Under President’s Rule, the least that the Centre can do is to take active steps to ensure that civilians are not killed.
At the end of six months of Governor’s Rule, Jammu and Kashmir transited to President’s Rule on Thursday, casting an even greater burden on the Centre than before to end the continual cycle of violence for the past two years, in which a greater number of civilians are being killed.
While the PDP-BJP government lasted, the Centre practically rejected all advice to listen to the voice of reason and experience and open conversations with all concerned in the Kashmir Valley. This was also the experience through the six months of Governor’s Rule that began in June this year after the toppling of the Mehbooba Mufti government through indelicate methods.
In an irony, the governor himself was jettisoned under Governor’s Rule, with the upright former civil servant N.N. Vohra being replaced by the voluble ruling party politician Satyapal Malik, who has given little indication that he has acquired a meaningful understanding of the wider perspectives on the Kashmir issue.
Citing phoney grounds, Mr Malik did not permit the PDP-National Conference-Congress coalition to form the government when the state Assembly was under suspended animation, although this combine enjoyed a comfortable majority. He then dissolved the House. It had become amply clear that People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone, whom the Jammu-based BJP had cultivated in the Valley, did not stand a ghost of a chance of forming a government with the help of defections.
Under President’s Rule, the least that the Centre can do is to take active steps to ensure that civilians are not killed. Emotional rage is spreading in Kashmir on this account.