Ruling PDP on Thursday asserted that Union minister Hansraj Ahir’s “putting conditions” over dialogue to address Kashmir issue amounts to “closing the doors” for negotiations and undermines the reality of the issue.
“PDP has always upheld the significance of unconditional dialogue among the stake-holders as the means to resolve Kashmir imbroglio. The statement of the Union Minister of State for Home in Parliament amounts to closing the doors for negotiations,” party vice president, Mohammad Sartaj Madni said.
Ahir had on Wednesday said in the Parliament the government remains open to dialogue with those who eschew the path of violence and are willing to work within the framework of the Constitution of India.
The PDP vice president alleged the statement is also against the spirit of ‘Agenda of Alliance’, the common minimum programme between the coalition partners - PDP and BJP, which recognises and envisages importance of an open dialogue.
“Conditional dialogue on Kashmir also excludes Pakistan from the discourse. This position from Government of India again undermines the reality that without involving Pakistan, no solution to Kashmir problem can sustain,” he said.
Madni referred to the accord between the state’s former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi “as a glaring instance which amply proved that such exercises did not sustain as a solution to Kashmir problem and instead compounded this further”.
The PDP vice president said “while several union governments have at several occasions acknowledged the futility of selective accords and packageism, it was the government headed by (former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee which seriously followed ‘an all inclusive’ approach as a changed discourse for sustainable peace in the region and as a viable way to solve the issues”.
“The course of Vajpayee was fully facilitated by (former chief minister and PDP founder) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Not only it resulted in Indo-Pak bonhomie, it was endorsed by people of the state as act of hope.
“Who does not know that in the three years from 2002-2005, borders were virtually turned irrelevant, the two armies were engaged in exchange of day-to-day pleasantries’ and two people witnessed a national integration.
“Trade flourished, development took pace and Kashmir issue came to acquire a practicable and realistic contours for an ‘out of box’ solution,” he said.
Madni said the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ with BJP is a virtual revival of Vajpayee-Sayeed vision and PDP sees it as an agreeable path sincerely endorsed by “popular leader, BJP strongman” and Prime Minister Narinder Modi.
“Any deviation from stated course in Kashmir will result in confusion and deficit in trust which will seal the chances of any further exercise through political means,” he said.
He expressed hope that Ahir’s statement would not impact the relevance of AoA and appealed the prime minister for its early implementation.
“Accomplishing AoA will draft a golden chapter in the relations between New Delhi and Srinagar and Prime Minister Modi will earn goodwill across the board as an Indian leader who did not betray the trust,” the PDP leader said.