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KARACHI: Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday the Narendra Modi-led government was responsible for the worsening situation in India-held Kashmir, NDTV reported.

There has been a noticeable increase in violence in the disputed Himalayan region since the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.

The Indian security forces’ crackdown on peaceful protests and resistance by Kashmiri activists opposing Indian rule over the region have led to more riots. Militancy in the held valley has increased since the Indian personnel killed a popular commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani, in 2016.

Mr Singh, speaking at the Indian National Congress plenary session in New Delhi, said: “India must recognise the problems in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure that these problems are tackled and sorted out.”

The former Indian premier claimed that the reason behind the situation in Kashmir, which he said was deteriorating by the day, was the alliance between the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which was formed after the 2014 Indian general elections.

Due to the ideological differences between the parties, the “two wings of administration” were working against each other, he said.

The PDP, as opposed to its coalition partner, emphasises holding dialogue with leader like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to reach a solution to the growing unrest in the disputed region.

The BJP, however, advocates use of force to suppress negative sentiments against the Indian government.

“Our borders are not secure,” the former premier said. “Cross-border terrorism, internal terrorism, internal insurgency; they are today issues which are a source of great worry to all our citizens as the Modi government has not found a way of tackling this problem.”

The number of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary has also increased under the Modi administration.

Not long ago, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate that the Indian army had violated the ceasefire agreement 170 times in January alone.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2018