New Delhi, Sept 18 : Participants at a seminar held in New Delhi on Thursday have expressed concern at voices being raised on the issue of secession of Jammu of Kashmir from India.
The delegates emphasized that the legal validity of Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India is unquestionable and was in accordance with the popular will. They said there is no basis on which any change in political status of the state could be considered.
"Secession is ruled out in terms of the Indian Constitution and the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. I think there is a dialogue, which we are having but that dialogue should make it clear that there can be no secession. All issues are resolved in a democracy through dialogue," said G. Parthasarthy, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan. They asserted that Kashmir is an inalienable element of India's civilisational identity and symbolises the fundamental principles on which the modern Indian State has been built. They added that no responsible Government can ever compromise India's territorial integrity by even contemplating secession of Kashmir.
"The position from our side was very clear. The position was clear to the extent that all that we wanted to achieve on Kashmir was an end to terrorism inspired by Pakistan. It was very clear. There was no question of secessionism of any part of Jammu and Kashmir from India. Our role is essentially to put terrorism squarely upfront and ensure that the Pakistani authorities realize that and put an end to it. To answer your question as I see that we must ensure the end of terrorism," said Satish Chandra, former Deputy to National Security Advisor and Secretary, National Security Council.
The participants expressed concern over the stray voices in media questioning the wisdom and expediency of retaining Kashmir as a part of India. They urged the media to exercise restraint and show responsibility in the larger national interest.
The participants who took part in the seminar include- Chairman, Essel Group Subhash Chandra, Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal, renowned journalist M.J. Akbar, former Director, IB, Ajit Doval, KC, former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd.), Air Marshal S. R. Deshpandey (Retd), former Union Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G. Parthasarthy, IFS (Retd), former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Rajiv Sikri IFS (Retd), former Secretary (RAW) C.D. Sahay, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen R.K. Sahwney (Retd), former Deputy of National Security Advisor and Secretary National Security Council Satish Chandra IFS (Retd), former Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Shantanu Chaudhary (Retd), former Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi (Retd), former Director General National Security Guard and former Governor of Manipur and Jharkhand, former Lt. Governor of Delhi Vijay Kapoor, former Secretay (RAW), Director of Dainik Bhaskar Group Sudhir Agarwal, Chairman-Emeritus, Ernst and Young K. Memani, Major General Afsir Karim (Retd).