Can it be safely assumed that the present Central Government is apparently quite serious to address core issues of Jammu and Kashmir if the visits of the Prime Minister, sanctioning Developmental Package, Home Minister’s visits and addressing the long pending problems of the West Pakistani refugees, some problems of Kashmiri Pandits and some Jammu displaced people, appointing of an interlocutor, unilateral ceasefire, peace initiatives like offer of talks, addressing border dwellers’ problems etc are any indicators and if appraised in objective perspective.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Jammu on June 8 and made certain important announcements. Rs. 5.5 lakh compensation per family for West Pakistani refugees, 30 percent increase in the relief of identified Kashmiri Pandit displaced families and some Jammu displaced families must be sincerely appreciated.
Addressing a press conference in Jammu before winding up his two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, he also announced, in addition to the above, establishment of nine Police battalions which include two exclusively for border youth and 60 percent reservation for the border dwellers in five IRP battalions. Not that these promises were only announced, the Home Minister made it clear that as soon as he reached Delhi, proper orders for all these announcements would be issued.
The fact that during the last seven decades, West Pakistan refugees settled here were denied citizenship rights as well as any kind of monetary relief, cannot be overlooked.. The credit goes to Modi Government as for the first time any monetary compensation has been announced for them. The regional parties, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party have been vehemently opposing citizenship rights to these refugees, the Home Minister, however described them as “Indian citizens”. Not only this, the Home Minister went to meet delegations of people in the valley as well as the border dwellers in Jammu division to know their problems and views on different issues. He termed the border dwellers as “strategic assets” and announced the hike in relief from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakh for any border resident losing life due to Pakistani shelling and similarly the hike from Rs.30000 to Rs. 50000 would be there in case of the death of the cattle.
Any apprehensions about any sort of indifference towards the problems of the State by the Central Government must, ipso – facto be put to rest. On the contrary, such an obscurantist attitude deserves to be refuted as that has a potentiality of spreading dissensions which created doubts and which went contrary to the realities on the ground. The State, reeling under peculiar problems mostly due to the continuous hostilities of Pakistan and its agent saboteurs need constant and perpetual peace on borders and the two day visit of the Home Minister addressed allied issues arising due to or being there as a consequence of the hostilities of Pakistan and those Pakistani agents and stooges in the valley. How much successful this two days visit remained, to measure it, the yardstick should be not inelastic in nature.
However, conditional ceasefire announced by the Home Minister on May 16 for the holy month of Ramzan needs to be analyzed in totality besides whether its extension or no extension is concerned should be seen in the context of how much effective it remained and what perceptible change in the landscape of violence and hostilities did it result in.