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Modi ‘mismanaging’ Kashmir ‘like never before’: Manmohan

ISLAMABAD: Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday accused the Narendra Modi government of ‘mismanaging’ the situation in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) ‘like never before’, NDTV reported.

“The situation in Kashmir valley is worsening with each passing day,” said Singh at the Congress party’s 84th plenary session that is being held in New Delhi. He added that India must recognise the ‘problems in Kashmir’ and ensure that these problems are ‘tackled and sorted out’.

There has been a noticeable increase in violence in IHK since Modi’s hardline Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power. The Indian army’s crackdown on protests and freedom movements in Kashmir have led to more riots. Violence in Held Kashmir has increased since the Indian army killed a popular commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani, in 2016.

Indicating the tensions inherent in the partnership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies, parties with a huge ideological gap, Singh remarked, “They have installed a government where the two wings of the administration are working against each other.”

The government alliance – made necessary by the fractured mandate in the state following the 2015 assembly elections – has been under strain over various issues on which the two parties have widely divergent views.

The PDP, as opposed to its ruling ally, emphasises holding dialogue with the freedom fighters to reach a solution to the growing unrest in the region. The BJP, however, advocates use of force to suppress negative sentiment against the Indian government.

“Our borders are not secure,” Singh said. “Cross-border terrorism, internal terrorism, internal insurgency; these are today’s issues which are a source of great worry to all our citizens as the Modi government has not found a way of tackling these.” Ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary have also increased under the Modi administration. Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate that the Indian army had violated the ceasefire agreement 170 times in January alone.

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