Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hinted at the need for a healing touch in handling the situation in violence-hit Kashmir during a meeting with opposition leaders from Jammu and Kashmir.
Emphasising the need for dialogue in finding a permanent solution to the problem within the framework of the Constitution, Modi said the lives lost in the valley “are a part of us, our nation”.
At least 67 people have died in clashes between civilians and the security forces in the valley which erupted in protests after a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8. More than a thousand people have been injured.
In the days leading up to the meeting with the eight-member delegation led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah, Modi’s colleagues from within the government and the ruling BJP, however, have spoken with more aggression than compassion on the Kashmir violence.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley speaking in the Samba district on Sunday said those who pelt police and security personnel with stones are “not satyagrahis but aggressors.”
“A new serious situation has arisen. Pakistan and various other forces are involved in it, and the country’s unity has been challenged once again,” Jaitley added, urging the people of Jammu and Kashmir to jointly fight the aggression.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha, a day before the all-party meeting on the unrest, that the violence in Kashmir was created by “vested interests and misguided elements”.
“I have no hesitation in saying that whatever is happening in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on August 11.
“Anti-national slogans against the country won’t be tolerated on Indian soil, want to appeal people in Kashmir to stop such elements,” Singh added.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said there cannot be a compromise on Kashmir.
“You have to work for the nation, its good and unity. Like Yuddhishtra or somebody, you cannot compromise on Kashmir. It is yours, you have to work for it, but when you say Kashmir is yours, the people in Kashmir are also yours,” he said in Chennai on August 14 while delivering a lecture on ‘Nationalism, Internationalism and Bhagwad Gita.’
Junior minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the Kashmir problem was an outcome of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s failure on the political front.
“If you want to see the failed political model of Nehru, then Jammu and Kashmir is the best example,” Singh said at a “Yaad Karo Kurbani” rally on the outskirts of Jammu on August 21.