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Valley may be peaceful but anti-national whispers aren't shut yet

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Some anti-national elements are still very active in the region. According to one report, over 437 Kashmiri youth joined insurgent ranks between 2019 and 2021.

Speculation is rife in a section of the public that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are round the corner.

Observers say the much-expected elections, the first since Jammu and Kashmir lost its ironically discriminatory 'special status' and became a union territory in post-colonial one India on August 5, 2019, are likely to be held any time the Election Commission deems it fit. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been clear since day one that the elections would be conducted once the J&K Delimitation Commission completed its exercise in the matter.

Valley may be peaceful but anti-national whispers arent shut yet

The Delimitation Commission has already done its part. Now, in accordance with its recommendations, the government in the region is busy preparing fresh voters' list. The overall environment for conducting elections is much conducive today. Security has improved in the region since the revocation of its special status in 2019. Civilian fatalities have declined. So have those involving our security personnel. According to the data of J&K police, from August 5, 2016 to August 4, 2019 the number of law and order incidents reported in the Valley stood at 3,686; in contrast, only 438 such incidents were reported from August 5, 2019 to August 4, 2022.

Army fires at Pakistani drone in JammuArmy fires at Pakistani drone in Jammu

The sentiments of the people today are with the present administration. The masses have been fed up with the kind of politics and governance the successive political dispensations in Srinagar had practised in the past. They find that in the new set up, tourism and investments have grown in the region. The region is now on the path to peace and prosperity.

The public mood was clearly discernible in the fact that the protest the opponents of the current administration organized the other day, on the third year of the revocation of JK's special status, turned out to be a total flop. It was just a partial shutdown in Srinagar. Markets remained open in and around commercial hub Lal Chowk.

It would, however, be wise for the government to remain cautious in conducting the elections in J&K. Some anti-national elements are still very active in the region. According to one report, over 437 Kashmiri youth joined insurgent ranks between 2019 and 2021. Besides, some of the politicians, who would benefit, at the cost of the general public, in the pre-2019 political system in the region, would never like the new political process to work.

In losing the 'Special Status' J&K has gained hope, peace and future In losing the 'Special Status' J&K has gained hope, peace and future

In a media interview, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and current president of the People's Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti demanded greater autonomy and proposed a 'Self Rule' formula as a final solution.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah have the same aims, notwithstanding their frequent indulgence in ambiguity on the matter. The parties associated with the Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) are yet to reach any concrete agreement as to what they seek to achieve. The alliance is being run by the two dynasties-Sheikh Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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