Kashmir needs real political solution: Padgoankar

As Valley is on boil and political debate is raging over its resolution, former member of Interlocutors Group Dalip Padgoankar Saturday said prevailing situation in Kashmir would get worse unless there is “real political solution” of the issue.

“No solution will evolve if the focus is only on militancy and development. Unless the real political issue is resolved, situation in Kashmir will not improve but will get worse,” Padgoankar said. “If talks are held with people, what are the issues on which you will hold talks? We should first give some confidence building measures to the people and then hold dialogue with them,” he added.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is a two-day visit to the Valley to review the ongoing situation and he will hold talks with the chief minister, security officers and trade groups. Padgoankar said it is good that a political debate is raging over the Kashmir issue; prime minister of the country has a chance to solve the issue. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has big responsibility and he has a chance to resolve the issue,” he added.

Padgoankar, who headed a three-member Interlocutors Group of academician Radha Kumar and former Information Commissioner, M.M. Ansari, had prepared a report that focused on permanent political settlement of the Kashmir issue. Appointed by UPA-2 in 2010 after mass uprising in which 120 civilians were killed, the group had held interactions with more than 600 delegations, mass meetings and three roundtable conferences of women activists, scholars and cultural activists across the state.

The report was not submitted by the then UPA government in the parliament for a debate as was promised to the interlocutors. “What P Chidambaram has said today, I have said that five years before when I was interlocutor, I would meet Chidambaram, who was then home minister. I would always tell him that militancy cannot be ended by using force only,” Padgoankar said, referring to the statement made by former Home Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram.

“I had told him that forming commissions and other things won’t convince people that we are sincere in resolving the issue. People in Kashmir doubt the credibility of these commissions when there are no results. Chidambaram has on Wednesday said that to find a solution to the Kashmir crises, India should assure the people of Kashmir that the grand bargain promised during the time of Kashmir’s accession would be honoured. “It is good that former home minister has spoken,” Padgoankar said.

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