Kashmir Chief Minister Appeals For India-Pak Dialogue To End People’s Agony
Srinagar, July 22 (NIA): The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, has called for the revival of India-Pakistan dialogue to ensure peace in her state and bring stability to the region.
Addressing an All Party Meeting on Thursday, which had been called to find ways to end the on-going violent conflict between Kashmiri youth and the Indian Security Forces, Mehbooba stressed the need to take “all stakeholders on board” and resume dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir.
The five hour meeting asked New Delhi to take the initiative in this matter.
The Chief Minister said the Government would act as “a facilitator” for resolving the problems and challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir “if tangible steps are taken to reach out to all the stakeholders.”
“A new course for Jammu and Kashmir can be chalked out only by reaching out to all the stakeholders including the youth who have to pay a huge price because of the uncertainties plaguing the State for more than six decades,” she said.
“Alternatives have to be found to existing crowd control methods to ensure that the youth don’t get killed or maimed in such situations. I am especially pained by the grievous eye injuries caused to some youth because of the pellets guns,” Mehbooba said, breaking down.
“This cruel method of crowd control will have to be done away with, sooner the better,” she stressed.
The Chief Minister said people of Kashmir cannot live with pain and suffering forever.
“The suffering voices of people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be heard and substantive confidence building measures taken to address alienation and reduce the trust deficit,” she said.
“A beginning can be made by implementing the recommendations of the five Working Groups constituted by the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh in 2006, and reiterated in the PDP-BJP’s Agenda of Alliance,” Mehbooba suggested.
“The time has come to strike a new benchmark in the light of global and regional realities,” she stressed.
Terming the situation in Kashmir as “grim”, Communist Party of India Marxist leader A.M.Y Targami said it is “essentially a political unrest” which needs a political response.
“We hope the government of India understands these realities and faces them,” he said.
“What is happening is that there is a flare up, people get killed, it is discussed and forgotten. But the same series is repeated. If that happens again and again, I am afraid, there will be bigger troubles ahead,” Targami warned.
Peoples Democratic Front Chairman Hakeem Muhammad Yasin that the Kashmir issue is not only about employment and development.
The Congress said that the coalition government partners, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP, were “mute spectators” when Kashmir was burning.
The National Conference (NC) pointed out that resumption of an Indo-Pakistan dialogue was part of the PDP-BJP electoral understanding.
“We want to know what they have done in this connection for the last two years,” an NC spokesman said.
“The most astonishing fact is that the state Chief Minister, who chairs the Unified Command, was not able to pass an order to stop the use of pellet guns and has conveniently passed it on to the Union Home Minister,” the NC spokesman said.
Curfew On, But Schools Ordered To Be Open
On Thursday, the Kashmir government ordered the reopening of schools in the four violence affected districts, even though curfew was in force. It has been in force for the past fortnight and is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon, police said.
However, according to reports gathered by the newspaper Greater Kashmir from its district-level correspondents, a vast majority of schools in the four identified districts remained closed on Thursday.
Parents have condemned the “insensitive directive” of the government, which they fear will put the lives of students at great risk.
Nawaz Sharif Waiting For Kashmir To Be Part of Pakistan
On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said that Pakistanis are “waiting for the day when Kashmir becomes Pakistan.”
Addressing a rally in Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir (that part of Kashmir which is held by Pakistan) Sharif urged Pakistani Kashmiris “not to forget those in Indian held Kashmir who are sacrificing their lives for the sake of their freedom movement.”
“Their movement for freedom cannot be stopped and it will be successful. You are aware how they are being beaten and killed. All our prayers are with them and we are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes Pakistan,” Sharif said.