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Vajpayee saw gun was no solution in Kashmir

A ceasefire along the Line of Control was agreed upon in November 2003 and largely observed. Cross-border bus services and trade was introduced between two sides of Kashmir. Vajpayee met separatists in January 2004 while Pakistan put its insistence on the implementation of UN resolution for a plebiscite on the backburner.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2018 23:38 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Atal Bihari vajpayee,Vajpayee death,Vajpayee funeral
Tribute to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee through sand art in Mumbai.(HT Photo)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is remembered in Kashmir for his April 2003 speech in Srinagar in which he extended his hand of friendship to Pakistan. He reiterated the gun was no solution and went on to resume a composite dialogue process with Pakistan.

Kashmir reaped its peace dividend for the next decade with a decline in militant violence. A ceasefire along the Line of Control was agreed upon in November 2003 and largely observed. Cross-border bus services and trade was introduced between two sides of Kashmir. Vajpayee met separatists in January 2004 while Pakistan put its insistence on the implementation of UN resolution for a plebiscite on the backburner.

His vision for resolving the problems in Kashmir within the framework of insaaniyat, (humanism) Kashmiryat (inclusive Kashmiri culture) and jhamooriyat (democracy) remains his abiding legacy.

For separatist leader Abdul Gani Bhat, Vajpayee rose “above everything in choosing to address the Kashmir issue”. Bhat believes things “would have been different” had not Vajpayee lost elections in 2004.

Former Central University of Kashmir dean Noor Baba said Vajpayee was ready to take a difficult path. “He had the clarity and had reached that maturity to realise that India has to make peace with Pakistan.”

Peoples Democratic Party leader Waheed ur Rehman said Vajpayee “won hearts of Kashmiris” because he conveyed to them that they “are owners of the Valley”.

CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Taragami said the first unilateral ceasefire during the fasting month of Ramzan was observed under Vajpayee’s rule in 2000.

Congress leader Saifudin Soz said Vajpayee was always interested in solutions.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 23:37 IST