Pak An Unnecessary Third Party In J&K: PC

4 November 2009
The Indian Express
Ishfaq Naseem

Jammu: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday termed Pakistan as an “unnecessary third party” in the J&K problem, which thinks it has a role to play in resolving the issue. Addressing Congress workers at the party headquarters here, he said: “We can’t wish away the political issue. Indiraji and Rajivji tried to find a solution to the Kashmir problem. Initiation was also made by Vajpayee, but we have also Pakistan which is an unnecessary third party that feels it has a role to play.” Chidambaram said the government would be talking to all political parties in the state to find a durable solution to the issue. “We will talk to the PDP, NC and even to the state unit of the Congress and even the smaller parties. We need to talk to the people of all shades of political opinion including those at the sub-regional level, with the people in Ladakh and Jammu as well,” he said. He said the ongoing militancy does not worry India and added that militant violence is already witnessing a drop, with this year reporting the lowest number of casualties of civilians and security forces in the state. The Home Minister stressed on holding dialogues at the internal level, saying that the central government was assessing the “aspirations, doubts and feelings of the people”. While he maintained that a political solution to the Kashmir problem was must, he said that the state government should show progress on governance front. “We are for a durable solution of the Jammu and Kashmir problem, but we can’t even blame each other for lack of governance. The NC, Congress and PDP have all ruled in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Referring to the delay in spending of funds under the Prime Minister’s reconstruction plan in the state, Chidambaram said the central government would constantly monitor it. “The PM’s reconstruction package is not only about the rehabilitation of Kashmiri pandits. It has been given for construction of railway and even power and road projects. We will continuously follow it up. I have asked the Cabinet Secretary and he will again come to the state in February to review its implementation,” he said. He said the political resolution of the Kashmir problem included the return of Kashmiri Pandits back to the Valley. “We are committed to the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. In Jammu and Kashmir, it was the duty of Muslims to protect the Hindus. It is the golden rule of democracy that majority must protect the minority,” he said. “I have emphasized at Deoband that it is not only the religious majority which has to protect the minority, but even the people from ethnic and linguistic majority should protect the minorities.”