KASHMIR MEET: Modi opens PoK front “Doors of Govt open to address grievances of all sections”
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the doors of the government were open for addressing “grievances” of all sections in Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution but made it clear there cannot be any compromise with the nation’s integrity.
An All Party Meeting convened by the Centre to discuss the current unrest in Kashmir was told by Modi that the Centre was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution as per the basic tenets of the Constitution.
“We all are committed to the national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country’s integrity.
“We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution,” Modi told the marathon four-hour meeting, adding his “heart was pained” over the 35-day unrest that has claimed the lives of 55 people.
Modi, who chaired the meeting attended by its ruling ally PDP and opposition parties, also targeted Pakistan and said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) is also part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi minced no words in terming cross-border terrorism supported by Pakistan as the root cause of turbulence in the Valley and said the time had come to expose the atrocities committed “by our neighbouring nation” in Balochistan and the areas of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation.
The meeting was convened on a day when the Lok Sabha unanimously passed a resolution, appealing for urgent steps to restore order and peace in the Valley while asserting that there can be no compromise with the country’s integrity and security.
Some opposition parties demanded that an All Party delegation be sent to Kashmir.
But, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was flanked by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at a news conference, said before sending such a team, the state government has to undertake some ground work.
“Once state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti informs me that the ground work has been done, we will consider sending it,” Singh said.
Asked whether any decision had been taken on curbing the use of pellet guns which has triggered an outrage, both Singh and Jaitley said an expert committee has already been formed by the Home Ministry and once a report is filed, a decision will be taken.
Jaitley said all the political parties spoke in one voice and came out and put forth their views in right intent.
Singh said the Prime Minister called for launching a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan by “exposing” its actions in Balochistan and PoK.
The Prime Minister asked External Affairs Ministry to get in touch with residents of PoK settled in various parts of the world and gather information about the “pathetic state of affairs” there and inform the world community about it.
“Whatever lies Pakistan may spread, the world will not fall for its propaganda and disinformation,” Modi said.
He said the neighbouring country has forgotten that it uses its fighter aircraft to bomb its own people.
“Now the time has come that Pakistan will have to give an account before the world of the atrocities committed on the people of Balochistan and PoK,” the Prime Minister said.
Asked about the take away from the meeting, Jaitley said all parties are on the same opinion and the national approach is broadly consensual and there was no laxity in the government’s policy on Kashmir.
“Consensus is there will be no compromise on terror or with separatism. Security alertness will be utmost and using this as the base, we will try and ensure that normalcy returns so that as far as average citizen is concerned, life returns to normal,” he said. Jaitley added that there will be no lowering of guard as far as security is concerned, but security forces will act with restraint.
“Terrorism and violence will be dealt with effectively.
As far as the life and comfort of people of ordinary people is concerned, we shall try and ensure that life is brought to normal as far as their circumstances are concerned,” he said. During today’s meeting, Congress and Left parties called for talks with mainstream and non-mainstream parties and “other stakeholders” and stop use of pellet guns.
Making a strong pitch for “healing the wounds” of Kashmir to defuse the “extremely tense and tragic” situation, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad insisted that 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.”
This, he said, should be done by “cajoling,….love and affection as we cannot win over by confrontation”
Former Prime Minister 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. Rajnath earlier said the exercise on the Rs 80,000 crore economic package for the state is already underway and some amount has already been sent to the state and the rest will be given clearance by the Finance Ministry soon.
He also said that recruitment of 10,000 Special Police Officers in the state was on besides raising a battalion of central armed police force and five India Reserve battalions.
“I have complete confidence that with the dedication of the state government and with your total cooperation we will soon restore normal life in Jammu and Kashmir again,” he said as he praised Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s government, in which BJP is a partner, for its “careful handling” of the issue despite odds.
“Whoever be killed, whether civilians or security forces, we all feel the pain. I have full sympathies with their families. We are committed to providing good health care to the injured and also towards restoring peace in the Valley so that people could live their normal lives…” he said in his concluding remarks.
Invoking former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee again, he said his government would follow the path shown by him, a reference to the former Prime Minister’s offer to hold dialogue under the framework of ‘insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat’.
This is the second time in less than a week Modi has reached out to the people of the state and shown willingness towards dialogue with all stake-holders there.
Sharing the main points of his government’s Kashmir policy, Modi asked the External Affairs Ministry to try to contact citizens of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, living in different parts of the world, to get details of the area’s pitiable condition and share them with the international community.
LS passes K-resolution, appeals for peace
New Delhi: Voicing concern over prolonged curfew, violence and loss of lives in Kashmir, Lok Sabha on Friday unanimously passed a resolution, appealing for urgent steps to restore order and peace in the valley while asserting that there can be no compromise with the country’s integrity and security.
In the resolution read out by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, the House appealed to all sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir to restore the confidence among the people in general and youth in particular.
The House “conveys its deep sense of anguish and concern over the loss of lives and critical injuries caused by the deteriorating situation,” it said.
Amid thumping of desks by members from all sides, the resolution asserted that the House “is of the firm and considered view that there cannot be any compromise on unity, integrity and national security.
“It is equally an imperative that urgent steps are taken to restore order and peace for the alleviation of the sufferings of the people,” it said.
The resolution was read out by the Speaker after opposition parties suggested that she instead of Home Minister Rajnath Singh should propose it.
Earlier, leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the House pass a resolution on Kashmir where the situation was turning complex and was deteriorating by the day.
The House should appeal that the whole nation is united on the issue, Kharge said which was promptly agreed to by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.