Kashmir is no Syria : Modi’s Interlocutor on meaningless approach


First of all, Dineshwar Sharma’s analysis of comparing Kashmir to Syria is erroneous.Sharma stated that his top priority in Kashmir is  to de-radicalise the youth and militants but the real problem in Kashmir is loss of jobs and the implementation of wrong and defective policies by the BJP-PDP coalition.

The Narendra Modi government appointed special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma has reached Srinagar for a five-day visit to the State to talk with all stakeholders for establishing peace in the Kashmir Valley. Sharma, a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, will spend three days in the Kashmir Valley and two days in Jammu, where he will hold talks with Governor N. N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and various delegations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP ministers and RSS men have been raising questions and issues which are detrimental to the peace in the state. The unwarranted discussions created by the BJP on Article 370, which forms the basic structure and political solution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir should be abandoned. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has very rightly said  that Article 370 of the Constitution, which guarantees  special status to the state, is the nation’s commitment to the people of J &K and should be honored.

Jammu and Kashmir was calm before the BJP led government took power in the state but due to wrong policies like bringing a demographic change and involving army to handle the reaction of the people against the Kashmiri youths further aggravated the situation. There has never been radicalisation among youths in Jammu and Kashmir  as well as frustration that is being witnessed for more than one year is due to utter joblessness, wrong policies of the Modi government. Imposition of curfew, curbs on movement, internet bans and  suspension of mobile services fueled the anger among the Kashmiris.

Kashmir interlocutor  Dineshwar Sharma must understand the difference between Syria  and Jammu and Kashmir, Syria is strategically most important country bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. Syria is home to diverse ethnic  groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Other Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma’ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Where as in Kashmir there are no such diverse ethnic  and religious groups.

When the IB was investigating the fledgling modules of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh in 2015, Sharma was  known to have advocated a policy of counselling and reforming, instead of arresting the potential recruits of the global terror network. The data shows that ISIS was not present in Jammu and Kashmir before the BJP-PDP government.

When Mehbooba mufti,entire Opposition specially the Congress asked the Modi government repeatedly to talk to every stakeholder to diffuse the tensions, the BJP government did not pay heed to it untill the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson advised India to initiate dialogue with Pakistan as both the countries are important to stabilize Afghanistan.

The Joint Resistance Forum consisting of three separatist organisations — the hardline and moderate factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF had announced that they would not meet Sharma and dubbed his appointment a “time-buying tactic” of the Centre.

BJP is ruling both at the centre and at the state but Narendra Modi is appointing all RSS cadre to fill positions in institutions, chief ministerial posts and even interlocutors. It is therefore, obvious that they (including Sharma) will only talk to selective stake holders of their choice and the talks would be meaningless when the Army is at the forefront righting with the Kashmiri people.


By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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