New Delhi, October 25 (KMS): Indian opposition parties including Congress and Communist Party as well as editors and writers have expressed doubt about seriousness of Modi-led government to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, addressing a joint press conference of opposition leaders in New Delhi said, the Congress party suspects the intent of the BJP government in resolving the Kashmir issue. He termed the appointment of an interlocutor as mere a publicity act.

“This government has no Kashmir policy,” said Azad, who was flanked by Derek O’Brien of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal-United. He said that had the government taken steps as suggested by the Congress-led opposition, many precious lives and the eyesight of many young girls who lost them due to pellet guns could have been saved.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Chief, Sitaram Yechury, said that India was pursuing a flip-flop policy regarding Jammu and Kashmir that had added to the sense of alienation and dejection among the Kashmiri people. He said, “We will support any initiative to restore peace. But this government’s track record regarding the state (J&K) does not inspire confidence.” The CPI-M leader said this government’s Kashmir policy lacked clarity and sincerity. “This has caused misgivings among the people. The unanimous suggestions made by leaders cutting across party lines in the wake of the visit of all-party delegation led by Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Valley have not been implemented even after lapse of a year,” he added.

Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, Ajay Sahni said, “I do not believe the talks will have any direction. There will be no turn-around due to such directionless talks. This announcement is a gamble. These talks may work, or they may not. But it is not something to be taken seriously.”

Pravin Sawhney, the Editor of FORCE – an Indian defence magazine – said, “The new interlocutor has only been asked to go and feel the pulse on the ground. I do not see anything in this move. He is just a bureaucrat with no political clout. Prime Minister Modi has not shown any inclination that he is serious about the political issue in Kashmir. He will talk of development but not of politics in Kashmir.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on Monday appointed Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB), as its interlocutor for Kashmir. Announcing his appointment, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that Sharma would initiate a sustained dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

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