Painful wait for peace and progress in J&K

Painful wait for peace and progress in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir has completed six years under the central rule last month. It is the second-longest period of Presidential rule in the state as well...

Jammu and Kashmir has completed six years under the central rule last month. It is the second-longest period of Presidential rule in the state as well as the entire country, the first being 6 years 264 days (January 19 1990 to October 9 1996). As per Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, the President can proclaim President’s Rule in a state, if he/she comes to a conclusion that a situation has arisen in the state, in which governance cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. It has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament and continue for a period of six months. It can be extended for periods of six months with Parliament approval every time.

No other state suffered so much for restoration of democratic rule as Jammu and Kashmir. The much-aggrieved state, torn apart by terrorist violence, saw the Central rule being imposed on it on eight occasions. The President’s rule was first imposed in the state in 1986. After a lull of 22 years, the central government imposed President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir on December 20, 2018, on expiry of the Governor’s rule six months after it was imposed.

The Governor’s rule was necessitated in the State after the BJP parted ways with its alliance partner PDP. Due to lack of majority in the House, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned, and President Ram Nath Kovind imposed the Governor’s Rule in the state. It was the eighth time the State came under the Governor’s Rule. The state assembly remains in suspended animation and MLAs remain in office till the Governor dissolves the legislature. Clarifying on its withdrawal of support to the Mufti government, the BJP then claimed that the PDP government remained an obstruction in the way of major anti-terror strategy by the security forces to finish off the terrorist networks. The saffron party claimed that the Modi government would thus be in a better position to vanquish separatism and militancy in the Valley.

Alas, six years on, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Besides, the hitherto calm and peaceful Jammu region is seeing a spurt in terrorist acts. In the latest instance on Monday, five brave hearts of the Garhwal Rifles died in a fierce combat with the separatists in Kathua district in the Jammu division. The brazen attitude of the terrorists calls for never-before synergy and seamless coordination among Army, CRPF, State police and intelligence agencies at the earliest. All the last four terrorist attacks took place in Jammu region only, which calls for amping up vigilance and bolstering intelligence gathering efforts in the region, by forming village defence teams as in Kashmir region and establishing grassroots contacts.

It is a serious concern that for the last two years, terrorists have been shifting/expanding their focus to Jammu to further strain our security agencies. Their aider and abettor, Pakistan, seeks to create such a situation for the Modi government that the latter would be compelled to prolong the President’s Rule by deferring elections to the State legislature. Thus, it will further alienate the people from India. As such, the entire security grid has to be ramped up so the forces can neutralise the terrorists, and create conducive atmosphere for resumption of democratic rule which the people of the state so direly need. An underlying secessionist-terrorist intimidation continues to exist in the state. Even after six years of the President’s rule, the Modi government cannot say the J&K is not yet ready for democracy. Has it done all it can all these years to silence the guns? Certainly, Pakistan is finding loopholes.

Show Full Article
Print Article
Next Story
More Stories