New Delhi: The All Party Delegation (APD) that visited Jammu and Kashmir recommended dialogue with all “stakeholders” but made no reference to Hurriyat Conference, and asserted that there can be no compromise on “national sovereignty”, in a resolution adopted by members of the delegation after a three-hour meeting on Wednesday.
The 26-member delegation, which visited Jammu and Kashmir on September 4-5, called for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, confidence-building measures in J&K, and a “dual track” approach for bringing peace in the restive Valley.
In a meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who led the delegation, the members made it clear that there would be no compromise on national sovereignty.
All the political parties appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to shun the path of violence and to resolve all issues through discussion.
“The members of the delegation are of the opinion that there is no place for violence in a civilised society. There can be no compromise on issue of national sovereignty,” said the resolution, read out by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh.
The resolution requested the central and state governments to take steps for dialogue with all stakeholders, Left parties pitched for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue and announcement of confidence-building measures, like withdrawal of AFSPA from civilian areas.
Without making any reference to Hurriyat Conference or any other “separatist” leader, the APD statement asked the central and state governments “to take steps for a dialogue with all stakeholders”.
Asked whether separatists would also come under the purview of “stakeholders”, MoS Jitendra Singh said that the dialogue is open for “all stakeholders”. He did not elaborate.
To a similar question, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the separatist amalgam was part of the “all stakeholders”.
CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury said there was no discussion on the performance of Mehbooba Mufti-led state government, but leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, said he personally felt that the PDP-BJP government had failed to handle the situation, which has continued far too long, leading to “the present mess”.
“This is not the time to blame. This is the time to work unitedly for bringing peace in Kashmir,” Yechury said.
Owaisi said in the meeting that a non-BJP and non-Congress fact-finding team of political parties should visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet a cross section of people to ascertain the loss of lives and the injuries due to violence.
While demanding release of those “illegally jailed” in the Kashmir Valley, the AIMIM leader said that the home minister should talk to the editors of the four leading newspapers of Kashmir.
Yechury said that the government should follow its Kashmir outreach initiative by taking concrete steps, as former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had done, by declaring a unilateral ceasefire and holding talks with militant group Hizbul Mujahideen.
Congress leader Kharge said that even though the government had announced that pellet guns would be replaced by chilli-based PAVA ammunition, a man had died on Tuesday due to injuries by pellets.
Expressing serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state, the APD statement said that the members of the delegation were of the view that there is no place for violence in a civilised society.
The meeting asked both central and state governments to ensure that education institutions, government offices and commercial establishments start functioning normally at the earliest.
They requested the government to take effective steps to ensure security for all citizens and provide medical treatment to citizens and security personnel injured in agitation.
Yechury and Owaisi said the home minister had denied reports of curtailing the security provided to separatist leaders.