Government adopting ‘wait and watch’ policy on Kashmir tension: Congress

August 19th, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) With the situation in the Kashmir Valley failing to settle down, the central government has decided to adopt a “wait and watch” policy on the matter and hope the protesters are back on the negotiating table, a Congress leader said Tuesday.”The government has no option but to bear it out. We have to wait and watch to see where things go from here,” said the Congress leader.

“Let things drift as there is no solution. We hope the people protesting in Jammu and Kashmir will soon be back on the negotiating table,” he said.

However, the Congress is worried about the political leverage the issue will give to the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

“The resonance will be there in the Hindi belt. There are three fault lines - religion, caste and economic disparity - that run in our country. If the BJP becomes successful in pressing one among them, you can see the affect,” he said.

Asked why the central government is not taking strong action to rein in the situation in the valley, he said: “The security forces cannot open fire on peaceful protesters and we have to be very cautious on such issues.”

“The government knows how to use force to tackle the situation, but we are taking a calculated approach. Moreover, this year’s Amarnath yatra is over successfully and we have one year to decide the issue,” he said.

More than 20 people were killed when protesters clashed with security forces in the Kashmir valley last week over the Amarnath land transfer row that has seen the people of the state divided along sectarian lines.

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