Interlocutor decision suspect, only for publicity: Congress

Azad slams govt for wasting three-and-a-half years

Interlocutor decision suspect, only for publicity: Congress

The Congress on Tuesday said the Centre’s intention in appointing an interlocutor for Jammu & Kashmir was “suspect” as the decision had come at the fag end of its tenure.

“The intention of the government is suspect as the decision has come at the fag end of their tenure. This is only for publicity,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here.

He accused the government of wasting three-and-a-half-years by pursuing a “muscular approach” and ignoring the Opposition’s demands for a political solution to the issue.

Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, said the Narendra Modi government followed a policy of hot pursuit and set aside the UPA initiative of Confidence Building Measures.
“We were saying Kashmir is a political issue and should be settled politically. No political issue can be sorted out through hot pursuit,” said Azad.

The Congress leader said had the government appointed an interlocutor earlier, hundreds of civilians, security personnel and innocent women and children would not have lost their lives to mindless violence.

“This government has no Kashmir policy, no GST policy, no demonetisation policy. They only know the policy of divide and rule which was employed by foreign rulers,” Azad said.Congress leader Manish Tewari said the appointment of an interlocutor was indicative that realists in the Modi government have prevailed over hawks.

RSS’ support

The RSS has decided to back the Modi government’s appointment of former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma as an “interlocutor” for sustained dialogue to bring peace to Jammu and Kashmir.

A senior RSS functionary on Tuesday saw it as part of the “correct” strategy of the government, which helped create a conducive environment for talks.“We can see a distinct reduction in the number of incidents of stone-pelting and terror,” RSS leader Indresh Kumar said.

He told reporters that “our security forces neutralised several terrorists and we are also seeing that people are agitating against their own administration in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.”Kumar also said the government’s initiative to start dialogue “should not be seen as a decision made under compulsion.”


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