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'Quiet Dialogue, Quiet Diplomacy' With Kashmiri Leaders, Says Chidambaram

Making a fresh bid to reach out to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday  said Government will hold talks with every section of political opinion in the state through "quiet

PTI [ Updated: October 14, 2009 15:47 IST ]
quiet dialogue quiet diplomacy with kashmiri leaders says
quiet dialogue quiet diplomacy with kashmiri leaders says chidambaram

Making a fresh bid to reach out to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday  said Government will hold talks with every section of political opinion in the state through "quiet dialogue, quiet diplomacy" to find a political solution to the Kashmir problem that may be "unique".

"We are not shying away from talks with anyone," Chidambaram said  at the All India Editors Conference on Social and Infrastructure issues in Srinagar.

"Let me assure you it will be quiet dialogue, quiet diplomacy until we find the contours of a political solution. Once the broad contours of a political solution are arrived at, it will be made public at an appropriate time", he said while refusing to elaborate on it. "We cannot hold the dialogue in the glare of the media".

"We will hold dialogue with every shade of political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir to find a solution in a civilized way," he said.

Chidambaram said political parties like National Conference, PDP and Congress have a point of view and the effort would be to hold talks with all shades of political opinion, including some political groups advocating separatism, to arrive at the contours of a political solution which may be unique.

Such a solution, he said, should be "honorable and acceptable" to the vast majority of the people in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Jammu and Kashmir has a unique geographical location and a unique history. We have to find a solution that may turn out to be unique.

"There is nothing wrong with a unique solution but we must find a solution that is honorable, equitable and acceptable to the vast majority, overwhelming majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Chidambaram said.

To a question if India considered Kashmir as its integral part, he refused to get into "verbal gymnastics" on the issue, saying he would not like to get into "these kind of traps".

He acknowledged that there is a "problem" in J-K and efforts will be made to find a political solution.

On the security scenario in the border state, he said infiltration from Pakistani territory and PoK was "solely" responsible for violence in the state adding that it was difficult to completely control it because of long border and Line of Control with the neighboring country.

He said the Jammu and Kashmir police, backed by paramilitary forces, was now being made responsible for maintenance of peace. Army's role, he said, is to defend the borders -- international border as also the LoC.

The Home Minister said there has been significant successes on the part of the security forces in the last few months in stopping infiltration from across the border.

The security forces were doing "better and better" to contain the influx of terrorists into the country though groups across the border were recruiting young men and brainwashing them to pursue Jehad and create mayhem in India.

According to statistics, so-called militant commanders were being neutralised in six months to a year's time by the security forces who were all out to reduce infiltration to the barest minimum, he said.

There has been "marked improvement" in law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir with significant successes by security forces in checking infiltration from across the border, Chidambaram said. 

"Five or six years ago large number of people were killed, but today the security situation is much better," he said talking to reporters here.

Asserting that the violence in J-K could be solely attributed to the infiltration taking place from Pakistani territory and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Home Minister said there has been significant successes on the part of the security forces in the last few months in stopping infiltration from across the border.

Chidambaram said that only 395 people have fallen victims to militancy in the state in first nine months of this year which was the lowest in about eight or nine years.

But, "it should not be a matter of pride for the government. The figure still means more than one people were killed per day on an average. We hope that continuing our policy, we will be able to bring to an end militancy in the state," he said.

Between January and September this year, the state saw 60 civilian deaths and 66 casualties in security forces, but 185 militants were nutralised at the same time.

The Minister reiterated that the government's policy was that there should be zero tolerance for violence.

"Our policy is that there is no place for violence in JK. There will be political differences, there will be different political parties. There would be shades of opinion. But whatever the political opinion, there is no place for violence," he said. 

"The main responsibility of maintaining law and order is with JK police today," he said, adding that the BSF and the army will be assisting the police in its operation.

Chidambaram said, there has been a desperate attempt by Pakistan to infiltrate militants into Jammu and Kashmir to foment violence. 

"After the Parliamentary elections, there has been spurt in infiltration, a desperation. One can see a desperation on the part of Pakistan and PoK authorities to infiltrate into India," Chidambaram said.  

The Home Minister said infiltration from Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir was "solely" responsible for violence in the state and it was difficult to completely control it. 

"Infiltration is taking place. I must admit that we have not been able to completely stop it although infiltration has come down. Thanks to the vigil of our security forces," he said. 

Security forces were doing "better and better" to contain the influx of terrorists into the country though groups across the border were recruiting young men and brainwashing them to pursue Jehad and create mayhem in India. 

"The number did rise in two-three months. But now the snows will come and therefore the infiltration will come down for the next four or five months," he said. PTI

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