Former Army chief General N.C. Vij said on Saturday that there is an urgent need for the establishment of a popular government in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A on August 5, 2019.
He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have suffered for too long being dissociated from mainstream India, want to usher in a new era and adopt their own growth path.
Speaking at a webinar organised by two city-based literary bodies and a research and publishing organisation, Prakrit Bharti Academy, Vij said that Pakistan which has been fuelling terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir would continue to do the mischief act till its economy reaches a state where it cannot fund terrorism in the Valley.
Vij said Pakistan can never match India’s military might.
The former Army chief said that the Kashmiris are living in complete isolation for years, but they have always been keen to remain a part of India with some individual and distinct identity.
He said if Kashmir remains a part of India, the credit for this should go to a nationalist like the late Sheikh Abdullah, who always worked to ensure that Kashmir remains part of India and not become a part of Pakistan.
He said the formation of the new set-up in Jammu and Kashmir and also in Ladakh following the abrogation of the two Articles created some confusion among the people of the Valley and also in Jammu.
This distrust could be eliminated only through honest efforts on the part of the Union government, Vij said.
He said the delimitation process which is about to get completed has also raised apprehension in the minds of the people of the Valley, who feel under the new delimitation process they would be marginalised and the Jammu part would have more constituencies.
He said there is an urgent need for convincing the people on the objectives of the delimitation process.
Vij said that the Sadbhavna mission started by the Indian Army to bring the Kashmiri people into the mainstream of the country succeeded in its mission.
He said the role played by the makers of the Jaipur Foot, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) of Jaipur, is most laudable as a large number of disabled Kashmiris with the help of the Indian Army were rehabilitated by providing them artificial limbs and other appliances.
D.R. Mehta, who is the chief patron and founder of the BMVSS and who moderated the webinar, said that the BMVSS earned a lot of goodwill of the people of Kashmir and Ladakh by holding 36 on-the-spot camps in the difficult and high-altitude border areas along Pakistan in which over 12,500 persons — male and female — were provided with artificial limbs and other aids and appliances.