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Cong roots for dialogue to calm down Valley unrest

As Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a two-day visit to the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday, Congress on Tuesday made a strong pitch for initiating talks to calm down the situation in the state which is on the boil for the past 45 days.

“PM should initiate talks. Unless they take a step forward, situation in J&K won’t improve,” the party tweeted quoting Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, today. The remarks came close on the heels of former Union minister P Chidambaram batting for sending an all-party delegation to the Valley.

Chidambaram said earlier today the meeting between a delegation of J-K opposition parties and Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday must be welcomed if it is the first sign of “fresh thinking”.

“Yesterday’s meeting between PM & J&K opposition parties: if it is the first sign of fresh thinking, we must welcome it. Next step should be sending All Parties Delegation to J&K,” the senior Congress leader said on the micro-blogging site.

Only Monday, Congress had dismissed as “shooting from the hip” the Prime Minister’s call for a dialogue to find a lasting solution to the unrest in Kashmir Valley.

“It looks that the Prime Minister’s words keep changing. What he said at the all-party meeting, his remarks in the Independence Day address and today he is talking of dialogue, but dialogue with whom? There is a suspicion that these are mere words, mere empty rhetoric for the Prime Minister. He is unfortunately shooting from his hip and merely shooting the breeze,” party spokesman Manish Tewari had said.

Modi had a 75-minute-long meeting with a joint opposition delegation led by former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday. The Prime Minister emphasised on the need for dialogue to find a “permanent and lasting solution” within the framework of the Constitution and also asked all political parties to work together to find a solution to the problems in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rajnath Singh today said he will review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir during his two-day visit there beginning tomorrow, and may hold talks with cross sections of people. This is the second visit of Singh in a month to the Valley which has been witnessing unrest since July 8 when Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.

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