India could lose the Kashmir valley in the next 10 years unless a serious effort is made to resolve the situation, Radha Kumar, a former interlocutor on Jammu & Kashmir for the Indian government, warned at the Times LitFest, Delhi on Sunday.
Kumar, who now heads a think-tank, Delhi Policy Group, made the remark while speaking at the opening session — ‘Kashmir Today: Towards an Indian Future?’
Other members of the panel included Rakesh Sood, former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, France and Nepal, and A S Dulat, former RAW chief and Kashmir advisor in A B Vajpayee’s administration.
She said the situation in Kashmir has progressively deteriorated.
“The government doesn’t seem to be working, and little of the common minimum program has been implemented.”
According to Kumar the only time there has been forward movement in Kashmir was when both Pakistan and the Kashmiris have been involved in negotiations.
This was the case when General Musharraf was in office in Pakistan.
Kumar said that civil society discussions between India and Kashmiris through the back channel put the pressure on Musharraf.
A.S Dulat, former RAW chief and Kashmir advisor in A B Vajpayee’s administration also felt that no forward movement is possible without the involvement of Pakistan.
All panelists felt that engagement with Pakistan and with the Kashmiris must not grind to a halt.
“The Kashmiri understands his future is with India. We need to give him a chance,” remarked Dulat.
Rakesh Sood, former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, France and Nepal said that while militancy and separatist tendencies might have come down, there still remains plenty of alienation and resentment, and growing radicalization.
“We need to address all this with greater urgency.”
On Twitter, Radha Kumar faced lot of criticism for her comment on Kashmir.
this letfist is nothing but a slug feast for discrediting govt. Radha kumar says we will loose kashmir in 10yrs !!! https://t.co/ouSjHDlnLT
— Vasuki_bhujang (@vasuki_bhujang) November 30, 2015
TOI: COULD LOSE VALLEY IN 10 YEARS IF WE DON’T ACT – RADHA KUMAR Trying to create scare after losing her importance with the new govt…
— Rajeev Sinha (@RajeevSinha2408) November 30, 2015
Ridiculous for Radha Kumar to say India will lose Kashmir, but media shall not ques her for this. I suggest go to kashmir and talk to locals
— Srinivas Anand (@srinivasanands) November 30, 2015
Looks Radha Kumar is dreaming and just sharing his dreams … Another piece of Intolerant gang https://t.co/Uz3wdSysI3
— Raj (@kumar_raj82) November 30, 2015
After Farooq Abdullha comes Radha Kumar says India cud lose d valley in next 10 years She was interlocutor 4 UPA govt
— Ram Datt Sharma (@RDATT26) November 30, 2015