Interlocutors indulging in sound byte unilateralism: BJP

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - Hitting out at the interlocutors, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday said the central team on Kashmir had transformed the quiet dialogue mentioned by Home Minister P. Chidambaram into sound byte unilateralism”.

Party spokesman Nirmala Sitharaman said that Radha Kumar, a member of the three-member panel, had made references to amending the constitution to find an acceptable solution to the Kashmir issue.

Even before seriously initiating the task assigned to them, the interlocutors have started suggesting possible amendments to the Indian Constitution. This is wholly unacceptable, Sitharaman said.

She said the Prime Ministers Office should clarify if it is the central governments brief that the interlocutors are voicing”.

It is a case where interlocutors are enlarging their own mandate almost on a daily basis, the spokesperson said.

She said that constitution can never be allowed to become a charter for incorporating the sentiments of azadi.

Azadi may mean something different to the government interlocutors, but the separatists look at it only as a cessation of ties with the Indian Union, she said.

Earlier, party spokesman Ramnath Kovind had also slammed Radha Kumar.

“She is nobody to talk like this. She has no jurisdiction. This is not the way for interlocutors to function,” he said.

Sitharman said that Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the three-member panel, had earlier exceeded his brief by suggesting that there was need to involve Pakistan in any dialogue on Kashmir.

He has never been appointed an advisor or interlocutor to decide parameters of Indias foreign policy. Whether India should discuss the Kashmir issue with Pakistan or not, and if so, when, is a matter to be decided on strategic considerations by the Government of India and the ministry of external affairs. It is wholly outside the domain of a domestic interlocutor, Sitharaman said.

She said that Chidambaram had claimed that a process of quiet dialogue was on for about a year. We now have three interlocutors being appointed on behalf of the union government who have transformed the quite dialogue into a sound byte unilateralism, she said.

The spokesperson alleged that the central government did not have a long-term roadmap on restoring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said that Leh and Jammu continued to face politics of discrimination”, and the central government was not in a position to assure Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs, who have been victims of a near ethnic cleansing, if they can be resettled back in their homes in the Kashmir valley”.

She said that the prime minister had twice constituted groups to to look into economic development of the state and recommend steps to increase employment opportunities and both the panels were headed by C. Rangarajan.

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