In what is being seen as a reconciliatory move towards agitated Kashmiris, Prime minister Narendra Modi has told opposition legislators of the state that all political parties need to work to find a permanent and lasting solution to the [Kashmir] problem within the framework of the Constitution.
GN Bureau | August 22, 2016
“There has to be a dialogue,” Modi told the 21-member legislators group led by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah that came calling on him on Monday morning.
Modi accompanied by Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS, PMO, interacted with the leaders over the tea. PMO said the “meeting was held in an atmosphere of free and frank discussion”, while participants said they were received warmly by the PM and given a patient hearing.
Omar Abdullah tweeted, “ Grateful to @narendramodi ji for taking out the time to receive the delegation from J&K and giving us a patient hearing beyond allotted time”
Besides Abdullah, Ghulam Ahmed Mir (Congress), Hakeem Mohammad (People’s Democratic Front] M.Y. Tarigami, CPM, Ghulam Hassan Mir [Democratic Party Nationalist] were also part of the meeting which discussed the ongoing violence in Kashmir.
The leaders asked Modi to ban the use of pellet guns, which have so far claimed lives of 66 protesters. They also asked Modi to start talking to the striking youth and all other stakeholders.
They handed over a memorandum to Modi, listing their demands.
According to an official release, Modi expressed his deep concern and pain at the prevailing situation in the state. He said that those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation; whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us.
He asked political leader to reach out to people in the Valley and tell them that the nation stands by them. A legislator told the Governance Now that the prime minister had assured them that their suggestions will be looked into and followed up. “Prime minister clearly agreed that Kashmir was not an issue about [lack of] development alone,” he said.
The release said prime minister appealed for restoration of normalcy in Kashmir. He also expressed his commitment to the development of the state and its people.
Omar Abdullah told the prime minister that in view of serious injuries inflicted by the pellet guns on the youth who have been holding protests for over one and a half month, the government needs to ban its use. More importantly, he asked Modi to hold dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir to bring situation under control.
The legislators complained against the PDP-BJP government’s handling of the present crisis in Kashmir as an administrative issue and said there was lack of compassion. “The government in Kashmir has to take serious view of the protests and deal with it politically,” Omar is believed to have told prime minister.
Omar led delegation has already met President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to apprise them of the situation in Kashmir.
Interestingly on Sunday, finance minister Arun jaitley had hinted at a harsh stand on the stone pelters of Kashmir while speaking at a public rally in Jammu region. He had said the stone throwers were not satyagrahi but hamlawar [assailants].
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