The Need for Confidence Building Measures

The J&K Governor, Mr. Satya Pal Malik has  advised youth to give up the gun and assured them of rehabilitation. At the same time he appreciated the role of security forces in anti-militancy operations. The youth are compelled to take up the gun, because basic ‘cause’ is not being addressed properly. The youth are being harassed by security forces. The youth want to secure the historical and unique identity, their future but the policy makers have not been able to understand their plight. They are being portrayed negatively. It needs a whole-hearted effort on different levels official, social, economic to win the confidence of youth.



Plain Talking:


“While calling the killing of militants during anti-militancy operations as painful, Governor, Satya Pal Malik, advised the youth to give up the path of gun, assuring them of their proper rehabilitation. He expressed these views in a function at Jammu. At the same time, in a different tone, he appreciated the ‘glorious’ role played by police and security forces in anti-militancy operations. Some political sections called this double-tone of Governor, as contradictory and criticized it. However, if thought over, there is no sign of contradiction in it. Wherever, official gun is challenged by some other gun, the official gun has to be active. Kashmir can’t be an exception in that. Nevertheless, the basic issue is that the ‘cause’ that compels the youth to take up gun is not being addressed properly. Surely, the ‘cause’ is interconnected with political view points. But more than that are the behavior, approach, and strategy, that has been adopted in  Kashmir for last three decades, and whose specific target is the youth. The youth is the target within the state as well as outside, whether engaged in studies or in earning a genuine livelihood. The unending process of harassing the youth has been going on. Not only are the higher political leadership of mainstream parties disgruntled on this account, but have been  demanding  the need is  to take the youth in confidence and to stop their harassment. Not only are the security forces, state police after Kashmir’s youth , but now police of many states, along with NIA, come to Kashmir and indulge in cordons and searches and incarcerations. The separatist leadership also has the same complaint, that Kashmir youth are being provoked to become violent, so that they are pushed to the wall. The people with a sober mind are worried about the security of the youth.”


Winning the Confidence:


“In this intense atmosphere of terror and scare, that psyche of the youth gets adversely affected and in frustration and uncertainty, it can adopt any path. This is the real challenge, which unfortunately, those sitting in the chambers of power, those who take decisions, are unable to understand. They become “used” to looking at Kashmir only from a military angle. Kashmir needs confidence building and unfortunately no serious attention is given towards that. Kashmir’s youth need avenues of employment, and want to secure their present and future. The youth want to see their historical unique identity as secure. But all his aspirations are being attacked by blunt ‘weapons’. This feeling is deliberately being ‘imparted’ or conveyed to ‘youth’ that it does not deserve the rights, it is demanding. Different institutions of the country present them as ‘demonic and indulge in character assassination of the youth. All these ‘labels’ have entangled the youth in such a negative web, psychologically and mentally, that he is not able to see anything but darkness. We don’t doubt the sincerity of Governor’s statement , the way Kashmiris are shocked by the death of a gun wielding youth, the Governor also must be feeling same. It is only people with a conscience that get such shocks, but it does not matter for those with narrow-mindedness and extremist views. As it is, the rehabiltation offer, can be fruitful only when the policy makers and decision takers are also mentally prepared for that and come forward with a conciliatory attitude. But if it is otherwise, then all these offers or assurances are meaningless. Kashmir is surely ‘pining’ for peace. But that ‘peace’ can’t be attained by imposing a graveyard-like silence by use of force. For that on different levels, political, administrative, economic, government and even on social front, tangible positive and implementable measures have to be taken. But who will initiate this? There is a difference between saying and doing. Something offered/or declared can become a reality, if a plan, with all its contours, is brought forth. So far, it is only a saying.”


[ Courtesy: Urdu Daily Nida-i-Mashriq, Srinagar, Kashmir, January 26, 2019].

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