New Delhi: Congress on Monday dismissed as "shooting from the hip" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a dialogue to find a lasting solution to the unrest in Kashmir Valley which is on the boil for 44 days.
"It looks that the Prime Minister's words keep changing. What he said at the all-party meeting, his remarks in the Independence Day address and on Monday, he is talking of dialogue, but dialogue with whom?. There is a suspicion that these are mere words, mere empty rhetoric for the Prime Minister. He is unfortunately shooting from his hip and merely shooting the breeze," party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.
He said that it was not clear with whom the Prime Minister wants to have a dialogue. "When you talk of a dialogue, to talk to people who are estranged from you. You do not talk to such people who are with you and are part of the mainstream."
Tewari said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's assertion on Sunday that those indulging in stone-pelting in Kashmir are "not satyagrahis but aggressors" showed that he and the Prime Minister are not on the same page.
He also claimed that several Union ministers are also speaking in different voices. "The essence of the Finance Minister's statement is that there is no political problem in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding that Jaitley's comments implied that he felt there was no need for dialogue.
Asked whether Congress favoured talking to the Hurriyat, he suggested that the first learning of a spokesman was not to answer hypothetical questions. Noting that Congress is concerned over "irresponsible" handing of issues relating to national security, Tewari said that the party is willing to offer constructive suggestions if the governement approached it and have a "cohesive approach".
He said that the Prime Minister has been using three words "insaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat" for the past two years, but "we doubt if the Prime Minister understands the essence of these three concepts in entirety".
"What does Kashmiriyat mean to the PM. How does he include it in his policies? Are there, indeed, any policies on these? What does he mean by jamhooriyat? Parties have been contesting election for decades in Jammu and Kashmir," he said. He also asked as to what is the Prime Minister's definitaion of "insaniyat". "Is insaniyat used as a balm for those harmed in this sensitive time?"