National

Kashmir needs a political solution: Ex-Army chief

chief, General Ved Prakash Malik, was at Sarhad College of Arts, Commerce and Science in Katraj in Pune on Monday. The college has a sizeable number of Kashmiri students. He spoke to TOI's Sandip Dighe on the current situation. Excerpts

What are your views on the situation in the Valley?

The situation especially and around Srinagar is in and around Srinagar is messy . A large number of people are agitating and stone-pelting incidents have increased. Women taking to the streets is not a good sign. We've to resolve this, but we can't leave everything to the armed forces. It requires active participation of politicians who should have a dialogue with the people, especially those who have suffered. We must rejuvenate a unified command.

How should the Army deal with it?

It's not solely the task of the Indian army . Conflict resolution has to be done at the political level. It's not right to place the complete burden on either the Army or the CRPF.If the Army is expected to resolve the Kashmir issue single-handedly , it cannot be done. A political solution is a final solution.
What do you think about the Army using a man as a shield in Kashmir?

I will haul up the particur officer for violating hu lar officer for violating human rights. It should not be done, but you have to go into the circumstances. We have to investigate what prompted him to do so and then take action.

You were in the Valley in the 1990s. Would you draw a parallel with the situation then and now?
Today's situation is better than the 1990s. At that time, we could not hold any election in the Valley . That is not the case today. We've to give good governance to the people. It will make a huge difference in bringing the situation back to normal in the Valley .

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