All-party meet to look beyond land
The All-Party delegation will meet again on Tuesday to find a solution to the Amarnath row that has brought out people in Kashmir and Jammu out on the streets, reports Aloke Tikku.Updated: Aug 12, 2008 00:20 IST
The All-Party delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir over the weekend will meet again on Tuesday, ahead of the All-Party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Wednesday to find a solution to the Amarnath row that has brought out people in Kashmir and Jammu out on the streets.
But leaders associated with the peace process made it clear that neither the problem, nor the solution, was just about the plot of land at Baltal that triggered protests, first in Kashmir and then in Jammu.
“We met on Monday and the talks were inconclusive. We will meet on Tuesday again,” home minister Shivraj Patil said after the meeting of the all-party delegation on Monday.
The meeting was organised after four persons including a separatist leader died in the police firing at the agitators who were trying to protest against what they called an ‘economic blockade’. Led by separatist leaders of the Hurriyat Conference and the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the protesters were trying to march towards Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The home minister said that he discussed the situation in the state with J&K Governor N.N. Vohra and DGP Kuldeep Khoda. Patil also urged people not to exaggerate the number of agitators as it may create scare. Officials in Delhi said their estimates indicated only about 5-6,000 people were mobilised for the demonstrations in the Kashmir valley.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who was busy backing the march to Muzaffarabad that worsened the situation in the Kashmir Valley, was not present at Monday’s meeting; Arun Jaitley of the BJP and Naresh Gujral of Shiromani Akali Dal were among the 15 members of the peace mission present.
“We are working out the preamble to the approach to be adopted,” said SP leader Amar Singh. According to the members of Delhi’s peace mission, the problem in Jammu as well as Kashmir had moved beyond the Amarnath land issue and the solution would have to address Jammu’s perception of discrimination without alienating Kashmiris.
“The key to a durable solution is going to be that neither region feels that they have lost or won,” one said, pointing that more rounds of talks between the government and the agitators, especially in Jammu, could be expected. “The government has already suggested that a solution can be worked out on the talks table… not when they are on the streets,” he said.