Kashmir situation deteriorated: Azad

Srinagar: Lashing out at the BJP-led Government at the Centre for allegedly failing to initiate internal and external talks to resolve Kashmir issue, former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the situation has deteriorated in the Valley due to policy paralysis of State and Central Governments.
“The delegation was formed keeping into consideration the importance of Jammu and Kashmir… since the BJP has come into power at the Centre and PDP-BJP coalition Government at the State, the situation has deteriorated with each passing day,” Azad told reporters on the sidelines of an extended Executive meeting here.
Azad, who is a member of a Congress policy planning group-led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said during UPA government at the Centre and Congress-NC government in the state, they had multi pronged strategy.
“The Centre under UPA had multi-pronged strategy with respect to development, unemployment. Besides this, bilateral talks and round table conference were held to resolve the issue. Trade routes with Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) were also opened as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM),” he said.
However, he said it seems that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has no policy with respect to Kashmir issue. “They (centre) move two steps forward and goes 10 steps back on issues,” he alleged.
That’s why, he said, Congress president Sonia Gandhi constitutes this group. “The group has held about three-four meetings in New Delhi, but we thought it is better to visit the state to ascertain the ground situation,” he added.
“Late week we visited Jammu and today we are in Srinagar. We will also finalize dates to visit Ladakh region,” Azad said.
He said the group will meet people from all walks of life, including politicians, traders, and members from the civil society.
Azad said the Centre has to decide who the state holders are in Kashmir dispute. “Everyone knows who the stakeholders are, but if they are afraid of even saying their name, how do you expect them to resolve the issue,” he added.