After an almost eight-hour-long discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday accepted the demand of the Opposition for an all-party meeting on the issue.
The meeting will take place on Friday at around 12 pm. It will be attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Responding to demands for initiating a political process in Kashmir, the home minister said the government is ready to have talks with mainstream parties, moderates and others. “We are ready. I will ask the chief minister where to start the process and with whom to talk, on which issues,” he said.The home minister also promised to consider sending an all-party delegation to Kashmir, responding to demands made in the Rajya Sabha which discussed the “prevailing situation” in the Valley. He also declared that there is no question of handing over Kashmir to the Army, quashing rumours that are being spread “deliberately”.
At the end of the debate in which 29 members from across the political spectrum spoke, the Rajya Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution, saying: “This House expresses its serious concern over the prolonged turbulence, violence and curfew in the Kashmir Valley.”
With the all-party meet just around the corner, here is the stand taken by major political parties on the Kashmir issue:
Congress blames Modi, BJP
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had lashed out at the prime minister, saying Modi should have spoken on the Kashmir issue in the Parliament.
“This is the fourth time we are asking the prime minister to provide a statement in the House,” Azad had said in the Rajya Sabha.
“We were told that he spoke on Kashmir issue in Madhya Pradesh because the chief minister told him to do so. This shows that the Parliament means nothing to the prime minister and he would not have spoken on the Kashmir issue if the chief minister had not asked him to do so,” he had said.
“When something happens in Africa, the prime minister tweets about it. But when the Taj (Mahal Palace Hotel) of India is burning, the heat is not reaching the Central government,” he had added.
Azad was also one of the leaders who demanded an all-party meet and called for an all-party delegation being sent to Jammu and Kashmir.
Samajwadi Party blames Pakistan
Ram Gopal Yadav, Samajwadi Party MP from Uttar Pradesh, had said in the Rajya Sabha that the Kashmir problem will not be solved unless Pakistan is controlled.
“The problem in Kashmir is not so simple that giving a few jobs to them will solve the problem,” Yadav had said in the Rajya Sabha.
“We have made mistakes in the past. Because of partition, we have had several wars with Pakistan,” he had further said.
“No day goes by when some personnel from our army do not die on the border in Kashmir. Pakistan is funding terrorists in Kashmir,” he said. “We cannot solve the problem in Kashmir if we do not control Pakistan,” Yadav had said.
TMC says the internet is generating opinion in Kashmir, says Burhan Wani was more dangerous alive
“The nationalist loves the country. But the patriot loves the people of the country. It is very important not to make a distinction between Kashmir and its people,” Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien had said during the Rajya Sabha discussion.
“In 2011, the internet penetration in Kashmir was 3 percent. Today, it is 25 percent. That is a major change. If you ask me why the Hurriyat or the army does not have control, it is because opinion is being generated in Kashmir through the internet,” he had said. “Burhan Wani was more dangerous on the internet than he was on the streets. He is more dangerous dead than alive,” he had further said.
JD(U) says use of pellet guns is worse than live bullets
A dramatic Sharad Yadav had said that the injuries sustained by people due to pellet guns was worse than getting killed due to live bullets.
“The prime minister said that the people of the country love Kashmir. But the people of Kashmir should also love the country,” he had said in the Rajya Sabha.
“You can only keep Kashmir in India when you treat Kashmiris as equals,” he said. “Shoot the people but do not use pellet guns. Pellet Guns are worse than live bullets. It is worse than killing people,” he had further said.
CPM says the main problem in Kashmir is the trust deficit
Sitaram Yechury, CPM general secretary, had said that a trust deficit existed in Jammu and Kashmir today because of a series of betrayals. He also criticised the Modi government from initiating dialogue with the people and leaders in Kashmir.
“If other governments have engaged in dialogue in the past, what is preventing this government from initiating the political dialogue?” Yechury had said.
He had also taken a dig at the government’s foreign policy and said, “When you want to wish Happy Birthday, you go to Pakistan.”
“The trust deficit exists (in Kashmir) because of the string of betrayals of the promises made,” the CPI(M) leader had said.
“Unless you address the central question of the promises made to the people of Kashmir at the time of independence, this problem will not be solved,” he had said.
PDP says people remember Kashmir only when it is ‘burning’, raises the issue of Afzal Guru’s hanging
“Why do we only remember Kashmir when it is burning? Guns will not solve any problem,” PDP MP Nazir Ahmad Laway had said. “The people of this country should understand what the problem in Jammu and Kashmir is.”
“I wish people in this Parliament talked about sending a delegation to Aiims, where a girl injured by pellet guns is admitted,” he had said.
Another PDP MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz raised the issue of Afzal Guru in the Rajya Sabha. “If the Supreme Court gave death sentence to Afzal Guru, and his serial number was 27, then why was he hanged first? This question is arising in the minds of the people. They are asking, ‘What is the difference between Jammu and Kashmir, and other states?’,” he had said.