‘NDA Incapacitated Our Earlier Initiative’4 June 2011
Srinagar: The Kashmir Committee head and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Ram Jethmalani Saturday blamed the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of incapacitating his mission Kashmir. “For more than one reason, we left the mission half way. We did this mainly because allegations were levelled that we were obstructing the dialogue process in Kashmir, launched by the NDA government. It was none else but the then NDA government which impeded our role,” Jethmalani told Greater Kashmir in an exclusive interview here. Jethmalani said the four-point proposal of former Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf with slight modifications can provide the basis for the settlement of Kashmir issue. “I have myself suggested some changes in it and the same were approved by him (Gen Musharraf). He might be dictator and done wrong to Pakistanis, but he was a best person,” Jethmalani said. The former Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf’s four-point solution comprised phased withdrawal of troops; local self-governance; making the borders in Kashmir irrelevant; and a joint mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir “I have been since waiting for suitable opportunity, when our initiative wouldn’t be obstructed by others and there was also encouragement from Pakistan side this time as they are very serious,” he said, referring to the revival of the Kashmir Committee, headed by him. About the appointment of interlocutors by the Centre in the wake of last year’s unrest in which 118 youth were killed, Jethmalani said he went against the party line and supported the endeavour. “They (Centre) knew the work we were doing, but didn’t want to give credit to us .The chief interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar was also part of our panel earlier,” he added. About the summer unrest of the past three years, Jethmalani said much of the “mischief done in the Valley is exported from outside.” “There could be an indigenous component as well and I believe that Kashmiris are not terrorists. The youngsters killed during the unrest were not militants,” he added. About the formation of panels by various political parties, the BJP leader said that their objective was almost same. “But the question is who is more sincere and serious,” he added. Pertinently the Kashmir Committee which was active during 2002- 2004 was revived last month with Ambassador VK Grover (Retd), Journalist MJ Akbar, academician Madhu Kishwar and Waheed-ur-Rehman as its members. During its first stint, the panel failed to break the ice with most of the separatist leaders except Hurriyat (M) and Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmed Shah.