Time to think out of box on Kashmir: Top Army officer

Lt Gen Saha, who was Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said: "If you have to benefit the people then there is need for development and security is the most important factor for that."

By: PTI | Jammu | Published:November 24, 2016 1:15 am
Kashmir, Kashmir unrest, Kashmir valley, unrest in valley, Kashmir agitation, Kashmiri separatists, Kashmir business, Kashmir market, India news, kashmir shutdown, Indian Express A busy street in Srinagar. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

A top Indian Army officer on Wednesday said that there is a need to think out of box and new way out for ensuring return of normalcy and prosperity to Kashmir. “The seminar that is taking place in Jammu – Kashmir back to paradise – its importance cannot be overstated anymore. You are aware of the situation. There is need to think something new, something different and out of the box,” Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Subrata Saha, said.

Addressing the conference organised by Art of Living Organisation, he said, “Every shade of opinion whether it is a political or apolitical says there is urgent need to hold dialogue and reconciliation.

“There will be challenges in the path of dialogue and reconciliation and we need to take care of them. For achieving sustained peace (in Kashmir) the way would be reconciliation and the means would be dialogue,” he said.

“The ultimate beneficiary of this peace should be the people of Jammu and Kashmir. If that is the bottom line the initiative should be people-centric and if that is not there whatever you do you will return back to square one,” the army officer said.

Lt Gen Saha, who was Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said: “If you have to benefit the people then there is need for development and security is the most important factor for that.

“Without security there will be no development and progress and access to law and justice is very important and past wounds needs to be treated.”

Besides that the sense of alienation needs to be addressed and historical aspects need to be kept in mind.

Today’s situation can be best understood through the lens of past history, he said, adding that by highlighting the economic aspect you are reducing the problem and all factors need to be taken into consideration while moving ahead towards peace.

Laying focus on dialogue, he said that dialogue is the traditional means of restoring balance in our society.

“This is rooted deeply in our culture. I don’t think there is any solution through any other means. If people are to become beneficiaries then the issue is to be resolved through non-violence.

“How long you will continue with the liberation movement sooner or later liberty would have to get privacy over the liberation.

“Unless the liberty does not get privacy over liberation, the people cannot be beneficiaries,” he said.

“The dialogue may have to begin at a low pace but has to be inclusive and sensitive to the people,” he said, adding that women, youth and children have to be part of the dialogue process and it has to be an expanding arch to include all shades of opinion and that is the way out.