The all-party delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir this week issued a joint statement, asking the Central and State governments to take steps for a dialogue with “all stakeholders.” It, however, said national sovereignty should not be compromised.
The members of the delegation, headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, met on Wednesday. The joint statement released after the meeting appealed to the people of the State to shun violence and resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussions. Demands were made for resumption of the dialogue with Pakistan, confidence-building measures and a “dual track” approach.
The former J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, tweeted: “I'm struggling to find a single achievement that the all-party delegation can lay claim to after visiting J&K. Nothing comes to mind as yet!” “If all they had to do was issue this tame & sterile appeal, they could very easily have done so without wasting the time and money on a visit. 75 people have died, 1000s of civilians & security personnel have been injured and there is no sense of urgency in getting a grip on things,” he said.
'Restore normality at the earliest': The all-party delegation urged the Central and State governments to ensure that educational institutions, government offices and commercial establishments resumed working at the earliest. On its part, the government sought to downplay its earlier decision to act tough on the separatists by curtailing the facilities given to them.
'Separatists using children': “We are looking at a two-pronged strategy now — to remove children from the influence of separatists and to ensure the welfare of security forces. Both are ours. Separatists are using the children,” Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told The Media. The Minister said there was a limit on what the government could do. “On the one hand, you will wave the Pakistani flag, chant anti-India slogans and expect sympathy. The agitation has reached rural areas now.”
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said some confidence-building measures, including a ban on pellet guns, medical help to the injured and a probe into the alleged excesses by the security forces, should be taken immediately. “The members of the delegation are of the opinion that there is no place for violence in a civilised society. There can be no compromise on national sovereignty,” said a resolution adopted at the meeting and read out by Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh.