Binoo Joshi (Commentary)
“Tragic news& deeply disturbing situation in the Valley ,” former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has aptly summed up the Kashmir situation after the killing of three soldiers and a lady in Shopian on Thursday morning . No one is going to contest this statement of facts .
It is a simple rebuff to those who claim that the situation is well within control in the Valley with the blossoming of tulips and arrival of tourists this spring . This is a reality that can undo everything else in Kashmir . The past experience is like that for the people of Kashmir who have lived swinging between hope and despair.
This is the time to introspect why Kashmir is where it is today. Troubled, tortured , terrorized , the Valley is hoping against hope for a turn around.. But, unfortunately, the voices from ground speak in the pessimistic terms . Abdul Rashid of Pulwama declares it ominously : “ I don’t think 2017 would be a smooth affair.”
He has seen the mobs turning into stone throwing battalions targeting the army, police and paramilitary forces , forcing them to retreat from the scene or provoking them to open fire in 2016 . He has also seen the brutalities when the police would treat humans and animals alike while thrashing them , for they happened to be men, women and children from the stronghold of stone throwers . That infuriated the onlookers and the victims of such atrocities became avowed enemies of the normalcy and police . The fear is that a brew is getting ready for the trouble ahead.
Of course, there is a strong view that after losing so many lives, economy , tourism and normalcy in 2016 after the death of militant commander Burhan Wani , nothing has been achieved.
Many believe that it is fruitless to choke streets with stones and face bullets because India is not going to concede anything . Pakistan, the loudest support of “ Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom struggle” is itself teetering . Terrorism has rattled the whole country and now Pakistan army is out all across the country fight terrorism to which it gave birth and nurtured as a foreign policy tool.
But Kashmir had been there before too after 2008 and 2010 . The unpredictable factor is that no body is in control of the situation and Kashmiris cannot be faulted for viewing uncertainties and trouble ahead . Omar has read the problem, let him also suggest some way out .
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