Sonia didn’t want me to be in politics: Mani Shankar Aiyar

“I felt that Sonia Gandhi did not want me to stay in politics,” says Mani Shankar — IANS

Jaipur, Feb 2 (IANS) Veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar targeted the Central government on Friday, saying that there should have been talks between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

Speaking during a session at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) here, Aiyar (82) said India has the courage to carry out surgical strikes, but does not have the courage to talk to Pakistan across the table.

He also talked about Sonia Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

The former Union minister said, “Some people had suggested me to write my autobiography. So I thought what have been the achievements in my life that people would like to read about me. Then Sonia Gandhi also told me that I should write. Then I came to know that she did not want me to engage in political life.

“I felt that Sonia Gandhi did not want me to stay in politics,” he said.

“I had talked to former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf regarding Kashmir. He had four important suggestions for a solution to the Kashmir issue. I don’t know why this issue was not discussed. I do not understand India’s policy towards Pakistan. We can carry out surgical strikes, but we can’t sit and talk. There have been no talks between India and Pakistan since 2014.

“Perhaps there was some conversation between Ajit Doval and Pakistan’s Qamar Javed Bajwa. They perhaps reached the decision that there should be no firing as per the ceasefire deal.

“However, a solution will emerge only when India and Pakistan hold talks with each other. If we don’t talk, how will we find a solution? Government says terrorism and talks cannot happen together. I want to ask, talks are not happening for sometime now… Has this stopped terrorism in the last 10 years,” Aiyar asked.

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