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PM Modi appointed Kashmir interlocutor under US pressure!

MODI TRUMP White House

A new trend has emerged where new leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have started criticizing  their predecessors  and their performances without showing their own achievements.

Every now and then, Modi, his ministers and RSS men are seen criticising the previous UPA government  but they themselves  are  unable to show how the situations have improved or their polices have benefited the people. For instance  Kashmir has been put on a boiling point during BJP-PDP tenure and conflict resulting in loss of lives of the security forces was witnessed without any improvement on the ground.Now the current government of Modi have offered to initiate dialogue with elected representatives , various organisations, concerned individuals in Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former  intelligence  Bureau (IB) director Dineshwar Sharma appointment as Kashmir interlocutor.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that “he will have  full freedom to engage in talks  with anyone he likes.” This amounts to saying that the situation  that deteriorated immensely during Modi’s regime will be handled  and the feelings and grievances of the Kashmiris will be duly addressed.

It is not clear how the feelings of Kashmiris due to atrocities that made them question the validity of Article 370 will change.

It appears that the present government has become fearful of their own approach relentlessly followed since Modi came to power at the centre and in the state along with  PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti.

Rather PM Modi misinterpreted Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s statement on Azadi being sought by Kashmiris. Chidambaram said: “Yes…. The demand in Kashmir Valley is to respect in letter and spirit Article 370. And that means that they want greater autonomy. My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azaadi (independence), most people —- I am not saying all —- (an) overwhelming majority want autonomy. Therefore, I think we should seriously examine that question and consider on what areas we can give autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.”

Chidambaram had last year said that J&K should be accorded greater autonomy to defuse unrest in the Valley.

The debate on “Azadi” gained momentum when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress  in Karnataka, accusing it of “shamelessly” taking a U-turn on Kashmir and lending its voice for “Kashmir’s azadi”.

Prominent Congress Kapil Sibal gave a befitting reply to the Modi government saying that the Prime Minister deliberately twisted the Chidambaram’s statement on Kashmir, saying that actually “people are seeking Azadi ( freedom) from this government”.

The former Union minister tweeted “No ‘Azadi’ for Kashmir but desire ‘Azadi’ from this government: polarisation , bigotry, love-jihad , gau rak shaks. Let’s begin in Gujarat.”

Modi government  is now unable to make out how the situation can be normalised as it was in the days of Congress. Infact, the government  is afraid of losing Kashmir  due to changes taking place in China. Under immense pressure from United States  and hours before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visit to New Delhi , Modi government made a U-turn of sorts by announcing that it will have a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to resolve the long-standing dispute.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh made the announcement when Tillerson was holding meetings with his counterparts in Kabul and Islamabad and stressed that Pakistan is an important partner of the US and that both India and Pakistan need to hold dialogue .Pakistan, on the other hand, had made it clear that in order to have a dialogue with India, all outstanding issues, including that of Kashmir, have to be  first resolved.

 

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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