DC Edit | Amid attacks, hold J&K polls soon

Terror attacks are Jammu & Kashmir’s perennial problem. In the last three years, as many as 60 lives have been lost, 39 of them from the security forces. The latest attack on pilgrims on a temple visit that killed nine of them is the most brazen one on people of a particular community and the motive is not far to seek as Pakistan’s encouragement of Islamist terror is to be seen in this.

What the latest terror that defies the pattern of attacks on symbols of state suggests that while the security situation may have improved statistically in the last five years, central rule of the state, which was divided now into J&K and Ladakh UT, may have had only a little to contribute towards finding the true measures for peace.

Eternal vigil against Pakistan-sponsored terror has been J&K’s plight and it is a price it has paid for decades now. The all-civilian toll in this latest attack in which the terrorists gathered near and fired on the bus that had fallen into a gorge points to a sinister design to shatter the peace and drive a fissure among communities.

The timing of the terror event in Jammu division of J&K on the day the new Central government was being ushered in perhaps heightens suspicion of a known foreign hand in carrying out an attack on innocent civilians.

Tragic as the attack has been in terms of taking a toll of civilians who had nothing to do with J&K save as visitors on a spiritual journey, Narendra Modi government 3.0 should not hesitate to put a popularly elected government in place soon in Srinagar.

The return to an elected government might help towards mitigating some of the circumstances that breed hostility and motivate terror attacks by misled religious zealots. No one who comes to power in the Valley can afford to ignore the perils of living next to a prickly neighbour whose 75-year obsession with the land is not going to change anytime soon.

Greater vigil, including some smart work in tuning into the cyberworld to pick up chatter on terror plots, is called for if the confidence of the Kashmiris is not to be further eroded by the designs of indoctrinated terrorists who are incapable of seeing the pointless of it all as the Indian state will continue to hunt them down.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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