Govt holds all-party meet on Kashmir, Opposition pitches for talks with Hurriyat
Ahead of the visit of an all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir, political parties on Saturday pitched for holding dialogue with "all stakeholders", including Hurriyat, to douse the unrest and banning the use of pellet guns by security forces.
New Delhi: Ahead of the visit of an all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir, political parties on Saturday pitched for holding dialogue with "all stakeholders", including Hurriyat, to douse the unrest and banning the use of pellet guns by security forces.
After a meeting held by the government to brief the MPs who are part of the 30-member delegation, leaders from Congress and CPI(M) said all stakeholders should be approached during the two-day visit of the delegation to Jammu and Kashmir beginning tomorrow.
"Government should invite Hurriyat for talks with the all-party delegation.... The invitation extended to others should be given to Hurriyat also. It is up to them whether they want to meet the delegation," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.
Yechury said government should make "tangible" announcement like a ban on pellet guns, withdrawal of AFSPA from civilian areas and rehabilitation and compensation package for those who lost their lives in recent violence as a follow-up of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement of taking peace initiative on the basis of 'Insaniyat, Jamuriyat and Kashmiriyat'.
The delegation will interact with individuals and groups aiming to bring peace in the Valley, which has been facing unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the UPA is open to holding dialogue with all stakeholders.
"We have said that the option of dialogue should be open to all stakeholders. The government should open the dialogue with all stakeholders. The Centre and the state government know who the stake holders are. They have to identify the stakeholders and invite," he said in the presence of Tariq Anwar of NCP, a UPA constituent.
Azad said the pellet guns should be replaced with less lethal options to control protesters in Kashmir Valley.
Prem Singh Chandumajra of Shiromani Akali Dal said the secular face of Jammu and Kashmir is being lost due to violence. "It needs a political framework. It is not merely a law and order issue."
After the meeting, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is leading the delegation, said all members gave suggestions on the proposed visit.
He said the delegation will meet all representatives in Jammu and Kashmir.
After returning to Delhi on Monday night, the delegation would meet once again "and the government will take action based on their suggestions," he said.
After the meeting, Yechury said that confidence building measures should be announced during the visit of the delegation.
An interactive session to brief MPs who will be part of the 30-member all-party delegation was held today to make them aware of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and contours of the tour during which they will hold talks with a cross-section of people.
The prevailing ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir and positions and views of different stakeholders, individuals and groups were conveyed to the parliamentarians.
Apart from the Home Minister and Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, those who will be part of the all-party delegation include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his Lok Sabha colleague Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja.
NCP's Tariq Anwar and Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and Anandrao Adsul, TDP's Thota Narasimham, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prem Singh Chandumajra, BJD's Dilip Tirkey, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, AIUDF's Badaruddin Ajmal and Muslim League's E Ahamed will be a party of the delegation.
TRS' Jitendra Reddy, NK Premchandran (RSP), P Venugopal (AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), YB Subba (YSR-Cong), Jaiprakash Yadav (RJD), Dharamveer Gandhi (AAP) and Dushyant Chautala (RLD) are also in the team.
BSP and Samajwadi Party have extended their support but have not been able to nominate any of their members.