J&K Opposition leaders meet President Mukherjee, press for political solution in Kashmir
A delegation of 20 opposition leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, led by former CM Omar Abdullah today called on President Pranab Mukherjee, and apprised him about the present situation in Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, Omar said that they requested Mukherjee to urge upon the Centre to find a solution to the present Kashmir crisis politically rather than administratively.
“The failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation. We have requested the President to impress upon the central government to initiate a credible and meaningful process of political dialogue without any further delay involving all stakeholders to address the political issue in the state,” Omar told reporters after an hour-long meeting with the President.
He said the continued refusal of the Centre to deal with the situation through a political approach "is disappointing and can have serious long term implications on peace and stability in the state".
The former Chief Minister, who was flanked by Congress MLAs led by state PCC Chief G A Mir, CPM MLA M Y Tarigami and Independent legislator Hakim Yaseen, said, "The fire that has been raging in Kashmir Valley for last 42 days has already started spreading across Peer Panjal and Chenab Valley in Jammu region and Kargil area."
"I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave," he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to "crush the agitation by using administrative measures" like stopping sale of petrol and other essential commodities.
He regretted that whatever measures governments in the state and Centre should be taking for normalisation of situation were being taken by the opposition parties.
"It was opposition parties which pressurised the government for holding a debate in Parliament and it is again the opposition parties which are pushing the state government to find a political solution to the problem," he said.
Omar warned that a "continued delay to engage with the people of the state through a comprehensive and sustained political initiative will further deepen the sense of alienation in the Valley and cast a shadow of uncertainty on its future generation".
He said the delegation also requested the President to use his "influence" on the state as well as the Centre "to stop the use of lethal force against civilians in the Valley".
Meanwhile, the local authorities in Kashmir on Saturday continued curfew and shutdown for the 43rd consecutive day paralysing life across Kashmir.
Police said curfew will remain in force in Anantnag town and parts of Srinagar city while restrictions will continue in other parts of the Valley. The state government has advised its employees to resume duties failing which they would not be given salaries for the month of August.
Employees have described the directive as "dictatorial and unjustified" given the prevailing law and order situation.
For the sixth consecutive on Friday, no prayers were allowed at the Jamia Mosque in Nowhatta area of old city Srinagar.
Senior separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq defied detention when they came out of house arrest and tried to march towards Aaripanthan village in Badgam district.
Geelani and Mirwaiz were arrested and lodged at local police stations for some time before they were again placed under house arrest in Srinagar city.
With Agency Inputs