By K. N. Pandita
I don’t find any strong reason to impose Governor’s rule and keep the assembly either in animated suspension or dissolve it. These are extreme steps. That is not good statesmanship.
Conditions have been worst earlier also in the State and in the valley. And the situation can become far graver in days to come. Imposition of Governor’s rule means lack of trust in the coalition government. There is no justification for that.
Hindsight shows that it was covetousness on the part of BJP to opt for coalition with PDP knowing full well that PDP is born from the womb of militancy. On ideological basis there is least compatibility between the two and late Mufti Saeed had rightly said that ideologically the two parties are poles apart.
Sincere friends had suggested BJP points-man Ram Madhav to opt to sit in the opposition and not join government. In a prospect of Governor’s rule, New Delhi will be forcing Mehbooba and her party-men to distance from even the semblance of nationalism they may have. Mehbooba was speaking the same idiom before her party came to power for the first time in 2002. Her father knew she had walked over a perilous path but a seasoned politician as he was, he knew how to pilot the ship in disturbed waters.
Exacerbation of unrest among the people and spurt in militancy in recent months was something we expected because, once in the seat of power, Mehbooba had to talk politics and not frenzied sentiments that suited militants. She has almost burnt her boats. By removing her, New Delhi will be opening another front to fight against or at least, she will strengthen the opposition to Indian presence in Kashmir.
There is no worthwhile substitute to her if she is to quit. Once denuded of power she will become a lame duck in the hands of her party stalwarts.
NC and Jamaat-i-Islami are doing the tango. They will be the happiest if the door is shown to Mehbooba. That is bad statesmanship.
I don’t think that Governor Shri N. N.Vohra will support imposition of Governor’s rule. He is an astute politician and very calculated in taking decisions. Militancy, attacks by terrorists, attacks on police posts and personnel, stone pelting by mobs and mobs coming out massively to obstruct the army or security forces or the police from performing their normal duty etc. all these activities have been going on in the past with or without the change of government. There has been only the difference in degree and not substantially.
By imposing Governor’s rule we are minimizing our options. We will be eliminating the buffer between the irate public and complacent government. Governor’s rule is not going to be either the buffer or decisively dominating. The time is not opportune to send away Mehbooba and bring in the Governor. That will be a day of victory for the Jamaat-i- Islami and its newfound love viz. NC.
Many PDP MLAs and Ministers are ambivalent about current political scenario in the State. None has responded to Mehboob’s appeal made some weeks ago that all MLAs and Ministers should regularly visit their respective constituencies and take people into confidence. None has come forward saying he is doing it. The death of six policemen killed by militants did not evoke the sentiment of nationalism among either the MLAs or ministers of the ruling coalition. Many among the mainstream politicians continue to believe that the gun of the operative Lashkars will usher in freedom to Kashmir is from what they call “Indian yoke”. More clever among them are seriously thinking of establishing liaison with the Chinese in Askardu where they are going to establish a big military base.
Pakistan is testing our patience. We need to bring her frustration by stiffly turning down her agenda for the separatists.
Lastly, what the Home Ministry should immediately do is to withdraw Z security from all separatist leadership including those who have made it a habit of castigating India and Indian army for each and every mishap which surfaces in Kashmir valley. They have no threat from the militants who are the apple of their eye.
Hands of Mehbooba Mufti have to be strengthened and full support given to her party to stay put for the complete tenure of six years. We should also forget making undue noise about the occurrence of violent incidents in the State. This State is at war with itself and let it take its own time to come to a negotiating table. It may take a few decades or even a century. That should not cause panicky to our policy and security planners.