Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday took aim at the Modi government for its failure to restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Chidambaram slammed the Centre’s “hard, muscular, militaristic” approach in handling terrorism in the restive state, which far from yielding positive results has exacerbated the problem instead.
Commenting on the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor for Kashmir, Chidambaram said the initiative was rebuffed by various stakeholders in the valley as a pre-poll gimmick.
“On the eve of the election in Gujarat, the government appointed Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative (SR), but his mandate was not clear. Subsequently, it was indicated that the SR will talk to anyone who was willing to meet him, and therein lies the catch… The way forward is to invite all stakeholders for talks. Unfortunately, the stakeholders have perceived the appointment of the SR as a pre-election gimmick and have totally rebuffed the good fellow,” he tweeted.
The Congress leader said that wisdom lay in actively working towards a political solution to the issues of J&K, where a separatist campaign raging since 1989 has claimed thousands of lives.
Separately, another Congress leader, Kapil Sibal, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetoric over Jammu and Kashmir had come apart.
“Soldiers and policemen martyred almost daily. Will government explain? When will we stop losing lives?” he demanded in a tweet.
The double-edged criticism came a day after terrorists triggered an explosion in Sopore district in which four policemen lost their lives.
Chidambaram, a long time advocate of autonomy in Kashmir, had recently sparked controversy when he’d suggested the question of greater autonomy should be “seriously examined” and it should be considered in which areas it could be granted.