The government on Friday said it was important to win the hearts and minds of people in Jammu and Kashmir, and it was time to deliver the promises made to them.
“There are our government’s pronouncements and our own promises to the people of Jammu and Kashmir… And, I think, it is important that we deliver on our promises and we follow-up on our own pronouncements,’ Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha.
He said the Centre was keen on fulfilling its promises, including amending the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduction of security personnel in the state, depending on the situation there.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was likely to receive an all-party delegation from the state, possibly on Tuesday, and plans meet leaders of parties in Parliament, the minister said
He was responding to the clarifications sought by the opposition on his statement on the situation in Kashmir, made in Parliament on Wednesday.
“We will resume the political process. The answer to the problem lies only through the political process, only through dialogue,” Chidambaram said.
Referring to the “quiet dialogue” he had initiated with the leaders of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, which was disrupted in December last year following an assassination bid on Fazl-ul Haq Qureshi, Chidambaram said he would “do everything possible to resume it.”
He specifically mentioned the recent statement of hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani against stone-pelting. “If it marks a shift of his stand it should be welcomed and that he should also come for dialogue, the home minister said.
Earlier, leader of opposition Arun Jaitley said the situation in Kashmir was “slipping out of control” and “any concession made at this stage will further dilute the sovereignty.”
BJP, Govt in agreement
The government and the BJP, however, share the same views on the role of Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chidambaram agreed with Arun Jaitley, that Pakistan appeared to have changed its strategy by fomenting more civilian unrest rather than the militant activities.