Expressing concern over the statements made by BJP leadership after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as an interlocutor to resume political engagement in Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) president and MLA Khansahib, Hakim Mohammad Yasin on Tuesday said if the offer of dialogue is sincere then what is the need to make “controversial statements” regarding Article 370 and Article 35A.
“If New Delhi is sincere in its offer of dialogue through its interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, then what is the reason for BJP leadership making contrary statements regarding Article 370 and Article 35-A. Such statements create doubts about the sincerity of dialogue offer and has the potential to keep several stakeholders groups away from the dialogue,” Yasin said in a statement.
He said: “When Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced a special representative has been appointed to talk to different groups in the state and the government’s doors were always open for the groups which want to talk. But afterwards instead of issuing controversial statements, the BJP-led government should have tried to make conducive atmosphere for talks so that all the groups, including Hurriyat, could be part of the dialogue process. Otherwise, the dialogue process would fail before it takes off. The past experiences have to be kept in mind before moving forward,” he said.
The PDF chief said the previous such exercises lacked sincerity and Congress party can’t be absolved of its mistakes. “If former Home Minister P Chidamabaram issued statement favouring autonomy to J&K, the Congress party distanced itself from his views. What is the fun of sending its (Congress) core group to J&K, when they are not even ready to give autonomy to the state?,” he asked.
The MLA Khasahib made it clear that Kashmir was not a law and order issue but a political issue which needs political settlement. “Real issue is to settle Kashmir politically. And both the BJP and the Congress must think with sincerity and solve the issue politically. Making only statements and announcements won’t help,” he vowed.
“I am hopeful that after Home Minister’s announcement, New Delhi will initiate a time bound and meaningful dialogue not only with separatist leaders but with Pakistan also. There is no other way than holding a meaningful and time bound dialogue to resolve all the issues including Kashmir. When China and India can resolve its issues peacefully, why not India and Pakistan?” Hakim Yasin asked.