September 8, 2019 2:08:35 am
Even though the Jammu and Kashmir administration has tried to ease many restrictions initiated on August 5, after special status for the state under Article 370 was scrapped, life does not seem to be returning to normal in Kashmir due to “civil curfew” enforced by “a section of radicalised youths backed by terrorists,” J&K BJP spokesperson Brigadier Anil Gupta (Retd) stated on Saturday.
The statement came after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval told a group of journalists in Delhi that “at least 92.5 per cent of the geographical area of Jammu and Kashmir is free of restrictions’’.
Radicalisation is the root cause of alienation, which needs to be addressed first to restore normalcy, Gupta said. He held the National Conference and the Congress responsible for creating the present impasse and said facts speak to the contrary despite claims by both parties to be secular and worst victims of militancy.
Gupta maintained that radicalisation picked up momentum in Kashmir after re-emergence of Sheikh Abdullah on the political horizon with “full backing” of the Congress. It gained impetus after 1977, ostensibly with the backing of Pakistan when Zia ul Haq was busy giving shape to the implementation of “bleed India through a thousand cuts” doctrine, he added.
Sheikh’s successor and son Farooq Abdullah, the BJP leader asserted, first hobnobbed with radical Islamic parties through an alliance to contest the 1983 elections against the Congress, and later joined hands with the Congress and allegedly turned a blind eye to destruction of Sufi culture and growth of radicalism.
The “bungling” of the 1987 polls by the NC-Congress alliance led to large-scale exodus of Kashmiri youths for arms training and Farooq Abdullah was again found wanting, Gupta said. When militancy erupted in 1989-90, Farooq deserted Kashmiris and left them to face terrorists’ bullets, he said. “When Kashmir was burning, Farooq was golfing in London,” he maintained.
According to Gupta, while the Army was able to control and neutralise Pakistan’s proxy war, when Omar Abdullah came to power in 2008, Pakistan successfully managed to change militancy in the Valley into an “Intifadda-type” of movement of agitations, uprising and stone-pelting.
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