SRINAGAR: CPI(M) today asked the Centre to initiate steps for breaking ground with Pakistan to end hostilities along the border which is affecting the innocent civilians.
"...the ground needs to be broken and peace must prevail (along the Line of Control and International border in Jammu and Kashmir). That is upto the government. We have been telling the Centre that the time for talking is over and we have to walk the talk now," CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
Describing the cross border shelling in the state as "very unfortunate", he said the border tensions have flared at the same time when the state is reeling from the effects of the devastating floods.
"The Modi government even before assuming office said the atmosphere is changing. The government said they will reduce the border tensions on the basis of dialogue but there are no results to be seen so far," he said.
The CPI(M) leader said the talks must resume at the earliest for de-escalation of the tension on the border and stop the losses caused by hostilities.
"First the government said we will carry forward the process of Indo-Pak talks. Kashmir is a dispute which we have agreed is to be mutually resolved between India and Pakistan and those talks will continue along with talks in other areas for good neighbourly relations.
"This was the announcement made by the Modi government prior to assuming office and soon after that. I am only going by what they have said. There is nothing I am advocating," he said.
The CPI(M) leader said "If this is what you have said, then what is happening? You have said a new atmosphere has been created in the country, a decisive government has come. If that is the case, where is that decisiveness".
He said it was up to the government now how to end the hostilities.
"CPI(M) has always maintained that disputes between India and Pakistan should and can only be resolved through talks. Confrontation and conflict is not the answer. There is no end to it and the result often and invariably is that it is the innocent people who are the victims of this crossfire," he said.
However, Yechury said the priority should be relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people in the state and to ensure that, "it is necessary that you have to take some initiative to resolve these hostilities across the border".
Questioning the decision of the BJP-led government to cancel Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan over separatists meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner in August in Delhi, the CPI(M) leader said "We are aware of the fact that the Centre cancelled the talks with Pakistan but we have asked that question at that point of time in the parliament but there was no answer (from the government).
"The Hurriyat leaders meeting the representatives of Pakistan is not any novel thing that has happened. They have been continuously doing it, virtually at a regular interval and all these meetings have not only approved but facilitated by the Government of India. How could this meeting take place without the Government of India's not merely cognisance but approval? That is the question the Government has to answer," he said.
Referring to the invitation send to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif by Modi on his swearing-in ceremony, he said "You (Modi) talked of a new atmosphere and a new relation that will be build up. What has happened to all that?
"The talks can and must continue. No doubt it needs an atmosphere but you have to take an initiative that we are yet to hear. What breaking ground India is suggesting?" he asked.