A fresh approach which is uncompromising on terror and in its determination to enforce the rule of law and committed to total integration of Jammu and Kashmir only can resolve the Kashmir issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday. He added that a “strong government and a leader with clarity alone” is capable of resolving the issue.
In a blog post titled ‘Why Jammu and Kashmir, and new approach to terrorism will remain a key political issue’, Jaitley said the Opposition parties were not in a position to handle the issue of J&K and terrorism. “This challenge can obviously be resolved with a fresh approach which is uncompromising on terror, uncompromising in its determination to enforce the rule of law and committed to total integration. A strong government and a leader with clarity alone is capable of resolving the Kashmir issue. This will necessarily require reversal of the historical blunders of the past,” he wrote.
“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir and terror continues to remain the biggest challenge before India,” he added.
Arguing that the “people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be at the centre point” in the strategies for the region, he said, “They deserve a special relationship with India; they deserve opportunities, peace and security of life; they need freedom from terror…Terror supported from across the border can’t be fought either with velvet gloves or a policy of appeasement. The two regional parties have played a disappointing role.”
Jaitley also rejected the Opposition’s argument that elections should not be fought on national security issues, saying security and terrorism are the most important issues in the long run and all other challenges are capable of “early resolution”. He argued that in the face of terror threats, the country needs able leadership. “To an emerging economy the cost of fighting terror and its perpetrators across the border is huge. Civilian lives are lost. Our security personnel are martyred. The security apparatus interferes in the lives of ordinary citizens.”