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Kashmir Opposition leaders meet President, accuse Modi govt of failure

india Updated: Aug 20, 2016 16:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Members of Jammu and Kashmir Youth Ulema in Srinagar shout slogans against civilian killings.(PTI)

The Narendra Modi government has failed in Kashmir because it’s not trying to solve the crisis politically, said Opposition leaders from the Valley in a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday.

“The failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation,” said former chief minister Omar Abdullah.

“We have requested the President to impress upon the central government to initiate a credible and meaningful process of political dialogue without any further delay involving all stakeholders to address the political issue in the state,” said the National Conference leader who lead a delegation of 20 opposition leaders for their hour-long meeting with the President.

“I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave,” he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to “crush the agitation by using administrative measures” like stopping sale of petrol and other essential commodities.

“We want the Centre to take emergent steps to check excessive use of force. There is a need for a judicial probe into the Kashmir situation,” he said, alleging that both the Central and state governments “totally failed” to stop the killings of civilians in the Valley.

Abdullah said union home minister Rajnath Singh had been blaming Pakistan for the unrest. “Yes, they are playing a negative role, but it is the security forces who are killing youth and other people of the Valley,” he said.

Earlier in Srinagar this week, Abdullah initiated a meeting of opposition parties and passed a resolution demanding special session of the state assembly on the present unrest, among other things.

The parties had also recommended political dialogue with all stakeholders and with Pakistan for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

The meeting drew flak from the J&K unit of the BJP which attacked the NC leader for ‘absolving’ Pakistan of its role in the current turmoil in the Kashmir Valley and accused the opposition parties of ‘aggravating the prevailing situation’ to destabilise the coalition government in the state.

The BJP also said it was not the time to have dialogue with Pakistan or any other individuals or groups on the Jammu and Kashmir issues.

The Valley has been witnessing unrest since the death of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8 in an encounter. At least 66 people have died in crackdowns by security forces in the Valley and thousands have been injured so far.

(With inputs from PTI.)