The Indian Left wants Centre to bring Pak to discussion table on Kashmir

By: | Published: September 3, 2016 10:08 PM

Speaking to mediapersons after a consultation meeting with intellectuals here on the Kashmir issue, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his CPI counterpart Sudhakar Reddy also urged Hurriyat leaders to discuss their positions with the delegation to find a solution to the problem.

"But at the same time, the engagement with Pakistan is also important," Yechury, who is part of the 30-member delegation, said. (PTI)“But at the same time, the engagement with Pakistan is also important,” Yechury, who is part of the 30-member delegation, said. (PTI)

Ahead of the all-party delegation’s visit to Kashmir in the wake of ongoing unrest, Left parties today asked the Centre to bring Pakistan to the discussion table, besides holding talks with other stakeholders including Hurriyat leaders to find a “final solution” to the problem.

Speaking to mediapersons after a consultation meeting with intellectuals here on the Kashmir issue, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his CPI counterpart Sudhakar Reddy also urged Hurriyat leaders to discuss their positions with the delegation to find a solution to the problem.

“A final solution to this (problem) cannot happen without engaging with Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan’s involvement in cross-border infiltration, terrorism…on that all of us have said unitedly that the country as a whole will face it.

“But at the same time, the engagement with Pakistan is also important,” Yechury, who is part of the 30-member delegation, said.

On asked whether inviting Pakistan to come to discussion table will mean converting the issue as one associated with Pakistan and not India’s internal matter, Yechury said “the Kashmir dispute is between Pakistan and India”.

“(However) there is no scope for third party involvement nor there is a requirement. This is an Indo-Pak dispute,” he said.

To a question, Yechury said the NDA government itself had taken this position of holding dialogue with Pakistan “embracing all issues including that of Kashmir”.

Speaking further, Yechury reiterated he had raised the issue of inviting Hurriyat leaders for discussion during all-party members’ meeting with the government earlier in the day. He though said the government remained “non-committal” over the demand.

“It is up to the government to invite them (Hurriyat leaders). We want to meet the them. JD(U), RJD and DMK leaders supported the demand during the meeting,” he added.

Referring to media reports claiming hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s opposition to holding talks with the delegation, Yechury said, “I don’t know (about the reports)…we are only telling them you talk to us, tell us your conditions. Without discussions there can’t be a solution.”

“This morning they heard us, they did not say no, did not say yes. As has been happening in this government, the yes or no can come only after the Prime Minister’s approval or disapproval,” said Yechury.

“Come and speak. We believe these (discussions) are being held late. Had this been held earlier, such a situation would not have arisen. But the delegation’s visit should not go futile,” he said, echoing Yechury.

Reddy also urged the “stakeholders involved” not to take a “stiff” position on the issue and hold talks with the delegation.

CPI national secretary D Raja, who also attended the briefing, hoped the discussions would “pave ground for the process to find political solution to the issue”.

CPI(M) politburo member Hannan Mollah also attended the briefing.

The Left parties suggested the internal dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir should proceed on the basis of “reversing the erosion of Article 370”.

They said the three regions of the state – Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh – should have autonomous structure within the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“This will entail changes in the Constitutional and legal scheme which can begin by revising the existing orders and laws. Ultimately, a fresh framework should emerge,” a statement issued jointly by Yechury and Reddy said.

Stressing the need for emotional bonding with people of Kashmir, the parties also made a strong pitch for withdrawal of pellet guns and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, ordering judicial probe into all the alleged instances of excesses committed by armed forces against civilians, offering adequate compensation to all families who have suffered loss of lives.

“The people in the rest of the country are being fed various stereotypes about the Kashmiri people. Kashmiris are being depicted as secessionists, terrorists and pro-Pakistan.

“This must be put to an end. Reports of attacks on Kashmiri youth in other parts of the country must be immediately investigated and culprits punished,” Yechury added.

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