Kashmir needs political solution: Chidambaram


New Delhi, In a direct attack on the ruling establishment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has accused it of violating individual and human rights, intimidating independent think tanks and mixing up history with mythology.

“This government has grossly violated individual and human rights. Some of the supporters of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) tell us what to wear, what

to eat, whom to love and whom to marry. Yet there is not a word from the Prime Minister condemning these extreme elements.” Chidambaram told IANS in an interview here on Thursday.

The Congress leader, who also served as the Home Minister between November 2008 and July 2012 in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, further criticised the government for its faulty approach in dealing with Jammu and Kashmir.

“I think the approach of the Central BJP government as well as the BJP-PDP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir is wrong. What Jammu and Kashmir needs is a political solution but there has been no political outreach to different sections of the people of the state.

“The present approach should be abandoned and a new approach should be adopted. I am afraid that if the government persists in its present approach it will lead only to more conflict and more violence. As it is, in 2016, the number of casualties, both among the civilians and the soldiers, have reached a very high point, reversing the decline in the previous years,” he lamented.

Blaming the Modi government for repeatedly flip-flopping in its approach towards Pakistan, Chidambaram said sub-continental ties were at their lowest point.

He cited several examples of the government’s changing approach towards Pakistan — from inviting Nawaz Sharif to Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in May 2004 to the January 2016 terrorist attack on Pathankot — and said that the government lacks “a coherent policy” on its neighbour.