Kashmir Needs Complete And Unequivocal Rejection Of Terrorism
In April 2017, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Nashri-Chenani tunnel, Prime Minister Narender Modi said while addressing the gathering at Udhampur: “Kashmiri youth have two options – tourism and terrorism.” Five years later, it seems the same options are there. Kashmir is witnessing a record influx of tourists. All through March and now in April, Srinagar streets are wearing a festive look. Domestic tourists from all across the country are flying in by hundreds daily. Realizing the potential of tourism to build bridges and restore normalcy, terrorists are trying to instill fear among both locals and the tourists. In just three days, terrorists struck at multiple places, killing and wounding two non-locals. They also targeted a Kashmiri Pandit in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. The spirit among both guests and hosts remains high and unshaken, but the terrorists are determined to vitiate the atmosphere.
Whatever be the political narratives, Kashmir is yearning for peace, progress and prosperity. Complete and unequivocal rejection of terrorism by us Kashmiris can bring about a significant change and ultimately shift the ground situation. We need to break our silence, because the silence is killing the spirit. We need to close the options for terrorism. Let there be only one option – the option for peace, progress and prosperity. The grievances – real or perceived – can be addressed through engagement and reconciliation. The Kashmir society must reclaim itself before it is too late.