With the situation fast returning to normal, Jammu & Kashmir government on Friday announced that schools will reopen in the Valley from Monday. State government offices reopened on Friday after a 12-day gap, and people offered Friday prayers in mosques.
The state chief secretary said, restrictions on movement are being removed in a phased manner, while landline connections in some places have been restored. The chief secretary said, life has returned to normal in 12 out of 22 districts, while there are limited restrictions in five districts only. There has not been a single loss of life during this 12-day period, nor was a single bullet fired.
Telecommunication services like internet and cellphone networks will be restored gradually, because separatists have been using social media to circulate inflammatory and false rumours. It is because of these separatists that the common man is facing problems due to restrictions on cellphone networks.
I agree with Governor Satyapal Malik that peaceful law and order situation during the last twelve days was the topmost priority, due to which these restrictions were imposed. These restrictions nevertheless caused problems for the common man, but from a wider perspective, the ground reality is that there has been no incident of violence during this period. The entire credit goes to the peace loving common Kashmiris, who exercised utmost restraint despite inflammatory statements from across the border.
Pakistan is still trying hard to create an atmosphere of violence in the valley, but has failed so far. It also tried to internationalize the Kashmir issue by going to the United Nations, but failed. The Pakistani army will now try to foment tension in the valley by carrying out terror strikes, but our security forces are on high alert.
Meanwhile, preparations have begun to hold assembly elections at the earliest. From what I have learnt, the Election Commission has initiated the process for holding assembly elections before the onset of winter, and dates are being finalized. The people of Jammu & Kashmir will have the freedom to choose their representatives.
Peaceful conduct of elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be a resounding slap on the face of Pakistan which had been crying hoarse after the scrapping of Article 370. Let us all hope, sanity will prevail in the Valley.
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