The government should hold wider consultations with political parties at the national level and political groups in Jammu and Kashmir to arrive at a strategy that would stop the escalating violence in the State over the last couple of weeks, the BJP said here on Thursday.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the worrisome situation. He said it was time the government, particularly Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, took political parties and people into confidence.

Not since the Hazratbal incident in the 1960s had the Kashmir Valley been so explosive, Mr. Javadekar said. If the government were not to wake up and act fast, all the gains made in the last 40 years would evaporate, he warned.

He said Pakistan had invested Rs. 50 crore in what he called ‘low cost, high impact' strategy to provoke people to resort to stone-throwing at security personnel.

“Withdraw package”

Mr. Javadekar alleged that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was doing nothing to take action against stone-throwers and police-beaters. Instead, the State government had virtually announced a reward for the “surrendered stone-pelters” by making job offers. “We demand that this package be withdrawn. It was a wrong move by the State government that has in fact encouraged stone-pelting,” he said.

Stones were brought to streets in trucks and youth were paid money to throw these at security personnel. When provoked, the security personnel fire, and sometimes even with rubber bullets fired at close range there could be fatalities, as had happened. Then, this would lead to another round of violence, he said.