Jethmalani praises Musharraf, hits out at UPA Govt
BJP MP Ram Jethmalani on Saturday described former Pakistani ruler Pervez Musharraf as "one of the greatest friends" of India who had tried to settle Kashmir through track-II diplomacy and said the UPA is not being able to resolve the issue as it is "too deeply involved in scams".
The noted lawyer was speaking at a panel discussion on 'Should Kashmiri Pandits Look for An Option Beyond the Nation', organised by Panun Kashmir in New Delhi.
Referring to track-II diplomacy during Musharraf's regime, Jethmalani said despite being a dictator, he was "one of the greatest friends India had" and talked about a set of proposals a friend of the military ruler brought to him for resolving Kashmir issue.
"I was excited over the proposals and made some changes which were sent back to them. They had also accepted these. I have now put them in a book of mine," the noted lawyer said.
He lamented that "government of India never had the time to settle Kashmir".
He said the UPA government had been "too deeply involved in scams" and can only do something when it "gets out" of scams. "This government should go. If opposition unites, it can be knocked off in two months. There are good people in Congress too. May be a coalition can be formed of good people from Congress and other parties," Jethmalani said.
About recent initiatives, he said, "The interlocutors have prepared a report. I have heard its a fairly useful document...you (Pandits) should pressurise the government. Kashmir issue can be solved in a manner which will ensure return of Pandits to their homes in honour and dignity."
Earlier, Panun Kashmir convenor Agnishekhar said the Pandits are victims of a "civilisational clash" and feel "unwanted and neglected". Several other speakers said that they were anguished that efforts were being made to talk to separatists but "not to us".
Supreme Court lawyer Ashok Bhan said Indian government has an obligation to "retrieve" Kashmir while S K Tickoo of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti felt the community should approach international organisations like the UN seeking a territory for them outside India, preferably in north America.
Jethmalani strongly opposed any such idea, saying "India belongs to you (Pandits) and you belong to India."