J&K Opposition delegation meets PM, urges political response to Kashmir crisis

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A delegation of the Opposition Parties from J&K led by former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah which met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 22 urged him to “initiate a credible and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders to address the unrest in the State”.

 In response, the Prime Minister told the leaders that there has to be a dialogue and “we need to find a permanent solution to the problem in the state within the framework of the Constitution”. The PM also expressed ‘deep concern and pain’ over the prevailing situation in Kashmir, saying that those who lost their lives during the unrest “are part of us, our nation”.

 The J&K delegation submitted a memorandum to the PM which called for immediate measures to address the “grave situation” in the state.

 “The tried and tested formulations of dealing with the issue in Kashmir administratively rather than politically has further exacerbated the situation and created an unprecedented sense of disaffection and disenchantment – especially among the youth,” the  memorandum read.  “We are of the firm opinion that the Central Government should waste no further time in initiating a credible and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders to address the unrest in the State”.

The delegation requested PM “to announce an immediate ban on pellet guns and advise relevant quarters against the policy of mass harassment, raids and arrests as this have worsened an already volatile situation in the State and also goes against the values and principles of democracy”.

“A continued failure to address the unrest in Kashmir will further deepen the sense of alienation. We hope you will take immediate measures to address this grave situation,” the memorandum said.

The delegation told PM that more than sixty young lives had been lost in the Valley in the current unrest and thousands of young boys and girls had been injured due to an excessive use of force, “many of whom have been blinded and maimed for life by the unchecked use of pellet guns”.

The delegation mainly comprised leaders of National Conference and the Congress from all parts of the state.

On Sunday, the same delegation had met the President Pranab Mukherjee and urged him to use his good offices for a political resolution of the current imbroglio in the state.