Nation at 9: Has Rajnath’s visit changed anything vis-a-vis the govt's policy on Kashmir

| Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 23:22
First Published |
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The news coming out of Srinagar today was J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti almost losing her cool while addressing a joint press conference with the Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It was almost a role reversal  with  the usually conciliatory Mehbooba donning a hawkish tone with regards to those protesting in  the streets and making it clear that she believes that 95% of Kashmiris want peace and it’s just the 55 that she termed trouble makers that are the source of  the unrest and  the ensuing violence. It was then left to Rajnath Singh to end the interaction with the Press in Srinagar with his usual seasoned politicians finesse. Now our discussion tonight is going to be on two tracks.
One, has this visit really changed anything vis-a-vis the govt's policy on Kashmir? Are we going to see a gradual shift or a pivot by the NDA government in its approach to calm things down in the Valley. Is there a perceptible change at all? Those questions form the first track of our discussion tonight.
The second and perhaps the more significant aspect of the debate is whether the mainstream political parties have been given enough confidence by the Centre’s outreach to go back to the people to try and get a handle on the situation which has taken a turn for  the worse since Rajnath Singh's first visit to the Valley. Remember there was a militant attack on the very day the Home Minister arrived in Srinagar. Not only that. A young innocent civilian was also killed on that day Not to mention the hospital admissions touched 142 on the day of the home ministers visit. Then there is the larger question of whether there has been any positive development, however gradual or glacial as far as the Centre's outreach is concerned.

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