All sides suffer in a conflict and Kashmir has been no different. Like wires of a short-circuited electric cable, these grievances have all fused together. Separating these individual wires to recreate that cable is an impossibility now. Everyone will need to confront their past in Kashmir but it doesn’t have to happen today. Time is the best healer for wounds. The haste to ‘solve the Kashmir problem’ will worsen the situation by opening partially healed wounds. In the quarrel between the past and the present, Kashmir will lose its future.
But it doesn’t mean that there is nothing that can be done to ensure that the healing process stays on track. The state needs to focus on ensuring the rule of law, maintaining public order and providing a peaceful environment for people to lead a routine social and economic life. Gradual removal of AFSPA from selected areas of Kashmir would signal the change in government’s approach.