What Next after the All Party Delegation Visit?: A 3-C Strategy for Kashmir
For the last four months, Kashmir valley, in particular Srinagar has been witnessing continuous violence and curfews. Though the PM and his Home Minister have been looking for consensus and an “elusive starting point,” there are clear proposals from the mainstream in J&K where New Delhi could begin to arrest the current round of violence. Omar Abdullah, has demanded the removal of AFSPA, if not from the entire Kashmir valley, then at least from select urban towns. Many retired police officials agree to this proposition. Intellectuals from J&K have been asking for a debate on autonomy; Manmohan Singh himself had constituted a working group on this issue, which has given its recommendations.
What is New Delhi waiting for? There was an expectation that there would be a special Eid package for J&K. Unfortunately, all that New Delhi could do was to convene the Cabinet Committee on Security, which could not reach any consensus, even on the AFSPA. Finally, it was decided to send an All Party Delegation (APD) to J&K to study the ground situation and understand the various opinions obtaining.
This brief looks at the backdrop to the formation of the APD, provides a critique of its visit and explores the strategies that could be pursued hereafter.