Dubai investment in Kashmir leaves Pakistan baffled

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) While the Manoj Sinha administration has scaled up the security grid across the Kashmir Valley to pin down the militants, it has also ordered immediate measures for moving the workers to safer places. Along with these local procedures of immediate nature, the government has loudly conveyed that it is not going to be cowed down under any circumstances, The Dispatch reported.

The investment agreement with the Dubai government is a clear message that economic development and building peace will go hand in hand. The timing of the investment agreement right in the middle of heightened security concerns is an evident sign of courage to defeat the elements hostile to peace, the report said.

The development has left Pakistan baffled.

Former Pakistan Ambassador to India Abdul Basit said now that the MoU has been signed, it’s clear that the matter is slipping out of Pakistan’s hands.

“We are shaking our hands and legs in the dark. We seem to have no Kashmir policy left. It’s sad. The current government’s casual approach will haunt it,” he said.

“Past governments have also contributed to the weakening Pakistan’s policy on Kashmir,” he said.

“This (signing of MoU) is a major success for India in the context of both Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir as OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) members have always kept Pakistan’s sensibilities on Kashmir at the forefront.”

In less than 24 hours after the fresh killings of seasonal workers in Kashmir triggering a renewed wave of panic and calling into question the government strategy to handle the emerging situation, the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar had a small yet high profile ceremony formalising a rare partnership with a foreign government –the first such in case of Jammu and Kashmir.

In presence of Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Commerce, the Jammu and Kashmir government signed an agreement with the Government of Dubai for developing industrial sector and business enterprises in partnership ventures.

“Government of Dubai and the Government of Jammu Kashmir have entered into an agreement, which will help the Union Territory to scale new height in Industrialization sustainable growth. Today is an important day for the developmental journey of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha tweeted after the event.

The papers were signed by Ranjan Prakash Thakur and Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani representing the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of Dubai, respectively. While Thakur is Principal Secretary in the Department of Industries and Commerce in Jammu and Kashmir, Al Shaibani, is a non-royal government official, serving as director general of The Ruler’s Court, Government of Dubai, a prime government body of the Emirate of Dubai.

The agreement, whose finer business details are yet to be known, could be a game-changer in economic development but its real strength rests in the political value. The timing and the MoU, per se, makes a bold statement to the elements inimical to peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the world at large, in the particular context of the August 5, 2019, constitutional changes, the report said.

The report said reading down of the special status on August 5, 2019, means different things to different people in different circumstances but for the current Government in New Delhi it has three broader objectives: removing elements of separatism from the political environment by full constitutional integration, making the world community agree on the constitutional and political status of Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India and scaling up the life of people by rapid economic development.

The three elements put together could make peace and lasting stability even as a lot requires of done on building internal confidence and restoring institutions of democracy.

–IANS

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