Violence Mustn't Delay Elections

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

The sudden escalation of violence in Jammu division, marked by four attacks in as many days, reflects the persistent threat posed by terrorist elements in the region. The latest incidents, including the injury of a policeman in Doda and the attack on a checkpost in Chattergalla, reveal a worrying pattern of increased militant activity aimed at destabilizing the area. The rise in violence calls for a strategic reassessment to ensure the safety of civilians and security personnel alike.

The coordinated attacks suggest a well-planned strategy by militants to challenge security forces and create an atmosphere of uncertainty in the union territory. In response, security forces have intensified their operations, suspending traffic on critical highways and launching search and cordon operations in affected areas to apprehend the perpetrators.


Despite the surge in militant activities, it is crucial to uphold democratic processes in Jammu and Kashmir. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's stand against postponing assembly elections is a pragmatic approach. Deferring elections in response to terrorist threats would grant militants a strategic victory. It would once again send a signal that violence can dictate political processes.

The suggestion by former Army Chief General (retired) V P Malik to delay the elections, though possibly well-intentioned, overlooks the broader implications for democratic governance.
Holding timely elections reaffirms the commitment to democracy and the rule of law, demonstrating that the will of the people is paramount.

While the immediate priority remains combating militant threats, a long-term policy for peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir is important. This policy must include the active participation of the local population in democratic processes, ensuring their voices are heard and their aspirations are met. The upcoming elections provide an opportunity to reinforce this commitment and to chart a path towards enduring peace and development.

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The spike in violence in Jammu is a grave concern, but it must not derail the effort to restore democracy in the union territory. J&K has not held an Assembly election since 2015. Upholding the schedule for assembly elections, as advocated by Omar Abdullah, is critical to involve people in the decision making. It is a crucial step in affirming that the violence will not dictate the future of the region. J&K hasn't had an Assembly election since 2015, and no elected government since 2018. It deserves one now, considering that the situation is now a lot more peaceful than it ever was over the past three decades, recent surge in violence notwithstanding.


Kashmir Observer

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