Jammu and Kashmir

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  • Anand asked: What is the centre's stand on recent Kashmir violence? What can the centre and state do together for a permanent solution?

    Arpita Anant replies: The Centre’s stand on the recent violence in Kashmir is that it was a result of young people being misled by Pakistan–based anti-national forces linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba. Instigated by these forces, large mobs indulged in stone pelting and defied curfew orders. This provoked a reaction from the CRPF and Jthe ammu and Kashmir Police, which resulted in the unfortunate loss of lives. The Centre therefore instructed these forces to adopt maximum restraint in dealing with rioting crowds and simultaneously maintain law and order.

    The Unified Command, which brings together the Centre and the State security apparatuses, must ensure that the channels of instigation resulting in such serious law and order problems are blocked. Moreover, since the intellectuals and the media of the Valley have explained the summer unrest as a spontaneous uprising against mis-governance, it is important for the Centre and the State Government to work towards an all-party consensus on improving governance and identifying immediate developmental priorities for the State. The consensus thus achieved must be made known to the people of the state and sincerely followed through.

    A similar consensus on engaging with the separatist leadership and the Government of Pakistan and its follow-up may lead to a permanent solution to the problem in Kashmir.

    K Raka Sudhakar Rao asked: Is there any material or books available on how terrain is helping terror in J&K?

    P K Gautam replies: I do not know of any book. Mountainous and jungle terrain helps insurgents as not all areas can be patrolled or kept under surveillance. It has natural camouflage and cover.Technology cannot provide all the solutions given the frequent rain or snow fall or mist. However there is a correlation between say forest cover and insurgency and also roots of insurgency related to forests or its products.

    In Jammu and Kashmir illegal felling may be one source of funds for insurgents . At times the anti- nationals elements generate a discourse on logging by the state to bring in the green agenda and thus grab international attention. The Indian Army through its Operation Sadbhavana has a green mission wherever possible. However there is a serious environmental degradation in Kashmir valley due to changes in rainfall and snow patterns, neglect of wetlands and pollution due to urbanisation. The deteriorating state of the Dal lake is a case in point . Forests that is not only in quantity but quality are important for the water recycling regime.

    In naxal affected forest region the relationship is more direct. Tribals depend not only on trees or forests but also on forest related products such as mahua , tendu leaf, etc. Their cultural and livelihood practices are related to NTFP (No timber forest product). The naxal struggle is one manifestation of the clash of perceptions on forest and mineral wealth pitted against the needs of an industrialising India.

    With Reference to the Context: Militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the India-Pakistan Dialogue

    A survey of media reports in newspapers based in Jammu and Kashmir for 2010 reveals that although violence levels are down there are multiple levels at which militancy affects the state.

    July 14, 2010

    Jammu and Kashmir: Governance is the key

    The survey in J&K and ‘Azad Kashmir’ indicates that people consider unemployment as a major problem, followed by corruption, poor economic development and human rights abuses.

    July 07, 2010

    A Salami Slicing Solution

    Under the deal that was worked out in the back channel, the LoC would have remained a de facto and not a de jure border, something that would keep alive Pakistan's irredentist claims over Jammu and Kashmir.

    May 03, 2010

    Vicious anti-India propaganda in Pakistan on Water issues

    Though the Indus Water Treaty apportions 80 per cent of the waters of the Indus River Basin to Pakistan and only 20 per cent to India, Pakistan is engaged in baseless allegations to inflame public opinion and project India as its number one threat.

    March 29, 2010

    Pakistan’s Double Standard on Kashmir makes Indo-Pak CBMs Counterproductive

    The Indo-Pak peace conference concluded with a pledge to uphold democracy, but failed to demonstrate it by limiting its invitation only to representatives from the Kashmir valley and ignoring other stakeholders.

    January 28, 2010

    Profiling the Taliban Threat to India

    The threat from the Taliban could be in the form of heightened infiltration attempts across the Line of Control or see a new breed of Talibanised Pakistani militants targeting the Indian hinterland or a combination of both.

    June 02, 2009

    Pakistan’s latest adventure across the International Border

    Pakistan has yet again shown its proclivity to raise tensions with India. This time, the Pakistan Army or its proxies have fired three rockets across the International Border (IB) near Wagha in Punjab. Although no injuries were reported, such attacks pose a major danger to the people living in areas adjacent to the border, and some 150 farmers of the area indeed protested. This is the second time that rockets have been fired from Pakistan in the recent past.

    September 14, 2009

    Identity and Conflict: Perspectives from the Kashmir Valley

    Based on interviews with a cross-section of people from the Kashmir Valley including aspirants of self-determination, academics, media persons, members of the civil society, and security forces this article argues that perceptions about identity are central to the conflict in Kashmir Valley. Having successfully stemmed the tide of armed conflict militarily, it is now crucial for the government to take cognizance of and address these issues in an appropriate manner as management of these perceptions will be critical to bringing enduring peace to the Kashmir Valley.

    September 2009