BJP under fire as south Kashmir turns into ‘Safe Zone’ for militants

Faces flak over coalition partner PDP’s soft approach towards ultras

The BJP is facing intense pressure, within and outside the party, to prevail upon its coalition partner PDP to take effective steps to wipe out terrorism from south Kashmir, which is being touted as a “liberated zone” by militants on the social media.
With the killing of soldiers going on unabated in different parts of the state, the BJP has been pushed to the wall by its sister organisations for not taking up the issue with the PDP. As many as 22 security personnel, including Army men, have been killed in J&K since January this year.
“There is total anarchy and lawlessness in south Kashmir. It appears that the state’s writ is not prevailing in south Kashmir,” said Sangh Parivar stalwart Leela Karan Sharma as he minced no words in attacking PDP leaders for “supporting terrorists for petty political gains”.
“South Kashmir is the political constituency of the PDP so the state government is hesitating over taking strong measures in that region,” Sharma alleged while cautioning the BJP leadership that the “pro-militant policies being pursued by the coalition government would prove disastrous for the saffron party”. “The nationalist people of J&K are helplessly watching how anti-national groups are gaining ground in the state,” he added.
Within BJP, senior leaders are giving vent to their anger against the soft approach being adopted by the state government to flush out terrorists from south Kashmir. “There is a need to start a comprehensive combing operation in the entire south Kashmir to eliminate terrorists active in the region,” spokesman of the state BJP Varinder Gupta said. The BJP spokesman blamed the coalition partner PDP for increased militancy in south Kashmir. “Apart from separatist groups, leaders of the mainstream political parties like the PDP, National Conference and the Congress are equally responsible for shielding terrorists, who have been running training camps in some parts of south Kashmir,” Gupta said, adding that an Army cantonment should be established in south Kashmir to eliminate militants. The Opposition has already stepped up attack on the BJP for bartering national interests for remaining in power. “Before 2015, the PDP was an anti-national party for the BJP but now the saffron leadership has surrendered before the same party just to remain in power,” former minister and Congress stalwart Sham Lal Sharma said.