Why an election in Jammu and Kashmir is urgently needed, for India and Pakistan

Source– The post is based on the article “Why an election in Jammu and Kashmir is urgently needed, for India and Pakistan” published in The Indian Express on 20th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Role of state and no-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Relevance: Kashmir issue

News- The article explains the need for elections in Jammu & Kashmir for better peace prospects.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s speech at the UN pleaded for neighbourhood peace last month. But army intelligence reportedly approved a heavily-funded plan to disrupt next year’s J&K elections.

What are the characteristics of the Pakistan state?

America has used Pakistan for Cold War spying, Afghan Mujahideen hospitality, and Nixon’s 1972 detente with Mao.

Pakistani politics have been sabotaged by Generals. Army is the main controlling power.

General Zia used the religious card by unleashing the ISI, allowing the Tabhligi Jammat to operate freely within the military, requiring comments on an officer’s religious sincerity in evaluation forms, and embracing the Ghazwa-E-Hind propagated by Jamaat-e-Islami.

Since 1987, Pakistan is exporting terrorism.

Pakistan’s sovereignty is compromised by its relationship with China. China is an all weather friend of Pakistan. The relationship is called “higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the Indian Ocean, and sweeter than honey”.

What has been the traditional character of J&K society?

Religious tolerance has been the tradition of Kashmir. In Kashmir Shaivism dates back to 850. There is a large peaceful Shia population, there was a large peaceful Pandit population.

Most Sunnis are moderate. Unlike Pakistan Ahmadiyyas, are not prosecuted. There were no gunshot deaths before 1987.

Why are elections necessary in J&K?

An election next year in J&K would result in new electoral equations, ballot structures, and context.

Election compromises, statehood restoration and new local politicians are the paths to peace.

Entitled dynasty claims that J&K elections will fail because fear is holding back talented local candidates from forming new parties,forging coalitions, and forgetting the past. But there are

many fearless academicians, civil servants and civil society members who don’t believe in this logic.

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