NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government came out with full-page advertisements in local newspapers on Friday against the ongoing shutdown and appealed to the people to defeat the designs of militants but in the process, it admitted that normalcy was yet to return to the Kashmir Valley.
“Will we let a few posters and threats push us into not resuming our businesses, into not earning our legitimate livelihood, into not securing a rightful education and secure future for our children,” the ad asked.
The government has been saying that there is no blockade in Kashmir and restrictions exist only in “certain minds”.
But by publishing the advertisement, it appeared to acknowledge that things were not normal in the Valley.
In the ad, the government blamed the prevalent militancy and their “vicious campaign” and “motivated propaganda” for perpetuating the shutdown.
Terming the government’s advertisement a “good step”, Lt Gen (Retd) DS Hooda, who headed the Army’s Northern Command during the ‘surgical strike’ in 2016, said, “Common people are the biggest sufferers in any conflict resolution. It is their actions that are instrumental in conflict resolution.”
He added, “Introspection is required by the government as to how a few threats made by some terrorists can stop people from earning their livelihood. The government needs to take steps to win the confidence of the public. In any conflict situation, people will swing towards the group which promises them a better future. So, the government has to give this assurance to the people.”