‘Will there be a war with Pakistan?’: Chidambaram asks on Jammu and Kashmir political impasse
New Delhi, June 25: The breakup of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alliance in Jammu and Kashmir came all of a sudden a few days ago, but there were always enough signs to indicate the fragile nature of the "friendship" between the two diametrically "opposite" political parties.
While the terror-ravaged state has been put under the Governor's rule after the fall of the three-year-old BJP-PDP coalition government, the repercussions of the political development has a pan-India impact.
In the last few days, the BJP has hurled enough accusations against its former ally, the PDP, to hold it solely responsible for the ongoing mess in Jammu and Kashmir. On Sunday, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti broke her silence in a series of tweets and said it was "sad" to see the BJP "disown their own initiative and label it a soft approach".
On Sunday, in a column for The Indian Express, senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram called the BJP-PDP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir as "an unnatural and opportunistic alliance".
Chidambaram blamed the BJP-led Central government's policy for the "rapidly deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir valley".
"The bottom of the policy collapsed a few days ago. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. J&K has come under Governor's rule, which is a euphemism for direct rule by the Central government," he wrote.
"Not many in the rest of India seem to have comprehended the gravity of the situation. They were taken in by the pronouncements of those in authority, beginning with the Prime Minister. It is easy to be mesmerised by the promise that 'infiltration will be stopped, terrorism will be stamped out, secessionists will be punished, peace will return to the state, and J&K will remain an integral part of India'. Every call to pause and reflect was rebuffed; every criticism was dubbed anti-national," Chidambaram added.
In his column, the former Union minister also delved into several "unanswered questions" on the ongoing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chidambaram asked whether the Governor's rule mean more of the "muscular, militaristic" approach to quell protests, will the government talk to the stakeholders, will there be fresh elections to the state legislature and will there be a war with Pakistan.
He ended the column with the note: "I cling to the hope that Kashmir is not lost forever, but the situation is pretty close to that catastrophe."