CONCERNED CITIZENS GROUP: “ State legitimacy is under threat”

J K News Today

New Delhi, April 21 ( JKNT)

Concerned Citizens Group  has called on  the security forces and the stone throwers to reflect upon the necessity of sorting out  the issue through dialogue and  democratic manner  instead  of  violence and the retributive actions .

The group  that had recently  visited Kashmir and concluded that Kashmir situation needs balm and dialogue , today issued  a statement against the backdrop of the April 9 violence  when eight persons were killed and  200 others, including security personnel injured . It said that the  group strongly feels that the role of combatants should be shunned and the  matters should be resolved by sitting across the table.

The group that includes , former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha , advised the  government and then Kashmiri protestors to “  recognize  that in democracies  the world over peace in disturbed areas  has never been achieved through  violent measures.”

“Nobody in his right mind should want a repetition of the events of 2016 – not the government and certainly  not the Kashmiri civilians.,” it said

“The worst ever voter turn-out of a meager 7 per cent in Srinagar bye-poll is a warning of the  extent of disillusionment prevailing in the Kashmiri voter’s mind. An erosion of faith in democratic process may eventually threaten  the legitimacy of the  State itself . It advised  that this process needs to be stemmed  and corrective measures taken.”

“Dialogue with those who hold differing views is the only civilized way that democratic societies know of reconciling differences . India’s heart is large enough  and its Constitution flexible  enough to accommodate the aspirations of all its citizens, the people of Jammu and Kashmir incl;uded ,” the  group  that has among others Kapil Kak, Shuva Bharve and Bharat Bhushan as its members  highlighted in the statement .

“Conditions conducive to a dialogue that can restore reason, calm and sanity must be enabled . For this , the J&K government and the Central government need to show  exemplary restraint  in either deploying  force or adopting “ innovative”  measures  which  can backfire in dealing with the protestors. The protestors must also understand that  the path they have chosen is counter-productive . Stone –pelting or intervening  in  anti- militancy operations  of the security forces will make them easy targets of violence. Even one civilian death is too many in the  present sensitive  situation  in Kashmir.”

It has suggested : “The government of India needs to carefully fashion a strategy of outreach to the people of  Kashmir. Such an outreach should include not only leaders of Kashmiri civil society,, opinion makers, public intellectuals and other stake holders  in the state but also  separatist leadership as promised  in the agenda of alliance  between the BJP and the  PDP.”

“We urge the central government, to urgently initiate a political dialogue to prevent the recurrence of violence  in Kashmir  and restore the faith of the Kashmiri people  in  democratic process to resolve their grievances.,” it said  besides cautioning that a “continued reliance on military measures alone to  sort out a problem which is entirely political is  short-sighted , to say the  least and great  dis-service to the nation.”


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