Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday presented a “three-pronged action plan” that included a dialogue with all stakeholders during talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring lasting peace in the Valley rocked by turmoil that has left 68 people dead.
After an hour-long meeting, her first with Modi since the unrest broke out on July 8, Mehbooba told reporters that the Prime Minister was “very concerned” about the situation and has asked for steps to end this “bloodshed” so that peace can return to the Valley.
Appealing to the protesters to help her resolve the crisis, she said, “please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations.”
Mehbooba said she pitched for talks “with all stakeholders” to end the current impasse. She, however, asked separatist leaders to shun violence “if they want to talk”. “Talks should be held with those who want peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. For others, it is a business. Those who provoke people and cause bloodshed don’t want talks,” she said.
The Chief Minister said “Indian democracy has enough space to accommodate the dreams of Kashmiris”, adding the resolution of the Kashmir issue was only possible during Modi’s government. “If during his time, the situation doesn’t change then it will never change. I have hopes that when the Prime Minister says there will be a dialogue with everyone, then it would happen.”
The Chief Minister also targeted Pakistan, saying it should stop supporting the people who are instigating the youth in the Valley to carry
out attacks on police stations or army camps. This is for the first time that Mehbooba has directly blamed Islamabad for causing trouble in Kashmir. Previously when in opposition, she was known to have a soft spot for Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists.
She said Pakistan lost a “golden chance” to resolve the Kashmir problem when Modi went to Lahore in December last and later when Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Islamabad for a Saarc conference early this month.
“The Prime Minister is very concerned about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir like we all are. It is a matter of concern for everyone. The Prime Minister wants this bloodshed to end so that the state comes out of the present turmoil,” she said.
Mehbooba, according to a state government release, outlined a “three-pronged action plan” before the Prime Minister for the resolution of the Kashmir problem which includes involvement of separatists and Pakistan in substantive dialogue to work out a solution to the problem in light of the contemporary geo-political realities. However, the release did not spell any details but sources in the know said the plan includes facilitating visit of an All Party delegation to the Valley later next week, a possible change in Governor and appointing an interlocutor to hold talks with all the stakeholders in the state.
Stressing the need for initiating a credible and meaningful political action on the ground to make peace and stability a reality in the state, Mehbooba called for reviving the reconciliation and resolution process which was initiated by the then NDA Government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee between 2002 and 2005.
“Please appoint a group of individuals on whom people of Kashmir have trust, that whatever they are saying will reach to people at the helm of affairs in Delhi,” she said.
The Chief Minister said the intra and inter-state Confidence Building Measures initiated during that time had helped transform the situation in the state and the region. “We shall have to pick up the threads from where we left in 2005 and revive the reconciliation and resolution process with fresh resolve,” she said and added that the present Prime Minister has the mandate to take bold political initiatives on Kashmir as was done by Vajpayee. The meeting was her first with Modi since the unrest began.
Pakistan Names 22 Envoys To Spread The K-word
Islamabad : Pakistan on Saturday decided to escalate its diplomatic lobbying on Kashmir, with 22 parliamentarians to go as special envoys to various countries to apprise them about the “brutalities and human rights abuses committed by Indian forces” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday nominated the 22 envoys. “I have decided to send these parliamentarians to fight the case of Kashmir in different parts of the world,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office quoted Sharif as saying.
It further said that these special envoys will have the “strength of Pakistani people, prayers from the Kashmiri people across the Line of Control, mandate of the parliament and support from the government”.
“I am standing behind these special envoys to ensure their toil for highlighting the Kashmir cause resonates across the world so that I can shake the collective conscience of the international community during my address at United Nations this September,” Sharif said.
He said Pakistan would remind the United Nations of its long-held promise of “right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people” and would make it clear to India that it was they who had approached the UN several decades back on the Kashmir issue but were not fulfilling its promise.
“Generation after generation of Kashmiris have seen only broken pledges and ruthless oppression,” the statement added. He emphasised that this anniversary of the UN ought to be a catalyst, spurring the body into action.
“The Kashmir dispute is the most persistent failure of the United Nations; the UN must establish its relevance. We cannot relent from the Kashmir cause by any stretch of imagination,” Sharif reiterated. The parliamentarians who have been nominated include Ijazul Haq and Malik Uzair for Belgium, Khusro Bakhtiar and Alamdad Laleka for China, Raza Hayat Hiraj, Junaid Anwar Chaudhry and Nawab Ali Wassan for Russia.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Major (retd) Tahir Iqbal and Muhammad Afzal Khokhar will visit Saudi Arabia, Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha and Malik Pervaiz for Turkey, Lt General (retd) Abdul Qayyum and Qaiser Sheikh will go to Britain.
Mushahid Hussain Syed and Shazra Mansab Ali Khan would highlight the Kashmir cause in the US and the UN in New York, Ayesha Raza Farooq and Rana Muhammad Afzal in France, Awais Leghari in the United Nations (Geneva) and Abdul Rehman Kanju in South Africa.
Spl envoys: India deplores Pakistan move
Bhopal: Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar on Saturday said Pakistan should not internationalise the Kashmir issue, adding that it is a bilateral issue. Taking a dig at Pakistan, Akbar told ANI, “If a false statement is being repeated 22 times or 22,000 times by 22 people (special envoys), it doesn’t becomes true. If Pakistan wants to give free tourism to some MPs, then it is its independent right. Pakistan shouldn’t internationalise the Kashmir issue. It is a bilateral issue and it would remain the same.” Akbar said Pakistan does not want to talk on the Kashmir issue because it knows that its stand is wrong. “The day it will talk on Kashmir, it will be caught. They have commitments on Kashmir in Tashkhent and Shimla. That’s why Pakistan always hesitates from the truth,” he added.
Burhan Wani’s father meets Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
New Delhi: With the Centre grappling to bring peace in restive Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, the slain militant’s father Muzaffar Wani met Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at his ashram in Bengaluru.The spiritual guru said this on social networking site Twitter tonight, saying Muzaffar Wani was in his ashram for two days and that they discussed “several issues”.