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Congress seeks dialogue to bring Kashmir Valley out of unrest

Accusing the ruling coalition of betraying people in Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Monday sought a “sustained and meaningful” dialogue with all stakeholders, including the separatists, to address Kashmir issue and bring the Valley out of the nearly four-month-long unrest.

“We have been seeking talks with the Hurriyat for over three months now. We told the Governor that this government is committed to dialogue but they have kept dialogue at the backdoor (sic) now, which is a betrayal with the people.

“There should be a sustainable and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders including the Hurriyat,” JKPCC president G.A. Mir said here.

“We want to tell the two parties (PDP and BJP) that their agenda of alliance (common minimum programme) favoured sustainable dialogue by taking everyone onboard,”” he said.

A dialogue process that needs an “open mind”

Mir was addressing a press conference after a delegation of Congress’s state unit called on Governor N.N. Vohra at Raj Bhavan here.

He said the party urged the Governor to impress upon both the State as well as the Centre to initiate a process of dialogue for addressing the issues.

“We asked the Governor to use his powers to make the State and the Centre to sit (on the dialogue table). Otherwise, how long will this bloodshed, unrest and strike continue.

“If after this, there is no meaningful dialogue by taking on-board everyone, then perhaps even the Congress party cannot play any role,” he said.

The JKPCC president said the dialogue process should be initiated with an “open mind”.

Let a dialogue process be initiated with an open mind, then they can seek time as these issues are such which cannot be resolved in a day. Let a group or forum be created for suggestions or dialogue where everyone can put forward his viewpoint, Mir said.

He said the ruling PDP has “betrayed” the people.

“Now, the chief minister herself has said that AFSPA cannot be revoked even as it sought votes on that (plank) from the people. They have a habit of making u-turns. Nothing has been done for the return of the power projects as well,” he said.

An inquiry into the unrest

Mir said, during their meeting with the Governor, the party sought an inquiry by a retired Supreme Court Justice into the over three month unrest in the Valley.

“We want a retired Supreme Court justice be appointed to inquire into the situation during the last three-and-a-half months and clear the confusion, fix the responsibility and see what steps went wrong and who took them,” he said.

Expressing concern over the situation, he said the government was now acting against its own machinery by sacking employees.

“We want inquiry into the allegations against the employees. They have been terminated without any inquiry. Why embarrass them and take away their livelihood without an inquiry.

The people of the Valley are feeling uncertainty and the alienation is increasing.

“On one hand the situation in the whole Valley is showing no signs of ending, but on the other hand the PDP-BJP government remains unmoved,” he said.

He said the people had hopes that the government, especially Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti would take some steps on her own so as to provide solace to the people.

She herself has been a political worker and should have understood the ground situation, that what the people of Kashmir want, to break the unrest which has affected livelihood of the people especially labourers. It is the responsibility of the government to look into the problems of the people and not just transfer officers, said Mr. Mir.

“We have tried to cooperate with both the state as well as the Centre,” Mir claimed.

The JKPCC president said the party informed the Governor that many teenagers have been arrested under PSA, even after commitments by the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister that the government will review the cases of the first-time offenders or juveniles.

But hundreds of children are languishing in jails even as the government wants to conduct examinations, he claimed.

“Has any inquiry been conducted, any report solicited before arresting them or have they been arrested on pure political vendetta because someone had not voted for you or supported you? We are not against conducting examinations, Mir said.

“But it is the inherited duty of the government to create an atmosphere first for the children to come out and reach their schools before their exams are conducted,” he added.

As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley which was triggered after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 12:39:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Congress-seeks-dialogue-to-bring-Kashmir-Valley-out-of-unrest/article16080427.ece

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