Srinagar, June 30 (KMS): Concerned Citizens’ Group (CCG) – a civil society group led by former Indian finance minister Yashwant Sinha – which recently visited occupied Kashmir, in its report has said that the local perception in the Valley is that India’s decision not to extend the Ramadan ceasefire followed by withdrawal of BJP’s support to its former ally PDP was part of a grand strategy of the BJP with an eye on the 2019 general election.

The report expressed concern over the recent developments in the Valley including the assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari. It said that the BJP perhaps felt that by going along with the PDP, an impression was gaining ground that the party favoured Hurriyat leaders and her policies were more focused on the Kashmir Valley than Jammu and Ladakh.

The group visited occupied Kashmir to assess the ground situation after the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition regime. It also travelled to Shujaat Bukhari’s native Kreeri village in Baramulla to express condolences to his family members.

The CCG report said that the split in BJP-PDP alliance had brought a sense of relief among common people. “Most believed that the alliance was doomed from the beginning as the two parties had diametrically opposite ideological and political perspectives,” the report said, adding that the situation in the Valley was the same as it was three years ago.

The report said that most of the common people felt that the ceasefire had helped bring down civilian killings and incidents of stone-pelting by protestors had come down drastically. “And as a result youngsters did not get in retaliatory action by the Indian forces……. Most people in the Valley expected the cease-fire to be extended at least till the end of the Amarnath Yatra in end-August. No one seemed to know what prompted the government to suddenly revoke the cease-fire,” the report added.

It said that the people in Kashmir did not seem to have high expectations from the new dispensation under Governor’s Rule. “A major challenge for the new dispensation in Srinagar would be to ensure the safety of the Amarnath Yatra, which began on June 28 and will last till August 26.

The report said, “The overall message was that Delhi either did not recognise the Kashmir issue as political or that even if it did, it did not want to do anything about it. This perception might become very difficult for Indian democracy to deal with even if there were a change of guard in Delhi in May 2019.


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