Government must act tough against Kashmiri separatists

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by Farooq Ganderbali
The situation in Kashmir is tense and the government must act tough against the separatist forces, who are hell bent to put the Valley on fire again. Though the Central Government is extending all support to normalise the situation in the state, but more work needs to be done. Kashmir is an integral part of India and there can’t be any compromise on it.
The Government has a double task — one to curb the violence and second to make the life of common man in the state comfortable. After proving its high threshold for tolerating all kinds of anti-national activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP government imposed the Governor’s Rule. Over many years and much more since 2016, the Kashmir Valley was sundered with countless heightened acts of terrorism, radicalisation, destruction of schools, selective atrocious killings of good/patriotic Kashmiris, victimisation of Army/security forces (SFs) etc, not to mention many decades of mis-governance by successive governments.
Education, which has since long been majority targeted by Pakistan through the Valley-based separatists and dealt a body blow with the destruction of almost 40 schools, needs an urgent and sustained boost. Ruining the education system in the Valley was also linked to the process of radicalisation. The aim of Pakistan’s military and mullahs is to destroy education on one hand and on the other to indoctrinate and incite people, particularly youth. While in earlier years radicalisation was carried out through separatist leaders, clerics and religious/political gatherings, information technology and social media gave it a massive boost in recent years.
While addressing the major challenges during this spell of Governor’s Rule, decision-makers will be well advised to revisit the state’s history, geography and demography and review some basic facts about the state, which should be factored in. For over seven decades, political leaders from New Delhi have endlessly been parroting that J&K is India’s “atoot ang” (unbreakable part), the hard decisions required to run this state so that it remains an unbreakable part.
Of the 22 districts in J&K, there are only five districts where separatists hold sway and organise anti-India operations — Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramullah, Kulgam and Pulwama. These are where stone-pelting, hoisting of Pakistani and ISIS flags and anti-India demonstrations are held. Interestingly, these five districts are far away from the LoC. The other 17 districts, including some along the LoC, are fully pro-India. So, separatist’s writ runs in just 15% of the population which is Sunni Muslim dominated. Majority of the people in J&K do not speak Kashmiri as their mother tongue. They speak Dogri, Gujjari, Punjabi, Ladhaki , Pahari etc. Only 33% people in Kashmir speak Kashmiri and this group has controlled the narrative from Hurriyat to terrorists and from NC and PDP and thereby, bureaucracy, business and agriculture. This Sunni dominated 33% is opposed to India although population of all other Muslims in J&K is 69 %.

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