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No military solution

Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who had got the reputation of calling spade a spade vis-à-vis Kashmir has once again criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for its ineptness to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

The congress leader said that “militaristic and muscular” policy has failed to achieve anything in Jammu and Kashmir. “There is an “issue” concerning Jammu and Kashmir and there are frequent reminders to indicate it”, he said in a series of tweets on Sunday.

“It was claimed that the hard, muscular, militaristic approach will put an end to infiltration and militancy. Has it?” he asked. “If you are one of those who had thought that the hard, muscular, militaristic approach of the government should be given a chance, please look at the table once again. You may change your view”, in another tweet, he said:

“From time to time we are rudely reminded that there is an issue concerning the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The last reminder came on the night of 30-31 December 2017, when militants attacked the CRPF Training Centre at Lethpora in Pulwama district killing five CRPF personnel and injuring three”. Terming BJP government’s recent appointment of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma to the Valley as a ploy to garner votes for BJP ahead of Gujarat elections, he said: “On the eve of the election in Gujarat, the government appointed Mr Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative (SR), but his mandate was not clear. Subsequently, it was indicated that the SR will talk to anyone who was willing to meet him, and therein lies the catch,” he tweeted.

The congress leader has asked New Delhi to shun its aggressive approach on Kashmir and instead adopt the policy on the lines of former Prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh, he wrote: P Chidambaram is one of the strong voices who have been advocating for a sustainable dialogue to find a political solution to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He has rightly pointed out that the cosmetic measures won’t really help to resolve this lingering dispute. If the government of India really wants to see peace and normalcy restored in the region then it should come up with open mind and initiate a meaningful dialogue with all genuine stakeholders.

Kashmir is not a law and order problem, nor is it a territorial dispute between the two countries; it is all about the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir that needs to be resolved accordingly. Indians need to realize the fact that Kashmir is not an economic issue but a political issue which needs a political resolution. It needs to be solved by including all stake-holders, most importantly the people of Kashmir, in the resolution process. Just palming off and on is no solution, the militaristic approach as P Chidambaram put it is not going to resolve the problem, it is time that India should pay heed to the voices calling for a peaceful settlement of the conflicts, the sooner the better.

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