The state’s ruling coalition partner PDP may be hopeful of a resolution of the Kashmir issue and Article 35 (A) after recent assurances by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, but the Opposition is skeptical about its implementation. They feel that both New Delhi and the state government have consistently failed to walk the talk earlier.
Opposition parties have stated that the PDP-BJP coalition has failed to implement the Agenda of Alliance they had agreed upon in the state and are “moving goalposts” in intervals to “confuse people and avoid accountability”.
They demanded that New Delhi should take “bold steps” to address the Kashmir issue and also file the affidavit before the Supreme Court defending Article 35 (A) to clarify their “good intent” and address the trust deficit.
“This government has come up with 30 formulas in the last three years. Time has proved them wrong earlier. Let us see if they will walk the talk this time,” State Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir told ET.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was on four-day visit to the state, had said that New Delhi was open for dialogue and would never hurt the sentiments of the people of the state. Besides this, Singh said five Cs –– compassion, communication, co-existence, confidence building and consistency — were needed to resolve the Kashmir issue. This reach-out was an extension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 15 statement that Kashmiris needed hugs and not bullets and abuses.
“These statements may have been made with the right intent and in the right direction, but things need to be implemented on the ground, which is not happening till now. As a starter, let the government file the affidavit defending Article 35 (A) in court and clear the position,” senior National Conference legislator, Ali Muhammad Sagar told ET.
The PDP-BJP government has faced flack for the continuing volatile situation in the state amplified by the NIA crackdown on Hurriyat leaders, activists and controversial businessmen.
“New Delhi needs to revisit the whole process and the wrong policies that have shattered the confidence of the people of Kashmir, thereby resulting in massive alienation. The gap between Kashmir and the rest of the country has greatly widened,” read the statement jointly issued by the three senior opposition leaders –- MY Tarigami of CPM, Hakeem Muhammad Yasin of PDF and Ghulam Hassan Mir of DP(N).
However, PDP seems to be satisfied with New Delhi’s assurances. “BJP at the Centre as well as the national opposition parties candidly acknowledged the importance of a reconciliatory approach and inclusiveness to get J&K out of turbulence and mistrust. J&K will revive the political ethos and ambiance of 2002 and soon usher in a new phase of resolution and reconciliation,” Sartaj Madni, PDP’s senior vice-president and uncle of J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said while addressing a gathering in Surenkote area.