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Need to promote mainstream politics in Kashmir
Menace of separatism
3/14/2014 11:25:22 PM
JAMMU, Mar 14: The separatist movement in Kashmir Valley has lost its sheen and appeal. In fact, it is in complete disarray. A very vast majority of population in Kashmir has developed an indifferent attitude towards the movement believing, and rightly so, that it would lead them nowhere and would only cause more death and destruction in the Valley. Only a few vested interests and disgruntled elements here and there in Kashmir continue to support and take part in the secessionist movement for monetary gains. The fact is that an overwhelming majority of general public in Kashmir has developed hatred for the movement. It wants peace and normalcy in the Valley so that it could work in a peaceful environment and undertakes social and economic activities unhindered.
That an overwhelming majority of Kashmiri population has developed hatred for the movement could be seen from the negative response the separatists' calls for general strike has been evoking for quite sometime now. Another most significant aspect of the whole situation in Kashmir is that the self-styled freedom fighters like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Yasin Malik are fighting among themselves. Geelani and Mirwaiz are virtually not on talking terms. They are treading different paths and taking on each other at regular intervals since 2003, when the APHC got vertically split with Geelani and his associates leaving it to form their own outfit. Yasin Malik has been working independently in the locality he resides in Srinagar. Shah and Co left the APHC-M only a few weeks ago and formed Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir (HCJK) saying theirs', and the Mirwaiz's Hurriyat, is the real Hurriyat. Even the friends and supporters of these separatists, including Kashmiri commentators, have been saying on a daily basis that these separatists have defeated the cause as they do not see eye to eye with each other. They have been saying that these separatist leaders would never come on one platform to give a united face to the movement. They are right.
It is the duty of the authorities and ruling elite in the state and Delhi to take advantage of the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley and undertake steps that could promote mainstream politics there. The NC and the Congress are also needed to play an important role in neutralizing the pernicious influence of these handful of separatists. They will have to give up their demands ranging from autonomy to demilitarization to separate status and to what not and work for a dispensation that is without Article 370. Besides, the ruling elite in the state and New Delhi is needed to give a freehand to the Army and paramilitaries to cleanse the Valley and other areas of the state of the Pakistan-aided, abetted and indoctrinated extremists and terrorists, including mercenaries, so that peace is restored in the state on a permanent basis. Indeed, it's the most appropriate time for the establishment to eliminate the menace of terrorism and promote those who stand for mainstream and democratic politics.
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