Character of Kashmir militancy changing, says Governor
31 December 2005
NA: Pakistani establishment's silence on militants criticised State apparatus fully aware of the changing trends The State has the highest rural per capita income JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt. Gen. (retd.) Srinivas Kumar Sinha told The Hindu that the character of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir was changing, with the militant cadres, though reduced in number, demonstrating greater strike capability, a higher academic profile and wider reach. This was seen during the recent terrorist strikes across the country, Mr. Sinha said. However, the state apparatus was fully aware of the changing trends and would effectively deal with the situation. He criticised the Pakistan establishment's silence over the activities of terror outfits in that country.'You still have chiefs of terrorist outfits moving about freely across the border,' he said. Islamabad was indifferent to the activities of jehadi groups, which have a direct fallout on Jammu and Kashmir. Infiltration still continued and there was a spurt during the earthquake as the fence was damaged. 'I refuse to believe that the Pakistan Army personnel along the Line of Control do not have knowledge when the terrorists sneak in. The enlightened moderation, which the U.S. or the Western world thinks President Musharraf is practising, is of little value for us and, in the long run, not even to them. The lessons of cold war are all before us.' On the political dialogue and type of solutions, some based on cartographic changes coming mostly from outside the country, he said he would not like to discuss specific solutions. But, at the same time, Jammu and Kashmir was the only State having its own Constitution. Even acts of Parliament had to be ratified by the State Assembly. Economic situation 'On the economic front, the State cannot be termed poor as only 3.5 per cent of the total population live below the poverty line. According to the latest National Sample Survey of the per capita earning in the rural areas of the country, the State has the highest: Rs. 5,500 per month. This is even higher than Punjab.' Mr. Sinha drew a comparison of the situation on both sides of the Line of Control. 'People from Northern areas held by Pakistan have no democratic structure. An administrator appointed by Islamabad is in charge of its affairs. Recently, a functionary of the council of Northern areas met me on his own initiative and desired the opening of the Kargil-Skardu road. Two hundred persons have been killed in sectarian violence this year in that belt. Locals Shias are against the demographic changes going on in the Northern areas. This implicitly answers the question why Pakistan is unwilling to open this road.'