Like his predecessor, the Congress Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad is too echoing the words of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Azad during the opening day of budget session of the state legislature while speaking to media strongly supported the four-point Kashmir proposals of Musharraf offered recently in an interview with an Indian channel. Azad said that he during his recent meeting with Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is beginning his Pakistan visit next week, has also sought open mind on Musharraf'sfour-point Kashmir plan. ?There is nothing wrong in at least discussing his proposals. They can not be rejected outrightly.?
What magical stick Musharraf holds that anyone who gets to head Jammu and Kashmir speaks his words. Earlier, it was the former Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed who was repeating here what Musharraf would say in Pakistan. Musharraf had called for a phased withdrawal of troops; local self-governance; no changes in the borders of Kashmir; and a joint supervision mechanism in Jammu and Kashmhir involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir. So impressed Azad seemed by Musharraf'srecent Kashmir plan that he even proposed a joint management in trade, tourism, power and water with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. All theses public speaking by Congress leaders here in state gives a clear pointer that New Delhi is heading towards a major sell-out on Kashmir with Pakistan.
Interestingly, Azad lashed out at BJP claiming that since the party was without issues, it was blocking the peace process with Pakistan. Can someone tell Mr. Azad that it was the BJP that forced Pakistan to talk peace and sideline the normal ?K? word in talks with India? ?We are not against peace process but we are against India following Pakistan plans. In a bid for short-term gains on relations with Pakistan, Congress coalition at Centre is forgoing major issues bothering at state and national levels?, said BJP state spokesperson Hari Om in reaction to criticism of Azad against BJP on opening session of the state assembly. Ghulam Nabi Azad should focus on internal problems rather than making comments and suggestions on Indian foreign policy with Pakistan, added the BJP leader. It seems that Azad too is speaking the voice of Kashmiri separatists who are touts of Pakistan for obvious reasons; such utterances by him would rather lower his nationalist image.