Mehbooba chairs all-party meeting on Kashmir situation

July 21, 2016 12:50 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 02:22 pm IST - Srinagar

An all-party meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar on Thursday, asked New Delhi to start “a political engagement with all stakeholders, including separatists, to address the larger political problem”.

Except for main opposition National Conference (NC), all parties — including Congress, BJP, CPI (M), Peoples Conference and Lok Jan Shakti – attended the five-hour long meeting.

A three-point resolution, adopted after the meeting, the all parties expressed grief over the loss of life and noted empathy and sense of solidarity with people of reflected in both houses of the Parliament.

“The meeting calls for converting this political consensus into a national initiative. An inclusive engagement of all stakeholders is needed to carry forward the peace and reconciliation process,” reads the resolution. Ms. Mufti called for “taking all stakeholders onboard” and “reviving dialogue process with Pakistan”. She said her government “will act as a facilitator if tangible steps are taken to reach out to all the stakeholders”.She underlined the need to implement recommendations of the five Working Groups constituted by the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh in 2006.

“The recommendations comprehensively deal with almost all the aspects of the problems including Centre-State relations,, strengthening relations across LoC, Confidence Building Measures etc,” she added.

On NC’s boycott, she said, “I had spoken to NC working President Omar Abdullah myself last evening and requested him to attend the meeting. It would have added value and substance to the meeting”.

Speaking to The Hindu , State Congress chief G.A. Mir said: “There is a backdrop to present turmoil. Formation of PDP-BJP government, unkept promises and misgovernance too added to people’s anxiety. [Hizbul Mujahideen commander] Burhan Wani’s arrest was also discussed. Neither efforts were made to arrest him nor was the Government able to prevent civilian deaths in its aftermath.”

Backing the calling for a “political engagement with all stakeholders”, Mr. Mir said his party called for making the Justice Sagheer Committee as basis for fresh engagement to resolve the political aspect.

“One has to start the political dialogue. [Union Home Minister] Rajnath Singh’s move to engage youth only may not help.”

The Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene all-party committee to start “a wide ranging dialogue in the State”.

CPI (M) legislator M. Y Tarigami asked Mr. Modi to “personally convey a message of concern to people of Kashmir”.

“Kashmir is not a law and order problem. It should not be seen in isolation. The upheaval is expression of political unrest brewing over the years, accumulation of anger. The Parliament has to have a national consensus to open channels of dialogue with all stakeholders, irrespective of the political ideology,” said Mr. Tarigami.

Independent legislator Engineer Rashid described the all-party meeting as “attempt to appease powers in Delhi”. “The BJP portrayed Kashmirs as villains. This party should either publicly announce war with Kashmiris or be true to their own words and initiate a meaningful dialogue on the dispute of Kashmir,” said Mr. Rashid.

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