The recent statement of the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh that decision to release political prisoners would be taken after the Centre’s interlocutor submits his report to the Ministry of Home Affairs is an indication that government has realized that force only cannot resolve Kashmir and political steps are necessary to restore peace and tranquility in the Valley.
A few hardliners are opposing that political prisoners should be released. They are demanding stern action against the separatists who are out but it seems New Delhi is slowly softening its stand on Kashmir and wants to carry forward the peace and reconciliation process.
Some people believe that United States is building pressure on India and Pakistan to normalize their strained relations and for that it wants both the nations to come on a negotiating table. It seems Delhi is not interested in holding trilateral talks with Pakistan. It wants to engage the Kashmir leadership separately.
People at the helm know it very well that releasing political prisoners could be a major step which would leave separatists with no other option but to come forward for talks.
Since the day Dineshwar Sharma has been appointed as interlocutor for Kashmir the National Investigating Agency seems to have taken a back seat as raids in the Valley have stopped and separatists have been provided with a breathing space.
People at the helm are claiming that they are out to embrace people of Kashmir and their genuine grievances would be addressed. Family members of the political prisoners have been demanding that they should be set free as most of them are suffering from different ailments.
At present ball is in New Delhi’s court and it remains to been seen what would be its next step.