JKNPP for inclusion of local leadership in all-party meeting on Kashmir unrest

| Updated: Aug 11, 2016 09:08 IST

Jammu, Aug. 11 (ANI): JKNPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh has welcomed the Centre's move to convene an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the Kashmir unrest but said that the local leadership, who have a base and can give some valuable suggestions for restoring normalcy in the state, should also be invited for the same. Singh told ANI that the political parties can play a very significant role in restoration of normalcy. "The recognised political parties of Jammu and Kashmir need to be called for the purpose. If you invite the national political parties with their representatives belonging to other parts of the country who do not have any notion about Kashmir then it would not serve the purpose," said Singh. "But you should involve the local leadership of Jammu and Kashmir, the recognised parties, the leadership who have a base and who can give some valuable suggestions for restoring normalcy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he added. The JKNPP chairman threw light on the fact that similar exercise was conducted during the tenure of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2010-11 when the security situation was adversely affected because of the stone-pelters. "At that point of time also, a meeting of the political parties was convened and they were taken into confidence. So, the same thing needs to be done in the present case as well and different political parties need to be fully involved because all mainstream political parties won't that peace and normalcy must prevail in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he added. Commenting on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's assertion that there would be no compromise on national security and pro-Pakistan slogans on the Indian soil will not be tolerated in any case, the JKNPP chairman said the situation that we are faced with today is largely the result of the open space that was given to the separatists and anti-nationals in the past. "We welcome the statement of Rajnath Singh when he says that Pakistani flags will not be tolerated, the ISIS flags will not be tolerated and anti-India campaign will not be tolerated. But Mr. Rajnath Singh must remember that they have been tolerating all this things for the last two years, right from the day the government was formed in Delhi and this BJP-PDP government was formed in Jammu and Kashmir," said Singh. "The intensity of incidents where Pak flags have been hoisted and where ISIS flags are being unfurled in Kashmir that intensity has increased and an open space has been given to separatists and anti-national elements, they are taking out pro-Pak rallies in Kashmir, they have been allowed to go unchecked, action has not been taken against them under the relevant law of the land," he added. Accusing Islamabad of being fully responsible behind the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by the security forces, the Home Minister yesterday lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said that no power in the world can wrest Kashmir from India. Addressing the Rajya Sabha regarding the state of violence in the Valley, Rajnath said that the unrest was sponsored by Pakistan and that they were to be blamed entirely for the tense situation, adding that separatist leaders were fanning the flames by trying to spread an atmosphere of fear. "Since 9th July, their so-called leaders have maintained on prolonging protest. Even the areas even where there is no curfew, out of fear, the shops remain closed. I want to laud the state government for functioning effectively despite all the hurdles thrown in their way. I'm not saying that the situation is completely under control, but the state government is ensuring the daily lives of the people continue unhindered," he said. Talking about the criticism the Centre is facing over the use of 'excessive force' by the security forces in the Valley, Rajnath stated that the number of defence personnel were higher than the civilians when it came to injuries in the clashes. "After I came back from Kashmir, I formed an expert committee and asked them to give me a report in two months as to what other options we have regarding non-lethal weapons. 4, 515 jawans and 3, 356 civilians have been injured. More jawans have been injured because we have asked them to exercise restraint and avoid the usage of pellet guns," Rajnath said. The Home Minister also informed the House that 100 ambulances were destroyed by stone-pelting yet 400 more ambulances have been deployed. Asserting that the entire nation stood in solidarity with the people of the Valley, the Home Minister added that Kashmir remains an integral part of India and will not be separated at any cost. "Two weeks ago, Nawaz Sharif said that he is waiting for Kashmir to be handed over to Pakistan, he even wrote to UN Secretary General regarding this. I want to assert that no power in the world can wrest Kashmir from us. And if at all they want to have a dialogue with us, then we are ready. But it will be about Pakistan occupied Kashmir, not Kashmir," he said. "Some Lashkar terrorists are trying to threaten our security personnel and their families in Kashmir," Singh added. Appealing to the youth of the Valley to ensure that no anti-national elements thrive on the soil of Kashmir, Rajnath stated that anti-national slogans will be tolerated. Regarding the waving of ISIS flags during protests, he said the terrorist organisation is disrespecting Islam, as the religion does not allow murder. Asserting that the Centre is ready for talks on the matter, Rajnath announced that an all-party meeting will be convened on Friday at 12 p.m. (ANI)