New Delhi, July 6 The BJP should be held to its promise of dialogue with all stakeholders, including Hurriyat, and even Pakistan, as that is the only way out of the present imbroglio in Jammu and Kashmir, says senior party leader Yashwant Sinha.
He feels that after having promised dialogue, citing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, somebody should ask why the Centre is going back on the agenda of the alliance with the Peoples Democratic Pary (PDP).
“We should hold them (the BJP) to their own promise in the agenda of the alliance where they have said they would talk to all internal stakeholders. After praising Vajpayee for doing what he did, they were saying that we will do the same thing. Somebody should ask them why are you going back on the agenda of the alliance?” Sinha told IANS in an interview.
The former External Affairs and Finance Minister — who is now somewhat alienated from the BJP leadership — headed an apolitical group of eminent citizens that visited the Kashmir Valley twice last year for initiating talks with separatists and other groups after months of unrest that left nearly 100 people dead and thousands blinded by pellets fired by security at street protesters.
He said the group had given its recommendations to the government of India on bringing peace in the valley where “the situation is going from bad to worse because people are getting more and more alienated”.
“The most important suggestion that we had made was the reiteration of what had been promised in the agenda of the alliance between the BJP and the PDP (when they formed the coalition government) on national reconciliation and on starting talks with all the stakeholders, including the Hurriyat,” Sinha said.
He said some of the suggestions “have been acted upon” and regretted that “some have not been acted upon”.
“I am not claiming credit that it is because of us that those improvements have taken place. Take the use of pellet guns for instance. It is much less now than it was earlier. The cases of blinding (people) have reduced.”
But, he said, the government has gone back on the promise of dialogue “because there is no talk of talks now, and it is only military action that is taking place” in the Kashmir Valley.