CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami today urged the Centre not to use the Army “as an instrument to further its political agenda” and to keep it “away from politics”. The MLA from south Kashmir’s Kulgam also questioned Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s remarks defending Major Leetul Gogoi who had used a Kashmiri man as a ‘human shield’ against stone pelters last month. “I advise the Government of India to keep the Army out of politics. Whatever your agenda is, whichever way you see Kashmir and its people, stop using the Army as an instrument to take forward a political agenda. It is not good for the Army and the institutions of the country,” he told reporters.
In a recent interview to PTI, Gen. Rawat had said the Army was facing a “dirty war” in Jammu and Kashmir and it had to be fought through “innovative” ways. He had also strongly defended the use of a Kashmiri man as a ‘human shield’ by Major Gogoi. Tarigami questioned the “intention” behind the Chief of the Army Staff’s comments.
“I want to ask the Army Chief, what does he want to convey through his statements? My question to the chief of the world’s largest army is that have we reached a point where we intend to start a war with our own people, those we say are our integral part?” wondered the CPI(M) leader. He said it was unfortunate that Union ministers Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu were “giving sanctions” to the statements of the Army Chief.
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“What is most unfortunate is that political leaders such as the defence minister and the urban development minister have given sanctions to the Army Chief’s comments. I am surprised when it is said that a war-like situation exists in Kashmir and the commanders can take decisions at their level.
“The country still has a Parliament, Emergency has not been imposed and there is no martial law in Kashmir that an army commander will do whatever he wants to,” said Tarigami. Terming the three-year rule of the Narendra Modi government as a “failure”, the CPI(M) leader said the people of Kashmir were feeling dejected because of its policies.
“If we analyse the Centre’s policies, especially with regard to Kashmir, we feel dejected. We have come to realise that this government is really furthering the RSS agenda. “The BJP is a political platform of the RSS, whose agenda is fascist and to turn the country into a Hindu rashtra (Hindu nation). This is the reason that minorities are becoming targets,” he claimed.
Batting for a “credible dialogue process” between India and Pakistan, Tarigami said the Centre needed to shed away its “bitter jingoism and aggressive nationalism”, which had become “a core element of its Kashmir policy”. Deferring the process will not only add to the pain of the people of Kashmir, but will also have an adverse effect on the country’s image, he added.
“I feel that the bitter jingoism and aggressive nationalism have become a core element of the (Centre’s) Kashmir policy. Give it up. Both the countries should exhibit maturity and start a credible dialogue process,” said Tarigami, adding that no military solution could possibly resolve the issue. He appealed for a ceasefire in the holy month of Ramzan, saying it could help create a conducive atmosphere to address the issue. The veteran CPI(M) leader also appealed to the students in the Valley to focus on their education, instead of politics.