Govt needs time as situation is ‘very sensitive’
THE situation in Jammu and Kashmir is ‘very sensitive’ and reasonable time should be given to the Government to ensure normalcy there, the apex court said on Tuesday while refusing to pass any immediate order to the Centre to lift restrictions in the region imposed after abrogation of Article 370. The apex court also said that it is to be ensured that no life was lost there and posted the matter after two weeks, saying it will wait for normalcy to return.
A three judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was hearing the petition filed by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla on the Centre’s decision to impose restrictions and ‘other regressive measures’ in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of the provisions of Article 370. The Centre told the bench that they are reviewing the situation in the region on a day-to-day basis and reports come from respective district magistrates and relaxations are being ordered accordingly. “We have to ensure that law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir is maintained,” Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench. He referred to the July 2016 agitation in Kashmir after encounter of terrorist Burhan Wani and said it took around three months to bring normalcy at that time.
He said that since 1990, 44,000 people have been killed by extremists and people from across the border have been guiding and giving instructions to them. He said in the present situation, it will take few days to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir. Venugopal said that not a single death has been reported since last Monday after the restrictions were imposed.
The AG was responding to the bench which asked about the steps taken by the authorities for bringing normalcy and restoring basic facilities in the region. During the hearing, the bench said: “The situation is such that nobody knows what exactly is happening there. Some time should be given for bringing normalcy. They are analysing the situation on a day-to-day basis”.
“The Government’s endeavour is to restore normalcy. That is why they are reviewing the situation on a day-to-to basis. If tomorrow anything happens in Jammu and Kashmir, who will be responsible? Obviously the Centre.” The bench further said that it has to look into all the pros and cons and therefore reasonable time should be given to the Government to ensure normalcy returns in the State.
Mediation offer on Kashmir not on Trump’s table anymore: Shringla
UNITED States President Donald Trump has made it clear that his offer of mediation on Kashmir is not on the table anymore, the Indian Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla to United States has said. Shringla said on Monday that America’s decades-old policy on Kashmir has been no mediation but to encourage India and Pakistan to resolve their differences bilaterally.
“President Trump has made it very clear that his offer to mediate on Jammu and Kashmir is dependent on both India and Pakistan accepting it. Since India has not accepted the offer of mediation, he has made it clear that this is not on the table anymore,” Shringla told ‘Fox News’, the favourite news channel of the US President. On July 22, during his joint media appearance with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, President Trump stunned India by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation/arbitration on the Kashmir issue, a claim that was seen by many as outlandish and carrying little credibility. India asserted that no such request was made by Prime Minister Modi to the US president and all issues will have to be resolved with Islamabad bilaterally.
A week later, Trump climbed down from his previous statement, saying it was up to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue but he was ready to assist if the two South Asian neighbours wanted him to help in resolving the issue. He said that India made it clear to America that any discussion on the issue, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally, which has long been India’s stated position. Shringla said that America’s policy on Kashmir has been no mediation but to encourage the two South Asian neighbours to resolve their differences bilaterally including on Kashmir, the pace and scope of which would be chosen by New Delhi and Islamabad.