J&K civil society group calls for political outreach

Last Updated 19 February 2019, 15:54 IST

Amid heightening tension, a civil society group in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday called for a political outreach in the Valley to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

Expressing grief over the killings of over 40 CRPF personnel in the Pulwama attack, the group said that they feel a mature response calls for a serious introspection on why such an attack took place.

“We express our condolences and sympathies with the families who have lost their kin and we hope that such incidents are not ever repeated,” said the group comprising jurists, former civil servants, academicians, journalists, businessmen and social activists from the state.

At the strategic level, they said, there are serious questions of security lapses and intelligence failures that need to be addressed.

“A crucial question, which stares us in the face is, why militancy is getting an upshot, instead of being brought under control, as against the claim made by the government and officials in the last few months that militancy has been wiped out,” they asked, in a statement.

They said a dispassionate assessment and introspection invokes the political component of the incident.

“The way forward does not lie in muscle flexing and harder military methods, which ultimately contribute to more violence and add to the strength of radical groups,” they said.

“We feel that, instead, there is need for a political outreach in the Valley and diplomatic engagement with Pakistan both on the issue of terrorism and finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir Issue,” added the statement.

The group also expressed “grave concern” at the attacks by hooligans and miscreants in Jammu and elsewhere against Kashmiris.

“We appeal to the government of India and J&K governor to ensure the security and safety of all citizens, particularly the Muslims and Kashmiris in Jammu, as well as act sternly against such elements that are vitiating peace. We appeal to the government to foil the designs of communal polarisation, which the Pulwama attack was aimed to achieve,” the statement added.

(Published 19 February 2019, 15:25 IST)

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