Given the toxic role played by political parties in fuelling unrest, can J&K afford Assembly elections anytime soon?

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  Editor In Chief Note

The aftermath of the death of Syed Ali Geelani revealed that Kashmiris in general have reconciled with the new reality. There was no serious attempt from any corner of Kashmir valley to disturb the law and order situation on the demise of Geelani. Restrictions were unwarranted and uncalled for. The UT Administration lifted them soon.

Now an important observation. Imagine if one political party was in power in Kashmir and another in opposition. The party in opposition would have invested heavily in creating law and order problems for the party in power. The ruse would have been the death of Syed Ali Geelani. The political objective would have been to show down the party in power, and claim its inefficacy.

We need not elaborate on this. Everybody in and outside Kashmir knows the role of political parties in opposition in the uprisings of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2016. The Opposition engineered the protests and stoked the fires daily. Youngsters kept engaging in violent agitations, leading to casualties. The toxic cycle kept spinning.

The question remains this. Can Jammu and Kashmir afford an election to the Assembly in the near future taking into account the role of the existing political parties in keeping the pot boiling in Kashmir? Will the political parties desist from what they have done over decades? Will they assist in normalizing the situation? These are the vital questions before the policy planners. This is a crucial phase and New Delhi needs to tread with utmost caution.

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