Oppn expresses concern over Kashmir situation

New Delhi: Following persistent demand by a united Opposition, the government today agreed to have a debate on the prevailing Kashmir situation in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow with Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking support from all sections to resolve the “complicated” issue.

Opposition leaders, including those of Congress, CPI(M), SP and JD(U), also expressed serious concern over the continuance of curfew for over a month in the Kashmir valley.

They sought a stop to the use of pellet guns on protestors, sending of a parliamentary delegation there to talk to all sections of people and an all-party meeting.

As they raised the issue during the Zero Hour, Home Minister Rajnath Singh walked in to the House and promptly concurred with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad for a discussion on the Kashmir situation tomorrow.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said there was no problem as both sides have agreed to discuss the matter.

Singh also admitted that the situation was “serious” and sought the support of all sides in resolving the “complicated problem”.

Earlier, Azad referred to the situation and said “curfew has entered 31st day in Kashmir today. We don’t want to accuse the government on the situation, rather we are ready to help control the situation there. Innocent women and children are dying. Your security forces are dying. Why are you shying away from debate.”

“Why are we witnessing a ‘tamasha’,” he said and added that no doubt there was bad situation in Kashmir in 2008 and 2010 when he and Omar Abdullah headed the government there.

“Convene an all party meet in Delhi in a day or two and send a delegation to Kashmir” as the whole nation is watching, Azad said.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) asked “why are you not sending a delegation to Kashmir…Send it on August 12 itself and for heaven’s sake, make an announcement to stop the use of pellet guns.”

He also stressed the need for “starting a political process” to end the turmoil in Kashmir.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) sought to know the government’s strategy on Kashmir saying whole country was concerned. He also demanded immediate stopping of the use of pellet guns.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said the “people can question us as to what we did. We want a delegation to be sent to Kashmir as a part of the country is burning and it is impacting the entire nation.

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