August 2016 News
All-party Meet: We Feel Pain Of Kashmir, Will Follow Atal Bihari's Path To Hold Dialogue, Says PM Modi12 August 2016
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 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 cause 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 Hizbul 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 pellet 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. This is the second time in less than a week Modi has reached out to the people of the state and shown willingness towards dialogue with all stake-holders there. He also used the platform to hit out at Pakistan for its human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied-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 are 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'.