It is necessary to reiterate that no form of normality can return without a carefully calibrated political process initiated by the Centre.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s deeply human act of seeking forgiveness from the father of the 22-year-old Tamil Nadu tourist killed by a stone-pelting mob near Srinagar on Monday must make us reflect that the situation in J&K is completely out of hand, and has remained so for the past two years due to the Centre’s faulty strategy that favours a military solution.
It is necessary to reiterate that no form of normality can return without a carefully calibrated political process initiated by the Centre. The Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh governments had ensured long spells of peace by striking out on the political path.
Unfortunately, the Union home ministry’s recent decision to give the National Security Guards, the so-called Black Cats, a role in the Kashmir security grid as well, in addition to the state police, CRPF and the Army, underlines the Centre’s continuing faith in military methods alone delivering results. However, Army commanders and top J&K police officials have cautioned against this.
Despite the large-heartedness shown by the slain victim’s father in media comments, it is hard to be optimistic about reviving tourism in the Valley — on which its economy greatly depends — this year. Two, comments to the media by Tamil Nadu tourists who visited Kashmir recently suggest that J&K is seen as distant and not much is known about it. The media has portrayed it only as a story of violence, not as a burning political subject for India to which the Centre must pay urgent attention.