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.
Quoting data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), he pointed out that the number of civilians and terrorists killed in J&K had almost doubled from 28 to 57 and from 110 to 218 from 2014 to 2017 respectively. The number of security forces killed had also shot up from 47 to 83 in this period.
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.