Mehbooba Invokes Atal For Restoring Peace In Valley

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NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for talks over the deteriorating security situation in the state.

Reports said that Mehbooba Mufti called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi.

Mehbooba strongly pleaded for initiating dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir to get the State out of the clouds of uncertainty, violence and bloodshed.

Shortly after the culmination of meetings with the Prime Minister and Home Minister, Mehbooba told reporters that, ”We are where Mr (Atal Bihari)Vajpayee had left us”.

She however hastened to add that a dialogue will be initiated after situation normalizes in Kashmir Valley. She predicted  that situation in Kashmir will improve in next two or three months after which a dialogue could be initiated.

“I understand that the coming 2-3 months are crucial for us. I want to say that you will find the situation of Jammu and Kashmir changed. We will first restore normalcy and then talks can be initiated. It is important to hold talks at the latest. There is a need for conducive atmosphere for talks, and for governance,” she told Reporters adding that  the central government at the highest level would have to take a decision on initiating a dialogue.

Reports said that during her meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, at which BJP’s general secretary incharge of the Jammu Kashmir, Ram Madhav, was also present, Mehbooba briefed Singh about the present law and order situation in the Valley.

Responding to a question, Mehbooba Mufti said that incidents of stone-pelting and firing by security forces must come to an end. “The issues would be discussed at a meeting of the Unified Command in Kashmir,” she said.

Pertinently, Unified Command meeting will be held in Srinagar on Tuesday that will be chaired by Chief Minister herself.

Asked about the possibility of the imposition of Governor’s rule in the state, Mehbooba said only the central government could comment on that.

 Reports said that during her meeting with Rajnath Singh, Mehbooba also raised the issue of security of Kashmiris living in different parts of the India, in view of threats received by them in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

While replying to a question, Mehbooba said that she discussed the security situation in Kashmir and the issue of low voter turnout during recent by-polls to Srinagar parliamentary constituency with PM Modi.

“I discussed the issue of lower voter turnout in recent elections, and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Modi,” she said.

The Chief Minister said dialogue is the only way forward for unbundling the knots of mistrust and uncertainty in the State and herald it to a level of prosperity and welfare. She said it was the dialogue only due to which many path-breaking initiatives were taken in the State. She said peace and dialogue are interdependent on each other.

The Prime Minister told the Chief Minister that in the twin pronged objective of dialogue and development lies the solution to all the problems of the State and all efforts would be made in this regard

“PM Modi has assured me he will follow policies laid down by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee to resolve situation in Kashmir. Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s footsteps, whose policy is of reconciliation not confrontation,” she said.

She added: “I pressed that J&K doesn’t have control over water resources, and how losses caused by Indus Waters Treaty can be compensated,” she said.

She informed Mr Modi that the recurring losses to the State due to non usage of waters of its rivers for agriculture, power and irrigation have gone beyond Rs 30000 crore as the treaty does not allow storage of its river waters by the State.

The Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister that the demand for compensation would be appropriately addressed and ways and means would be explored to see how the State is properly compensated.

Many other issues like progress on ‘Agenda of Alliance’, obtaining situation in the State and other related matters also came up for discussion during the meeting.

The Prime Minister assured Mehbooba Mufti of full support from the Centre in its approach on these issues.

It may be recalled here that on Sunday Chief Minister, during the meeting of Niti Aayog, had raised the issue of alleged harassment of Kashmiri students studying in various parts of the country.

Responding to the concern, the Prime Minister has directed all the States to ensure safety and security of Kashmiri students across the country.

In a separate meeting with Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, Mehbooba Mufti also underlined the urgent need for initiating dialogue with all shades of opinion in the State.

The union Home Minister told Mehbooba Mufti that already an advisory has been issued to all state Governments about protecting and safeguarding students from the State in their areas.

Later in the day, the Chief Minister also met the union Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad and brought several issues concerning his Ministry into the notice of the union Minister and sought their redressal.

What is the Vajpayee doctrine on Kashmir

The Vajpayee doctrine on Kashmir called for peace, progress and prosperity in the Valley by imbibing the spirit of Insaniyat (Humanity) , Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Identity of the people of Kashmir).

The doctrine was universally acclaimed by all segments across of political spectrum in the state.

Vajpayee’s mantra included resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including that of Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner through bilateral dialogue without any third party intervention.

He carried his message of peace to Pakistan during a bus journey to Lahore on February 19, 1999.

Vajpayee made it a point to visit to Minar-e-Pakistan where he re-affirmed India’s commitment to the existence of Pakistan.

He reached out to the people of Pakistan in a passionate speech at the governor’s house in Lahore telecast live both in Pakistan & India.

Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship on the basis of reciprocity and mutual trust and called for collective fight against poverty in the Indian subcontinent devoid of terrorism and drug-trafficking.

His emotional speech made Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to say: “Vajpayee Saheb, ab to aap Pakistan mein bhi election jeet sakte haein (Mr Vajpayee now you can win elections even in Pakistan).”

Vajpayee also signed a Lahore Declaration with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on February 21, 1999. As part of the declaration, Pakistan agreed to resolve all bilateral issues between the two countries, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a peaceful manner and through dialogue and to promote people to people contact.

The Delhi-Lahore Bus Service Sada-e-Sarhad (Call of the Frontier) was launched as a symbol of the efforts of the Vajpayee government to promote peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan on the basis of reciprocity.

Vajpayee did now allow the bus service to be terminated even when Pakistan army chief Parvez Musharraf launched an attack in Kargil between May and July, 1999, which the Indian armed forces successfully repulsed forcing the Pakistani army to vacate the occupied hills in the region.

However, the service had to be suspended during the heightened tension between the two neighbours in the aftermath of the Pakistan-ISI sponsored terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. It was restored on July 16, 2003 when Pakistan assured the Indian government as well as the international community that Islamabad would not allow its territory to be used for terrorists’ activities.

All the setbacks to his dialogue initiatives, including Kargil conflict, hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandhar and terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament, notwithstanding, Vajpayee did not allow the peace process to derail despite serious provocations by the Pakistan army and the ISI.

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