Opposition parties led by J&K National Conference pitched that India and Pakistan should hold talks for the resolution of tension in Kashmir. In their meeting on Friday, the senior opposition leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, including former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah sought the Centre to initiate a political process on the issue, stressing that war is not the solution.
“We are all concerned about peace in Jammu and Kashmir. India and Pakistan should sit on a table and resolve this issue,” Farooq Abdullah told reporters after chairing a meeting of opposition parties’ leaders, including Congress and CPI(M).
“Through dialogue, our (Kashmir) issue will also be resolved. War is not a solution,” he said.
The septuagenarian also recalled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous speech in Kashmir in 2002, citing that friends can be changed but not neighbours.
Terming the prevailing situation in the Valley as “dangerous”, he said all parties should work together for peace for which a political process has to be initiated. The Kashmir valley has off-late seen repeated clashes between the security forces and locals, which has resulted in the death of over 80 people.
The valley remains under curfew after the spike in protests post the encounter killing of Hizbul militant and poster boy of militancy Burhan Wani early in July.
“We are unanimous that the current situation is dangerous. The sooner it is resolved the better it is for the state and the South Asian region… The Prime Minister has said it needs to be resolved and it is even in the agenda of the ruling party (PDP) to have a dialogue with all stakeholders, including Hurriyat Conference,” Abdullah added.
The former CM demanded that for the dialogue process to start, all political prisoners and youth arrested during the current unrest should be set free.
The opposition parties also demanded a commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe the deaths and loss of eyesight due to use of pellet guns in Kashmir and find who is responsible. They further demanded that a special session of the state Assembly be held for discussing the prevailing situation.
Asked if the demands of opposition parties will embolden the terrorists, Abdullah said, “If we resolve this issue, there will be no terrorism. If the two nations resolve this issue, terrorism will die automatically
(With inputs from the PTI)