SRINAGAR: Lt-Gen P R Shankar (Retd) said that an entire generation of Kashmiris has only lived under the gun, seeing military operations at their doorstep and this has led to a deep sense of alienation. He said that the approach to J&K must be balanced and not uni-dimensional. In all cases, the military solution is the last option. We must find a political solution as, Kashmir needs a political solution.
P R Shankar said that in Jammu and Kashmir, every opportunity is a threat, and every threat an opportunity, consequently our strengths are also our weaknesses Orfonline reported. Initiating a discussion on ‘J&K: Combating Terrorism, the way forward’ at the ORF-Chennai Chapter, Gen Shankar, who is now associated with the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, said “It is important when looking at combating militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, not simply to look for one solution, but to discuss a broad range of options.”
The challenges of this region were many. Gen Shankar enumerated the “fractured politics” as among the main causes of discord. In the present context, “tensions between the main political parties in the State, namely, the ruling BJP at the Centre, the Congress, the PDP, and the National Conference, are jostling for power”, and this has contributed to the State’s problems.
He added that “an entire generation of Kashmiris has only lived under the gun, seeing military operations at their doorstep and this has led to a deep sense of alienation. He further pointed out that “old leadership is being replaced by hard liners.” There was also a worrying new trend in J&K which was the targeting of security forces, Gen. Shankar said.