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Vision, Action and Results

Home minister as the architect of pragmatic policies and promising progress
02:42 AM Mar 30, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
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Inam Un Nabi

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The recent statement by Union Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the consideration of revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, along with the plan to withdraw troops from the region, has sparked significant interest and debate. This announcement could mark a significant shift in the security landscape of the region.

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First and foremost, it is crucial to commend the Home Minister for his cautious yet proactive approach to this sensitive issue. His words, often likened to 'Pather ki Lakeer' (lines on stone), reflect a deep understanding of the complexities involved. Unlike some regional parties of Kashmir that have exploited the sentiment of Kashmiris by promising AFSPA's revocation for electoral gains, Amit Shah's stance appears grounded in pragmatism and a genuine desire for progress.

The issue of AFSPA has been a contentious one in Jammu and Kashmir for decades. The law, enacted in 1958, grants special powers to the armed forces in "disturbed areas," including the authority to arrest without a warrant and to use force, even to the extent of causing death, if deemed necessary for the maintenance of public order. While supporters argue that AFSPA is necessary to combat insurgency and maintain security, critics view it as draconian, leading to human rights violations and a sense of alienation among the local population.

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The promises made by regional leaders like Omar Abdullah regarding the revocation of AFSPA have often fallen short. Abdullah, during his tenure as Chief Minister, made multiple commitments to revoke AFSPA, each time pushing the deadline further. His failure to deliver on these promises has left many Kashmiris disillusioned and skeptical of political assurances.

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It is imperative to highlight the stark contrast between the promises made by leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti regarding the revocation of AFSPA and the actual outcomes during their respective tenures. Both leaders sought votes by exploiting the sentiment of Kashmiris with promises of AFSPA's revocation, only to fail in keeping their commitments once in power. Their history is riddled with broken promises, betrayals and a lack of accountability towards their own people.

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Mehbooba Mufti, in particular, has no moral ground to seek any clarification or assurance on the revocation of AFSPA. Her tenure as Chief Minister revealed a significant lack of vision and direction, where she repeatedly cited the "prevailing situation" as an excuse for not taking decisive action on critical issues like AFSPA. Despite making promises and assurances in the assembly, her failure to provide a clear path forward left crucial matters unresolved, contributing to a sense of disillusionment among the people.

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The repeated failures of leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti underscore the urgent need for accountable and visionary governance in Jammu and Kashmir. The Home Minister's cautious and proactive approach, in contrast to the empty promises of some regional parties, signifies a step in the right direction towards genuine progress and stability in Jammu and Kashmir.

His acknowledgment of the need for a conducive environment before any decision on AFSPA revocation is a testament to his cautious and deliberative leadership style. By emphasizing the strengthening of local police forces and ensuring security measures, Shri Amit Shah's strategy aims at maintaining stability while addressing the grievances of the local population. This approach resonates with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by the region and the importance of holistic solutions.

Furthermore, Shri Amit Shah's recognition of the broader issues, including economic development, job creation, and infrastructure improvement, showcases his vision for holistic growth and development in Jammu and Kashmir. His focus on addressing the root causes of conflict and alienation is a step towards building trust and confidence among the people of the region.

In conclusion, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah's leadership on the issue of AFSPA revocation and troop withdrawal reflects a blend of pragmatism, vision and a genuine commitment to the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. His approach, characterized by caution, deliberation and a long-term perspective, sets a positive trajectory for lasting peace and prosperity in the region.

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