Local Goa News

Monday, August 8, 2016

Valley unrest: PM Modi may try to soothe nerves in Kashmir to end deadlock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may soon break his silence and try applying balm on the angry and wounded psyche of Kashmir to restore peace.

The Centre, highly placed sources said, is keenly weighing the small window of reprieve it has got during one month of violent protests to bring in PM Modi to apply the much needed healing touch and thus pave the way to engage with people and initiate the dialogue process in Kashmir.

Giving similar indication, J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, who held hectic parleys with top cabinet ministers in Delhi on Monday, said, "Situation has improved to a great extent right now...Today is an opportunity to apply balm on the injured … I hope that PM Modi who has got big mandate will see this situation as an opportunity and would try to apply balm and start the process of dialogue like Vajpayee did."

She, however, cautioned against any military use to confront current Kashmir unrest, amidst reports of Kashmir being handed over to Indian Army.

PM Modi is yet to address the month long Kashmir turmoil that so far has resulted in 55 deaths besides leaving nearly 7,000 injured. Voices within J&K and outside have criticized him for speaking in favour of Dalits and against cow vigilantes but not on Kashmir. Though union home minister Rajnath Singh has tried to soothe tempers in the valley, his words have had no impact.

Mehbooba met union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Manohar Parrikar for nearly two hours where national security advisor Ajit Doval, home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top security officials were also present.

Prior to meeting Mehbooba, Rajnath Singh met PM Modi along with Doval to discuss Kashmir turmoil.

"These are our people. If through dialogue the situation can become better out we should try that.

"Instead of being a root cause of dispute between India and Pakistan, J&K can become a bridge of friendship between the two countries," said Mehbooba adding that "like Vajpayee government, this government will also take the initiative to win heart of Kashmiri people."

Calling for an end to vicious cycle of violence that can be made possible only through a productive dialogue and reconciliation process, Mehbooba said, "There has been mounting cynicism in Kashmir over a period of time as every confidence building process initiated in the past was never followed up with sincerity of purpose."

Keeping up the pressure on Modi government, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad lamented, "Hindustan ka taj jal raha hai aur uski garmi Dilli tak nahi pahunchti (India's crown is in flames and the government in Delhi seems unmoved). We want to awaken this government…we feel that the government and the Prime Minister are like silent spectators as the situation keeps deteriorating."

A day before, describing the situation in Kashmir as very dangerous, Azad in an open letter to the PM had sought his personal indulgence for taking urgent steps to win the hearts of the people of the state.

Azad supported by several opposition parties asked the government to initiate a political process to normalise the situation and not treat it as a law and order issue.

Prime Minister must immediately call an all-party meeting to discuss the situation in Kashmir, followed by the visit of an all-party delegation to the valley, he said.

What Mehbooba said and wants:
|- I hope PM sees this as an opportunity to initiate dialogue with the people of Kashmir

|- PM must carry forward Vajpayee's legacy

|- Bold and tangible initiatives needed to reach out to the people in J&K

|- Military must not be used to confront current Kashmir unrest

|- Lot of people have died and injured; important to heal wounds now

|- Enormous economic drop-down as has happened this time around

|- Cynicism mounting in Kashmir as every confidence building process was never followed up

|- There has to be a political solution to the problem of Jammu and Kashmir

DNA India News

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