PC Hints At Political Package For Kashmir
4 November 2009
: Claiming to have a sharp eye on the internal and the external situation in Kashmir and hinting at an imminent political package, the union home minister, P Chidambaram, said in Jammu today that “all aspects” were being considered to make talks in the state successful, and that Kashmiri Pandits would be included in the process. The home minister linked the ban on pre-paid mobile phones to the security situation, and said that there was no need to “make a song-and-dance” about such issues. During his interaction with a delegation of migrant Pandits, the home minister said that the community had a definite role in the Kashmir issue and that it should be given due representation in the talks process. Chidambaram asserted that Kashmiri Muslims, including separatist leaders, were in favour of the Pandits’ return to the valley, and that repeated appeals to the effect had been made regularly. “The only elements averse to the Pandits’ return are those who have grabbed their lands,” he said. Later addressing Congress workers at the party headquarters, Chidambaram said that the center would take all steps to bring the situation back to normal in Jammu and Kashmir. “All aspects are being considered to make the talks in the state decisive so that the process is successful and quiet diplomacy achieves its goals,” he said. “A political package side by side with an economic package has become imperative for the state, and the center has decided to carry the talks process forward through quiet diplomacy,” he said. Regretting the Services decision not to play its Ranji Trophy match in Srinagar, the union home minister advised the team to talk to the BCCI and hold its matches in Kashmir as scheduled. “The security situation in Kashmir has improved, and no team should have problems in playing matches there,” he said. Replying to a question on the recent ban on pre-paid mobile phones in the state, the home minister said that it was not a big issue to be made a song and dance about. “Such decisions are periodically taken for national security, and there should be no alarm over it,” he said. The home minister was learnt to have reviewed the security situation In the state at a high-level meeting of the army, the paramilitary forces and the police. The home minister directed the forces to be vigilant in view of the internal situation in Pakistan and the possibility of attacks in India following Taliban strikes in the neighbouring country.