Reduce Trust Deficit

Dr Haroon Shan

The latest initiative by the Prime Minister has reaffirmed his commitment towards the peace and the development of the UT with the slogan of “ Dili Ki Duri” as well as “Dil Ki Duri” must end between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country, with a clear approach to redefine the famous slogan of Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, “Kashmiriyat, Insaanyat and Jamooryaat”, and it shows Prime Minister Modi is keen to take forward the vision of great leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Jammu and Kashmir.
Atal’s vision was then warmly accepted by the National Conference by joining hands with the BJP under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, later Omar Abdullah became external affairs minister of state. Atalji’s policies were seen with a great degree of optimism on the ground, during Atal Ji’s tenure as the Prime Minister, J&K witnessed a rare free and fair election in decades, later peace, prosperity, development followed, funds and developmental projects were equally distributed between the regions.
After years of political changes at the national level as well as in the UT, Indian electorate have given the mandate to Mr Modi and the BJP in the 2014 general elections. After assuming office, the Prime Minister and the BJP were keen to follow the path and vision of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee of reconciliation, trust and let the local/state elected leadership fill the void of uncertainty, mistrust, despair. Later the state elections followed, in Jammu division people voted for the BJP with new hope and Kashmir division voted for PDP with the expectation of healing touch and peace for the common Kashmiri (the PDP party was founded by the Late statesman Mufti Mohd Sayeed, honest and visionary leader} with the aim to continue the vision of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir of “ Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat, hence the alliance with PDP was formulated and Mufti Sayeed was chosen as the Chief Minister and Dy CM from the BJP with the hope to deliver the poll promises made by the both respective parties to the people of the state, but sadly Mufti’s untimely death resulted in the political uncertainty in J&K, which continued even after Ms Mehbooba Mufti’s time, her consistent advice on foreign policy rather than settling local state issues, which the both parties had promised to deliver for the common people of the State, later these issues resulted in the collapse in the alliance, hence the golden chance was lost to bring the everlasting peace in the region, the onus was more on local/state leadership which they failed to deliver.
Post 2019 general elections, PM Modi assumed the office for the 2nd term. As we all know one of the main founding pillars of the BJP was to abrogate the article 370 and bring the state under the one flag of the Union of India. Later Article 370 was abrogated on august 5, 2019, as expected political turmoil followed for months, later the covid crisis hit the region like any other part of the world. After months of no communication between the centre and the state leadership, a ray of hope has emerged when a frank dialogue was initiated between centre and UT, which was warmly accepted by all the the UT political parties and leaders.
All the major political parties and leaders were invited even hardline foes were invited to express their views and to discuss the way forward, as all the major leaders have expressed their core views, which were already in the public domain, some analyst would say most of them have soften their hard-line stance for the larger interest of the state and the region. The latest political development is a good sign for the common people of the UT. I think better sense should prevail and all should work on a common goal to bring peace in the region, end fear, build bridges between the regions, resettle the Kashmiri Pandits with dignity and honour, reduce the trust deficit. The onus is on the UT leaders to sit together for the larger interest of the UT and the people of the both regions.