The Urdu daily Kashmir Uzma editorially writes that as an election gimmick, Congress and BJP are engaged in a war of words over Kashmir. Excerpts:

War of Words:

 “The war of words between BJP and Congress in the context of Kashmir has revealed certain things. That BJP considers the autonomy enjoyed by the state as equivalent to ‘azadi’

The president of the party says Congress supports separatists. It happens at a time when Centre has appxointed a special interlocutor and given full authority to talk to all concerned parties, of Kashmir problem. The impression is being given that government is serious about setting right the situation in Kashmir and present step is a part of efforts to be made to proceed towards resolution of problem. On the appointment of interlocutor (Dineshwar Sharma) contradictory statements from political parties have come forth, and apprehensions and doubts have been expressed on the mission. Former Minister Chidambaram has said that restoring the autonomy of the state is the solution. P M, Narender Modi bluntly accused him of supporting separatists. So it would not be wrong to say that for PM restoring of autonomy is equivalent to ‘azadi’. It is a fact that BJP’s attitude towards state autonomy has been negative from the beginning. In fact, their agenda includes doing away with whatever  autonomy is left. It is so, ‘though agenda of alliance (BJP-PDP), says that these issues (autonomy) won’t be disturbed. The views of the two parties (BJP-PDP) are contradictory. PDP’s agenda include restoration of internal autonomy, and by having negotiations, with Pakistan, to seek a solution and to make the LoC- ‘bloody line’- irrelevant. It has become obvious that BJP has openly declared to deviate from alliance agenda with PDP”.

The Blame Game:

“Presently, assembly elections are to be held in many states of country. During election campaign, Jammu and Kashmir is being used as an election gimmick. BJP president in an election rally in Himachal Pradesh said that Congress and Kashmir’s resistance camp were two faces of the same coin. It is clear that using Kashmir, BJP is promoting politics of hate, in order to have a show down with Congress. Analysts have said that the exchange of allegations on autonomy issue between Chidambaram and P M Modi, was a part of election politics. BJP leaders are alleging that Congress is entirely responsible for present situation of Kashmir and as per their views, if PM Jawaharlal Nehru had accepted Sardar Patel’s advice, the J&K state would have fully integrated with country. Pandit Nehru’s ‘crime’ was that he gave protection to Kashmir’s internal autonomy under Art 370, and that has given  rise  to present resistance movement. BJP does not hesitate in pointing towards the arrest and dismissal of elected Prime Minister in 1953, and pointing at the act of changing designations- Prime Minister into Chief Minister and Sadr-i-Riyaqat into Governor. Moreover, the same was responsible for ending the autonomy of the state. It is not being said who was responsible for sending the resolution on autonomy to dustbin and shelving the reports on abrogation of AFSPA. It is being asked – does not Congress have a role in creating conditions that Kashmir has been facing during 27 years? In short, Kashmir is being made a pawn in the chess game of elections, and democratic values and human rights are being flouted.”

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