Kashmiris should start minus Pakistan talks with India: Yashwant Sinha

Srinagar: During an informal interaction with a group of journalists here in Kashmir capital Srinagar on Tuesday evening, former Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha who is leading a delegation in Kashmir was too candid to admit that anti-India sentiments are running deep in Kashmir. ‘Let me tell me you we are honest intermediaries. Our task is a difficult one but we are confident our efforts will yield positive results. Let people of Kashmir initially start a dialogue minus Pakistan with India. I don’t think it is an impossible task. Something positive may definitely emerge,” Sinha said. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that his civil society group was trying to convince New Delhi to invite separatist leaders from Kashmir for talks and to hold unconditional dialogue with them to resolve the long pending issue of insurgency in the Valley.

He said that on way to Baramulla in North Kashmir his team saw bold painted slogans on a wall: ‘Indian dogs go back,’ but that didn’t discourage us from meeting people and I tell you the meeting with people was a wonderful experience. A lot of people termed our visit a futile exercise keeping in view the bitter experiences of past. But I told them we shouldn’t give up just because we have failed in past.” “During a meeting with a group of people, they asked us to leave as they equivocally said that people of Kashmir demand freedom from India. Despite that we talked to them and appreciated their approach. We are conscious of the fact that that it (Kashmir) is a difficult task after all it is a 70 year old problem,” Sinha said.

When Sinha said that Pakistan has been continuously using its soil for terror activities and is not respecting the commitments this country has made with India, a journalist intervened and asked Sinha to flip the question and tell us why India has not been respecting the commitments it has made with the people of Kashmir. Sinha said that possibility of final resolution is there provided we talk. “Let us start a dialogue based on facts. You present your evidences and documents and we will do the same. We will definitely arrive at a solution,” he said. Sinha admitted that he met a number of government functionaries in New Delhi after the culmination of his first visit but didn’t divulge the information.

Responding to a query, Yashwant Sinha said that in their report they have underlined the sentence in brackets that ‘Syed Ali Geelani is ready for unconditional dialogue.’ “We are thinking on that terms and we will and want that dialogue between Kashmir and India should be unconditional. Many Journalists complained that the essence of dialogue vanishes once Indian Parliamentarians claim that any dialogue is possible only within the four walls of Indian constitution. “We must understand that Indian Constitution is flexible and not rigid and it can be changed. There is every possibility of a solution to Kashmir problem,” the member of the delegation Mr Bharat Bhushan said and lamented that Kashmir is not having its own voice in Indian media. (CNS)

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