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Why Kashmir Deserves Discussion
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Apart from winning elections does the BJP have any other goal? Responding to Pakistan cross border attacks BJP President Mr. Amit Shah criticized Mr. Omar Abdullah’s stand. What about the central government’s own responsibility? Does government have the guts to adopt this writer’s prescription to defeat Pakistan’s “proxy war” as defined by the PM? If not, the government must devise steps to achieve a diplomatic settlement on Kashmir. The government is neither tough nor conciliatory. It makes hollow statements.
The High Commissioner ignoring the formal demand of the Indian Foreign Office to not meet with the separatist leaders was objectionable. Describing inhabitants of Kashmir to be stakeholders in the talks was not. If not separatist leaders, are not elected representatives of the state stakeholders in the Kashmir dispute? Commitment to bilateral talks in the Simla Agreement excluded foreign governments, not citizens of both countries. Even separatist Hurriyat leaders are citizens of India and part of the Indian Union. That is the government’s prime argument by which their separatist demand is debunked. Need one remind the Ministry of External Affairs that Pandit Nehru had stated that the accession of Kashmir to India was “subject to the approval of the people” of Jammu and Kashmir?
India’s constitutional position is that the whole of Kashmir belongs to India. In fact half is occupied by Pakistan. Does that leave nothing to discuss?
The UN passed a resolution for plebiscite subject to preconditions wholly unfavourable to Pakistan demanding all its army and citizens to vacate the state. But the resolution was non-enforceable. It relied on mutual agreement of India and Pakistan. Subsequently Pakistan continues to demand plebiscite and India continues to stonewall the demand without propagating that preconditions are unimplemented by Pakistan. In global perception Pakistan becomes the victim and India the exploiter. In the light of the above record should not India discuss Kashmir?
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