CPI (M) senior leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami on Monday said that New Delhi’s rejection of the invitation to attend the proposed SAARC Summit in Islamabad and reiteration of the stand that talks cannot be held along with “terrorist actions” is Modi government’s return to its “no talks” stance which has been in place for the past more than four years. Statement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that Jammu and Kashmir was not an issue is another reason to believe that Modi-Government’s flip-flop continues, he said.
The spokesman said that this has come just a few days after a ground-breaking ceremony of opening of Kartarpur Corridor near the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib. The joint effort in preparing the Kartarpur Corridor had once again underlined the necessity for improving relations and cooperation between the two countries. It also highlighted the importance of developing people to people relations as a vital component of restoring normalcy and good neighbourly relations. Even, Narendra Modi compared the Kartarpur corridor to the fall of the Berlin Wall and hoped it would act as a bridge between the two peoples.
There is a need to open more cross-LoC travel and trade routes between divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir State. A similar arrangement on the pattern of Kartarpur corridor must be made for the pilgrims to Sharada Peeth, an important temple across the Line of Control.
The governments of the two countries must open trade routes on Jammu-Sialkot Chhamb-Jourian to Mirpur, Gurez-Astoor-Gilgit, Jhangar (Nowshera)-Mirpur and Kotli, Turtuk-Khapulu, Kargil- Skardu and Titwal-Chilhan (Across Neelam Valley). Dialogue, reconciliation and economic development is the need of the hour as violence has not achieved only death and destruction in the past seven decades.
However, the falling back on a hardline stance by the Modi government underscores its contradictory and self-defeating stand in its relations with Pakistan. That there is no consistency in India’s approach to Pakistan became evident once more recently, when in September this year, India accepted the new Pakistan government’s offer for a meeting of the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. That decision was rescinded within two days giving reasons which were difficult for anyone to understand.