National Conference on Thursday said Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Jitendra Singh’s statement saying “There is no such issue as Kashmir Issue” was not only ridiculous and immature but also defied various statements made by the Central Government, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. In a statement a Spokesperson of National Conference said Kashmir Issue was not only a globally accepted nuclear flashpoint that merited resolution but also a core issue of various bilateral diplomatic engagements between New Delhi and Islamabad.
“The Kashmir Issue has been simmering since decades and has resulted in unimaginable human suffering and misery. Thousands of people have lost their lives while thousands more have been grievously affected because of the human, social, political and economic costs of an unresolved, festering political issue. Jitendra Singh’s statement, given that he is a Minister in the PMO, is a serious and disappointing attempt to distort the reality in Kashmir and mislead the nation into believing a narrative that is not only absurd but also highly insensitive to what the people of Kashmir have endured for decades”, the Spokesperson said.
He asked Jitendra Singh to review various statements made by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and also by the previous NDA Government that not only accepted the crucial need to resolve the Kashmir Issue but also engaged in talks with stakeholders within Kashmir while initiating a dialogue process with Pakistan at the same time. “Wishing reality away doesn’t change reality. To presume that Kashmir and Kashmiris should suffer endlessly and perpetually while the powers that be so casually brush the issue under the carpet is insensitive and inhuman. We have become a land of orphans, half-widows, destitute and disadvantaged because of the political issue and for someone in a place of responsibility to deny the very existence of the political issue indicates everything that is problematic with New Delhi’s approach towards Kashmir”, the Spokesperson added.
“While there are external dimensions to the Kashmir Issue, the fact of the matter remains that the problem in Kashmir is based on a political sentiment and sense of injustice that needs to be acknowledged and engaged with. Negating the ground reality in Kashmir along with historical facts doesn’t behove the Central Government. At a time when all efforts should be made to engage with the sentiment in Kashmir and resolve the simmering conflict, burying our heads in the sand will be counterproductive and further compound the already deteriorating situation on the ground”, The NC Spokesperson further said.
The Spokesperson also asked Jitendra Singh to clarify if BJP had disowned the recent statement of its General Secretary, Ram Madhav where he had said the Central Government was ready for dialogue with stakeholders in Kashmir. “If there is no political issue in Kashmir, then what is the Central Government going to talk about? On one hand there are statements from BJP hinting at the initiation of dialogue and on the other hand you have BJP Leaders and Ministers refusing to even accept that there is a problem in Kashmir. This duality and double-speak is highly unfortunate and condemnable”, the NC Spokesperson added.
“Jitendra Singh should also remember that it was BJP that accepted that a political issue exists in Kashmir in its ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ with the PDP and even agreed to talk to all stakeholders in Kashmir irrespective of their affiliations or ideology. While the alleged ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ has been violated at will and whim by both the parties in the alliance, BJP’s latest blatant disregard to the issue in Kashmir is yet another instance of the party furthering its long-held agenda of continuing with an isolationist policy in Kashmir despite the mounting human and political costs”, the Spokesperson said.