The appointment of an interlocutor to restart the dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir will not impact the Army’s ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the violence-hit state in any way, General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday.” The government’s (tough) Kashmir strategy has worked and we are negotiating from a point of strength,” the Army chief said in the backdrop of security forces having killed over 175 terrorists, including top commanders of different outfits, in the state this year.Incidents of cross-border infiltration have come down with a robust counter-infiltration grid, and the overall situation in the state has improved significantly in the last few months.
‘Bandook se na goli se, Baat banegi boli se’ it appears that Prime Minister Narender Modi had carefully worded his Independence Day speech, with a foresight to roll out this confidence building programme in Kashmir after reaching a position of strength. The strategy is clear, first eliminate the “militants” (175 killed this year), build a safe environment and then engage in talks. J&K CM had earlier said, shoots of peace are “sprouting” in the terrorism-hit state, they have to be watered and fertilized, and I am sure that the fruits of peace will follow. She had further added, this government is now working towards ensuring that the people in the state can be uplifted with dignity.Although the announcement has not come with pre-conditions, it remains to be seen if the new interlocutor manages to hold talks with the Hurriyat. On the streets of Kashmir, people are pinning hope on the fresh initiative bringing an end to the festering crisis. Pakistan is rattled with the current methodology of aggressive crackdown on terrorist in J&K and has again been stumped with the appointment of the interlocutor. Strong opposition from hurriyat/seperatists is expected in the following months who would try to infuse anti national sentiment once again croaking of foul play, basically echoing Pakistan’s vested interests in the valley. Terror funding to thwart this move could see an increase, which is required to be tackled at appropriate level and as the newly appointed interlocutor mentioned he’ll reach to “all stake holders to ensure stability in Kashmir. Also, as brought out by COAS the crackdown would continue to shackle the web of militancy in Kashmir.