NEW DELHI–Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said the government was ready to address "grievances" of all sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir as per the Constitution but made it clear that there cannot be any compromise with the nation's integrity.
Modi, who chaired an all-party meeting on Kashmir attended by its ruling ally PDP and opposition parties, also termed cross-border terrorism supported by Pakistan as the root casue of turbulence in the valley.
During the marathon four-hour-long meeting, which comes in the wake of continued unrest in Kashmir after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8, some opposition parties asked the government to take a few immediate confidence-building measures like putting an end to the use of pallet guns and relaxing AFSPA in some parts of the Valley.
It was also suggested that an all-party delegation should visit Kashmir to assess the situation but the government did not make commitments regarding any of their demands.
Asserting that the Centre was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution as per the basic principles of the Constitution, Modi said "we all are committed to this national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country's regional integrity.”
"We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution," the Prime Minister said.
He also used the platform to hit out at Pakistan for its ‘screwed human rights violations’ in Pakistani part Kashmir and Balochistan and said “it will have to answer to international community for the atrocities it was committing there”.
Sharing the main points of his government's Kashmir policy, Modi asked the External Affairs Ministry to try to contact citizens of ‘Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’, living in different parts of the world, to get details of the area's pitiable condition and share them with the international community.
The government's efforts include reaching out to the civil society and speed up measures to integrate Kashmir's youth with the state's economic activities.
Seeking support of all political parties, the Prime Minister said, "When terrorism is on the rise across the world and when we are encircled by terrorism sponsored by the neighbouring country, then we will have to be united in this fight. The government expects constructive support from all opposition parties on this."
"I have complete confidence that with the dedication of the state government and with your total cooperation we will soon restore normal life in Jammu and Kashmir again," he said as he praised Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's government, in which BJP is a partner, for its "careful handling" of the issue despite odds.
Like every Indian, he also felt "deep pain" over the events in the state, he said, adding it was painful that students were unable to study, apples produced in large quantity in the valley were not reaching markets and government offices were unable to carry out public welfare works.
"Whoever be killed, whether civilians or security forces, we all feel the pain. I have full sympathies with their families. We are committed to providing good health care to the injured and also towards restoring peace in the valley so that people could live their normal lives…" he said in his concluding remarks.
Invoking former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee again, he said his government would follow the path shown by him, a reference to the former Prime Minister's offer to hold dialogue under the framework of 'insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat’. Agencies
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that former PM Manmohan Singh extended support to the Centre in their endeavour to solve the Kashmir issue.
"Manmohan Singhji said during all party meet that most important thing in regards with J&K is to defuse the present tense and tragic situation. In the last 10 years when we were in office, we made efforts to find practical solution to these problems. Manmohan Singhji also said that we recognise, we didn't fully succeed. It's Government of India's duty to come up with roadmap for defusing the present situation. We assure govt that any positive step in this endeavour (to solve Kashmir issue), you'll have our full co-operation," Azad said.
Top 5 quotes by PM Modi at all-party meet
- When we talk about Jammu and Kashmir, then we should talk about four regions — Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). PoK is also part of Jammu and Kashmir
- There cannot be any compromise on national security but we have to win confidence of people in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Cannot reject the fact that security forces have braved all sorts of injuries. They were subjected to organised attacks despite that they maintained restraint. Data speaks that security forces are injured in large numbers
- When terrorism is on the rise across the world and when we are encircled by terrorism sponsored by the neighbouring country, then we will have to be united in this fight.
- Will hold dialogue under the frame work of 'insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat', a path shown by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley later clarified that PM Modi suggested exposing Pakistan as a measure if the country doesn’t stop funding and sheltering terror elements and interfering in India’s internal affairs.
The government informed leaders of all parties that several measures have been taken to bring normalcy back to Jammu and Kashmir. One of them is a Rs 80,000 cr package for development of the state.
Modi spoke my language: Swami
In response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement after the all-party meeting in Delhi, Hindutva ideologue Dr. Subramanian Swamy tweeted that he had already said it before. Swamy went on social networking site twitter to express his opinion on the all-party meeting on the turmoil in Kashmir
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