Take a step forward
There seems to be no letup to the killings in Kashmir. Last three days have seen 17 killings which include local boys from south Kashmir who have taken to arms, two civilians and a soldier, who too was a local, falling to violence.
This killing spree has once again raised several important questions like what can be done to put a stop to these mindless killings. The situation in Kashmir has no doubt been uncontrollable since 2016, to the extent that hardly a day passes when killing of local boys- be they civilians or armed militants-is not reported.
Going by the records, nearly 44 militants were killed in southern Shopian district alone this year so far. Among these, 42 were local militants while two were foreigners. Apart from Shopian other districts are also witnessing killings on both sides and even most of the times civilians too get caught into the cycle of violence. Just yesterday a 19 month old kid was hit by pellets in her eyes when government forces reacted to protests by angry crowds after the killing of six militants in south Kashmir. And going by the reports the kid is bound to lose sight in her right eye.
The incidents of killings and injuries has been taking a heavy toll and once again these happenings raise a grim reminder that Kashmir issue and the violence that is becoming a daily norm now-needs to stop.
The onus now lies equally on all the stakeholders who have to think seriously and come out of their respective cocoonised stands and help to reach to an agreement which puts a full atop to these killings immediately.
Kashmir, no doubt is a 70 year old dispute which all us understand that it cannot be resolved overnight. Every stakeholder as long as he continues to tread the beaten path is not going to help to ease out of the situation.
Any resolution for Kashmir needs to be an out of the box idea and for that idea to take shape, the stakeholders need to clinch on to the ideas and debate them to reach to a point that seems achievable.
As of now the ideas provided by the former Prime Minister of Norway KjellMagne Bondevik need to be taken seriously. The former Norwegian premier’s visit last week was a step in that direction and his maiden visit to this place has generated fresh hopes of a possible resolution of the vexed Kashmir issue.
Though, it is quite premature to say that the visit will pave way for any resolution, but it seems that for the first time some quarters in New Delhi too have accepted that it has to widen the ambit of reconciliation between India and Pakistan vis-à-vis Kashmir resolution.
Norway has a history of resolving conflicts in several countries in a peaceful manner. Its involvement in Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal have borne some fruits and the way the former PM came calling to Kashmir is an indication.
However, the stakeholders who have a sway over the happenings need to keep one thing in mind that killings, destruction and uncertainty in all spheres of life in Kashmir is not helping anybody’s cause.