New Delhi: CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has reiterated that there was no alternative to talks in Kashmir, and urged the government to initiate “unconditional political dialogue” with all stakeholders on Friday.
“A few steps to immediately restore confidence amongst the people in the state are essential, to calm tempers and help normalise the situation in the Valley,” Yechury writes in the forthcoming issue of party mouthpiece — People’s Democracy.
“The governments in Srinagar and Delhi must do what is necessary to win back the trust of the people and take the process of unconditional political dialogue with all stakeholders forward.There is no alternative to talking, especially talking to those we may not agree with, and to those holding different shades of opinions,” he writes.
The Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) leader recalled that during the NDA-1 government, the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani had held talks with the Hurriyat leaders in Delhi in January 2004.
He says that in the absence of concrete trust building measures, slogans sound hollow.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘vikas aur vishwas’ sound hollow and meaningless if they are not backed by concrete actions.
Both vikas (development) and vishwas (trust) cannot drop from the skies. They have to be created through concrete planned actions,” Yechury writes.
“A few steps to immediately restore confidence amongst the people in the state are essential. Starting with stopping the use of pellet guns, the government must compensate those who have lost loved ones, or been blinded or suffered losses in this time, must identify those guilty of excesses against unarmed civilians, on the basis of a judicial enquiry take action against them and withdraw AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from civilian areas,” he adds.
He says this step should be accompanied by the immediate implementation of long pending development projects in the state with focus on employment generation.
He recalls how former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave the slogan of ‘jamhooriyat, insaniyat and Kashmiriyat’, but this was accompanied by a unilateral ceasefire announced by the government of India.
“Similarly, the government of India today must take concrete steps on the lines that we have suggested,” he says.