How the ‘Doval doctrine’ brought the unrest in Kashmir to a halt

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"Do not overreact, it will pass off as they cannot sustain beyond a point." This is one of those very famous lines from National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's doctrine for Jammu and Kashmir. The unrest in Kashmir in 2016 was bad and never showed any signs of dying down. The separatists of the Valley were relentless in orchestrating the violence in a bid to get the government to blink.

The government came under criticism for not talking to the separatists. However the government decided to implement Doval's doctrine and it did pay off.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

The calendar of protests issued by the separatists have stopped completely, normalcy in the Valley has been restored and more importantly the ego of the separatists has been hurt.

Do not buckle in front of separatists:

The government for once did not buckle in front of the pressure that was been created by the separatists. An senior official in New Delhi explained that talking to the separatists was not an option. It is not as though they would tow the line of the Indian government had we tried speaking to them, he also said.

The approach towards the Kashmir problem was based on the Doval doctrine. He had made it clear that there was no need to overreact as these troublemakers could not sustain beyond a point. That is what happened in Kashmir and the separatists withdrew their protests as they began losing local support and also could not sustain.

In 2010 when Kashmir was witnessing massive protests, Doval had said, "Do not overreact, it will pass off as they cannot sustain beyond a point."

The broader message that Doval was sending out is that appeasement will not work and if these people in the Valley do manage to sustain beyond a point then there would be a price to pay.

Doval says that the biggest problem was the policy of appeasement that was being followed since 1947. He felt that the focus should have been to vacate the Pakistan forces out instead of going to the United Nations. Also, by accepting Article 370 in the state, it only made the people of Jammu and Kashmir look different and this led to separatism.
He also felt that such policies only gave Pakistan the upper hand in setting the agenda.

Pakistan decided when to engage India in war or peace, he also had said. Doval had said in 2010 and says it even in 2016 that the protests are not due to an uprising by civil society. Instead it is a manufactured and orchestrated move by Pakistan to keep the Valley on the boil.

He even spoke about the clarion calls for protests and stone pelting that would be issued from the mosques. He even justified the use of force while ascertaining that in most cases the protestors had a murderous approach.

Doval, however, emphasised that use of force against innocents was wrong.

The NSA had emphasised on the need to give Pakistan a decisive blow. Pakistan must realise and understand that it cannot take on India. Pakistan has this belief that it can take on India and only through a decisive blow will they understand that they thinking is wrong, Doval said. He also said that with such action, the separatists too would realise who the real power is.

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