New Delhi, June 8 (ANI): While addressing the students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Srinagar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh touched upon a number of issues related to the politico-social environment in Kashmir.
In chaste Urdu, he brought out the problems and the challenges very lucidly and then dwelled on the action being taken by his government and its coalition partner, the National Conference, to address the same.
On the issue of human rights violations, the Prime Minister reiterated his government's resolve to protect the same even when dealing with terrorism.
He said that the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been strictly instructed to respect the rights of the civilians and deficiencies in the implementation of these instructions will be removed.
This statement by the Prime Minister clearly establishes the government's commitment to uphold human rights in Kashmir regardless of the violent and vitiated environment prevalent over there.
However, the scope of this commitment needs to be enlarged in order to ensure that it is applied in letter and spirit.
This is because violation of human rights is not the exclusive domain of the security forces, there are others in the region who perpetrate crimes against humanity of a category far worse that what the security forces can even dream of.
The first and foremost are the terrorists, insurgents and militants, both indigenous and foreign, who inflict unspeakable atrocities on the innocent people, including wanton murder, torture, extortion, forced marriages etc.
The second is the divisive segment of the political leadership who, in collusion with some foreign powers, are engaged in keeping the region politically and socially turbulent. They instigate people, indoctrinate the youth to follow the path of violence, orchestrate shutdowns and stone pelting sessions which lead to great economic loss and even loss of human life.
All such activities come under the ambit of human rights violations. When terrorists kill entire families or loot them of their honour and belongings, they are committing the most heinous crime against humanity, when a poor man is denied the right to earn his living due to calls for shut downs his human right is violated, when a young impressionable young man is forced to follow a path that goes against the social mainstream his human right is violated.
The Prime Minister's statement that a handful of people who do not want any political process for empowering people to succeed spread terror and security agencies are forced to act in the wake of such incidents is also of great significance. While assuring a tight lease on the government machinery he has drawn attention to the role of terrorists and divisive elements in perpetrating the problem.
It is now incumbent upon the government to find ways and means to deal with such people along with imposing caveats upon the functioning of its security forces.
It has to evolve ways and means of counter all violations. Castigation of a single entity does not achieve any purpose, In fact, it builds up the morale of the other more dangerous segments while seriously affecting those who are engaged in a do or die conflict to maintain the security and integrity of the Nation.
There is no harm in revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, but at the same time it should be replaced with legislations that provide for a death sentence to those found guilty of indulging in mindless violence and murder in the name of a mass people's movement.
What is happening in Kashmir is nothing more than outright terrorism and in India every terrorist should be equated with Ajmal Kasab, he should be tried in a fast track court and if found guilty sentenced to death.
Similarly, stringent laws should cater for immediate arrest and prosecution under law for those who are spreading sedition and secessionism. By Jaibans Singh (ANI)