Fear of war, vi­o­lence grips Val­ley, many doubt army ac­tion

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - NATION - Ab­hishek Saha & Toufiq Rashid

SRI­NA­GAR: The re­sponse to the news of sur­gi­cal strikes by the In­dian army across the Line of Con­trol was mixed in Kash­mir: for some it was “panic” for the fear of a “war” while oth­ers ques­tioned the “truth” of the news in the light of Pak­istan’s de­nial.

Peo­ple from dif­fer­ent walks of life told HT they were wor­ried that the “es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions between In­dia and Pak­istan might end in a war” and if that hap­pens, Kash­mir might have to pay a huge price while be­ing sand­wiched between the war­ring na­tions.

“The first sense is of panic and the sec­ond is that I do not want this to end in war. We can’t even imag­ine the loss hu­man­ity can suf­fer in nu­clear war­fare,” said a clothes trader from Lal Chowk area of the city.

Prom­i­nent Kash­miri nov­el­ist, Mirza Wa­heed, tweeted: “Once again, it’s ap­palling to wit­ness journos, TV wal­las, turn into cheer­lead­ers for a war that will have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for SA.”

A se­nior jour­nal­ist, not wish­ing to be named, high­lighted that many in Kash­mir felt the strike was an at­tempt by the Bjp-led govern­ment to win peo­ple’s con­fi­dence post the Uri at­tack and ahead of elec­tions in states.

Mean­while, Jammu and Kash­mir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the con­fronta­tion could lead to a dis­as­ter of epic pro­por­tions if ur­gent steps were not taken to bring down the height­ened ten­sions in the re­gion.

Call­ing for re­straint, Mufti said the peo­ple of J&K have the great­est stakes in peace as they have un­der­gone enor­mous tragedies. “We in J&K have suf­fered im­mensely be­cause of the vi­o­lence and know very well its dangers and con­se­quences,” she said and called upon the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of In­dia and Pak­istan to deesca­late the war-like sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion. “For the peo­ple of J&K, peace along the borders and within the main­land is of im­mense sig­nif­i­cance and I hope the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of the two coun­tries would also treat it with the same spirit,” she said.

The mod­er­ate Hur­riyat fac­tion, led by Mir­waiz Umar Fa­rooq, said that “mil­i­tary ag­gres­sion and war is no so­lu­tion to any prob­lem, it in­stead wors­ens prob­lems fur­ther, which the three pre­vi­ous wars between both the coun­tries has shown”.

Call­ing upon New Delhi and Is­lam­abad to de-es­ca­late ten­sions, the body said the “two nu­clear neigh­bours should be­have ma­turely and in­stead of con­fronta­tions, which can only be dis­as­trous for the en­tire re­gion, en­gage in se­ri­ous di­a­logue to re­solve is­sues and bring peace”.

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