SRI NAGAR: Former J&K Sadr-e-Riyasat senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh has advised the Modi Government to not shy away from talking to Pakistan on all pressing issues including J&K.
“I do not see why we should not talk to Pakistan on all outstanding issues, including J&K,” Karan Singh said in a statement emailed to reporters here.
His statement comes in the recent backdrop of the cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan over Islamabad’s insistence to discuss Kashmir during the talks.
Karan Singh, son of the last Maharaja of J&K Hari Singh, said Pakistan was “in adverse possession” of half of his father’s former kingdom.
“I fail to understand why we are always on the defensive in discussing this with Pakistan,” he said.
Pakistan is in possession of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), part of Kashmir seized by the country in 1948 tribal raids. Indian Parliament has passed repeated resolutions terming PaK an integral part of J&K and called on Pakistan to vacate the areas of J&K, which “they have occupied through aggression”.
Karan Singh, 84, who was appointed Regent of State in 1949 after his father stepped down as the ruler following the State’s accession to India, said for this (talks) to happen, the sanctity of Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) needs to be re-established and peace restored.
Tension is prevailing along the LoC and IB in J&K as Indian and Pakistani troops have been regularly exchanging heavy gunfire and mortar shelling.
At least nine civilians have been killed along the LoC and IB in J&K in Pakistani troops firing and shelling since August 15.
Over three dozen have been injured and many houses have been damaged in the attack.
Karan Singh said, “As one who has been witness to all the Indo-Pakistan conflicts from 1947 onwards, I must sound a note of caution. With enhanced technological capacity on both sides, any war, howsoever short would have disastrous consequences.”