The Bold Voice of J&K

Cong pitches for ‘healing of wounds’ of Kashmir

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New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for “healing the wounds” of Kashmir, Congress on Friday pitched for talks with mainstream and non-mainstream parties and “other stakeholders” to defuse the “extremely tense and tragic” situation.
After an all party meeting on the issue chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We assure the government that for any positive step to resolve the issue in Kashmir, they will have our full co-operation.”
Significantly, the Congress leader emphasised that there can be no talks with Pakistan at the “moment” when it is “waging a war of words”.
Senior Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the meeting that the “most important thing” at the moment was to defuse the present situation, Azad said at a press conference.
What is important is to “heal the wounds and not to close the doors of dialogue. Win the hearts and minds of people in general and youth in particular,” Azad said.
This, he said, should be done by “cajoling,…. (through) love and affection as we cannot win over by confrontation”
The Congress pushed for dialogue with mainstream and non-mainstream parties and “other stakeholders”, Azad said.
Responding to questions, he, however, did not specify who the mainstream, non-mainstream parties and  “other stakeholders” are, saying “This has to be decided by the Centre and the state government.”
Manmohan Singh, who was the first speaker at the meeting, said it is for the government of India to come up with a roadmap for defusing the situation.
He said during 10 years of UPA rule, efforts were made to find “practical and pragmatic” solution to these issues. Asked whether he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and the assurances from the government, Azad remarked “I will be satisfied once we succeed in retrieving the situation”.
He said the meeting saw all political parties making it clear that there cannot be any compromise on unity and integrity of the country.
“Pakistan is waging a war of words. You cannot talk to them at this moment,” he said in reply to a question. Replying to questions, Azad said there was no need to appoint any new committee or working group to go into the problems faced by the state, but government should implement the recommendations and suggestions of such working groups constituted during the UPA rule.
“It is important to win the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” was the refrain of Azad. He said it was time for the Prime Minister to act after listening to the views of all political parties.
Azad made it clear that at this juncture, no poliical party is making any prestige issue. “We want situation in Kashmir to normalise. It is not a time when we should find faults with the government,” he added.

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