Democratic process will strengthen peace: Ganai

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JAMMU: Khursheed Ahmed Ganai, Advisor to the Governor on Monday asserted that credible and participative democratic process will strengthen peace process in J&K.

Speaking at the seminar organized here, Ganai emphasised on the need of good governance and strengthening the bonds between people from all three regions of the State to ensure peace and brotherhood. The seminar was organized by J&K Regional Branch of IIPA on theme ‘Peace process in Jammu and Kashmir’ by former Director General of Police Dr Ashok Bhan.

The lecture was attended by faculty, scholars and students of Security Studies of Central University and University of Jammu; members of the IIPA; serving and retired Police Officers and members of the civil society. Dr Bhan highlighted the role of electoral exercises including assembly poll of 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014, periodic Lok Sabha elections and Panchayat elections of 2011 in reducing the democratic deficit.

Simultaneously, he traced the security situation in different phases of the peace process and the important role played by the security forces in counter insurgency operations. Dr Bhan described 2014 Assembly elections as a landmark in the peace process for reasons including low levels of violence; free, fair and peaceful elections; a high voter turn-out including in separatists’ strongholds of Srinagar and South Kashmir; and marginalizing of separatists.

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The assembly elections results, according to him, were a mandate for democratization, fulfilling conflicting regional aspirations and all round development. He lamented that due to inability to harmonise conflicting regional aspirations and ‘maximalist stands’, the coalition Government failed to fulfill the mandate and eventually fell, giving a serious blow to the peace process.

The speaker discussed important trends leading to the interruption of the peace process including relations with Pakistan, stand of separatists and alienation of youth. Dr Bhan discussed the current security situation and listed out the challenges before the Government.

He identified firm action against terrorists and separatists, all round development, addressing the youth and reaching out to various stake holders as essentials to put the peace process on rails again.

Prof Alka Sharma, Director (Seminars) introduced the subject while J.B.S Johar, Honourary Secretary presented vote of thanks. Dr. Anil Gupta, Joint Secretary, IIPA conducted the proceedings of the function.