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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4:20 am

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Lifestyle

J&K regains mainstream status.

Jammu and Kashmir
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The Prime Minister’s commitment of restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and holding an Assembly “in the near future” is a good development. In October 2019, J&K lost its special status and was separated into two Union Territories: J&K and Ladakh. PM Modi spoke at an election rally in Udhampur in favour of BJP candidates Dr. Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma from the Jammu seat. He stated that development had replaced militancy in the past decade. Article 370 was now gone. J&K was surrounded by a wall that prevented both insiders and outsiders from seeing it. The wall was dismantled and its debris buried.
He challenged the opposition, particularly the Congress party, to reinstate Article 370. J&K was safe for its citizens. The construction of AIIMS, IITs, IIMs, new tunnels, and bigger roadways was only the beginning. The region is expected to attract large enterprises, start-ups, and more visitors, both domestically and internationally. During an electoral rally in Lucknow, Home Minister Amit Shah slammed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge for querying why the Prime Minister spoke Kashmir at previous rallies in the state. “Why shouldn’t he do this? “Isn’t Kashmir part of India?” Shah said sarcastically. He stated that Kashmir is now totally merged with India and that Article 370 would not be restored. The tricolour was flying proudly in Kashmir. The Election Commission deserves credit for making it easy for Kashmiri migrants to vote in Lok Sabha elections by eliminating the need to fill out Form M before each election.

Displaced Valley residents can exercise their voting rights by self-attesting and voting wherever they live.
Restoring statehood in Jammu and Kashmir will help normalise the situation, since terrorist assaults and stone-throwing on security personnel have decreased in recent years and tourism has become the key economic producer. Tough security measures, along with the near collapse of Pakistan’s ISI’s terrorist training and planning network for strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, have almost eliminated the threat of militancy in the Valley.

Political groups that focus on Kashmir also appear to have aligned and are prepared to embrace the new framework. The PDP of Mehbooba Mufti and the National Conference are contesting the ongoing parliamentary election.
For the people and politicians in the long-troubled region to reintegrate into mainstream politics and society without pursuing exclusive status or dividing lines is a positive sign for the restoration of normalcy. The long-aspired-for objective of Kashmiris being fully integrated into the national community is finally a reality.

 

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 


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