With over three months of continual lockdown in the valley, civil society members from Kashmir and the “intelligentsia from other parts of the country” came together in Delhi Wednesday to brainstorm on the situation and discuss possible solutions to the Kashmir issue.
Stating that dialogue was the only way forward in resolving the issue, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain, former Corps Commander, Srinagar, said, “We should reduce the negativity in the environment and go back to some of the positives of the past.” He said in 2011-12, the Army had managed to create a positive environment through its engagement and outreach to the people. “There was a change of ethos which provided more dignity and self esteem to the people.”
Hasnain called for greater efforts towards providing more engagement between the civil society, youth and business communities of Jammu, Ladakh and the Valley, as this could be the “workable precursor before more intimate engagement between people of the region and rest of India”. He added that secession of territory was no longer possible anywhere in the world, “that is why we need to engage with the people”.
Hameeda Nayeem, chairperson of the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies, alleged that the problem of Kashmir had been “securitised” instead of being addressed. She said a solution had to be for “the entire territory of Kashmir and for all times to come”. The conference was organised by NGO Lehar and Indian Economic Trade organisation.