is reached during the talks, India has shown a tendency to revert to old opinion out of sheer habit. In the past too, negotiations have failed to break ground because of this lack of commitment to act. Former Pakistan president, Parvez Musharraf revealed how the Indian side was reluctant to include Kashmir in the joint declaration during the Agra summit. It is the same historic meet between Musharraf and former Indian prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee which many believed at that time might finally pave way for Kashmir resolution. If Musharraf’s account is anything to go by, one can imagine how reluctant Indian government was to even mention Kashmir in the declaration, forget about reaching any agreement on the issue. Dialogue makes little headway if it is not substantiated with proper action. And if it is just used as a smokescreen or photo-opportunity exercise, which unfortunately is the case with Kashmir, it loses its relevance. It seems strange that while it takes little time for New Delhi to announce economic packages, the establishment seems to turn deaf ear on the demands like demilitarization, scrapping of draconian laws like AFSPA and shifting of Kashmir detainees to state jails. For people witnessing harsh restrictions on daily basis owing to heavy military deployment, it doesn’t matter much if India is sending invites for dialogue. This pessimism is justified given the complacency of Indian government to take practical measures to alleviate people’s sufferings in the wake of heavy militarization of the region, and the excesses committed by the armed forces backed by special powers offering them immunity from accountability. From among the stakeholders to Kashmir dispute, the onus is on India to take bold steps. The other parties will have little option but to follow suit.





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