After leading two delegations to Kashmir in the last couple of months, senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha feels that the people in the valley are “completely isolated” and the situation is worsening by the day.
Speaking on “Issues related to Jammu and Kashmir,” organized by Jamshedpur Citizen’s Forum on Saturday, Sinha, who was also the external affairs minister of the earlier NDA government, said, “The situation has not yet improved, rather it is deteriorating day by day as the people of the Valley feel completely alienated.”
Recalling his interaction with a person in Shopian, Sinha said the person had (sarcastically) thanked Indian government for dispelling all fears from their heart “as they no longer fear bullet or pellet gun in the wake of government’s approach.”
Explaining the reason why the people were feeling alienated, Sinha said they complained that the forces did not use pellet guns during agitations by Jat community, Patel community in Gujarat or during the Cauvery water agitation but used them only in Jammu and Kashmir. “They alleged that the government wanted to blind the youth by using pellet guns only in the Valley.” he said.
Sinha said, over 100 people were killed and around 1,000 lost their eye-sight in pellet gun shots by the security forces since the violence broke out following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The senior BJP leader said his delegation to the Valley was based on the guiding principles of Jayprakash Narayan, who believed that dialogue was the only way to solve any problem.
“In order to solve the problems, an initiative should be made to hold talks with all stakeholders including All Party Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley,” Sinha said, insisting on “the spirit espoused by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” which was based on “Insaniyat (Humanity) and assurance not to tamper with Article 370 of the constitution.”