New Delhi: Emphasising that Jammu and Kashmir was not an "internal" matter of India, former regent of Kashmir state Dr Karan Singh on Wednesday said India must not stop a dialogue with Pakistan and China.
"We insist Jammu and Kashmir is an internal affair, I agree, but let us not forget that 50 percent of the original state of Jammu and Kashmir is not under our control. There is a very major international aspect to it. There is Pakistan, there is China," Karan Singh who also served as Sadr-i-Riyasat (President) of Kashmir after accession in 1947 said, explaining how a major part of the state is occupied by the two countries.
The son of the last king of the state said the state for which his father Maharaja Hari Singh "signed accession (with India) was 84,000 square miles".
"Today, we have barely 42,000 square miles under our control.
"To say that we will not talk is not a mature response. When we say we do not need to talk to Pakistan, have we legitimised that?" he asked. "You got to keep the dialogue on."
He made the observation while participating in a debate in Rajya Sabha over the situation in Kashmir.
Dr Singh, a veteran Congress leader, said all claim Kashmir to be integral part of India but they ignore the fact that it had acceded to union of India only in three subjects (Defence, External Affairs & Finance).
Expressing concern over the situation in the Kashmir Valley, the Congress leader said pellet guns should be banned in the valley.
"These guns should be banned," he said, urging Home Minister Rajnath Singh to find out some other crowd control measures.
He also urged the state government to be more proactive in restoring normalcy in the valley.
"There has been a breakdown of civil administration. Essential services have broken down," he said, adding that there was a massive humanitarian problem which should also be looked into.
"We have to introspect why thousands of young people are embarked on a path which can only bring death and destruction."
Yechuri : Listen to all ideas on Kashmir
New Delhi: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday said that the use of pellet guns must be stopped, and "blood has been spilt in Kashmir, vultures [are] coming down now."
He reiterated his call to stop use of pellet guns and sending an all-party delegation to visit Kashmir.
"We should stop the use of pellet guns," he said, flashing a picture of a young pellet victim from Kashmir.
"Vulture dives down to carcass only when blood is spilt. Blood has been spilt in Kashmir, vultures coming down now," Yechury said.
Yechury said that the BJP government was not following Vajpayee’s Kashmir model.
"Vajpayee declared unilateral ceasefire in 1990, famously called Ramzan ceasefire. He spoke with Hizbul Mujahedin. Deputy PM Advani in 2004 called a Round Table on Kashmir with Hizb and other separatists. What is preventing govt to begin a political process?" he asked.
“If there is a trust deficit, you have to create an atmosphere of trust. I urge Govt to discuss this issue (Kashmir unrest) with open mind, listen to all ideas, confidence building is required.”
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