BJP MP Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday differed with his party’s criticism of the interlocutors’ “internationalisation” of the Kashmir issue, calling the BJP’s reaction “childish” and “churlish”.
The BJP had attacked interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar’s statement that Pakistan should be engaged on the Kashmir “dispute”, saying he — and by implication, the Centre — was trying to internationalise the issue.
Hitting out at his party, Rajya Sabha MP Jethmalani issued a statement” “It is childish and churlish to attack them as internalising the issue. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by his confabulations with President Musharraf and recently foreign minister Krishna confabulating with his counterpart Mr Qureshi were exactly doing that. The dialogue with Pakistan is a compulsory legacy of the Shimla Agreement of 1972. We cannot wish it out of existence.”
He added, “Respected journalist Padgaonkar and his two esteemed colleagues have taken on a very serious responsibility of finding a peaceful and lasting solution of the Kashmir problem. This task is almost superhuman and many have serious misgivings about the prospects of success. I am one of them. But I fervently pray for the success of their mission. Even if they achieve partial results the nation would owe them a debt of gratitude. Neither by acts nor by words we should add to their difficulties.”
The BJP chose to play down his remarks, it did not share the MP’s views.
Reacting to Jethmalani’s statement on Kashmir, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said, “Jethmalani is Jethmalani. This is his own opinion. His views are personal and the party does not agree with them.”
He added, “Interlocutors should talk and not give running commentary every day.” Jethmalani had previously broken with the party line on the caste census.