Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi likened Jammu & Kashmir to terrorism, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that the until Modi is in office peace in the state is a distant dream. In an exclusive conversation with Ground Report, Aiyar said, “The first light of peace in the tense state of J&K is visible only after the Modi government is removed from power.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday while talking to the BJP workers of Andhra Pradesh under its ‘mera booth
Disapproving the call for an independent Kashmir, Aiyar maintained that the state is an integral part of India and that there is no support for an independent Kashmir either on the ground or among the Kashmiri diaspora. He said that people of J&K should be asked as to which central laws they want to retain and which ones they want to discontinue. “We should start a structured dialogue without being afraid. You will come to some conclusion,” the diplomat turned politician added.
Attacking the government, over the increasing number of encounters and alienation of the Kashmiri people, Aiyar alleged that the Modi government has failed at several fronts when it comes to addressing the Kashmir issue. Supporting his stand for dialogue with Pakistan, Aiyar said that either the government should indulge in a war with the neighbour or should initiate dialogue going forward at the earliest to reduce the increasing tensions. He added that successive governments have failed in improving the situation in Kashmir and urged the people of Kashmir to sit together and be part of the conversation.
Meanwhile an encounter broke out between militants and security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday. The exchange of fire took place in Gulshanpora forest of Tral area. Taking to Twitter, police said, “Exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists at higher reaches of Tral, Awantipora.”
The valley has been tense over the past couple of years with increasing bids of infiltration and encounters with security forces in the areas of South Kashmir close to the Line of Control (LoC).
In what could be deciphered as a new pattern and approach, militants are attacking police officials and their families. Days after four militants were killed in Pulwama, militants barged into the residence of Special Police Officer (SPO) Sameer Ahmad Mir and killed him on Tuesday.