NEW DELHI, Mar 4:
Alienating Kashmiris by not solving their issues would only lead to Pakistan taking advantage of the situation, former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said here today.
“The road to Islamabad is via Srinagar and not the other way around. It is not to Srinagar via Islamabad,” Sinha said at a book release function where he was the chief guest.
“I have been involved in the Kashmir issue for the last few months and I have come to this conclusion that the issues of our people (Kashmiris) should be settled first in order to tackle the disputes with Pakistan,” he added.
The senior BJP leader said that once the issues of “our people” were settled, solving the ones involving Pakistan would become easier through “joint efforts” with the Kashmiris.
“They (Kashmiris) have been alienated which will only let Pakistan take advantage of the situation,” he added.
Commenting on India’s current foreign policy, Sinha said it had “too many rigidities”.
“What happened 40 years ago has become an article of faith. Though we have changed a lot, we should do away with the remaining rigidities,” he said, adding that a country’s foreign policy must be based on “flexibility”.
“In today’s changing world, that flexibility should be evident on a day-to-day basis as well,” said the former bureaucrat.
Sinha also said small associations of countries such as the BRICS were “much more effective” than those with “too many members”.
He was the chief guest at a function where a book titled ‘India’s Foreign Policy — Selected Writings’ was released. The book is compiled by late academician ML Sondhi and edited by Harsh Pant.
Former Foreign Secretary Lalit Man Singh was also present on the occasion. (PTI)