BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said it's time to de-link issues of Kashmir and Pakistan, and to treat the two disputes as independent of each other.
As per a report on Hindustan Times, Madhav said the Kashmir issue shouldn't be part of dialogue with Pakistan, for the "good of Kashmir" and "general peace in the country".
"Pakistan is a neighbour. If we need to have dialogue with it, there are several issues and the government of India will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time. As far as the present Kashmir issue is concerned, we believe — may be our partner has other ideas — it is purely a domestic issue for the governments in Jammu and Kashmir and at the Centre," he was quoted as saying.
Madhav, who was in the Valley recently, had praised the central and state governments for a series of recent initiatives taken to bring about peace in the troubled region. These include the appointment of former IB director Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor to the state, saying Sharma has the "mandate" to talk to all stakeholders in the dispute. "Whosoever will come forward, he (Sharma) can talk to him. He has that mandate.... You should ask this to the Hurriyat whether they are ready to talk," Madhav had said.
Even back then, Madhav had tried to delink issues of Pakistan from Kashmir, saying Sharma will talk only to the groups within Jammu and Kashmir and not to Islamabad.
But trying to delink Kashmir and Pakistan would be easier said than done, as Madhav and Sharma soon realised, with the separatists giving the interlocutor's five-day visit to the Valley a complete miss, and former chief minister of the state Farooq Abdullah saying a possible solution to the problem would be to have Pakistan retain control of PoK and India keep the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.
Madhav brushed aside the National Conference patriarch's comments, saying he has done many such "somersaults" in the past. "He has done many somersaults in the last few years. His own party, the National Conference, in the beginning, had fought against the Kashmiri invaders. His father Sheikh Abdullah opposed Kashmiri invaders. Today if Farooq Abdullah thinks that those parts belong to Pakistan, at least that is not the view of the Indian Parliament," Madhav was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times report.
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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 09:38:37 IST