Srinagar, Oct 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has hinted that J&K’s statehood would be restored soon but has made it clear that at present the Centre’s focus is on development.
In an interview to a private news channel Shah said that the Government of India is committed to restore J&K’s statehood and he stands by the commitment he had made in the Parliament.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Amit Shah’s statement is a morale booster for the regional political parties in the Valley as these formations have been struggling to make their presence felt on the ground.”
He said, “The second part of Shah’s statement that development is the priority cannot be ignored. It means the Centre wants to infuse all its energy into J&K’s development. All other issues are secondary.”
An observer said, “The restoration of J&K’s statehood is important for the political parties in Kashmir to re-emerge on the scene. If J&K continues to remain a Union Territory, political parties will have no major role to play. At present, the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and other small parties have come together to fight for restoration of Article 370, but the Centre rolling back its decision looks impossible. The only thing which New Delhi has left for a bargain is the restoration of J&K’s statehood.”
The observer said, “Recently Kashmir based parties formed a People’s Alliance with an aim to implement the Gupkar Declaration. But these parties didn’t make any mention of the fact whether they will contest the assembly elections or will they stay away from the process.”
He said, “Regional parties in Kashmir will have to make many things clear before deciding their final course of action. Things cannot remain unclear forever. Whether, J&K’s statehood will be restored or not is a secondary issue. The main point is how political parties in Kashmir will react to the situation. There are few parties that have made it clear that they don’t want to fight for the restoration of Article 370 and their main demand is getting statehood back. But the recently formed People’s Alliance wants everything back. It appears battle lines have been drawn and in coming days we will see separate camps of the political parties with different ideologies and thoughts.”
A politician said, “The political leaders in the Valley are caught between the devil and the deep sea. They are in the midst and don’t know which way to choose. Politics in Kashmir has never been so difficult. Restoration of J&K’s statehood is must for the survival of the political leaders.”