After UP victory,  Modi should focus on Kashmir problem

Binoo Joshi 

The BJP’s landslide victory in UP  doesn’t  solve Kashmir problem. It, however, certainly paves way for seeking resolution of the issue  that has dogged the  relationship between  India and Pakistan  for the past seven decades .

Prime Minister  Narendra Modi’s confidence  must be bursting at seams after this crucial victory, which was as important to him , as his own election  and the party’s  triumph in the general elections in  the spring of  2014. It was a semi-final for the 2019 general elections, which he has won  decisively , leaving little  doubt about the  possible outcome of the  next general elections  in two years’ time.

Kashmir has become more complex problem ever since he took over  as Prime Minister. Narendra Modi has had his own  failures and successes on this front, primarily owing to the behaviourial changes  in Pakistan’s attitude . He also  was facing tremendous pressure of hard-liner RSS that wanted him to pursue a “puritan Hindutuva” agenda .

Within the Valley , the situation has deteriorated to the extent that it seems  beyond redemption . The war psychology has  spread fast and the people are in a mood of rebellion  against the system , which  leads to the call for “azadi.”  This  is not merely the problem of stone throwing and  rising number of local militants attracting  huge crowds to save them.  Militants are given a hero’s send off  after their death.  This makes a  reel of reality for the onlookers . It is magnified and exaggerated by the social media activists  all across the Valley, outside of it , as also  abroad . Pakistan  also has invested in this game of beating India  in the psychological warfare .

Hopes are that India would extend hand of friendship to Pakistan , putting aside for the time being the serious  concerns  over the terror attacks at Uri in September last year in which 21 soldiers lost their lives . The surgical strikes  undertaken by the Indian army  helped politicians more rather than curbing terrorism in Kashmir.

A fresh study  would have to be made  to study the situation  on the ground, underlying reasons and the role of  Pakistan . And, it is important to find out the ways by sitting  across the table – because the war-like noises have alarmed the international community. The nuclearisation of the region is a major concern  for the world . Kashmir is acknowledged as a  nuclear flash point . India may agree  on it or not.

Prime Minister before he leaves for abroad should  send a positive  message  either from Delhi or during his forthcoming visit to inaugurate Chenani-  Nashri tunnel which would reduce the physical distance between Kashmir and rest of the country. But is that sufficient ?    PM needs  to ponder.

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