Out of sight

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After dithering over the issue of getting youth back from the training camps across the LoC for many years, the government has come out with a policy. Instantly, political parties started playing with and it is gradually turning into a controversy that may end up getting some party in some state to power.

For a long time now, various political forces in Kashmir have been making noise over the requirement of de-linking the Kashmir politics with the mainland. Besides, there is an immediate requirement of creating consensus over the issue that emanate from Kashmir or are of Kashmir’s concern. But that is yet to take place. This has created a situation that even removal of some bunkers in one of the highly militarized place of the world is making pro and anti statements outside Jawahar Tunnel.

The policy is out and almost everybody in the security grid is apparently on board. It remains to be seen how many people will avail it and how the system, having a very bad history of implementing things, it sometimes desperately wants, manages it in coming days. The policy does offer scope for debates, on its ifs and buts.

But the biggest flaw that the government and its policy makers seem to have deliberately ensured is that the policy does not make a distinction between militants and tens of thousands of Kashmiri people who were forced by the situation created around them to leave and cross over. They are all civilians. They live in make shift refugee camps and more than 300 of them were killed in the 2006 earthquake that flattened parts of the PaK.

 Once upon a time, they were living all along the LoC from Poonch in Jammu to Karnah in Kashmir. But soon after thousands of militants crossed over, the security grid tightened the screws. The first casualty was the populations living nearby. Most of them were keen to migrate towards the plains within the valley but at the peak of anarchy when the power was flowing from the barrel of the gun they were pushed towards the other side, Most of them leaving behind almost everything.

While tons of newsprint has gone was consumed writing, and writing genuinely, about the populations in Kashmir that were displaced within, not much is known about these unfortunate people who are surviving beyond LoC. The tragic part of the story is that the people who claim they represent them have also failed even in making a mention of them in the policy-making. Will these civilians have to go through the same system as has been recommended for the youth who crossed over for getting trained as militants?

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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