The question “Winning of ‘Hearts and Minds’ in terrorism affected areas is an essential step in restoring the trust of the population. Discuss the measures adopted by the Government in this respect as part of the conflict resolution in Jammu and Kashmir." was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3. Let us look at the model answer to this question.
Answer: Winning of ‘Hearts and Minds’ aims to restore trust and pave the way for a people-oriented process for a long lasting peaceful resolution of conflict in the region. Some important components of WHAM are-building trust, providing security, respecting cultural sensitivities, delivering essential services and reconciliation and conflict resolution.For example: Kashmir
Measures adopted by the Govt wrt conflict resolution in Jammu and Kashmir
- Political Outreach
- Abrogation of Article 370 to integrate J&K fully with India
- Elections enabling local participation in delivering good governance
- Economic Development
- Creating employment and better infrastructure in transportation, health etc. For example: PM’s development package for J&K
- Youth engagement & Education
- Capacity building and youth employment eg.: Project Himayat
- Empowerment of J&K women Eg: Project Umeed
- Security measures with humanitarian approach
- A shift towards a more humane approach in counter-terrorism operations, minimizing civilian casualties.
- Promoting community policing and involving local youth in maintaining law and order.
- Social welfare initiatives
- Khelo India centres: 94 such centers in J&K which stand at around 10% of all India centers.
- Dialogue and Conflict resolution
- Initiating dialogue with various stakeholders, including separatist groups, to find peaceful solutions to long-standing issues.
- Encouraging cross-border dialogue with Pakistan to reduce tensions and find common ground.
- Cultural Preservation & Promotion
- Preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir to foster a sense of identity and pride.
- Celebrating local festivals and encouraging cultural exchanges
WHAM strategy seems to be a success as observed by following events
- Seerat Naaz, a five-year-old, requests the PM for reforms in her school.
- Faizan Gul of Global Youth Foundation,Baramulla wants to participate in the next polls though his parents have never voted.
- Kashmiri footballer Majid Khan left LeT after mother’s plea and Indian army pressed no charges against him
The government's multifaceted measures aim to restore trust and pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region. Building long-lasting peace remains a complex challenge, but these initiatives represent important steps in the right direction.