Srinagar: A pro-India politician of Jammu and Kashmir’s oldest political party has said that the prerequisite for long-lasting and durable peace in the restive Kashmir Valley is “to understand and view Kashmir as a political issue and include Pakistan as a stakeholder”.
Tanvir Sadiq, National Conference politician and political adviser to Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in his article for Gulf News argued that “Young Kashmiris, the actual core constituency of the region, are not only disenchanted with politics but their mood is decidedly anti-political. The most effective indicator of this is the growing number of young, educated men willingly and eagerly joining militant ranks.”
He argued that “a genuine outreach to all stakeholders must be undertaken. This would, obviously include Pakistan and other stakeholders in Kashmir to build a consensus. Any unilateral step would not only mean disaster but also would undercut conflict resolution efforts.”
According to Sadiq, “…the recent joining and subsequent killing of Mohammad Rafi, a Kashmir university assistant professor, suggest and negate the oft-repeated assessments that lack of opportunity leads young men toward militancy.”
Mohammad Rafi Bhat, assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Kashmir, had recently joined ranks of the armed rebels and was killed 30 odd hours after his joining.
The NC politician from Srinagar also said that “The professor, who was killed soon after joining a militant group, had not only a great life ahead of him but also plenty of opportunities in his chosen field of specialisation. Yet, he chose to pay the ultimate price.”
In Sadiq’s view, the PDP-BJP alliance that was formed in 2015 has not gone down well with the people of Kashmir because the voters “had been asked to resist the BJP’s foray into Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir division of the state. The bitterness and frustration of the electorate at what they saw as a grand betrayal by the PDP was followed by the killing of Burhan Wani, a young militant commander, which threw Kashmir into a series of protests and street violence that lasted for months.”