Despite counsel, govt unlikely to engage separatists for talks
The members of the all-party delegation, headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, met on Tuesday and discussed the outcome of their interactions with civil society, political parties and government officials during the visit on September 4 and 5. A unanimous statement of the APD released after the meeting appealed to the people of the state to shun the path of violence and resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussion.
However, later in the evening BJP general secretary and party’s key man in Jammu and Kashmir said the demand for a “political solution” to the Kashmir issue , was mere a “slogan” raised by “romantic” people and asserted that those who do not believe in the Indian constitution would be dealt with firmly.
“Our government’s policy is clear. Militants and terror will be dealt with sternly and those who do not believe in the Constitution of India will be treated firmly,” Madhav told reporters at the sidelines of a conclave on homeland security.
The all party delegation, without making any reference to separatists including Hurriyat Conference, in its statement had asked the Central and state governments “to take steps for a dialogue with all stake holders.” While some opposition leaders had met Hurriyat Conference leaders lodged in various sub jails, hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to meet them.
Referring to the incident, Madhav said, “There is no alternative to talks. In strategic discourse it is sometimes said while talking is a part of strategy, not talking is also a part of strategy. As part of a strategy you don’t talk. As part of romance you have to talk always. Even if the doors are not open, still you have to go. You need two people for talks.”
Lashing out at separatists, Madhav said, “They want violence and get innocents killed. They do not want solution. Solution is possible only if they talk. They are not ready for it. They are not ready to open even their doors. They enjoy fuelling violence and getting innocents killed.”
India summons Basit over discourtesy to envoy
India on Wednesday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a strong protest over the “discourtesy” shown to India’s envoy to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale.
“Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned today to the Ministry of External Affairs and conveyed the concern of Government of India by Secretary (West) (Sujata Mehta) on discourtesy to Indian High Commissioner,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Basit was conveyed India’s view on the discourtesy towards Bambawale by Karachi Chamber of Commerce that cancelled an event at the last minute. Bambawale was scheduled to speak at the event, invite for which was received and accepted by him a couple of weeks ago. “He (Basit) was also conveyed our hope that our accredited diplomats in Pakistan will be allowed to discharge their normal functions without hindrance,” Swarup said.
Bambawale, who was on his first visit to Karachi after assuming charge in January this year, was told about the cancellation just half an hour before the event. The organisers did not give a reason immediately for the cancellation.