In the dynamic world, change is but constant and so the state has witnessed another change, with the appointment of a new Governor. But there is a difference: present incumbent has a political background and it may indicate that political scenario be given a fresh facelift. Nevertheless, with his taking over, the holding of Panchayat and local bodies elections has been set. Though mainstream parties like National Conference and separatists, as usual, are against elections. It is debatable whether holding these elections in present circumstances is feasible.
As far as the situation is concerned, it seems to be improving. Not that there are no attacks on security forces or encounters, but the frequency is less. Moreover, with the new dispensation, the people have begun to feel the pinch of the problems faced by them, and as such are particular about their solution. The main problem is economical as tourism has been adversely affected and as such the people involved in the sector are in a difficult situation. Unemployment of educated youth is a major concern, and government has to find a way to ease the situation, by way of providing skill training and exploring the avenues of employment. The valley is facing the problem of youth becoming drug addicts. Both government as well as society will have to take measures to handle the situation. Of course, environmental problems are there. The recent rains had created an apprehension of floods and that made people to recall the suffering they faced during 2014 floods. But the regret is that administration has not learnt any lesson or improved the situation on any account, neither in improving infrastructure nor in removing encroachments on water bodies and river Jhelum. The Centre had provided an economic package but the general complaint is that there were lot of irregularities in distribution of relief.
With the coming of a new Prime Minister in Pakistan, the hopes of improvement of relations and restoration of dialogue have become brighter. Pakistan Prime Minister’s repeated assertion has been that he wants good relations with India. Of course that should help resolution of Kashmir problem. But he has not used the rhetoric of ‘jugular vein’, ‘unfinished agenda of partition’ etc. Prime Minister Modi’s response has been that New Delhi hopes to have a “constructive engagement” with Pakistan. But there seems to be a hitch – who will initiate?