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Bringing back normalcy in the Valley

The need to urgently bring back normalcy is also to assure the international community that the government is sincere about the welfare of Kashmiris.

Published: 18th September 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2019 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

Farooq Abdullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah (File Photo | PTI)

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s detention under the Public Safety Act, a law that ironically was passed when his father Sheikh Abdullah was the CM, has brought negative publicity on the continued restrictions placed in the Valley following the dilution of Article 370. Successive J&K governments, including his own, have used the Act randomly and arbitrarily in the past.

What has angered opponents of the government is that by slapping it against Farooq, the J&K administration seems to have put the former CM in the bracket of stone pelters, separatists and even terrorists as this law is often applied against them. While this equation is not founded on truth, it only brings to focus the huge task facing the government in dealing with the Kashmir situation.
A large number of the restrictions have been lifted and a semblance of normal life has returned to the Valley. But a lot of ground still needs to be covered.

Attendance in government offices is almost normal but in educational institutions, particularly schools, it is extremely poor. Shops and other business establishments do not open throughout the day. While the state government is on a concerted development drive, that alone is not enough as there is a huge sense of hurt and alienation in the Valley. Further, there have been reports that terrorists have been forcing the common people to not open their establishments and even burning down apple orchards. The government needs to quickly provide security to the common man.

The need to urgently bring back normalcy is also to assure the international community that the government is sincere about the welfare of Kashmiris. Pakistan has been on an overdrive to bring the Kashmir issue to the international centre stage. The US is worried over the rise in tensions between India and Pakistan. Some US Congress members have also raised concerns over the restrictions that are in place in the Valley. So the sooner the government is able to restore normal life, the better.



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