Kashmir is a political problem; IB & RAW should play lesser role: Congress leader

Congress leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh

Srinagar: In a break from the tradition, a senior congress leader, Jairam Ramesh has said that security agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) should play a lesser/secondary role in Kashmir as it was more of a political problem.

Ramesh, who remained a union minister during the congress rule, is the first high profile leader, who in a way has admitted that intelligence agencies were playing a primary role in managing Kashmir.

“It is not a military problem, but a political problem. So when Satyapal Malik became the governor (of Jammu and Kashmir), I was elated… that the first time there was recognition that retired civil servants and army officers do not hold the key, and this a process based on political engagement,” Ramesh was quoted as saying by the semi official news agency PTI.

“There are people who believe that infrastructure development is the key and that bringing investment in the state will solve the problem. I think now we have come to realise that this is a political problem,” he said.

The Congress leader said intelligence agencies need to play a secondary role to the political system in the Kashmir issue.

“We all will be better off if there’s lesser involvement of agencies, like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), in Jammu and Kashmir and more political engagement,” Ramesh said.

He also said any solution to the Kashmir issue should be acceptable to the rest of the country and “not just Delhi”.

“Whatever solution we come up with has to be sold to the rest of the country. The rest of the country has moved on in the last 40-50 years. The solution acceptable in the 50s and 60s may no longer be acceptable to them,” Ramesh said. ​

The Congress leader made the remarks at the launch of a book — ‘Kashmir as I see it’ — penned by Ashok Dhar, the founder-director of the Kolkata chapter of the Observer Research Foundation, PTI reported

Ramesh said he was ready to support Indo-Pak efforts to end hostility and seek peaceful solution of Kashmir issue.


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