Manmohan to head Congress policy group on JK

Manmohan to head Congress policy group on JK

NC-Congress delegation calls on President, Rahul

The Congress on Wednesday formulated a policy planning group for Jammu and Kashmir to “take forward the peace initiative” in the state.

The Congress has been critical of the Centre as well as the PDP-BJP coalition government over the handling of situation in J&K since last year’s uprising triggered by the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

The policy-planning group, sources said, is headed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and includes former Home Minister P Chidambaram and CWC members Karan Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad, besides the JK Congress in-charge Ambika Soni.

"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has constituted a policy-planning group for Jammu and Kashmir under the chairmanship of Dr Manmohan Singh," AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a statement.

Other leaders who are part of the group include Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, CLP leader in state Rigzin Zora, former MP Tariq Hameed Karra and party vice president Shyam Lal Sharma. The group would study and assess the ground situation and take initiatives to restore normalcy in the state, which is facing unrest for quite some time now, officials said.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga while talking to Greater Kashmir said: “It is an effort by the Congress party to suggest constructive measures to resolve issues. Congress party will discuss and debate the constitutional and legal points and suggest constructive measures to bring peace in the Valley.”

Asked whether the committee would reach out to separatist leaders, he said: “Let the committee meet and discuss first. Our effort is to restore peace and resolution of issues. We will talk to every stakeholder.”

DELEGATION MEETS PRESIDENT, RAHUL

A joint delegation of Congress and National Conference leaders called on President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Wednesday and briefed him about what’s happening in the state, Congress leaders said.

The delegation was led by JKPCC Chief, G A Mir. It briefed the President about overall socio-political scenario in the State, especially in Kashmir and apprised him of the hardships being faced by the people due to the “failures” of the present government on all the fronts, the Congress leaders said.

They said the delegation expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in Kashmir and said that it was the duty of the State government to create a conducive and appropriate security environment.

The delegation briefed the President about the “brutalities” inflicted on students and expressed serious concern over use of force against them, the leaders said, adding that the delegation urged the President to prevail upon the Central government to hold talks with all stakeholders in the state to end the crisis in Kashmir.

The delegation urged the President to ask the Centre to reach out to the people, especially youth, in Kashmir to instill the confidence among the people.

The delegation comprised Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Leader Nawang Rigzin Jora, MLA Mubarak Gul, Deputy CLP Leader Aijaz Ahmad Khan, MLA GM Saroori, MLA Haji Abdul Rashid Dar, MLA Gulzar Ahmad Wani, MLA Altaf Kaloo, MLC Showket Hussain Ganie, MLA Abdul Majeed Larmi and Thakur Balbir Singh.

The delegation also met the All India Congress Committee, Vice- Chairman, Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and briefed him about the prevailing situation in Kashmir. "Met a delegation of Congress and NC leaders, who will call on the President later today (Wednesday) to express our concern over the situation in Kashmir," Rahul wrote on the micro-blogging site twitter.

(With inputs from PTI)