Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said the opposition seriously doubts the “intent and sincerity” of the Narendra Modi government in addressing the Kashmir issue.
Commenting on the government’s fresh initiative of dialogue on Kashmir, Azad, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, summed up his feelings through an Urdu couplet.
“Tamannao me uljahaya gaya hoon/khilone dekar behlaya gaya hoon (I have been trapped in wishful thinking/I have been mollified by toys),” Azad said, underlining his views on the government’s dialogue initiative which he said has come too late and lacks a fixed timeframe.
“For three-and-a-half years, the Modi government followed hot pursuit. Now, towards the fag end of its term the government is talking of dialogue to garner some publicity. We seriously doubt the government’s intent and sincerity,” Azad said at a presser here in which Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) rebel Sharad Yadav were also present.
In a sudden shift of its tough stand, the Union government on Monday said it would start talks on Jammu and Kashmir with all parties, including separatists, and appointed former intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma as its pointsman for the troubled state.
Azad said that for the past three years, the opposition parties, including the Congress, had been stressing on the need of confidence building measures in Kashmir but it fell on deaf years.
“Kashmir is a political issue and no political issue across the world has ever been resolved by hot pursuit or muscle power. If this government had listened to us earlier, so many precious lives of soldiers and of civilians would not have been lost and hundreds of children as young as three and four years would not have lost their eyes to pellet guns,” Azad said.
He said the Modi government has “no policy at all” on Kashmir.