Karan Singh Urges Hurriyat to Take Part in 2014 Elections

  • People should not boycott polls
  • India wants friendly relations with Pakistan
  • I have my own formula for Kashmir
  • Shiekh Abdullah was a towering personality

SRINAGAR - Advising Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference to participate in the 2014 assembly elections, senior Congress leader and former Sadr-e-Riyasat, Dr Karan Singh Thursday said India would never say no if the separatist leaders came on the table unconditionally.

“Let them get in touch with Delhi like the Nagas did and have a dialogue on Kashmir. India believes only dialogue with Hurriyat and Pakistan can yield positive results. We must give credit to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who put in all efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan,” said Dr Singh adding that election boycott deprived people of their right to form a good government.

He said Hurriyat leaders especially Mirwaiz should start an unconditional dialogue with GoI. 

“There is nothing wrong in dialogue. Hurriyat will lose nothing if they come on the table. Government of India has reciprocated to Nawaz Sharif’s positive signal. Good relations between the two countries are in the interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and that is how the Kashmir issue can be resolved,” said Dr. Singh.  

Reacting to a question, Dr. Singh said Autonomy or Self-rule would be applicable only if these formulae catered to the interests of people from all the three regions of J&K. “I have developed my own formula which I will make public at a suitable time,” he said adding that the state was not only Kashmir but Jammu and Ladakh as well.

Dr. Singh while expressing regret over election boycott said, “It can’t go both ways. People after boycotting elections complain about misgovernance. How can a government of their choice be formed if the people don’t come out to cast their vote?”

When asked about his views on AFSPA, Dr Singh called it a controversial issue. “It is the job of the local police and administration to prepare a detailed report and inform the Central Government about the magnitude of threat perception if ever that exists. Government of India hasn’t imposed AFSPA for fun,” said Dr. Singh, “there must be some logic behind it.” 

The former Regent of the state said he would appraise the UPA Chairperson about the J&K situation once he was back in Delhi. 

He said J&K was never a state but it was during the Dogra rule that the five regions were joined together and the shape of a state was given to them. “Kashmir has its own history, culture and tradition and the Dogras enriched it during their hundred years of rule,” he said. 

Dr. Singh said Sheikh Abdullah gave Kashmiris a space and relieved them of their miseries. “I don’t care whether people agree with me or not but it is a fact that Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah was a towering personality who raised the living standard of the Kashmiris. People criticise him because he acceded to India but he had no option given the situation at that point in time,” said Dr. Singh adding there was a time when Shiekh utilised all his resources to pave way for “my” defeat in parliamentary elections, however, he did not succeed.

Dr. Singh expressed anguish over the plight of Dal Lake and said that during his Regency, the world famous lake was spread over twenty seven square kilometers but now it had shrunken to just eleven. “There is so much of pollution in and around the Dal,” said Dr. Singh, “and a lot of illegal structures have come up along its banks and inside it.”


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