Srinagar: Senior J&K Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra said that everybody who met the Manmohan Singh-led Congress group in Srinagar wanted a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
“The Congress-led Kashmir group met hundreds of civil society members, including the one led by Nayeema Hameed. He also met intellectuals and opinion makers of Kashmir. These eminent people talked with an open mind. Whatever they had to say, the thrust was on a final settlement of the Kashmir political dispute,” Karra told Kashmir Reader.
Karra said that the civil society members and opinion makers asked the former prime minister about the deal he had nearly reached with former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf on Kashmir.
“Singh sahib replied that everybody knows what happened,” Karra said.
Karra said that the Manmohan Singh government’s initiative on Kashmir could not fructify due to the internal crisis in Pakistan, during which Musharraf was facing a hostile judiciary. “The face-off between Musharraf and the judiciary halted the process,” Karra said.
He said that the civil society groups and other delegations told the Congress group that the BJP government in the country was playing “majoritarian politics”.
“They said that the attack on minorities in India had a direct bearing here,” Karra said. “They said the state government led by PDP and BJP was adding to the suffering of Kashmiris. More than the BJP, they had complaints with the PDP, which they described as collaborators and facilitators of the communal agenda of BJP in Kashmir.”
Karra said that the Congress group would visit Ladakh probably next month to complete its first phase of engagement with Jammu & Kashmir.
“Based on the feedback acquired from all the three regions, we will prepare a report and will submit it to the Congress president. Then we will embark again on engaging Kashmir in talks,” Karra said.
Karra had played an instrumental role in forming the Congress’s Kashmir policy group.