NEW DELHI: Former security experts and bureaucrats welcomed PM Narendra Modi’s statement about removing ‘Dil ki duuri aur Dilli ki duuri’, terming it as a positive outcome of the meeting held with 14 leaders of Jammu and Kashmir in the capital on Thursday.
“That’s a very positive statement coming from the Prime Minister. I’m sure the response of someone like Farooq Abdullah would be to say that he would act as a bridge between Delhi and Srinagar. I am sure all the leaders there would look for something that’s good for Kashmir as well as for India,” said AS Dulat, former R&AW chief and advisor to former PM AB Vajpayee on Kashmir.
Dulat said Kashmir needs a revival of the political process and that without it there could be no military solution to the Kashmir issue. “When and how elections will be held that is for New Delhi to decide, but Thursday’s discussions will be a good beginning, a good first step. Statehood is something that New Delhi is committed to. Ultimately, Delhi’s views will prevail but Kashmiris need accommodation and statehood is that accommodation I believe.”
Skandan Krishnan, a former IAS officer who served as an advisor to former J&K governor Satyapal Malik, said that for issues such as reservation in jobs and domicile, the Centre could take a positive view of the demands.
He also laid importance to the timing of the meeting. “It’s a positive thing. The timing is also appropriate because of the developments in Afghanistan and the fact that Pakistan has also agreed to a ceasefire that is largely holding. Also, terrorism has come down. So, Delhi would want to show to the world that the government is intent on restoring democratic process in the Valley.”
He added that leaders of only the parties which won elections in J&K were called for the meeting, hinting that this process of dialogue will lead to “some good outcomes”. Regarding the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the kashmir Valley, the former bureaucrat added that it was an issue on which New Delhi would want to be seen to be doing something.