Talk peace, not war
The Supreme Court has directed chief secretaries and DGPs of 11 states to take “prompt” and necessary action to prevent incidents of threat, assault and social boycott of Kashmiris in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. It further directed that police officers, who were earlier appointed as nodal officers to deal with incidents of mob lynching, would be now responsible to deal with cases of alleged assault on Kashmiris. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been asked to give wide publicity to nodal officers so that they can be approached by those facing such incidents. The Supreme Court directives have come as a big relief to those Kashmiris who are studying, doing business or have taken up jobs in different states of the country. It has undoubtedly come as a great relief to the parents whose wards are studying in different parts of the country.
Following the Pulwama terror attack, wherein a Kashmiri born suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a convoy of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Jammu-Srinagar national highway on February 14 and killed more than 40 forces’ personnel. The attack attracted wide condemnation both globally as well as domestically. However, some elements in different parts of the country tried to exploit the tragedy on regional and religious lines. In several areas Kashmiri students, businessmen and others were targeted and harassed creating fear psychosis among the Kashmiris presently in other parts of the country and also their families back home. In this backdrop, the directives issued by the Supreme Court has come as a ray of light when everything looked gloomy and depressing. The Supreme Court, by issuing the directives, has established and asserted that Indian institutions can’t be taken for a ride by some lunatics who can see beyond their petty politicking.
It is true that JeM has owned the responsibility of the attack. It is true that JeM is based in Pakistan and a Pakistani national Azhar Mehmood is heading it and pulling strings from there. It is a no brainer to suggest that India needs to send a strong message to Pakistan and build diplomatic pressure on it. But war hysteria at this movement are not going to help anyone. The two neighbouring countries are nuclear powers and any sort of war can be disastrous beyond imagination. Though it would not be out of place to suggest that Pakistan needs to look inwards. Pakistan government can’t deny presence of groups like JeM operating from its soil and need to act against such groups as their actions in India are furthering the gap between the two countries. That said, war is not a solution to any problem. Kashmiris have been bearing the brunt of India, Pakistan hostilities. Kashmiris know what war means and therefore every Kashmiri, irrespective of political ideologies or affiliations would always stand for peace. The two countries have to find out a way to engage with each other. Table and not a battle ground should be the ultimate goal.