zahorAfter five months of unrest, winter has settled in the Valley. The frequency of the protests has gone down and people’s movement has increased for the past some weeks. The protest fatigue has crept in the Valley after unrelenting protests. During the past over four months Hurriyat leaders as well as people had been relentlessly demanding that both government of India and state government should prioritize the resolution of Kashmir issue which has been pending for past several decades. At least 96 civilians have lost their lives and thousands others have been injured in action by the forces on the protestors who hit the streets during the unrest demanding K-resolution. Since 2008, Kashmir has seen four bloody summer-uprisings in which hundreds of persons lost their lives to action by the security forces.

              Every time Kashmir erupted the government of India sent teams to Kashmir to douse the fire and pacify the peoples’ anger. Various recommendations put forth by government of India’s own team regarding Kashmir political, economic and social problems have been consigned to the shelves in power corridors in New Delhi. Nobody knows what happened to the report of the interlocutors who were air dashed to Srinagar after 2010 uprising. The present thaw in the situation and the upcoming four months of winter has provided an opportunity to policy makers in New Delhi as well as in the state government to get their act together and reach out to stakeholders in Kashmir including Hurriyat leaders. No solution can be reached at to the Kashmir problem without taking Pakistan onboard.

             The government of India should open all channels of dialogue with the separatists and Islamabad at the same time. It is a fact that no instant solution can be expect to the Kashmir problem which is pending for over six decades. But by initiating talks, both at the external levels and the internal levels, the government of India would send a message that this time it was serious to take people of Kashmir out from the miseries and problems they have been suffering for decades. There is an opportunity, after the crisis, for Modi-led government to boldly take the first step towards resolution of the problem. Let it not go waste this time.

Editor in Chief