‘Holding talks with Pak, GoI’s prerogative’

‘Holding talks with Pak, GoI’s prerogative’
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Mar 29: Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir has tried to put the ball into the court of Jammu and Kashmir government vis-à-vis holding talks with Pakistan.
In a written reply to a question by Shiromani Akali Dal member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on whether the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir has recently asked the Government of India to talk to Pakistan for peace in the state, Ahir said, “No such proposal has been received from the state government.”
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Holding talks with Pakistan is the prerogative of the Government of India and state government has got nothing to do with it. Whenever Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked New Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan she has been told that she should concentrate on governance and leave foreign affairs to New Delhi.”
He said that New Delhi should come clear on its policy towards Pakistan rather than waiting for J&K government to send a formal proposal for the same. “India and Pakistan not talking to each other has pushed both the countries to the edge. Border skirmishes and militancy related incidents being on rise in Kashmir indicate that New Delhi has to change its attitude towards Kashmir rather than beating around the bush,” he added.
A Kashmir watcher said, “Situation in Kashmir is brittle. New Delhi views Kashmir through the security prism only. It’s unfortunate that for New Delhi only solution to Kashmir is gun. No effort is being put to look into what people want.”
He said that appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, Government of India’s Special Representative, has not helped much as he has not been able to meet the people who really matter. “Meeting the people who don’t matter won’t serve any purpose. He has to talk to the separatists to break the ice,” the Kashmir watcher added.
He said, “New Delhi should stop making excuses and initiate a process with Pakistan so that tensions can be defused and the threat of war which is looming large disappears. The GoI needs to take bold decisions and should pay a heed towards the appeals and requests being made by the Kashmiri leaders, including the Chief Minister, to hold talks with Pakistan.”
A politician said that BJP leaders sitting in New Delhi should realize that their party is heading the country and they have to remain flexible. “If they keep on following the hard line it can put the country at risk. “Even the US president Donald Trump has realized that being a hardliner is no solution that’s why he has started extending hand of friendship towards even the smaller countries,” he added.