Advocating policy of “iron hands within velvet gloves”, BJP MP Satyapal Singh on Saturday said “our people” have not understood the problem of Kashmir and stressed that pushing it under the carpet will not solve it. The former Mumbai Police Commissioner said while Pakistan is creating disturbance in Kashmir, what are “our people” doing?
“We have not understood the problem of Kashmir but kept it as an issue. If we understand the problem of Kashmir, a solution could very well be found. But if it has to be kept as an issue, how could a solution be found?” Singh, a former Mumbai Police Commissioner, said during a symposium “peace people and possibilities in Kashmir” here.
It is said for some people terrorism has become business in the Valley, he noted, adding schools and colleges were radicalised in 60s and 70s which are now become bearing fruit for terrorists. Confrontation cannot be a solution for any problem but through interaction a consensus can be developed which can solve it, he said.
He linked lack of foreign investment in the state to Article 370 and said “our unemployed youths are being brainwashed and misled. Who will give them employment? Nobody is ready to set up industries in Kashmir because of restrictions there.” Citing example of his constituency, he said, “Baghpat is only 15 kms from Delhi but very far from development. It is because the leadership there thought that let’s keep making a fool of the people so they cannot think of anything else.
“Is it possible that a similar thing is happening in Kashmir too? We have to think about it. The youths and the students have been misled, they need to be given a new direction and told to question what their leadership is up to. We seriously need to deliberate on the motives of these separatist leaders there,” he said.
“It is not only the outside forces, that will get over. We need to correct our people too which can be only done when they are consulted and talked to about their future,” Singh said, adding that brushing things under the carpet cannot solve these issues. The former IPS officer also underlined the need for a “potent, positive ideology” to counter the “radical ideology” to reach out to the people.
Noting that the number of people wanting peace and unity was much more than those opposed to it, he said there was a need for “iron hands within velvet gloves”. Apart from Singh, RSS functionary Indresh Kumar, educationist Prof J S Rajpoot, and former senior army officials Lt Gen (retd) P N Hoon and Mohammad Amin Naik, the first Kashmiri Muslim to serve as the General in the army, also participated in the discussion.