A joint delegation of opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir, led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and appealed to him to adopt a political approach to deal with the unrest in the Valley. The memorandum submitted to the PM also appealed for an immediate ban on pellet guns.
The 20-member delegation, not only pushed for a political approach to resolve the crisis, but also asked the Prime Minister to ensure that the “mistakes” of the past were not repeated.
On his part, PM Modi appealed to all parties to work together to find a “permanent and lasting” solution and expressed his “deep concern and pain” on the situation in the Valley, where the unrest entered its 45th day.
The Prime Minister appreciated the “constructive suggestions” made by them (delegation) during the talks and reiterated his government’s commitment to the welfare of people, said an official statement which was issued after the 75-minute-long meeting.
The Prime Minister also emphasised on the need for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
“…Those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation; whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us…Government and the nation stand with the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the Prime Minister.
Omar too tweeted after the meeting to say, “we welcome the statement of the Hon PM @narendramodi ji and look forward to working together to find a lasting solution to problems of J&K.”
“The Prime Minister told us in categorical terms that development alone will not resolve this problem…We emphasised that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is more of political in nature. Time and again such situations do arise but if we are unable to find a political solution to it, we will be repeating our mistakes again and again,” said Omar, the working president of National Conference.
The delegation also submitted a memorandum to the PM which called for an immediate ban on pellet guns.
“We also implore you to announce an immediate ban on pellet guns and advise relevant quarters against the policy of mass harassment, raids and arrests as this has worsened an already volatile situation in the State and also goes against the values and principles of democracy,” the memorandum stated.
The leaders flagged the issue of youths falling victims to the continued protests.
Apart from the PM, the delegation has already met President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to apprise them of the situation in the state.
Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and so far over 60 people have been killed.
(With inputs from PTI)