Tribune News Service
Jammu, August 10
International think-tank International Crisis Group has asked New Delhi to “rethink” its approach to Kashmir and suggested restoration of statehood to J&K as a way to calm down tensions.
Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two Union Territories on August 5 last year when its special status was scrapped.
It is significant as at the time political parties of many hues have raised this demand. Covid has crippled on-the-ground political activity in Kashmir, though the BJP is allowed to carry out its activities indoors.
The report titled ‘Raising the Stakes in Jammu and Kashmir’ stated, “Restoring the region’s statehood, a prospect to which the Modi government has said it is open, would help.”
The Modi government had announced in Parliament on August 5 and 6 that the UT status of J&K is not going to be permanent; its statehood would be restored as and when the situation became normal.
Although the parameters of normalcy were not spelled out in detail, it was widely understood that by the BJP’s campaign against Pakistan terrorism, it meant that unless and until terrorism in Kashmir is tamed, the UT of J&K would have to wait to get its statehood back. The term statehood applies to the UT of J&K only, and not to Ladakh, another UT that was created out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The ICG has also urged New Delhi to “release politicians still in detention and allow political activity to resume; jailing of even pro-India leaders threatens to leave New Delhi bereft of local allies. New Delhi should also take steps to curb abuses by security forces; heavy-handed measures fuel resentment of Indian rule and push more youth towards militancy”.
Throughout the report, it has warned that the Indo-Pak conflict may escalate if it is not dialled down on the LoC and also until both the countries tone down their rhetoric.
But a closer look and study of the report lays greater blame on New Delhi for what it calls unstable conditions, but it has virtually absolved Pakistan of its terror-sponsoring acts in Jammu and Kashmir and used only the quotes of police officers in Kashmir to accuse Pakistan of using its proxies in Kashmir.
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