February 2018 News

Modi, Mehbooba Review AoA As CM Calls For De-escalation Of Tension On Borders

28 February 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed security and political situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti especially the implementation of Agenda of Alliance (AoA), which was basis of running the first-ever PDP-BJP coalition Government in the State, at a meeting between the two in the Union capital that lasted about half an hour. Mehbooba's meeting with Modi came a day after she met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union capital and discussed implementation of Agenda of Alliance and Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP), which has now touched around Rs one lakh crore. Mehbooba took up the situation prevailing along frontiers with Pakistan with the Prime Minister, and briefed him that thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes and hearths on daily routine due to continued mortar shelling and firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. 'There was dire need to de-escalate this situation of violence and uncertainty along the borders and adopt the path of reconciliation as envisioned in the Agenda of Alliance of the present Government for restoration of durable peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the sub continent,' Mehbooba stressed during the meeting indicating that she stressed for resumption of dialogue with Pakistan to reduce tension on the frontiers, a demand she had repeatedly been raising, both inside and outside the Legislature though Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had recently stated that time was not conducive for talks with Pakistan while BJP general secretary, Incharge, Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav had maintained that it was not for the Chief Minister of J&K to decide on talks with Pak. Sources said during the meeting, Mehbooba Mufti apprised Narendra Modi about overall situation in the State. She informed the Prime Minister that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were suffering immensely due to precarious situation for decades. Mehbooba's call for de-escalation of tension on borders with Pakistan came amidst unabated mortar shelling and firing on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region and Uri, Tanghdar and surroundings in Kashmir recently. Army, however, maintained that Pakistan was resorting to ceasefire violations with a definite plan to push infiltrators into Jammu and Kashmir to step-up militant activities. Sources said the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister had threadbare discussion on the Agenda of Alliance, which was signed between PDP and BJP before formation of their first-ever coalition Government in the State, which would tomorrow complete three years i.e. half of the six-year term of the Assembly. 'Time bound progress on all points mentioned in the Agenda of Alliance with particular reference to reconciliation between groups, regions and countries and return of power projects to the State were discussed', sources said. Though Central Government has appointed Dineshwar Sharma as its Special Representative for talks with all groups in Jammu and Kashmir and he had regularly been touring various parts of the State, sources said the return of power projects has been major demand of the PDP and agreed upon by the BJP in Agenda of Alliance. However, the BJP's Central leadership was somewhat reluctant on return of power projects to the State. According to sources, the better coordination between two Alliance partners-the PDP and BJP, was also discussed during the meeting and it was decided that good coordination between them would deliver good results to people of Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba also discussed with the Prime Minister the execution of Rs one lakh crore with Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) in the State. She stressed the need for people's outreach for effectively percolating down the benefits of such a package. Modi had sanctioned Rs 80,000 crore worth PMDP for Jammu and Kashmir in November 2015, which has subsequently gone up to Rs one lakh crore due to cost escalation of some projects. Mehbooba Mufti had yesterday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. In her meeting with Rajnath, she had reviewed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and other related issues while she had sought release of more funds under PMDP in her meeting with Jaitley.