MPs’ team wants separatists in talks over Kashmir, appeals for calm (Roundup)

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Appealing to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to “shun the path of violence and resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussion”, the all-party delegation of MPs on Wednesday asked the Central government to include all concerned, including separatists, in any proposed talks on the Kashmir issue.

After a meeting held in the national capital under the chairmanship of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the MPs, who visited Jammu and Kashmir to interact with people from different walks of life, expressed concern over the ongoing unrest in the Valley.

“The members of the All-Party parliamentary delegation have expressed serious concerns on the prevailing situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The members of the delegation are of the opinion that there is no place for violence in a civilized society. There can be no compromises on issues of national sovereignty,” an official statement issued here said.

The opposition Congress and CPI-M maintained that any talk on the Kashmir issue should include all concerned.

Interacting with media after the meeting, Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge said: “Our stand is that all stakeholders should be included in any discussion on Kashmir.”

Similar view was expressed by Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, who said that he along with other MPs had gone to meet five separatist leaders, and four separatists met them whereas one did not.

“I don’t take it as an insult,” he told media after the all-party meet.

He said that government has accepted all the suggestions made by different political

parties during the meeting.

Yechury said Pakistan should also be included in the talks.

“You should also start dialogue with Pakistan,” he added.

“You have to give some assurance on (use of) pellet guns. Families of the injured and dead people should be compensated,” he said, adding that there has to be a rehabilitation package also for all the violence-affected people.

“AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) should be withdrawn from civilian areas and youth should be given jobs,” the Left leader demanded.

Asked about the demands of other parties, he said the government was considering them.

He urged for “unconditional dialogue” with all stake holders for permanent solution of the Kashmir problem.

Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh, who also was a part of the delegation that went to Kashmir last week, told media that the state government should take steps to re-open schools, educational institutions, business establishments and government offices.

“Members (of the All-party meeting) appealed to all concerned that no civil society has any place for violence. They were also of view that there would no compromise with the unity and integrity of the country,” he said.

The members appealed to the people of the state to shun the path of Violence and resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussion.

“The members requested the central and state government to take steps for a dialogue with all stake-holders, and to ensure that educational 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 the agitation,” the statement added.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, besides Congress’ Kharge and Sitaram Yechury of CPI-M among others.

–IANS

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