KASHMIR CRISIS: APD calls for dialogue, but says ‘no compromise on sovereignty’

Rajnath chairs 4-hour-long meeting where parliamentarians discuss future course of action

Press Trust of India
New Delhi, Publish Date: Sep 8 2016 12:18AM | Updated Date: Sep 8 2016 1:11AM
KASHMIR CRISIS: APD calls for dialogue, but says ‘no compromise on sovereignty’GK Photo

The All Party Delegation (APD) that visited Jammu and Kashmir recently pitched for dialogue with all stakeholders which the government reciprocated by saying it was prepared for discussions with all but made no reference to separatists Hurriyat Conference.

At the three-hour long meeting of the APD, which visited the state on September 4-5, demands were made for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, confidence building measures and a "dual track" approach for bringing peace in Kashmir.

The meeting, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who led the delegation, made it clear that there would be no “compromise on national sovereignty.”

The political parties appealed to the people of the state to “shun the path of violence and resolve all issues through dialogue and discussion.”

"The members of the delegation are of the opinion that there is no place for violence in a civilised society. There can be no compromise on issue of national sovereignty," the resolution, read out by Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, said.

While the resolution requested the central and state governments to take steps for dialogue with all stake holders, Left Parties batted for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue and announcement of confidence building measures like withdrawal of AFSPA from civilian areas.

Without making any reference to separatists including Hurriyat Conference, the APD statement asked the Central and state governments "to take steps for a dialogue with all stake holders". While some opposition leaders met Hurriyat Conference leaders lodged in various sub jails, Syed Ali Geelani refused to meet them.

Asked whether separatists would also come under the purview of "stakeholders", MoS in PMO said the Home Minister is open for dialogue with "all stake holders". He did not elaborate.

To a similar question, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the separatist amalgamate is part of the "all stake holders".

Yechury said there was no discussion on the performance of Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government but leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi said personally he felt that the PDP-BJP government has failed to handle the current situation, which continued for too long, leading to "the present mess".

"This is not the time to blame. This is the time to work unitedly for bringing peace in Kashmir," Yechury said.

Owaisi said in the APD meeting that a non-BJP and non-Congress fact-finding team of political parties should visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet a cross section of people to ascertain the loss of lives due to forces’ action.

While demanding release of those "illegally jailed" in the Kashmir Valley, the AIMIM leader said Union Home Minister should talk to the editors of four leading newspapers of Kashmir.

Yechury said government should follow up its Kashmir outreach initiative by taking concrete steps like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had declared a unilateral ceasefire and held talks with militant group Hizbul Mujahideen.

Kharge said even though the government had announced that pellet guns would be replaced by chilli-based non-lethal ammunition PAVA, one man died yesterday due to the injuries by pellets.

Expressing serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state, the APD statement said the members of the delegation were of the view that there is no place for violence in a civilised society.

"There can be no compromises on the issues of national sovereignty," it added.

The meeting asked both the governments to take steps to ensure that education institutions, government offices and commercial establishment start functioning normally at the earliest.

They requested the government to take effective steps to ensure security for all citizens and provide medical treatment to citizens and security personnel injured in agitation.

Yechury and Owaisi said the Home Minister denied that there was a plan to curtail the security provided to separatist leaders.

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