The opposition parties urged the government on Wednesday to take multi-pronged steps to address the unrest in Kashmir. While the CPM demanded that India should restart dialogue with Pakistan, MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi stressed on political outreach and back-channel efforts to restore normalcy in the troubled valley.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, a member of the delegation that visited Kashmir, said the Left parties want PM Narendra Modi to restart dialogue with Pakistan when he visits the country for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in November.
At Wednesday’s all-party meeting, Yechury also demanded withdrawal of AfspaS from civilian areas in Kashmir apart from lifting of curfew, a ban on pellet guns that have caused serious eye injuries, and the release of Hurriyat leaders.
Owaisi suggested 12 points to address the current unrest. He demanded a time-bound inquiry commission to be headed by “someone like former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, on the lines of Justice SR Pandian panel that looked into the killing of eight people in the police firing at Brackpora in south Kashmir on April 3, 2000. The panel indicted three J&K police and four CRPF personnel for firing on protestors demanding exhumation of bodies of five people allegedly killed as foreign militants at Pathribal in Anantnag district.
As confidence building measures (CBMs), Owaisi also asked the ruling side to ask Lakshadweep administrator Farooq Khan to withdraw his plea in the J&K high court, seeking repeal of Article 370 that accords special status to the state.
Similarly, the Hyderabad MP said the “BJP should ask the RSS to withdraw its case” in Supreme Court regarding Article 35(A), saying the move will send a strong and positive message to Kashmir. A Delhi-based NGO, We the citizens, had filed a petition for declaring “unconstitutional” the Article 35(A) that gives special rights and privileges to natives of J&K and empowers its legislature to make any law without inviting a challenge on ground that it violates right to equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
On his part, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the central government should not ignore the mainstream parties of J&K in the dialogue process.