Ex Indian minister says going to UN was a mistake

New Delhi, November 19 (KMS): Former Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh while admitting the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir has said it was India’s mistake to move the United Nations on the Kashmir issue.

K. Natwar Singh in a media interview in New Delhi said, “The fundamental mistake was to go to the UN on the Kashmir issue. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was pushed into it by Governor General Mountbatten.”

Referring to the nature of the dispute, the former Indian External Affairs Minister pointed out, “We went to the UN under Chapter 6, which is on disputes. We should have gone under chapter 7 which is on aggression,” Natwar Singh said.

About Pak-India relations, he said these relations are “chronically accident-prone”. Singh, 87, also says that India made a fundamental mistake by going to the United Nations on the Kashmir issue. At the same time, he claimed there is no solution to it “as everything has been tried”. He said every Indian prime minister and foreign minister think he can resolve the Kashmir issue and smoothen Indo-Pak relations.

“The future of Indo-Pak relations lies in the past. Both countries carry too much baggage… I don’t see any change in our relationship. It is cheese and chalk… as simple as that. It’s a great pity,” he said.

Asked about the way forward in India-Pakistan relations, Natwar Singh, whose last diplomatic posting was as India’s envoy to Pakistan and then Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that status quo would continue.

In India, he said, “It is not possible for anybody, any Prime Minister in the future to fundamentally change the framework of foreign policy laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru. If it was possible to change it, it would have been changed. So, I don’t think fundamentally he (Modi) has departed from it.”

Asked if the Modi government was getting too close to the US, Natwar Singh said: “No, he has been quite clever. He has been to Russia, he has been to China.” However, he said the Modi government should have handled its relations better with Nepal.

Natwar’s Singh’s latest book, “Treasured Epistles”, a collection of letters from some noted personalities, including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was published earlier this year.

Natwar Singh was a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government and External Affairs Minister in the first Congress-led UPA government.

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