A political approach needed

The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has once again said that only the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in a position to resolve Kashmir and "pull it out of the quagmire". Speaking at the inauguration of a flyover at Bikram Chowk in Jammu, the CM said that the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari  Vajpayee and her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had done a lot for resolving Kashmir problem in a short span of time "but unfortunately the subsequent governments didn't move ahead". The statement has come following her recent meeting with the PM amid the deepening rift between the coalition partners over some tough observations about Kashmir by the senior BJP leaders. Though among other things,  the CM had sought the dialogue with the pro-freedom political groups in Kashmir, the PM Modi  is learnt to have expressed his reluctance to do so until the situation returned to normal in the state. This is an approach that has been re-confirmed by no less than the party president Amit Shah told reporters in Agartala. In fact, Shah cited the recent government response to the Supreme Court in which it  made it clear that it won't talk to separatists but  only the recognized political parties once the violence stops. If anything, it only shows that the centre has no plan to talk to separatist groups in the state. And even the talks with the establishment parties are conditional on the improvement in the situation, whose chances look slim in the near future. In fact, the violence which has gone through an upward spiral looks set to continue for  a long time to come. So basically, the only policy that the New Delhi seems intent on  pursuing in Kashmir is the use of excessive force.  And which, as the situation of the past three decades would confirm, has only boomeranged and perpetuated the cycle of violence. True, the PM has the mandate and the political stature to resolve Kashmir and for this promise to translate into reality, the approach to Kashmir can't be anything but political. CM's statement is welcome but it is time for her to hold her coalition partner to its commitments in the agenda of alliance.

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Greater Kashmir