BENGALURU: Former Union minister and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and noted historian Ramachandra Guha said it needs guts to sit and talk and resolve the Kashmir issue.
At a ‘Kashmir Flashpoint’ event organised by the Indian Economic Trade Organisation in association with Lehar NGO and Tawazun Foundation on Monday, Aiyar said India-Pakistan Partition was an accident.
“If Pakistan was not divided, there would be 1.5 billion Indians today. Kashmir issue needs to be resolved with one-on-one talks with the people concerned in Pakistan. Manmohan Singh (former PM) tried talking to some of them which did not happen,” he said.
Referring to Prime Minister Modi, he said those who have guts to conduct surgical strikes, seem to have no guts in holding dialogue and resolving the issue. “If they had sat for dialogue, things would not have turned that ugly in Kashmir,” he said.
“How many surgical strikes will they conduct? The number of surgical strikes on Pakistan for occupying Kashmir is more than the terror attacks by them on Kashmir in India. But the consequences of attack remains the same. Both are increasing,” he said.
Guha said while the present Congress is a corrupt party filled with cronies, the BJP is no better and it has its hands dirty when it comes to Kashmir.
“If Modi has the courage, he should go to Kashmir and talk. He mentioned that the Nehru-Gandhi family has been a curse to the Congress party, especially when it comes to Kashmir. “Apart from Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nehru, other Indian Prime Ministers have not done much for Kashmir,” he said.
Guha said in 1949, Sardar Vallabhai Patel in a letter to G D Birla, mentioned that Kashmir will give a headache in the coming days. “Even after so many decades, Kashmir is still a headache, the problem is not resolved,” he said.
A S Dulat, former RAW chief, said the events during the last four months in Kashmir have been extremely depressing. “Today, the boys on the street, the children of the revolutionaries feel alienated and there is a lot of hatred. They also have more determination and hence have a do-or-die attitude to carry it till the end, which is dangerous," he said.
“Hence, it is necessary to engage in talks and to never stop talking,” the former RAW chief added.