Zardari Talking Out Of Turn: Kashmir Committee
5 March 2008
Srinagar: The convener of New Delhi’s Kashmir Committee, Ashok Bhan, today said that PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari’s statement on Kashmir was clear proof of his political immaturity, and that the centre should immediately begin talks with separatist groups without waiting for Pakistan. Talking to the KNS from New Delhi, Bhan said that Zardari’s statement on Kashmir was his personal opinion, and that he was speaking as a businessman and not as a political leader. He said that Zardari’s remarks were clear proof of his political immaturity,and that they would have no impact on the Kashmir issue. Commenting on the present situation in Pakistan, Bhan said that it continued to be sensitive, but India should not wait for the situation. Instead it should take measures to revive the stalled dialogue process. “The situation in Pakistan needs to be understood. And the central government should seriously start the talks,” he said. Bhan advised the centre to start talks with separatists immediately for restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir, and broaden their base to include all sections so that an acceptable solution to the Kashmir issue is found. “Until the Kashmir issue is hanging, peace will remain a dream. The issue is a hindrance to speedy development and peace in the subcontinent,” he said. “It is imperative to resolve the issue to rid the people of the state of their mental agony. The longer you delay, the more complicated the issue will become,” he said. “The people of the state have to be pulled out the uncertainty. As soon as serious steps are begun to resolve the issue, the ways to a solution will appear automatically,” he said. Bhan said that the return of the Pandits to the valley would be a welcome step, and that serious attempts to bring them back would get a positive response.