As the government of India called off secretary-level talks with Pakistan, in the back drop of Pakistan High Commissioner inviting Hurriyat leaders for talks, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh Wednesday said, pointing towards Hurriyat leaders, “who do not believe in Indian democracy and follow dictates of Jama’at-e-Islami have no business” to be “stake-holders in Indo-Pakistan dialogue” aimed at “normalisation of democratic relations between the two neighbouring SAARC countries”, reports said.
Media reports quoting Singh said, “I welcome the NDA government’s decision to call off talks even while criticising ‘the double standards’ adopted by the NDA government.”
“They (BJP and NDA government) turned a blind eye when (journalist) Vaid Pratap Vaidik in his interview to a Pakistani channel advocated the idea of Independent Kashmir,” Singh said.
Elaborating his stand on Hurriyat leaders, the senior Congress leader said, “people who do not believe in Indian secular democracy and Constitution have no right to lecture us on democracy and try to be stakeholders in Indo-Pakistan dialogue. Hurriyat leaders must first come clean on their stand viz-a-viz anti democratic and fundamentalist forces such as Jama’at-e-Islami and Wahabis who work against India’s secular democracy.”
His remarks appeared to be aimed at advertising the fact that Hurriyat leaders, notably veteran Syed Ali Geelani, comes from basic cadre of Jama’at-e-Islami ideology , which is opposed to Western democracy, secularism, socialism or liberalism but roots for an Islamic-rule based on Sharia.
Reports further said that Singh has also felt “democratic forces in Pakistan and India should act in a mature manner and pay more attention to socio-economic issues rather than contentious issues”.
“Inviting Hurriyat leaders to Delhi just before the secretary-level talks was a deliberate attempt by Pakistan to scuttle the talks, which was necessary to bring peace to the area which is to benefit both the nations,” he said.
Meanwhile, political observers here in Srinagar said that it is ironic on part of Congress that it is beating its chest on such a move which was a common feature during its own rule not so long ago.
“This is interesting to see what it means when Indian politicians lose seat of power,” one of the political observers said adding, “Hurriyat has been meeting Pakistan High Commissioner all the time whenever such meetings were being held rather New Delhi used many back track channels to gauge mood of Pro-Freedom camp in Srinagar before such events.”