NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday claimed that alienating Kashmiris without solving their issues would only lead to Pakistan taking advantage of the situation. The BJP leader who is a Margadarshak Mandal had undertaken a visit to the Kashmir valley without the approval of the party a couple of months ago.
Sinha claimed that the road to Islamabad is via Srinagar and not the other way around. “The way to Srinagar is not via Islamabad. I have been involved in the Kashmir issue in the recent times. I have come to believe that the issues of our people (Kashmiris) should be settled first in order to tackle the disputes with Pakistan," Sinha remarked during a book release function in the national capital.
The senior BJP leader, who had been minister for external affairs, also claimed that once the issues of "our
people" were settled, others involving Pakistan would become easier by engaging Kashmiris. "The people in Kashmir have been alienated which will only allow Pakistan to take advantage," stated Sinha, who added India’s current Pakistan policy has "too many rigidities".
In a veiled criticism of the policy of the Modi government towards Kashmir issue and Pakistan, Sinha claimed that "what happened 40 years ago has become an article of faith”. He argued that with the change of time we should do away with the remaining rigidities. He added that a country's foreign policy must be flexible.
Sinha was speaking at a function to release the book titled “India's Foreign Policy -- Selected Writings”, which is compiled by late academician ML Sondhi and edited by Harsh Pant.