BJP questions PM's claim on Kashmir issue, asks him to reveal resolution

Jaitley questions Manmohan's claim that resolution of Kashmir issue is 'almost arrived at'.

New Delhi: BJP on Saturday questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his claim that a resolution of the Kashmir issue was 'almost arrived at' between India and Pakistan, and asked him to divulge details of the failed solution.

"What was this possible resolution on Kashmir? The people of India are entitled to know an answer to this question," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said in an article.

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha hoped that India is not moving in the direction of Pakistan, which has an unfinished agenda on Kashmir, as its negotiating space on territory in the context of Kashmir resolution is negligible.

Referring to Pakistan's view of LOC's dilution, tripartite arrangement on Kashmir and its de-militarisation being part of this 'breakthrough', he said, "I hope the Government was not working in this direction."

The BJP leader said the Prime Minister during his press conference revealed for the first time that secret envoys from India and Pakistan had almost arrived at a meeting to resolve the conflict on Kashmir, but when a break through appeared 'in sight' the then Pakistan ruler General Pervez Musharraf had to make way for others and the agreement got blocked.

"Since the Prime Minister for the first time informed the nation that a resolution on Kashmir was almost agreed to, it is eminently desirable that he takes the nation into confidence of what the specifics he had in mind about the failed solution," he said.

He said that even for history to make assessment of Prime Minister's tenure, these details would be of immense help.

Addressing press conference on Friday, the Prime Minister replied to query about reports that India and Pakistan were on the verge of a historic deal on Jammu and Kashmir, "I have tried to improve relations with all our neighbours to the best of my ability and on one time it appeared that important breakthrough was in sight."

"Events in Pakistan for example that General Pervez Musharraf (former President) had to make way for a different set up. I think that led to the process not moving further...."

Jaitley said the stated position of the country has been clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the Parliament had unanimously passed a resolution in 1994 asserting that POK was an integral part of India's territory, even as India firmly believes that no third party intervention in Kashmir is permissible.

He added that India with great difficulty has succeeded in non-internationalisation of the Kashmir issue, hoping that it is not working on squandering all gains achieved in Kashmir so far. Jaitley warned that de-militarisation of the Valley without dismantling the terror infrastructure by Pakistan would be disastrous.

Holding the view that Nehruvian policy of giving a separate status to Jammu and Kashmir was a 'flawed one', he said the journey for the past years has been from a separate status towards separatism.

Spelling out the views of different parties on Kashmir, he said while the Congress stands for separate status, the National Conference advocates pre-1953 status, the PDP talks of self-rule and the separatists talk of 'Azadi'.

"Each one of these is intended to dilute India's sovereignty. Their intention is to weaken the constitutional and political link between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country.

"It is in this context that one needs to know the details of what this 'almost arrived at' agreed resolution between Manmohan Singh's government and Pakistan was," he said.

He said that Pakistan had been advocating an interim resolution on Kashmir which comprised of several unacceptable measures, including maintenance of territorial status quo, demilitarisation in Kashmir, dilution of the Line of Control for allowing free movement of people and goods, a tripartite joint mechanism to take decisions about Jammu and Kashmir for a specified period pending which a final solution would be found.

"I do not know if any or all of these were a subject matter of the 'almost arrived at' resolution to the Kashmir problem. I hope the truth is otherwise. I further hope that I do not have to wait for the memoirs of the Prime Minister to know the truth," Jaitley said.

( Source : PTI )
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