Lt Gen (Rtd) S.K. Sinha stands for winning hearts of Kashmiris

Lt Gen (Rtd) S.K. Sinha stands for winning hearts of Kashmiris

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (Rtd) S K Sinha today advocated winning hearts of the people of Kashmir valley through psychological initiatives to resolve the insurgency in the border state.

"The solution lies in winning the hearts and minds of the people with well planned psychological initiatives in order to resolve the festering insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir," he said at a seminar here on 'Kashmir Problem: The Way Forward'.

The former army official said that he was buoyed by a survey by a British NGO in 2002 that found that 61 per cent of Kashmiri Muslims favoured association with India and only six per cent wanted integration with Pakistan.

In recent years the central government exhibited commitment to end militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and besides economic development other initiatives were taken to win over the Kashmiri people and ensure that they could not be wooed by the jehadi elements.

The former governor said that the Indian government should continue to exhibit required political will to deal insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in an effective and decisive way.
"Under no circumstances, India can afford to compromise its sovereignty vis-a-vis insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir," he said and advocated the presence of the army in the state to deal with militant activities.

The Indian army was second to none in maintaining exemplary discipline and conduct to deal with the militancy in a humane way, he said, adding that it had punished its own troops stringently when some of them were caught for violating the human rights of local people.

"Our government must have strong resolve to address the Kashmir problem and I have no reason not to believe that the integration of the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be completed through economic development and psychological initiatives," he said.