Left wants government to hold talks with Pakistan on Kashmir issue

A final solution to J&K dispute cannot happen without engaging with Pakistan, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.

New Delhi: Ahead of the all-party delegation's visit to Kashmir in the wake of ongoing unrest, Left parties on Saturday the Centre to bring Pakistan to the discussion table, besides holding talks with other stakeholders including Hurriyat leaders to find a "final solution" to the problem.

Speaking to media persons after a consultation meeting with intellectuals here on the Kashmir issue, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his CPI counterpart Sudhakar Reddy also urged Hurriyat leaders to discuss their positions with the delegation to find a solution to the problem.

"A final solution to this (problem) cannot happen without engaging with Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan's involvement in cross-border infiltration, terrorism, on that all of us have said unitedly that the country as a whole will face it. But at the same time, the engagement with Pakistan is also important," Yechury, who is part of the 30-member delegation, said.

On asked whether inviting Pakistan to come to discussion table will mean converting the issue as one associated with Pakistan and not India's internal matter, Yechury said "the Kashmir dispute is between Pakistan and India".

"(However) there is no scope for third party involvement nor there is a requirement. This is an Indo-Pak dispute," he said.

To a question, Yechury said the NDA government itself had taken this position of holding dialogue with Pakistan "embracing all issues including that of Kashmir".

Speaking further, Yechury reiterated he had raised the issue of inviting Hurriyat leaders for discussion during all-party members' meeting with the government earlier in the day. He though said the government remained "non-committal" over the demand.

"It is up to the government to invite them (Hurriyat leaders). We want to meet the them. JD(U), RJD and DMK leaders supported the demand during the meeting," he added.

Referring to media reports claiming hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's opposition to holding talks with the delegation, Yechury said, "I don't know (about the reports), we are only telling them you talk to us, tell us your conditions. Without discussions there can't be a solution."

"This morning they heard us, they did not say no, did not say yes. As has been happening in this government, the yes or no can come only after the Prime Minister's approval or disapproval," said Yechury.

"Come and speak. We believe these (discussions) are being held late. Had this been held earlier, such a situation would not have arisen. But the delegation's visit should not go futile," he said, echoing Yechury.

( Source : PTI )
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