Kashmir situation grim, peace must for development

Kashmir situation grim, peace must for development
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Afaq Bhat
Srinagar, Feb 19: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has once again renewed her appeal for peace and has asked the youth to shun the path of violence and don’t inflict pain on themselves.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmirsaid, “There is no doubt about the fact that peace is imperative for development. The unending cycle of killings and violence needs to end for situation to improve.”
He said, “Chief Minister wants to pursue her policy of development and peace and ensure dialogue over Kashmir. But that is not possible till the ground situation in Kashmir changes and the violence declines.”
“Number of militancy related incidents have increased manifolds during the past one and a half year. Cordon and Search Operations have returned. So have Fidayeen attacks. Forces are on high alert,” he added.
A Kashmir watcher said, “Besides militancy related incidents protests and stone-pelting incidents near the encounter sites have emerged as new challenges for the forces. The talks about revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have vanished into thin air. A few people sitting in New Delhi are demanding that more stringent laws should be put at place to deal with the youth who pick up arms or indulge in stone-pelting.”
The Chief Minister said, “Give me peace. I will purse dialogue, opening of routes like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkote, Nowshehra-Jhangar etc. If there is peace I wish people on both sides would march together on the path of growth and development.”
An observer said, “The peace process between India and Pakistan has taken a hit as both the countries are not at talking terms with each other and armies of both the countries are trading fire. Border dwellers are facing the brunt of the hostilities between the two countries.”
He said, “Peace process cannot restart between the two countries till the guns fall silent on the borders and the Line of Control (LoC). Tense situation has brought all the activities on the LoC and borders to a grinding halt. Number of people crossing LoC through the cross LoC bus from different points has also declined. Even the cross LoC trade has taken a hit.”
A politician said, “Tense conditions on borders and violence escalating in the Valley have added fuel to the fire and have pushed both the countries to the edge. Peace only can bridge the gap between the two counties.”
The Chief Minister said that many decisions of huge public welfare like withdrawal of cases against around 10,000 youth, regularization of 61000 daily wagers, a massive economic and reconstruction plan etc were initiated by her Government during the last three years. “Initiation of consultative process to sort out issues and develop Jammu & Kashmir as a modern state of the country are on but nothing can move on till peace prevails,” the Chief Minister said.