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J&K May Be Militancy Free In 8-10 Yrs: Ex-Army Chief Vij

Militancy will start crumbling gradually in Kashmir after two-three years of resistance, and in 8-10 years, it is likely to be brought to an ineffectual state, says former Army chief Gen (retd) N C Vij.

He has come out with a book,” The Kashmir Conundrum: The Quest for Peace in a Troubled Land”, in which he tries to give a complete picture – starting with a history of Jammu & Kashmir and its people to the abrogation of special status.

”Militancy in the region is not likely to disappear in a hurry. It may take eight to ten years, but the intensity is expected to decrease over time, as Pakistan’s ability to create mischief will also reduce,” says Vij, who is from Jammu and Kashmir.

He says he is convinced that the ”momentous developments” of August 5 and 6, 2019, dealt a death blow to the militancy in Kashmir.

”From an aggressive position, Pakistan and the separatists have been reduced to scurrying and fending for themselves. Also, due to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, new dilemmas have arisen for the Kashmiris. They have lost their special status. This had always made them think of themselves as different from the rest of India. Now, they fear that they will be reduced to a minority in their home state,” Vij writes in the book, published by HarperCollins India.

He also says that India has reduced Pakistan to a hopeless situation. This is because it has become clear that the country is no match for India in any field, whether diplomatically, economically or militarily.

”The Kashmiris’ dependence on Pakistan was perhaps a big mistake for which they have paid the price. Indeed, their desire to join Pakistan or become independent has become a lost hope,” he argues.

According to Vij, all these factors put together will surely make the Kashmiris have a serious rethink about their approach and aims for the future.

”What should they do? Should they still dream about independence, or should they try and recover what they have lost? Can they take on India with the assistance of a hopeless Pakistan? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’,” he says.

”It looks likely that after the first 2-3 years of resistance, the militancy will start crumbling gradually in the Valley. However, because of the extreme radicalisation in the region, they may manage to hold out for another 4-5 years at the most. Thus, in 8-10 years, the militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be brought to an ineffectual state,” he writes.

By then, he says, Pakistan would possibly be in such a financial mess that they would be forced to look towards India, which will be on the way to becoming an economic giant, possibly the third-largest in the world.

He says the Kashmir imbroglio was primarily the outcome of the Pakistan-sponsored proxy war. Their most tremendous success has been profoundly radicalising the somewhat confused and disillusioned people of the Valley.

”Radicalisation in the Valley is a critical, perhaps the most vital, factor now. These Kashmiris are; however, these Kashmiris areed the Indian forces in 1947 with open arms and friendly slogans such as ‘Hamlawar hoshiar, hum Kashmiri Hindu, Muslim, Sikh taiyar’ (Attackers beware, we Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs are ready). Also, they are the same people who gave early warning about the intrusions by Pakistani forces in 1965 and 1971 and even during the Kargil war in 1999,” the book says.

”Once they see the economic progress and prosperity in the state, the better quality of education, better job opportunities, and the constant dialogues going on with them, including with religious teachers (maulvis). They lose faith in Pakistan’s ability to help them; they are likely to be more rational and amenable to a balanced solution and turn positively towards India,” it says.

According to the author, the biggest priority and challenge before the central government will be to re-establish law and order, get the routine of daily life restarted and provide a first-rate administration.

”The government should also work towards holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as the security situation improves and the proposed delimitation has been carried out. Restoring the democratic process at the earliest must remain a priority,” he suggests.

”Bringing the Kashmiri Pandits back to their homeland in Jammu and Kashmir will be a litmus test of the success of India’s Jammu and Kashmir policy. Finally, full statehood must be restored to Jammu and Kashmir (less Kargil and Ladakh) in a reasonable time frame,” he adds.

The book has a foreword by veteran Congress leader Karan Singh who says all those concerned with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly those in positions of authority, would do well to take Vij’s ”valuable suggestionsconcerningo the security, strategic, diplomatic and political challenges” seriously.


Overnight Shopian operation called off after militants escape

The overnight military operation in Nowgam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district was called off on Thursday morning as militants, believed to be two in number, managed to escape, reports said.

Two army soldiers were injured in the initial exchange of fire in the encounter that broke out on Wednesday evening shortly after security forces cordoned off the area following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.

Today, massive searches were launched at the first light in the morning, however, no militant was found the present following which the joint cordon-and-search-operation launched by police and army was called off.

Also Read: India reports over 2.86 lakh new cases with positivity rate at 19.59%; 573 deaths

A top police officer said that the militants “possibly escaped in the initial phase of the encounter in which two soldiers were critically injured”.

The officer said that intelligence inputs suggested the presence of two militants including a foreigner in the area.

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J&K: Unidentified person killed, SPO critically wounded in train accident

On Wednesday, an unidentified person was killed, and a special police officer (SPO) was critically wounded in a train accident in the Kakapora area of the Pulwama district.

An official told the news agency that an unidentified person was hit by the speedy train who died on Kakapora. An SPO identified as Shabir Ahmed, while trying to save the unknown person, was also hit and critically wounded.

“The injured SPO was critically wounded and is being treated at SMHS hospital,” a doctor said, adding that his condition is very bad.


Also Read: Driver dead, another injured as lorry rolls down into gorge

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Lt Governor unveils ‘Charkha’ at Srinagar International Airport

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today virtually unveiled a Charkha (Spinning Wheel) at the Srinagar International Airport.
The Charkha measuring 8.6 ft by 4.3 ft and weighing 71 kg has been installed by the Jammu & Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB).
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that Charkha symbolizes Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of Self-Reliance and its installation at Srinagar Airport on Republic Day is a befitting tribute to Bapu and to all the great freedom fighters of India.
“Charkha was made a symbol of economic self-reliance by Bapu in 1918 and became an important part of Swadeshi and Indian Independence movement like Non-violence, Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience”, he added.
Terming the occasion as historic, the Lt Governor said that the Charkha at Srinagar airport will inspire us to encourage greater public participation in the development framework of the UT and to meet the needs of the people by optimally utilizing our social capital and other resources.
“Today, when our country is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mohatsav and moving steadily towards the fourth industrial revolution, I believe Charkha will serve as a symbol of Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and will inspire the citizens of the UT and all countrymen to work towards building a self-reliant J&K, and a self-reliant India”, the Lt Governor remarked.
The Lt Governor observed that J&K is making great strides in fulfilling the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and keeping with this spirit, continuous efforts are being made for the revival and conservation of Khadi, Rural Arts & Crafts, besides expanding their reach to the international market.
Hon’ble Prime Minister’s slogan – ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for Fashion’- has gained greater popularity and now international designers are using Khadi in New York and London fashion shows, he further added.
The Lt Governor also called for collaborative efforts to preserve the identity of the world-famous handicrafts, art and culture of Jammu and Kashmir, on the occasion.
Highlighting the initiatives taken by J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) to create livelihood generation opportunities for the people of the UT, the Lt Governor said that in the last three years, 11,978 units have been established under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program and 1,803 units have been established under the Rural Employment Generation Program, besides 4,904 units have also been established for the deprived sections and women.
“Under all these schemes, about 1,50,000 people have been provided with viable employment opportunities”, he noted.
The Lt Governor congratulated Dr Hina Bhatt, Vice-Chairperson, Jammu & Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board, and the members and officials of KVIB on this historic occasion.
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28 Jan 2022, 12:00 PM (GMT)

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