No blockade, no reason for agitation, says Patil
Home Minister Shivraj Patil says there is no blockade on the highway linking Srinagar with Jammu and other parts of the country. There is no obstacle in the way of movement of products, reports Aurangzeb Naqshbandi.delhi Updated: Aug 12, 2008 23:18 IST
The government on Wednesday adopted a tough stand on the ‘Muzaffarabad Chalo’ call given by a section of people in Kashmir and called for peace in the state by addressing the “aspirations and objections” of both regions.
“There is no blockade on the highway linking Srinagar with Jammu and other parts of the country. There is no obstacle in the way of movement of fruits and other items. Therefore, there is no reason for agitation on this issue,” Home Minister Shivraj Patil said after his second meeting with leaders of an all-party delegation.
He said the government has been taking steps to facilitate trade across the Line of Control. Senior government officers have already visited the state to see the existing infrastructure there.
“However, a decision on the matter can be taken only through mutual arrangements between India and Pakistan. Any unilateral move in this direction will neither be practical nor wise,” Patil said.
The minister appealed to all sections of the people in J&K to maintain peace and communal harmony. He also urged the media to exercise the “utmost caution and care in reporting” incidents and developments.
At the all-party meeting on Tuesday, leaders asked the Centre to “act fast” in resolving the current crisis in the state.
Nearly two months have passed since the row over the transfer of forest land to the Amarnath shrine board erupted — first in Kashmir and then in Jammu — and the Centre still appears to be clueless on finding a solution.
Throwing the ball in the Centre’s court, various parties asked the government to take a position and come out with a concrete action plan which would address the “aspirations and objections” of both regions. They also suggested that the Centre carry forward the dialogue and talk to agitators from both Jammu and Srinagar.