Govt. accords highest priority to safety of Kashmiris: PM Modi tells opposition

| Updated: Aug 22, 2016 22:14 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 22 (ANI): Expressing deep concern over the loss of lives in the recent turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured the delegation of opposition parties led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah that his government accords highest priority to the safety and well-being of the people particularly the children. Briefing the media here post the meeting, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Modi urged all to come together and help in defusing the situation. "The Prime Minister expressed his deep concern about the loss of lives in the recent turmoil whether it is the loss of lives of the emotional people, security persons and he also wished to assure them and through them," Singh said. "He also assured the common people of Kashmir and the common masses of Kashmir that the government accords highest priority to the safety, to the well-being of the innocent people particularly the children," he added. Prime Minister Modi assured his government's commitment to development of Jammu and Kashmir to a joint delegation of opposition parties led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah. "Those who have lost their lives during the recent unrest are part of us, our nation. The loss of innocent lives, including that of the security or police personnel, distresses us," Prime Minister Modi added. Prime Minister Modi also conveyed that his government and the nation stand with the state of Jammu and Kashmir and suggested that all political parties should reach out to the people and convey the same. Emphasizing on dialogue, he said there is a need to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problems within the framework of the Constitution. The joint delegation apprised Prime Minister Modi of the ground situation with an appeal to adopt a political approach in dealing with the present unrest in the Valley. The delegation requested the Prime Minister to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in the Kashmir valley immediately. The delegation also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi seeking immediate ban on pellet guns in the state. "We also request you to advise relevant quarters against the policy of mass harassment, raids and arrests as this has worsened an already volatile situation in the state and goes against the values and principles of our democratic fabric and ethos," the memorandum said. Pointing out that continued failure to address the unrest in Kashmir will further deepen the sense of alienation, the delegation hoped that the Prime Minister would take immediate measures to address this grave situation. Earlier on Saturday, the delegation met President Pranab Mukherjee and apprised him of the situation prevailing in the state. (ANI)