The influential Concerned Citizens Group led by former Union minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha along with well-known politicians, journalists and public intellectuals from across India, has issued a statement expressing hope in the recent statements of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the BJP leadership “on a positive change in policy towards Kashmir’s citizens, as have many Kashmiris”.
“While looking forward to a concrete follow up, we would like to suggest that in order to operationalize the well-intentioned statements that have so eloquently been made, it is now necessary for the government to clearly identify the stakeholders, announce the name of an authorized interlocutor, set a timeframe for the beginning and conduct of the dialogue process and start it as soon as possible”, says the statement.
“Despite deep scepticism that has taken hold of their minds, the encouraging statements by the PM, HM and others hold promise for the Kashmiris. The present opportunity should not be wasted. And, therefore, it is our fervent appeal to the government to quickly act definitively on the sentiments expressed in a time-bound manner”.
Besides Yashwant Sinha, former foreign and finance minister, the signatories include Wajahat Habibullah, former chairman Minorities Commission, Manish Tewari, former minister of I&B, former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, retired air-vice marshal, former special secretary, Govt. of India V. Balachandran, writer and academic Badri Raina, historian Ramchandra Guha, professor of political science Zoya Hasan, senior journalist Bharat Bhushan, editor, CatchNews, social activist John Dayal, and Sushobha Barve, executive secretary, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.