An all-party delegation led by Union home minister Rajnath Singh met a range of leaders in Jammu on Monday and later told the media that the team of parliamentarians will chalk out an “action plan” to resolve the logjam over peace talks in Kashmir.
The 26 MPs from 20 political parties stayed in Jammu for a few hours and returned to the national capital after their Sunday visit to Kashmir failed in finding a breakthrough on ending violence in the Valley after the July 8 killing of militant Burhan Wani.
Singh, at a brief press conference, said the Kashmir visit could not be described as a failure. “We had very good interactions” with individuals and groups, he added.
The minister said the Kashmir visit taught many members of the delegation understand the state’s ground situation. In future, the government hoped to get “full cooperation” from them whenever there is any discussion on Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament,” he said.
Singh spoke of the delegation formulating an “action plan”, but did not reveal details. “We will meet in Delhi after our return and will chalk out our future course,” was all he said.
The minister said the all-party delegation met over 200 delegates from 18 delegations in Jammu. They included trade lobbies, lawyers, hospitality industrialists and Kashmiri migrant Pandits. “All of them expressed concern over the prevailing circumstances in Kashmir and hoped for early return of peace,” he added.
Singh said he will “try to visit Ladakh”, saying the view of its people, too, merited listening.
Nowshera’s BJP legislator Reminder Raina lambasted the delegation for seeking to meet separatists in Srinagar, saying hardline Hurriyat leaders were “touts of Pakistan”.
Pawan Gupta, independent MLA from Udhampur, described the delegation’s tour as “face saving”.
Abhinav Sharma, president of the J&K High Court Bar Association of Jammu, it was unnecessary to talk to those who “do not believe in the Indian Constitution”.
Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry sought action against Kashmir mosques that call for to attack on security forces. “Traders should get incentives,” said its head Rakesh Gupta.