Kashmir Advocacy Group

In the wake of the unrest after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, people of Kashmir feel that more trouble may be in the offing if the Centre does not address their grievances with an urgency .Sushobha Barve, one of the peacemakers who recently visited Srinagar as part of a team of interlocutors, said, “Kashmiris feel that the Kashmir issue has to be addressed by the Government of India once and for all.“
She said the disturbances that broke out four months ago represented accumulation of anger and grievances over broken promises and unaddressed issues from the 2010 agitation. Barve was part of the “Kashmir Advocacy Group“, also comprising BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, former CIC Wajahat Habibullah, journalist Bharat Bhushan and former air vice marshal Kapil Kak, which visited Srinagar and met separatists as also mainstream parties and civil society.
While Wani's killing was the trigger for the trouble, she said people had been expecting “something like that“ to happen. “Kashmiris feel that the Kashmir issue has to be taken seriously by the Government of India... if it is not addressed, we can expect similar explosions sooner rather than later,“ said Barve, who represents the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation which has been working in Kashmir for 15 years. The meetings came after the failure of some parliamentarians to meet the separatists during the visit of an all-party delegation in September. “We are happy that they all agreed to meet us,“ Barve said, adding the group had made it clear that it was “not sponsored by anyone“.
Its feedback marks a warning for the Centre in the wake of prolonged trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kashmiris feel that despite hundreds of people having been killed and thousands injured and many ending up with impaired vision because of pellets, there has been no response from the government to repeated demands that pellet guns be withdrawn. This has caused deep anguish among Kashmiris,“ Barve said.
The advocacy group has not yet decided on its future course amid speculation that it may submit a list of recommendations to the government. Barve said the members will decide on its next step in Delhi soon.

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