In a move that will help in further restoring normalcy in the Valley, the government said that it will be ‘restoring the use of mobile phones in all the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir.’ Sources in the government revealed, ‘all post-paid mobile phones irrespective of the telecom provider will stand restored and be functional from Monday, October 14.’
The move comes just after the Centre had lifted the ban on tourists earlier this week following which the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik assured them of all possible ‘help and logistical support during their stay in the Valley.’
The fact that tourism and tourists are being encouraged, mobile services are to be restored and people encouraged to go about their business suggests that despite adverse media reports – especially from the international media – the government has managed to keep peace in the Valley and ensure the basic rights of Kashmiris without large scale casualties. This is something to be appreciated.
On the issue of why the restrictions were there in the first place, senior government officials pointed out that post the revocation of Article 370, they were necessary to ensure not just the security of Kashmiris but national security as well. Sources said that ‘credible inputs’ had been received of large-scale terror attacks from militant groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen among others.
According to government sources, these groups – aided by Pakistani intelligence agencies – were believed to have activated ‘terror training camps.’ Approximately ‘20 launch camps consisting of approximately 50 terrorists in each camp were ready to infiltrate the LoC.’ However, tight security and firm vigilance has ensured that despite some minor sporadic incidents, the situation has remained calm. Given the history of mass violence in the Valley, in 2008, 2010 and 2016, this is an achievement to celebrate.
India’s achievement will further reassure the international community which, with the exception of Pakistan, has accepted that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter for the country to decide. The fact that the Valley has continued to remain peaceful despite dangerous statements by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who threatened ‘potential nuclear war’ between India and Pakistan at the UNGA, confirms that India was right to take the appropriate security measures that it did. Dealing with such a ‘dangerous’ state actor, it cannot afford to take any chances especially when it comes to the sensitive issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Government officials stress that all this could not have possible without the people of Kashmir. As a senior government official points out, ‘Despite provocations and terror threats the people of Jammu & Kashmir have been cooperative and helped in maintaining peace and public order. We stand firm in our resolve that all disruptive elements will be foiled and urge all Kashmiris to go about their daily lives without fear of militancy.’
- 99%of J&K has no restrictions on movement
- Telephone landlines restored over the last six weeks
- Mobile phone restrictions lifted in Jammu, Ladakhand Kupwara district
- Media Centre allowed journalists to report freely from the Valley
- Schools have been reopened since August
- Universities, Colleges and Higher Secondary schools reopened in the last 10 days
- Examination schedules announced
- Air services are operating normally and air bookings are being facilitated from Srinagar
- Haj pilgrims were helped in their travels
- 24 internetkiosks were opened in each district – in the DC’s office – to help the common man