Srinagar, May 1
Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate unconditional talks on Kashmir, ruling PDP leader and Minister for Education Altaf Bukhari said there can’t be a rider or any pre-condition for a dialogue in a democratic set-up.
“The centre should hold talks with all stakeholders irrespective of their political beliefs and without any precondition and fulfill its commitment given in black and white in the shape of Agenda of Alliance,” Mr Bukhari said during a visit to his Amira Kadal constituency.
Asking why former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s legacy was not followed by the BJP-led centre, the minister said that he (Vajpayee) talked about dialogue under the ambit of humanity.
However, Mr Bukhari said now talking about dialogue with a condition, unfortunately, reveals a flip-flop policy on the resolution of Kashmir problem.
Asserting that Kashmir issue essentially is a political problem and needs a political solution through discussion and dialogue with all stake holders, he said that exclusion of the voices of dissent is against the spirit of a democratic polity.
“It can’t have an economic solution. I wonder why our Prime Minister, with a historic public mandate, is shying away from his responsibility by not carrying forward the legacy of (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and a former Prime Minister who said ‘sky is the limit’ on the issue of Kashmir,” Bukhari said.
“What separates democracy from other political philosophies is the principle and practice of solving differences through inclusive and meaningful dialogue. Lack of inclusive dialogue can only add to frustration and over time, generate rejection and more rebellion,” he said.Claiming that economic packages have never replaced the political necessities of engagement in Kashmir, he said that despite wars and violence in different forms, Kashmir issue has remained lingering on since last so many decades and sufferings of people have increased manifold.
We have been witnessing death and destruction that has virtually taken over everything, he added.