Chairing an all-party meeting on the continuing fragile situation in Kashmir valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held cross-border terrorism as the root cause of turbulence in the valley. Asserting that the government was ready to address “grievances” of all sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir as per the Constitution, the Prime Minister underlined that there cannot be any compromise with the nation’s integrity.
The situation in Kashmir valley is tense with curfew remaining in force for the last 35 days following the sudden spurt in the violence post the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander and poster-boy Burhan Wani.
“We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution,” the Prime Minister said adding, “We all are committed to this national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country’s regional integrity.”
During the all-party meeting, Opposition laid specific emphasis on sending an all-party delegation to the valley to take first-hand stock of the situation and taking immediate confidence-building measures like putting an end to the use of pellet guns by the security forces. The pellet guns have sparked controversy with its use to counter protest leaving several protesters injured, suffering severe to irreversible eye injuries.
Some opposition parties also sought the government to relax AFSPA in some parts of the valley.
“There was virtual unanimity on the suggestion that a political dialogue should be started immediately with all stakeholders in the state to restore normalcy,” CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told the press.
On its part, the government did not make any commitments regarding any of the demands raised by the Opposition.
“No decision on all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir as of now,” said Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley addressing the presser after the all-party meeting. He, however, said that the security implications of banning the use of controversial pellet guns will be considered and the decision may be arrived at “after expert committee evaluation”.
“Security forces have been asked to maintain utmost restraint… but there will be no lowering of guard as far as security is concerned,” Jaitley added in a presser he addressed along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
On another issue taken up during an all-party meeting of holding talks with the separatists, the government said “the decision to call separatists and Hurriyat for talks will be evaluated according to the prevailing situation”.
The meeting comes after the Opposition made a strong pitch for it in the Parliament earlier this week. On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha members unanimously raised concern and passed a resolution appealing to the people of Kashmir to maintain peace and harmony.
(With inputs from PTI)