What measures can government take to tackle Kashmir issue?

The dastardly acts by Pakistani army could not have been possible without active participation from Kashmiri separatists and hoodlums. They are planning and acting concertedly and .with impunity. It is because such terrorist acts can’t be eliminated through democratic means and the government is succumbing to political pressure from within India and outside and refraining from taking harsh measures against the separatists.

Kashmiris don’t have to pay income tax, while other states get Central assistance in the ratio of 70 per cent debt to 30 per cent grant, Jammu and Kashmir (as a special category state) got 90 per cent of its assistance as grant and only 10 per cent as debt. Gross State Domestic Product at constant (2004-05) prices for the year 2014-15 is estimated at Rs. 45126.30 crores (Advance Estimates) as against Rs. 45847.15 crores for the year 2013-14 (1st Revised Estimates) registering a negative growth of -1.57% over the previous year. During 2012-13 and 2013-14, GSDP grew at 5.34% (2nd Revised Estimates) and 5.63% (1st Revised Estimates) respectively. Per capita GSDP in 2014-15 in J&K was Rs.77599 as against Rs.88533 for India.  It is thus ranked 22nd out of 31 states. Above all, it has its own constitution.

Kashmir issue is no longer a political issue. It is time India speaks in one voice and the political bickering since 1960s has to be stopped for which the Indian Govt. has to take the initiative. It is also time the silent majority in Kashmir realise that government cannot indefinitely continue with the development measures when acts of terrorism are done continuously and they will have to face the consequences  of retaliatory measures recommended as below:

1)      Protective measures provided to separatist leaders are to be withdrawn.
2)      All police personnel cooperating with terrorists overtly or covertly are to be dismissed from service and prosecuted where justified.
3)      Govt. must clearly state that banks and educational institutes attacked or burnt will not resume operation.
4)      Stone pelting mob and violent demonstrators will have to face punitive action including use of spray bullets.
5)      Army to be given a free hand in dealing with Pakistani army and terrorists
6)      The silent Kashmiris are to be motivated through discussions, to appreciate the reality that the future of Kashmir is bright only within India.

It is also time for Indian Muslims to convince Kashmiri Muslims to oppose separatists and terrorists and have faith in Indian Govt. and democracy. If the Muslims as a community is seen as automatically supporting the Separatists, it would mean that they still hold on to the notorious Two Nations Theory that led to the creation of Pakistan as the homeland of the Muslims. Therefore, Kashmir is no longer a problem specific to Kashmir alone, but an all India problem with Muslims in the country having a very large stake in it.
Pakistan is not amenable to reason. It thrives on anti-Indian hatred which is derived from obscurantist and radical Islamic preaching that call for destruction of non-Islamic state and its people.Such preaching is rampant in India too. It is time to clamp down heavily on such preaching in India.

Finally, intense pressure is to be put on Pakistani army both militarily and diplomatically which is the sole preserve of the Govt. of India and tactically and strategically need to be thought out.

Kashmir is a very integral part of India and has to be preserved so at any cost
Author is a commentator on contemporary issues.

Sudip Bhattacharyya


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