Kashmir: Govt agrees to dialogue, all party meet on Friday

Rising above political differences, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday appealed to people of the Kashmir valley to restore peace and harmony. Sharing the pain of the suffering Kashmiris, the government expressed readiness to start a dialogue with the moderate groups and others and decided to call an all-party meet on Friday.

Replying to the six-hour-long debate on prevailing situation in the valley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, while asserting that he was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said an all-party meeting will be held on Friday on the Kashmir situation, which would be attended by the Prime Minister. The leaders also criticised Pakistan’s role in fomenting trouble in the state.

Quashing rumours that there was any move to hand over Kashmir to the Army, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that such a buzz was being spread “deliberately” to discredit the peace initiatives.  
Responding to the demand to stop the use of pellet guns, Singh said instructions have been issued to security forces to exercise “maximum restraint” but there would be no compromise on national security and pro-Pakistan slogans on Indian soil would not be tolerated in any case.

With regard to dialogue with Pakistan, he said any talks on Kashmir would be about the territories under the occupation of that country. “No power on earth can snatch Kashmir from us,” he declared while referring to the letter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the UN seeking ‘plebiscite’ in Kashmir.

At the end of the debate in which 29 members from across the political spectrum spoke, the Rajya Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution, saying: “This House expresses its serious concern over the prolonged turbulence, violence and curfew in the Kashmir valley.” It added that the House “conveys its deep sense of anguish and concern over the loss of lives and critical injuries caused by the deteriorating situation.”

The resolution asserted that the House “is of the firm and considered view that while there cannot be any compromise on national security, it is equally an imperative that urgent steps are taken to restore order and peace for the alleviation of the sufferings of the people.” 

The House “earnestly appeals to all sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir, to work for the early restoration of normalcy and harmony and unanimously resolves to restore the confidence of the people in general and youth in particular,” it said.
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