New Delhi: A four-hour all-party meeting on Kashmir chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended in the usual clichés and platitudes on Friday here. The prime minister said at the meeting that his government was ready to address “grievances” of all sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir but only as per the Constitution, without making any compromise with the nation’s integrity.
The prime minister of India also termed cross-border terrorism supported by Pakistan as the root cause of the uprising in the valley.
During the meeting, 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. The government made no commitments to any of these demands.
PM Modi said that the centre was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution as per the basic principles of the Constitution. “We all are committed to this national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country’s integrity,” Modi said
“We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution,” the prime minister said.
At the meeting, Modi hit out at Pakistan for its human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and in Balochistan. He said that Pakistan will have to answer to the 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 contact citizens of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to get details of their pitiable condition and then share the details with the international community.
Seeking support of all parties in the name of fighting terrorism, Modi 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 Mehbooba Mufti’s government, in which BJP is a partner, for its “careful handling” of the issue.
Like every Indian, Modi said, he felt “deep pain” over the events in J&K. He said it was painful that students were unable to study, apples produced in large quantity were not reaching markets, and government offices were unable to carry out work.
“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,” Modi said in his concluding remarks.
Invoking former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee again, Modi said his government would follow the path shown by him, a reference to the framework of ‘insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat’.