Talk to Hurriyat: Yashwant Sinha to Centre
Senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has advocated that the government should engage in dialogue with all stakeholders in trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the prevailing problems as the situation in the Valley was turning grave.
"In order to solve the problems, an initiative should be made to hold talks with all stakeholders including All Party Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley, where people are feeling completely alienated," Sinha, also a former Union Finance Minister, said.
Speaking on "Issues related to Jammu and Kashmir", organized by Jamshedpur Citizen Forum here on Saturday, Sinha said over 100 persons were killed and around 1,000 people lost their eye-sight in pellet gun shots by forces since the violence broke out following the killing of Burhan Wani on July 7 .
"The situation has not yet improved, rather it is deteriorating day by day as the people of the Valley feel completely alienated," he said.
Referring to the political arrangement reached between PDP and BJP for forming a government in the Valley, Sinha said the ruling alliance agreed to resume dialogue with the people of Kashmir Valley on the
spirit espoused by former Prime Minister Atal BIhari Vajpayee, which was based on "Insaniyat" (Humanity) and assurance not to tamper with Article 370 of the constitution.
Stating that bullet will not solve any problem, Sinha, who had twice visited the Kashmir since the trouble broke out in July including between December 10 to 14 last, favored a dialogue with all stakeholders to restore peace in the Valley.
During his recent visit, Sinha said people were appreciative about Vajpayee's approach to resolve all issues in the Valley.
"The people of Kashmir valley still remember Vajpayee ji for understanding their problem and his approach on Jammu and Kashmir," he said. Recalling an interaction with a person in Shopian during the recent visit, Sinha said the person had (sarcastically) thanked Indian government for 'dispelling' all fears from their heart as they no longer fear bullet or pellet gun in the wake of government's approach.
About the reason for people of the Valley to feel alienated, Sinha said the people during the interaction complained that the forces did not use pellet guns during agitations by Jat community, Patel community in Gujarat, on Cauvery issue but only in Jammu and Kashmir.
They alleged that "the government wants to blind the youths by using pellet guns only in the Valley." Sinha said the recent visits of non-political leaders to the Valley was based on the guiding principles of Jayprakash Narayan, who believed that dialogue was the only way to solve any problem and favoured talks in the Valley.
Accusing the previous governments of failing to resolve the issue with Pakistan despite having opportunity in the past, Sinha said the problem in the Valley was prevailing for last seven decades without any solution as yet.
The BJP leader said Pakistan had taken advantage of "completely rigged 1987 assembly election" in the Valley and engineered cross-border activities since 1988-89.
About the resumption of bilateral talks between India-Pakistan, Sinha said militant activities from across the border and talk cannot take place together as stated by Vajpayee ji. Pakistan will have to stop cross-border terrorism and prevent groups from using their territory against India to resume composite dialogue with India, he observed.
Sinha also hailed Modi for taking initiative to resume talks with Pakistan.
"Modi had invited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his oath taking ceremony and also made sudden visit to Pakistan to attend a function.
"Besides both the PMs did have talks at international meets a couple of times," he said while regretting that all these attempts by the Indian government were not reciprocated by Pakistan. PTI