Post Pulwama there is much talk about military and security forces being given a free hand in the valley. There is little or no mention of Politics or rather a political solution to find an end to the Kashmir imbroglio. Pulwama is a tragic and rude reminder of how bad things are in the valley. But to use this dastardly terror attack to move ahead only with the barrel of the gun and give the political process a burial will be a mistake which we may repent at leisure. Separatists, terrorists, their handlers and sympathisers all need to be tackled with an iron fist but in the end a lasting solution will only evolve from a judicious mix of dialogue and force.
Remember it is as much a battle to silence the guns pointing towards India as it is a war to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiris. They need to be assured that they have a secure future with us as long as they don’t take recourse to arms. It is ironical that today even as the top brass of our army & security forces never hesitate to reiterate that Kashmir problem will need a political solution eventually, a section of our political leadership seems to be pinning all hopes on the army. In the heat of Pulwama aftermath let us not get so carried away that we start treating all Kashmiris — our fellow Indians — as our enemy. That would be playing straight into the hands of Pakistan.