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J&K Opposition leaders set to meet President Mukherjee to discuss Valley situation

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 August 2016, 12:03 IST

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah-led all-party delegation will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on 20 August to apprise him about the prevailing situation in the Valley.

The decision came at a meeting attended by members of the National Conference, Congress, Communist Party, Democratic Party Front, Awami Ittehad Party and People's Democratic Front on Wednesday.

"When you say Kashmir is an integral part of India, you are talking the land not of people. Make people yours too. A small problem with Gujarat and the Prime minister spoke to the people there in Gujarati; why our problem is not important enough," Omar asked.

"We want the Centre to take emergent steps to check excessive use of force. There is a need for a judicial probe into the Kashmir situation," said Omar, alleging that both the Central and state governments "totally failed" to stop the killings of civilians in the Valley.

Omar said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had been blaming Pakistan for the unrest. "Yes, they are playing a negative role, but it is the security forces who are killing youth and other people of the Valley," he said.

He said Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue and should be solved politically.

"But unfortunately, the Centre has been saying 'Kashmir is integral part of India'; they are not talking about the Valley people, they are only talking about the land of Kashmir," he added.

Omar said they would try to meet leaders of all political parties in Delhi and also former judges of the Supreme Court urging them to help resolve the problem.

Holding Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti responsible for the unrest, the leader of opposition said, "She has played worst form of politics by holding everybody from Nehru to Modi (responsible for the Kashmir situation). Unlike Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which actively lobbied for dismissal of my government, I neither sought the dismissal of Mehboobaji's government nor had asked for her resignation. This is not a battle for chairs; this is about safeguarding the future generation of Jammu and Kashmir."

As many as 65 have been killed and thousands of civilians and security personnel reported injured in protest-related violence following the encounter of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on 8 July.

Speaking at the all-party meeting on the Kashmir issue in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held Pakistan responsible for the unrest in the Valley and appealed the youth to shun violence.

He also asked the security forces to maintain a greater degree of restrain while dealing with protesters.

Speaking in both Houses of Parliament, Rajnath Singh too held Pakistan responsible for the Kashmir unrest, while expressing India's resolve to deal sternly with terrorists.

The Home Minister also asked security forces to exercise restraint as much as possible.


First published: 20 August 2016, 12:03 IST