Srinagar: In a step that may lead to a confrontation with the Centre, the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, Thursday, passed a resolution that urges the government of India to resume talks with Pakistan.
The resolution passed unanimously via a voice vote says the state government must urge the union government to resume Indo-Pak dialogue to maintain peace in region, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.
It also says the state government should urge the Centre to take steps to effectively resolve violations on LoC, besides taking steps to ensure rehabilitation of victims of LoC firing.
The resolution may turn controversial as the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir clearly states that foreign affairs is not under the purview of the state government.
The Narendra Modi government had cancelled foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan after Islamabad envoy in India, Abdul Basit held talks with separatists despite New Delhi's strong objections.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had, last week, expressed hope that Centre would reconsider its decision of cancelling talks with Pakistan.
Terming frequent violations of the ceasefire as a “matter of serious concern”, Abdullah said that the breakdown of talks will hit the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Given the breakdown in communication between India and Pakistan, I don’t know how the Narendra Modi government plans to resolve this issue but they have an obligation to resolve it because they promised the people of this country ‘acche din’,” he said.
“The people living along the border are people of this country. They have as much of right to ‘acche din’ as anybody else but they are yet to see those ‘acche din'. If anything, they have seen their days go from bad to worse. Therefore, I think it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to fulfill their commitment of ‘acche din’ and restore peace and normalcy along the border,” the Chief Minister said.
The Congress too had attacked the NDA government over cancellation of Indo-Pak talks, with party leader Manish Tewari saying that the Modi government was in a "sonorous slumber" over the Pakistan issue.
He said the government has "completely walked itself into a corner" on the Pakistan policy and termed the talks between Hurriyat leaders and Pakistan a "ritual", which the neighbouring country always follows before any interaction between the two nations.
"So they first agreed to talk to Pakistan, that also in Islamabad, notwithstanding all this background.
However, the government has steadfastly justified the move. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The point is very simple. Either Pakistan should talk to the Government of India or they should talk to separatists. They chose to talk to the separatists first inspite of clearly being told that if this persistence is there, it will be difficult to pursue the dialogue."