J&K Needs Governor’s Rule And A Return To Order Before Political Solutions
What political solution can you try for? And who should you talk to, when so-called leaders are running for cover and operating from hideouts.
Perhaps the best solution for Jammu and Kashmir right now would be to impose governor’s rule after suspending the assembly, restore calm, and then reopen a dialogue process.
One of the nonsensical
statements being repeated time and again in the context of the current
situation in Jammu & Kashmir is that we need a “political solution” to the
problem. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said this when he met the
President the other day, and everybody, from Congress to the J&K Chief
Minister, is talking the same language.
All of them forget one simple
thing: there can be no political solution when the state is in retreat. Over
the last few days, in order to avoid further clashes with violent protestors,
including jihadis, the police have literally abandoned their jobs in four South
A Times of India report today (23 August) says that in these four districts (Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, and Kulgam), only three out of 36 police stations are functioning. The places “have descended into anarchy with hundreds and thousands holding ‘azaadi’ rallies almost daily.
Another story by the same newspaper quotes J&K cops as saying that the government has “abandoned us”, leaving them to the mercy of the jihadi elements that have targeted policemen and police stations and threatened their families in order to get them to desert.
A CID officer quoted in the
story shared this grim tale :
“In the 2010 violence, 48 houses of cops were razed. Over 1,400 were injured. It’s happening all over again. A head constable was going home to Sopore and was stopped by a group of men in Wadora. They found his uniform in his bag and broke both his hands and legs.”
While the governments – both centre and states – need to get their act together fast, it makes no sense to talk about political solutions when jihadis are ruling the streets. The question of a dialogue comes only after government forces reclaim the streets – which is a far cry. What political solution can you try for? And who should you talk to, when so-called leaders are running for cover and operating from hideouts. The Hurriyat is a paper tiger, and real power now rests with the jihadi mob.
The Congress and the National Conference are playing a double-game, where any worsening of the situation is used as stick to beat the government with, when they actually have no solutions to offer. Both want to undercut the BJP, which is in power with the PDP, but if they have the guts, they should join up with the PDP and show they can bring peace to the valley. The BJP is hardly in a position to object if the three join hands. But the fact is they are happy to throw stones from afar, and don’t have the courage of their convictions.
Since they are talking about political solutions, why don’t Messrs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Omar Abdullah meet the militants and separatists to find out what they want and convey it to the government? The state government headed by Mehbooba Mufti should serve as the real interlocutor in this dialogue.
The simple reality is this:
You can’t talk when you have lost ground. You have to gain the upper hand before talks, or else you will fail.
You can talk only with people who are willing to abandon the gun. Hands that hold guns and slay or maim policemen and law enforcers will not be extended for peace.
You have to rebuild police morale, and if this means more state violence, so be it. We should not shy away from a confrontation that is thrust on us.
Perhaps the best solution right now is to impose governor’s rule after suspending the assembly, restore calm, and then reopen a dialogue process. Maybe, the Mufti government has lost the will to rule.
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