Srinagar, Apr 20: A day after Congress constituted a “policy planning group” for Jammu and Kashmir, mainstream opposition political parties while welcoming it also questioned what had happened to the previous initiatives taken by the party.
NC’s additional general secretary Dr Mustafa Kamal said that the initiative taken by the party is a good move. “We are ready to support the group in bringing peace in the Valley besides resolving the Kashmir issue,” he said.
CPI (M) senior leader and MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said that that his party is ready to extend support to any party which tries to find out a way to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“The Kashmir issue must be resolved politically. The initiative taken by the Congress is a welcome step and whosoever will try to find out a way to resolve this issue, we will support them,” Tarigami said.
Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) president, Hakim Muhammad Yasin also welcomed the move but questioned what had happened to the initiatives that Congress took in the past.
“The Congress also constituted a working group and interlocutors’ team on Kashmir. I want to ask the party what has been done with those groups’ reports,” he said.
He said that the Congress must clear its stand on Article 370 and the Kashmir issue.
Pertinently, AICC constituted a “policy-planning group” for Jammu and Kashmir under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to access the situation in Kashmir and help in restoration of peace here.
Meanwhile, the ruling PDP expressed its apprehensions about the developmet.
“Even though it is a welcome move by Congress to constitute Dr Manmohan Singh-led policy planning group on Jammu & Kashmir, but the question is what did this party do to address the issues concerning the state when it was in power at the Centre for a decade between 2004 and 2014,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice-president, Mohammad Sartaj Madni said.
“Mr P Chidambaram, who is now part of the policy planning group, was the Union Home Minister during 2010 unrest. What tangible measures did he take at that time to address the distress and alienation of Kashmiri youth,” Madni said in a statement here.
He said it is unfortunate that as Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh couldn’t take any tangible measures to build on and expand the intra- and inter-state Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) initiated by the previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“The hope for peace and stability in the state which was generated by the CBMs initiated by Mr Vajpayee in 2003 waned due to the failure of the successive Congress governments at the Centre, leading to fresh wave of disenchantment and alienation in Kashmir,” Madni said and added that if that CBMs would have been carried forward, the situation would have been entirely different in Kashmir today.
“If Congress couldn’t do anything on Kashmir when it was in power at the Centre between 2004 and 2014, what can the party do now?” he asked and added “nevertheless if the party has taken a fresh initiative on Kashmir, let’s hope it positively contributes in the government’s efforts to find a way out of the present imbroglio and facilitates forward movement on permanent settlement of the political and economic issues confronting the state.”