Shun muscular approach, initiate dialogue on Kashmir
SRINAGAR : Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday asked the Government of India to learn from the situation emerging in Afghanistan and initiate a comprehensive dialogue process over Kashmir without delay.
Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech he made in Srinagar on Sunday, PDP’s senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar cautioned the Prime Minister that muscular approach vis-a-vis Kashmir is bound to fail and yield any positive outcome.
Modi had stated that his government will continue to adopt tough approach in crushing the militancy in Valley.
However, according to Akhtar, such approach has never worked in Kashmir. “This has been repeated numerous times but nothing was achieved and nothing will be achieved because this is not the world where you can rely only on force,” Akhtar said, adding that even the top Army Generals have publicly cautioned against unifocal policy based on use of force.
“We have to learn from what is happening around the world including Afghanistan where there is a thrust on dialogue and Pakistan has been counted as a major partner. Dialogue is the only way forward and it is only through non-confrontational approach that we will be able to give our coming generations a safer and tranquil place to live. Making peace of graveyard prevalent and never worked and will never work,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar said that if the government of India continues with its iron-fist policy, the space for politics, diplomacy, and dialogue will get further squeezed and youngsters will continue to be forced into the destructive violence.
He said that on one side Prime Minister Modi is making tall claims of keeping the legacy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee alive and on the other hand is not even allowing a 22-year-old boy, who comes from the other side of LOC, to meet his ailing grandmother under valid permission. “Trade and travel across the LOC is the essence of what late Vajpayee and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had achieved. It is ironic that the boy was prevented from meeting his ailing grandmother on a day when Prime Minister Modi was sermonising us on Vajpayee’s legacy in Srinagar,” Akhtar said.
He added that the day coalition government in the state fell, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti had cautioned against the adoption of muscular approach for Kashmir. However, said Akhtar, it looks like that there is only muscular policy and no other policy that has been pressed into service for the state and especially for Kashmir.
“Kashmir is a political issue which needs a political solution. Announcing mega developmental projects has never and will never help us achieve any progress on ground vis-a-vis making peace state’s permanent feature,” said the PDP leader.
He added that the projects that were inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in Srinagar on Sunday too are questionable in nature as nothing has moved forward in the state during the past six months. “Contrary to what Mr Modi claimed, even the ongoing centrally funded projects in the state have been shut and while leaving the state in lurch on developmental front, the Prime Minister goes further in announcing the Kamar tod policy for Kashmir.