Finance minister P Chidambaram Sunday said that Kashmir issue is “a long-pending dispute concerning accession” and took a dig at ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for “failing” to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Writing in a national daily, Chidambaram said that the “ infiltration and militancy are the consequences of the issue. The issue is the long-pending dispute concerning the accession of Kashmir.”
Questioning Narendra Modi government’s stand of having no talks with Pakistan until militancy stops in Kashmir or with those demanding aazaadi, Chidambaram said, “Four wars have been fought over the issue. No purpose will be served by pretending that there is no issue or there is no dispute between India and Pakistan.”
He said that “militaristic and muscular” policy has failed to achieve anything in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chidambaram said that there is an “issue” concerning Jammu and Kashmir and there are frequent reminders to indicate it.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Chidambaram said: “It was claimed that the hard, muscular, militaristic approach will put an end to infiltration and militancy. Has it?.
In another tweet, he said: “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.”
Saying that there is an “issue” concerning the Jammu and Kashmir and, there are frequent reminders given about it, he wrote: “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 Center’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.”
Asking Center to shun its aggressive approach on Kashmir and instead adopt the policy on the lines of former prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, he wrote: “Wisdom lies in actively working to find a political solution to the issue of J&K. Both A B Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh will be remembered for their diligent efforts to find a solution to the issue”.
Chidambaram quoted statistics to say that the number of civilians and militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir had almost doubled from 28 to 57 and from 110 to 218 from 2014 to 2017 respectively. The number of force personnel killed had also shot up from 47 to 83 in this period.
Meanwhile Congress leader and former Union minister, Kapil Sibal, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetoric over Jammu and Kashmir has come apart.
“Soldiers and policemen martyred almost daily. Will government explain? When will be stop losing lives?” he asked in a tweet.
The criticism came a day after a militant-triggered explosion killed four policemen in Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to the criticism, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit-out at Chidambaram for his remark on ‘peace’ situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
BJP leader Sambit Patra blamed “misgiving of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s misadventures” for the current situation in Kashmir. “The problem of Jammu and Kashmir is misgiving of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s misadventures,” Patra said.