NC Longs To See Peace Prevail, K Issue Resolved

NC Longs To See Peace Prevail, K Issue Resolved

1 January 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: The ruling National Conference’s New Year resolution is to make peace a permanent feature in J&K by consolidating on the peace gains of 2011, overhauling the security grid and making police more people-friendly. The peace dividends, party believes, would culminate in resolution of Kashmir issue. NC’s alliance partner, Congress, meanwhile, wants the government to respond to the grievances of poor. “We are quite happy the way year 2011 passed. Peace prevailed and that was our mission for the year. We hope the year ahead would remain more peaceful,” said Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani. He said his New Year resolution includes strengthening the security grid to ensure permanent peace. “Our efforts will be to make the security apparatus of the State more efficient and vibrant. We will put in our best efforts to make police force more humane and people friendly,” Wani said. He said the government was in a process to prepare a new Police Act that would be “very humane and pro-people”. “The Act will soon be put on the official website to generate public debate. After that it will be tabled in the State legislature,” the MoS Home said. Meanwhile, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar is more guarded in his expectations. Just one year of peace, he says, doesn’t mean everything was alright. “Peace has to be a permanent feature. Peace will allow the government to address the biggest problem, that is, unemployment. It will help boost tourism and overall economy of the State,” said Sagar, who is also Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats. “That will help India and Pakistan eschew bitterness and to move forward towards Kashmir resolution. If peace prevails, India should have no problem in initiating a meaningful dialogue with the separatists to resolve Kashmir issue,” he said, adding that the “ultimate peace dividend would be Kashmir resolution”. The Law Minister said Government of India has already accepted that Kashmir was a unique problem. “We will try to ensure peace in Kashmir, but end result has to be Kashmir resolution.” Congress, however, has a different expectation from 2012- change in the existing system (functioning of the government)- to come up to the expectations of poor people. “I want the change in the system so that grievances of poor people are addressed. I believe poorer sections of the society feel neglected and isolated. The system should reach out to them,” said Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Saifudin Soz, adding that he and his party will continue the process of social service and strengthening the party. Political observers agree with both-peace for Kashmir resolution and change in the system. “Peace in 2011 depends on two things how regional (India-Pakistan) and local (Jammu and Kashmir) politics shape up. If India and Pakistan move forward despite the internal tension in Pakistan, things would change,” said Gul Muhammad Wani, who teaches political science at Kashmir University. He said if India and Pakistan agree on settlement of issues, it would make a change on ground in J&K. “It has to be seen how GoI engages various stakeholders for Kashmir resolution. Besides, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has to perform better to come up to the expectations of people,” Wani said. He, however, said situation in Kashmir was unpredictable given the nature of the conflict. “Kashmir is not only a conflict prone region, but accident prone as well.”