The Central government is expected to adopt a carrot and stick policy in Kashmir. From continuing the Operation All Out to giving amnesty to the youth and releasing political prisoners, the Centre had already hinted in 2017 that it will blow hot and cold in dealing with Kashmir. 

In Jammu and Ladakh regions, the BJP-PDP coalition government has taken huge steps to keep its promises made during the polls. The PoK refugees along with the 1947 Pakistani refugees for the first time got government compensation. The Home Ministry decided to provide bunkers to villagers living at the border in Rajouri, Poonch and other areas of Jammu and focused on the education sector which suffered in these areas due to intermittent shelling.

From neutralising 210 militants in 2017 to appointing Dineshwar Sharma as the official representative of the Central Government to looking for ways and means to end the unrest in the valley, Jammu and Kashmir saw multiple approaches being adopted by New Delhi. The general feeling is that Operation All Out done by the Army to end militancy in South Kashmir achieved its goal. During this operation, many top militant commanders including some Pakistani militants like Abu Dhujana and Mehmood Bhai were killed. Two nephews of Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were also killed. In January 2017, the police records said that there were about 210 militants active in the valley. In December 2017, state police chief S.P. Vaid said that they have killed 210 militants. But the latest police data says that about 200 militants are still active, indicating fresh recruitments done by the militants.

J&K this year witnessed the highest number of shelling incidents between the Indian and Pakistani troops at the border. The battlegrounds were R.S. Pura, Rajouri and Poonch sectors in the Jammu region while in the Kashmir Valley, worst hit were Gurez, Kupwara and Baramulla sectors. Among the militants killed at the Line of Control were Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief Abdul Qayoom Najar. 30 policemen in different militancy related incidents were killed.

The PDP-BJP coalition government survived all the internal strife and finally took a historical decision to provide amnesty to first time stone-pelters in Kashmir. The government has decided to encourage the surrender of local militants. About a dozen of them have surrendered so far. The Central government decided to act tough against separatists and the NIA arrested many prominent separatist leaders including Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others in the Hawala linked cases. On 1 November 2017, Syed Shahid Yousuf, son of Hizbul chief Syed Salah-ud-Din, was sent to judicial custody in an FIR or Hawala funding case. Summons was issued by the NIA against all prominent separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Tourism continued to suffer in 2017. The losses in the tourism sector and other sectors because of the 2016 unrest were put at Rs 16,000 crore by the government. Ladakh, however, witnessed unprecedented tourist traffic this year. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *