I Have A Solution To Kashmir Problem, Says Karan Singh
19 August 2005
The Indian Express
Jammu: Claiming that he has a solution to the Kashmir problem, former Sardar-e-Riyasat of Jammu Kashmir and senior Congress Member Parliament Dr Karan Singh today said he was never consulted on the issue. Addressing a gathering of prominent citizens' of Jammu here this evening, Dr Singh said, 'I can provide a solution, which is largely acceptable to a cross-section of people, but I haven't done so because there are no takers for it.' Favoring talks with all sections and groups in Jammu and Kashmir, the scion of Dogra dynasty said that there is a difference of opinion, not only among the people of Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu, but even in Gilgit and Baltistan, which are at present under the control of Pakistan. Dr Singh said practically no formula can ever be worked out which is universally acceptable, especially when it concerns the aspirations of the people of Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu and Gilgit-Baltistan. Compromises have to be made to solve the Kashmir issue, he said, adding that in compromise alone lies the solution. The Rajya Sabha MP also made a pointed reference to the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and said it affords enough flexibility to work out a method for arriving at an acceptable answer. Dwelling on the relations between India-Pakistan, Dr Singh said peace gaining momentum in Jammu and Kashmir is a good omen. He said with the opening up of vital links, many misconceptions and false propaganda have been negated. Canvassing strongly for crushing terrorism with an iron hand, Dr Singh said I have a solution to Kashmir problem, says Karan Singh terror activities and friendship ties cannot exist together. He said the recent spurt in violence testifies that terrorism is on the rise in the state. 'Why is it that when the nation is celebrating Independence Day, the monster of terror looms on our minds?' he asked. Quoting poet Shakeel, he said: 'Har cheez nahi hai markaz par, ikh jaarra idhar, ikh jaarra udhar, dushman ko naa dekho nafarat se ki shayad woh mahobbat kar baithe. Then turning his attention from violence to the balanced development of all the three regions of the state, Dr Singh referred to the recommendations of various commission reports. He said Jammu and Kashmir, in its entirety, is a land mass comprising 84,000 sq km, but at present only 42,000 sq km are with the country. The rest is under the control of Pakistan and China. He said that Duggars have always braved the first onslaught in safeguarding the boundaries of the state. Earlier, the MP apprised the citizens of his duties in his new appointment as president of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, a Cabinet rank post. He said every effort would be made to promote cultural bonds with other nations. He added that being a multi-plural, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic nation, India has been endowed glorious and rich civilizations. He said not only the past, even modernity, comes within the ambit of culture, adding that remarkable superiority in information technology too would be shared. He said the coveted post has been decorated with towering personalities, which include S. Radhakrishan, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. On being decorated with the Padma Vibhushan, Dr Singh said it comes in recognition of his 55- year-long stand in public life. He also made a pointed reference to the preservation of the historic Mubarak Mandi and said that being under government domain, less remains within his purview. However, efforts would be made for the conservation of the rich heritage of Duggars, he maintained. Singh was accompanied by his wife, Maharani Yasho Rajya Lakshmi, and his son, former minister Ajatshatru Singh.