Shankaracharya supports 'plebiscite'

Shankaracharya supports 'plebiscite'

Goverdhan Peethadhishwar Shankaracharya Adhokshjanand Devtirth on Sunday favoured a “plebiscite” on both sides of Kashmir for a “permanent solution” of the problem.

“A plebiscite under the supervision of United Nations representative and guarded by forces of United Nations should be held in both sides of Kashmir,” he said while talking to reporters in his Ashram here.  Shankaracharya said while “referendum is a time consuming process”, there should be dialogue even with separatists to “douse the present crisis”.

“The government should not hesitate in talking with (separatist) Hurriyat for peace in Kashmir,” he said.

Referring to his recent visit to Kashmir, Shankaracharya, said the people of Kashmir complained that their voice was being “crushed even though they want to stay in India”.

He said it was the Constitutional responsibility of the government to listen to people and solve the genuine demands, even of a handicapped person. He termed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statement that only a handful of people were leading the agitation as baseless, saying: “Had it been possible to crush the handful of people by force, the curfew in Kashmir would not have lasted for 50 days”. “While the government should follow the policy of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee regarding the dialogue with Pakistan, it should also talk to separatists,” he suggested.

He said the government should understand the “difference” between terrorists and Kashmiri loyalists who are demonstrating on the roads.

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