BJP’s ‘hard line’ making things difficult for its ally PDP

BJP’s ‘hard line’ making things difficult for its ally PDP
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 15: Bharatiya Janata Party national leaders seem to be hell bent upon making things difficult for its coalition ally Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir by issuing controversial statements.
Despite New Delhi appointing Dineshwar Sharma as an interlocutor for Kashmir, the BJP leaders have been reiterating that Kashmir is a settled issue and the only unsettled issue is the part of Kashmir which is administered by Pakistan.
Reacting to the statement of National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah that “J&K belongs to India and PaK to Pakistan and the fact would not change no matter how many wars are fought over the issue,” the BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday said, “It’s unfortunate that Farooq Abdullah keeps changing his views and opinions on Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir, including those areas which are under illegal occupation by Pakistan, entirely belongs to India.”
“This is not the stand of any political party like the BJP alone. The only outstanding issue between India and Pakistan is to settle the status of the occupied Kashmir,” Madhav said.
A Kashmir watcher said that by giving such statements BJP leaders are proving that appointment of the Interlocutor is nothing but a “cosmetic exercise.”
“If Kashmir is a settled issue then why New Delhi wants to hold talks with the people who consider Kashmir as a dispute and want to involve Pakistan in the talks process,” he said, adding, “By giving such statements they are making life difficult for PDP. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has made repeated requests to the people sitting in New Delhi to maintain silence so that normalcy returns to the Valley and situation improves but it seems people sitting in Delhi are least interested in peace. They just want to play politics over Kashmir .”
A politician said, “It was due to the relentless efforts of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that Center agreed to appoint an interlocutor on Kashmir to set the ball rolling but it seems that a few people are hell bent upon ruining the initiative. The BJP leaders need to bear in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is not like other states and it enjoys a special status. Moreover it’s a frontier state, which has been witnessing conflict for the past three decades. The need of the hour is to sit at one place and put our heads together to look for a solution rather that raking up the issues which can create controversies and add to the confusion.”
Referring to Dr Farooq Abdullah’s statement that “J&K belongs to India and PaK to Pakistan” the politician said, “He didn’t say anything wrong. To castigate him is just adding fuel to the fire. If the BJP continues to follow the hard line then nothing can be achieved.”