Srinagar: Former union minister P. Chidambaram has said that he had a feeling that Kashmir has been nearly lost for India because the government of India had used brute force to quell the dissent there.
Addressing a meeting organised by Manthan, a public discourse platform, on Friday, the Hindu newspaper reported that Chidambaram feared the situation would worsen if New Delhi did not take up course correction like what was done by the Cabinet Committee on security in 2010.
The graph of violence rapidly declined after that, but it grew at an alarming rate now.
The newspaper, quoting Chidambaram, reported that seven million persons of Kashmir valley felt alienated by the oppressive methods of the Indian government, which was a “terrible” mistake.
“The statement of Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat that anyone who interfered with defence operations would be treated as anti-national was the last straw,” Chidamabaram was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Earlier in July 2017, Chidambaram had said that he had found a solution to the Kashmir crises: “India should assure the people of Kashmir that the grand bargain promised during the time of Kashmir’s accession would be honoured.”
“I think their approach is wrong. We have ignored the grand bargain under which Kashmir acceded to India. I think we broke faith, we broke promises and therefore we have paid a heavy price,” the former minister had told the in an interview to the private TV.
In another statement, Chidambaram had said he regrets the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was not repealed while Congress was in power and hoped the Narendra Modi government, with its absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, scraps it.
Not repealing the Act when Congress had absolute majority in the Lok Sabha was “one of the biggest regrets”, he said, adding that scrapping of the AFSPA will send a positive message across the north eastern states.
“You can build hundreds of kilometres of roads, you can build hydro electric projects, electrify all villages, (but) nothing is equal to repeal of AFSPA,” the former minister had said.
With agency inputs