J&K chief minister meets Indian PM, presents 3-pronged action plan to bring peace to Kashmir
This was Mehbooba's first meeting with the PM since trouble broke out on July 8. She told reporters the PM was 'very concerned' about the situation and has asked for steps to end this 'bloodshed'.
PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India
Aug 27, 2016, 05.13 PM
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today presented a "three-pronged action plan" -- that included a dialogue with all stakeholders -- during talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring lasting peace to the Valley which for the past 50 days has been rocked by a turmoil that has left 68 people dead.
After an hour-long meeting, her first with Modi since the unrest broke out on July 8, Mehbooba told reporters that the Prime Minister was "very concerned" about the situation and has asked for steps to end this "bloodshed" so that peace can return to the Valley.
Appealing to the protesters to help her resolve the crisis, she said, "please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations."
The chief minister also targeted Pakistan, saying it should stop supporting the people who are instigating the youth in the valley to carry out attacks on police stations or army camps.
"The Prime Minister is very concerned about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir like we all are. It is a matter of concern for everyone. The Prime Minister wants this bloodshed to end so that the state comes out of the present turmoil," she said.
Mehbooba, according to a state government release, outlined a "three-pronged action plan" before the Prime Minister for the resolution of the Kashmir problem which includes involvement of separatists and Pakistan in substantive dialogue to work out a solution to the problem in light of the contemporary geo-political realities.
However, the release did not spell any details but sources in the know said the plan includes facilitating a visit of an all-party delegation to the Valley later next week, a possible change in Governor and appointing an interlocutor to hold talks with all the stakeholders in the state.
Stressing the need for initiating a credible and meaningful political action on the ground to make peace and stability a reality in the state, Mehbooba called for reviving the reconciliation and resolution process which was initiated by the then NDA-Government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 2002 and 2005.
"Please appoint a group of individuals on whom people of Kashmir have trust, that whatever they are saying will reach to people at the helm of affairs in Delhi," she said.
The chief minister said the intra and inter-state Confidence Building Measures initiated during that time had helped transform the situation in the state and the region.
"We shall have to pick up the threads from where we left in 2005 and revive the reconciliation and resolution process with fresh resolve," she said and added that the present Prime Minister has the mandate to take bold political initiatives on Kashmir as was done by Vajpayee.
Expressing anguish over the continued violence and killings, Mehbooba sought involvement of all the stakeholders for resolution of the problems facing J and K and improving the situation in the state.
She said the focus of the State government, Government of India and all other parties in the country is to reach out to the majority of the peace-loving stakeholders in Kashmir who want a peaceful solution of the problem.
"Every political party wants the bloodshed in Kashmir to end and a political process to begin, sooner the better," she said and added that all the parties, cutting across the divide, including the Hurriyat leaders shall have to come forward and help in saving innocent lives as also engage in a meaningful dialogue process for the peaceful resolution of the problems.
On the All Party delegation, she said, "I hope they will meet different shades of political opinion to elicit their views on how to find a way out of the present imbroglio."
Urging Pakistan to reciprocate with open mind and in good faith to the peace initiatives for the permanent settlement of the Kashmir issue, she said unfortunately Islamabad lost out on a "golden opportunity for reconciliation when Prime Minister, Narendra Modi landed in Lahore December last and when home minister, Rajnath Singh visited Islamabad recently for the SAARC ministerial meeting.
"Pakistan also has to take a step forward in the interest of peace and stability in the region," she said.
"Lately, when the situation was bad and Pakistan was fuelling the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, our home minister Rajnath Singhji went to Lahore, but again, unfortunately, Pakistan let go this golden opportunity and did not extend the courtesy that needs to be given to a guest," she said.
She also advised Islamabad to take a leaf out if its former President Pervez Musharraf's Kashmir policy who had opined that the UN resolution on Kashmir had no space in the present world.
Observing that the basis of the PDP-BJP alliance was on the foundations of Vajpayee's Kashmir policy and to carry forward from where it had stopped, she recalled the words of her father and former chief minster Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who had said that if Kashmir can be resolved, it can only be by the Prime Minister who enjoys two-third majority.
"If things don't happen during his tenure, it won't happen ever. I believe that Modiji, who took a bold step of going there, today again says we need to talk to our own people, because people are dying," she said.
"I am sure that the Prime Minister will not forget to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue like the UPA did," she said.
Maintaining that the aspirations and the interests of people of the state are supreme for her government,
Mehbooba said the people of Kashmir have been living a life of pain, suffering and uncertainty and they yearn for peaceful resolution of the problems confronting the state.
Underlining the fact that she has just been in power for the last two months, she appealed to the people to help her resolve the crisis.
"I appeal to all those protesting in the streets. You may be angry with me, I may be angry with you, but please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations," she said.
Calling for greater focus on the resolution of the problem by adding substance to the peace process through substantial confidence-building measures, Mehbooba said, "We should not mislead ourselves about brushing the issue under the carpet as was done on earlier occasions like in 2008 and 2010.
"The country's political leadership must commit itself to address all the dimensions of the problem in a manner that balances and promotes enduring political and economic stability in the state and the region."
She said that she had appealed to the prime minister to involve all shades of political opinion in meaningful deliberations for realistic and just resolution of the problem.
Noting that not enough has been done to implement the 'Agenda of Alliance' between her party PDP and BJP, Mehbooba said Modi reiterated his commitment that the political, economic and developmental initiatives enumerated in the agenda will be implemented with sincerity of purpose.
Asked about talks with Hurriyat, she said a dialogue should be held with all those who want talks. But "those who are instigating the people for carrying out attacks on camps and police stations are not interested in talks," she said.
She also appealed to the separatist leaders to come and help her government in breaking "this cycle of violence" in the state.
This was the first meeting Mehbooba had with the prime minister after the violence broke out in the Valley on July 8.
So far 68 people have died in the protests that started after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8.