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SRINAGAR: Lt-Gen P R Shankar (Retd) said that an entire generation of Kashmiris has only lived under the gun, seeing military operations at their doorstep and this has led to a deep sense of alienation.  He said that the approach to J&K must be balanced and not uni-dimensional. In all cases, the military solution is the last option. We must find a political solution as, Kashmir needs a political solution. 

P R Shankar said that in Jammu and Kashmir, every opportunity is a threat, and every threat an opportunity, consequently our strengths are also our weaknesses Orfonline reported. Initiating a discussion on ‘J&K: Combating Terrorism, the way forward’ at the ORF-Chennai Chapter, Gen Shankar, who  is now associated with the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, said “It is important when looking at combating militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, not simply to look for one solution, but to discuss a broad range of options.”

The challenges of this region were many. Gen Shankar enumerated the “fractured politics” as among the main causes of discord. In the present context, “tensions between the main political parties in the State, namely, the ruling BJP at the Centre, the Congress, the PDP, and the National Conference, are jostling for power”, and this has contributed to the State’s problems.

He added that “an entire generation of Kashmiris has only lived under the gun, seeing military operations at their doorstep and this has led to a deep sense of alienation. He further pointed out that “old leadership is being replaced by hard liners.” There was also a worrying new trend in J&K which was the targeting of security forces, Gen. Shankar said.  

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  • Avinash Rai Khanna takes stock of BJP’s poll preparations in election committee meet

JAMMU: Bharatiya Janata Party, Jammu & Kashmir conducted meeting of its state election committee to take stock of preparations for upcoming Parliamentary elections by J&K BJP, at party headquarter, Trikuta Nagar, Jammu.

BJP National Vice-President & Prabhari J&K Avinash Rai Khanna chaired the meeting, while BJP State President Ravinder Raina, Union MoS in PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh, MP (Lok Sabha) Jugal Kishore Sharma, former Dy. CM Dr. Nirmal Singh, BJP State General Secretary (Org.) Ashok Kaul, State Vice-Presidents Harinder Gupta, Pawan Khajuria, Dr. Devinder Kumar Manyal, Sofi Yusuf, State General Secretaries Dr. Narinder Singh, Yudhvir Sethi, Sunil Sharma, former Minister Sat Sharma, MLC Vibhodh Gupta, former Minister Shakti Parihar and Mahila Morcha State President Rajni Sethi participated in the meeting.

In the meeting, the names of senior party leaders to be included in the panel were presented and received by the committee for all the six Parliamentary Constituencies of J&K. Later, threadbare discussions were held on every single name. A final report was drafted under the observance of National Vice-President to be presented before the Parliamentary Board of BJP at Delhi.

It was unanimously decided in the meeting, that the State President Ravinder Raina, former Dy. CM Kavinder Gupta and State General Secretary (Org.) Ashok Kaul under the guidance of National Vice-President & Prabhari J&K Avinash Rai Khanna will submit the final report of panel of names for Parliamentary elections 2019 in the meeting of Parliamentary Board at Delhi.

Avinash Rai Khanna, while chairing the meeting, discussed the election strategy and took stock of all the preparations regarding upcoming Parliamentary elections with the senior party leaders from State. He said that the J&K State is very important for BJP and thus it requires a great dedication from J&K BJP to augment the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ongoing quest to make J&K a model state. None other than PM Modi has done so much for the J&K, he claimed.

Khanna, said that BJP contested previous election on the name of Modi ji and in this election, we do have heaps of works and decisive & good governance along with the name of Modi ji. We will win more than 400 seats in this Parliament elections and the people of J&K will also contribute in this emphatic victory, by giving more seats to BJP than in the previous Parliament election.

People have made up their mind to elect Modi ji as PM once again for better tomorrow of India, and now, we have to facilitate common public’s quest for Stable and Delivering government at the Centre by our sincere approach, Khanna added.

Later, State President Ravinder Raina and State General Secretary (Org.) Ashok Kaul, apprised the National Vice-President with all the preparations being carries out on the state level for upcoming Parliament election.

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SRINAGAR: The election commission of India had on Sunday announced that the elections in Anantnag parliamentary segment in southern Kashmir would be held in three phases, spread over four districts in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls beginning 11 April. Pertinently authorities had failed to hold the Southern Kashmir Anantnag parliamentary by-election in 2017. This is the first time that the election is being held for a parliamentary segment in three phases.

Slamming this, Hyderabad MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Have you ever heard that election to a parliament seat would be held in three days, in three phases… there are four districts in Anantnag. Two districts in one phase, one district in second phase and one district in third phase… Wah Modiji Wah. What have you made of Kashmir. Because of your governance, the election of a parliament seat is held in three phases.”

Election Commission had decided to announce the schedule for only Lok Sabha polls in the state and not for the assembly elections after receiving inputs from authorities on constraint of availability of central forces for enforcing security in the wake of recent violence. In 2017, the ECI deferred the by-election for Anantnag parliamentary seat stating that free and fair poll was not possible due to prevailing ground situation and non-availability of sufficient security forces.

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly was dissolved in November last year, months after the Mehbooba Mufti-headed government in the state fell following the BJP withdrawing support to it in June. The State has been under Governor’s rule since the BJP-PDP government fell. Though Assembly polls are due in Jammu and Kashmir, it could not be held as the Election Commission expressed inability as the situation was bad Owaisi added while speaking to reporters. Following the ECI directive, former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Something is wrong with this announcement. The ECI has counted 7 or 8 LS seats for my state but J&K only has SIX seats. #confused.”