J&K: Kashmir has been a 70-year old problem for India and Pakistan. But now a renewable energy company has come up with a solution that may bring lasting peace to Kashmir region after all.
The company has proposed to install Lakhs of solar panels all along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Boundary (IB), the two border lines running between the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir. Not only will the panels be set up along the border line, it will be set up for at least 10 kilometers into the territory from the border line – on both sides. This means a 20-kilometer wide solar panel field running for few hundreds of kilometers. The civilians and governments on both sides have welcomed the proposal and are believed to be studying it closely.
But how can this bring peace? The company officials think this installation of the solar panel, Lakhs of them, will have 3 advantages.
First advantage is it can generate electricity in the region where power has been a perennial issue to set up big businesses. If the power problem can be addressed leading to big factories setting up shop, that can generate huge local employment. That in turn can bring down the count of educated yet unemployed youth; who otherwise often become prey to terrorist group’s psychological tactics exploiting the lack of jobs and incomes of local youth to influence them to join the groups.
Second advantage is, it can bring down the risk of terrorists and infiltrators. Currently, the incentive to reduce terrorism activities is less because there is nothing else to lose. If there were Lakhs of solar panels generating power and business locally, then there may be incentive not to engage in cross-firing that can damage this lifeline. If terror activities leads to damage in solar panels, then there may be local unrest to remove such terrorists, because the local economy might get hit. Yes, it is true that mischief-makers on one side can damage their own panels, and make it sound the other side has done it, just to prolong the violence for self-interests. For this, the officials suggested the third advantage.
Third advantage is since China is one of the largest and competitive solar panel manufacturer in the world, the contract to supply so many Lakhs of panels may go to a Chinese company. Once the Chinese investments are at stake here, it will put pressure on terrorist groups not to do mischief, since messing with China will have a direct repercussion on the local governments and military, especially those who allegedly give safe-havens to any terrorist groups.
With the proposal now being studied by Delhi, Islamabad and also Beijing, there is a possibility that this solar-panel proposal by the renewable energy company may bring peace to Kashmir. If economic progress is achieved, it may give peace a chance in Kashmir.