We have lost Kashmiris emotionally, says Yashwant Sinha
Former Finance Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha has said that India has “lost people in Jammu and Kashmir emotionally.
“I am looking at the alienation of the masses of people in Jammu and Kashmir. That is something which bothers me the most… We have lost the people emotionally… You just have to visit the valley to realise that they have lost faith in us,” Sinha told Karan Thapar in an interview.
He said that the people in Kashmir are still waiting from Modi’s 15 August [promise of an embrace] and now it has been six weeks.
Sinha also took a dig Rajnath Singh over his recent Jammu and Kashmir visit where he said that he was ready to hold dialogue with all stakeholders.
“Then the home minister (Rajnath Singh) goes to Srinagar and he says ‘we are prepared to talk to all stakeholders, I invite all stakeholders to talk to me’. Now, what is this? That he is sitting in the guest house, and people will come and seek an appointment? Is this the way a dialogue is conducted?” he asked.
Sinha said he was “absolutel hurt” for being denied a meeting by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I will not talk to [Modi and Rajnath on Kashmir] now. Why? Because I waited for ten months. I waited for six weeks. I am not at their beck and call, that whenever they want they can tell me ‘come, I want to talk with you’.”
“I am hurt. I am absolutely hurt. That you ask for time, ten months has gone by…Let me tell you, Karan, ever since I have been in public life, no prime minister of India, starting with Rajiv Gandhi, has ever said no to a meeting I have sought… no prime minister has said to Yashwant Sinha, ‘I don’t have time for you.’ And this is my own prime minister who has treated me like this. So if somebody rings me and says please come talk to me—sorry, the time has passed… I have been treated shabbily.”
He said that dialogue with Pakistan was important to find a final resolution to Jammu and Kashmir problem.
“Our policy towards Pakistan must be informed by consistency. At the same time I will say that Pakistan is, unfortunately, a necessary third party in Jammu and Kashmir… And therefore, if you want a final resolution then we’ll have to involve with Pakistan at some point of time… Yes, you can’t carry on with this forever.”