Union Home Minister Amit Shah's maiden 3-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 has assumed significance in the backdrop of recent attacks on civilians by militants in the Valley.
During the past fortnight, ultras have turned their guns towards members of the minority community and have shot dead eleven civilians, including five non-local labourers. In the retaliatory action police and security forces have neutralized fifteen militants and hunt is on to get the remaining ultras.
The Union Home Minister is scheduled to chair a security review meeting, a Unified High Command meeting, flag-off Srinagar-Sharjah flight and address a rally in Jammu. He has a jam packed schedule.
Shah's visit is a message of peace and love from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to J&K people, who have been facing the onslaught from the other side of the Line of Control for the past three decades.
The Centre on August 5, 2019, took a bold decision by scrapping J&K's special status and divided it into two union territories and ended the debate over the accession of the erstwhile princely state with Union of India once for all. Since then J&K has witnessed massive development and there has been no looking back. The breaking of a new dawn has ushered an era of peace, prosperity and progress. But the people sitting across the Line of Control are finding it hard to believe that denizens of J&K have rejected the idea of separatism and so-called Azadi. People of J&K have endorsed the idea of inclusive India and during the past two years they have proven beyond doubt that a handful of people with vested interests cannot mislead them.
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, could have deferred his J&K visit in wake of the recent killings in the Valley, but he didn't do so. His visit is a message to anti-peace elements that New Delhi is determined to take J&K to new heights and there will be no looking back. The recent target killings of civilians may have disturbed peace but have not broken the resolve of the people of Kashmir to fight back and resurrect again. After the attacks many non-locals have left Kashmir but many have also stayed back. They have reposed full faith in the people of Kashmir and the government.
The security forces intensifying the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir is a clear signal to the ultras that they cannot recreate a situation like the 90s and if they keep on dancing to the tunes of their handlers sitting across the LoC they will end up losing their lives.
After the recent attacks on civilians in Kashmir, Amit Shah chaired high level security meetings in New Delhi and passed clear cut instructions to the top security brass to act tough against the militants and their sympathizers in Kashmir. During the past 15-days security has been beefed up across the Valley. Members of the minority communities have been provided with the security and a strict vigil is being maintained to thwart any more attacks on the civilians.
New 'Sardar' (Vallabbhai Patel) of India
Since the day Amit Shah has assumed the charge of Ministry of Home Affairs, he under the guidance of PM Modi, has been monitoring the Kashmir affairs personally. When he presented the Bill to revoke J&K's special status in Rajya Sabha, he earned the title of being the new Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel) of India. Despite BJP not having enough numbers in Rajya Sabha, Shah and his team managed to convince the MPs that the government's decision is beneficial for the nation and the ones who understood it supported the J&K Reorganisation Bill moved by the Union Home Minister and a feat that couldn't be achieved in seventy years was accomplished just within a few years of Modi's rule.
Process of J&K's complete merger with the Union of India had commenced soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party won the 2014 Parliamentary elections with a thumping majority. The entire task of revoking J&K's special status and bifurcating it into two Union Territories was handed over to Amit Shah, who chalked out a complete plan to end the accession debate in J&K forever.
What happened on August 5, 2019, has proven to be a turning point in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The steps that have been taken during the past two years have brought the Union Territory closer to the country and people have realized that they belong to India and their future is secure with the country.
Shah's visit a morale booster
Amit Shah's current J&K visit is a morale booster for the officials and the nationalist people who have been holding tricolor close to their hearts despite facing threats and intimidations from the elements sponsored by Pakistan.
The Union Home Minister's J&K visit is a message to the militant sponsors, handlers and sympathizers that they won't be allowed to succeed in their nefarious designs and if they cast an evil eye towards J&K they would get a befitting reply.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a strong leader and after taking over as the reins of India he has told the world in clear terms that no one will be allowed to interfere in the internal matters of the country. After J&K's special status was abrogated, Pakistan knocked every door to seek intervention, but it didn't get any support from anywhere, not even the Muslim countries.
Recently, the J&K Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates to become a part of the development projects in the Union Territory. The move pinched the neighboring country.
Former Pakistani diplomat Abdul Basit while reacting to the signing of MoU termed it as a "major success for India." The UAE has a powerful presence in the OIC, an alliance of currently 56 countries in which Islam plays a significant role, with Islam as the state religion, or countries where Muslims form the majority of the population. By signing the MoU, the United Arab Emirates has endorsed India's intention to develop J&K and it has given its consent to become a part of the process.
The MoU was signed soon after the eleven civilian killings shattered the peace in Kashmir. It's an indication that the government won't allow J&K to slip into turmoil and uncertainty again. Modi along with his team is determined to rebuild the Union Territory and Shah reaching J&K is a clear signal to all that New Delhi won't get bogged down and trouble mongers will repent.