And by raking up India’s support for a free Balochistan, “Modi has signalled the ratcheting up of tensions with Pakistan”, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.
An editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said Modi had gone back on his own August 9 pledge to pursue a policy of “insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and jamooriyat” of his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“The stand adopted by the Modi government in dealing with Kashmir will be disastrous for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for the Indian Union,” the editorial said.
“The democratic and secular forces must demand an immediate end to the regime of repression in Kashmir and the dismantling of the oppressive security apparatus,” it said.
“This must be accompanied by immediate steps to initiate talks with all shades of political spectrum in the state. The Kashmiri people cannot be held hostage to an India-Pakistan confrontation,” the editorial said.
It advised the government that instead of adopting a national chauvinist posture, it must “take up the thread of resuming talks with Pakistan as it was decided by the two countries last year”.
The CPI-M said the Kashmir Valley was in turmoil since the July 8 killing of a militant leader sparked off widespread protests, leaving over 60 people dead and thousands injured.
It pointed out how the Prime Minister, at an all-party meeting here on August 12, applauded the security forces for showing restraint in dealing with the current situation in the Kashmir Valley.
“This after the inhuman blinding, maiming and killing of scores of young men and women,” the editorial said.
It said a proposal by Left leaders for an all-party delegation to visit Kashmir for talks with all shades of opinion was rejected.
“The government has also adopted a belligerent posture with regard to dialogue with Pakistan,” it said.
While remaining silent on the situation in the Kashmir Valley, Modi in his Independence Day speech on Monday spoke about human rights abuses in Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Kashmir.
“The Modi government has thus signalled that it will treat the popular unrest in Kashmir as a law and order problem,” the editorial said.
“It makes no distinction between the mass of the people and the Pakistan supported militants.
“It is going back on the terms of the India-Pakistan dialogue decided years ago in which Kashmir was one of the issues to be discussed.
“By raking up the problem in Balochistan which is an integral part of Pakistan, Modi has signalled the ratcheting up of tensions with Pakistan.”