The Congress Manifesto 2019 makes for some interesting reading. In short, it advocates the reduction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, and a review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. If there could be another term for this manifesto, it would be ‘RECIPE FOR DISASTER’.
Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi unveiled his party’s programme for Kashmir just a few days after receiving a draft security doctrine from Lt. General Hooda. The good general was the guiding force behind the Uri surgical strike.
AFSPA provides the cover to the Armed Forces
The question naturally arises; does Mr. Hooda really endorse the review of AFSPA? More importantly, does the Army at large favor the discontinuance of this law that protects the Army from the stone pelters and other violent elements in the Valley? I would be horrified if the answer to the first question came in the negative. Then it will only show the limits to which the Congress can go to fetch votes.
Coming to Mr. Hooda, I expect him to come up clean and tell the country what are his recommendations on the Army’s presence in the Kashmir Valley.
The AFSPA was instituted in 1990 and since then has functioned as an effective cover to the Army and CAPF while maintaining order in the Valley. In the process, thousands of our brave security forces have been killed by terrorists and stone pelters. Over the past 30 years or so, this Act has helped our forces to understand the dynamics of the terror trade in Kashmir. Undoing AFSPA would not only demoralize our troops but would also give the terrorists and Pakistan the upper hand.
Congress Manifesto – a document of harakiri
Reducing the strength of the Armed Forces in the Valley will no doubt ease the pressure on the enemies- both internal and external.
Terrorism bounced back in its vilest form and there was a spate of attacks on pilgrims, and security forces. From that year onwards, Indian forces have worked really very hard to bring the situation under control. The Pulwama attack shows that the terrorists are still in sizeable numbers in and around Kashmir.
Talks? With whom?
The Congress Manifesto also wants unconditional talks in the valley. But, talks with whom? Pakistan or the Hurriyat? Or both?
- Does Rahul Gandhi know what he is talking about?
- Does he realize that he is playing into the hands of Pakistan and its cronies in the Valley?
- Or, is he saying all this deliberately because he is convinced that Pakistan has a stake in the Valley?
- Almost all the separatist organizations have been banned in the Valley and their leaders arrested.
- Does Rahul Gandhi plan to set separatist leaders free before talking to them?
- Will he revoke the ban on these terror funding organizations as part of his Congress Manifesto?
The more one delves deep into this document, the more one realizes its stupidity and desperation to get votes.
And what is this stupidity about having a team of interlocutors in Kashmir? What would it achieve? It would only create an additional insulating layer between the government and the local population. Would this team have extra powers to override the decisions of the State Government? Would it give equal importance to the people of Jammu and Ladakh? The Congress Manifesto is silent on this subject. Last time around, the Congress appointed team of interlocutors ignored Jammu and Ladakh.
Creaming the Muslim vote in the Valley
I have a feeling that Congress wants talks with the Jihadi gangs in the Valley to upstage its rivals like the PDP and the National Conference. All three parties are in a mad race to get the maximum number of Muslim votes in the Kashmir Valley. Wasn’t Mehbooba Mufti threatening secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India just a few days back? And today, as soon as Rahul unveiled the Congress Manifesto, Farooq Abdulla raised the demand for having two PMs– one for the rest of India and the other for Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits- the orphans of the Valley
That the Congress does not care about the Hindus is apparent by its stunning silence on the Kashmiri Pandits. Not one word is spent about Kashmiri Pandits who are unwelcome in their own homeland. How can you hope to bring in peace in the Kashmir Valley unless its displaced citizens are brought back and resettled? It’s been more than 3 decades since the last Kashmiri Pandit
To sum up, the Congress Manifesto is a hopeless document about the lust of power. Everybody knows that Rahul Gandhi will not return to power in the 2019 polls. He and his party have been abandoned by all the major political parties and it seems unlikely he will even win 100 seats in the Lok Sabha. This manifesto is just a crazy attempt to gather Muslim votes and nothing else.