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Attack on Amarnath yatris: Need for political parties to give a serious thought
There is no doubt that coming close at the heels of the lynching of DSP Ayub Pandith who was on legitimate duty in front of a Srinagar mosque on Eid day, the attack on Amarnath yatris on July 10, in which seven persons mostly women, who had come from Gujarat were killed along with many yatris injured, has shocked both the Muslim dominated Valley region and Hindu dominated Jammu region of J&K state.

For once, the ruling coalition of PDP-BJP has shown great maturity in controling the fall out of this tragedy. Maybe, it might open a new window of opportunity for the Central government to bring back sanity in the Kashmir Valley.

Pakistan sponsored jehadi organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out this attack after due thought and planning. Pakistan by training their guns on yatris had hoped to further increase the widening gulf between Hindus and Muslims of the state and also bury the famed Kashmiriyat once and for all. They had also hoped to drive a wedge between the coalition partners BJP & the PDP. It needs to be remembered that these ideologically opposed parties had come together in 2015 to form the government in the state. Lo and behold that these strange bedfellows not only papered over their differences but handled the fall out of this terror attack on Amaranth yatris with great tact and maturity.

The CM Mehbooba Mufti throwing her security to the winds drove in the night only to be with the bereaved families of those killed or injured in the attack. She called the killings as an attack on the very ethos and traditions of the people of Kashmir. Deputy CM Nirmal Singh when asked that Hindus have been killed stated the fact that more Muslim civilians had been killed than Hindus in the state. There is no doubt that the state government speaking with one voice has come out of this episode looking good. It sounds like good news for the Valley which has been under the grip of unrest with stone-pelters calling the shots since the death of Burhan Wani in July last year. Even the comments from almost all Indian political parties have been very restrained and matured.

It must be understood that more than 5 to 6 lakh yatris visit Amarnath every year during July and August. More than a lakh Muslims of the Valley arrange for their reception, catering and accommodation. This religious tourism provides monetary earnings to the locals. The travel involves a long road journey from Jammu through the Jammu-Srinagar highway to Baltal Camp. From there, these yatris have to walk of 48 kilometres to be able to have darshan of Baba Barfani in the holy cave. This entire route is full of places overlooking hilltops from where these jehadis can unleash fire on these yatris. Despite all security efforts, the possibility of such terror attacks cannot be ruled out in the future.

Time has come when all political parties of India must sit together and scratch their heads to find out a lasting solution to this Kashmir Valley unrest. There is no sense in parties blaming each other. Time has also come for the Indian Army to launch more cross border attacks on Pakistani BAT team camps and jehadi camps. Yes, sometimes we will succeed and sometimes we will fail also. At times we will suffer casualties also, but then, that is all part of the game. Aim should be to force Pakistan to shift these camps further inside their territory away from the border. We must also use satellites and drones to keep tabs on these camps. Need of the hour is offensive defence and not just defence, if we want to succeed against Pakistan.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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