Expressing serious concern over the situation in Kashmir, Congress today voiced hope that Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the Valley would announce confidence-building measures and that pellet guns would no longer be used on protesters.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he and his government are not “concerned” about people of Kashmir as he was not present either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha when the issue was discussed. “Now after 16 days, the Home Minister has gone to Kashmir. I have full faith that he will announce it to people of Kashmir that there will be no more use of pellet guns from now on in Kashmir.
“I also hope that the Home Minister will start taking confidence building measures, so that the people of Kashmir once again show the same faith in the central and state governments,” he said. Azad said the situation in Kashmir, which has been rocked by violence after the killing of Hizbul Mujahidin terrorist Burhan Wani, was a matter of “serious concern”.
Training his guns on the Prime Minister, Azad said, “There were discussions on Kashmir issue in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha but Prime Minister did not attend any of those which shows how much concerned the government and the PM are about the people of Kashmir.” Curfew was today lifted from four districts of Kashmir and parts of Srinagar city in view of the improving situation in these areas but remained in force in the rest of the Valley as a precautionary measure.
Earlier in the day, expressing displeasure over continuous deteriorating situation, Congress decided not to meet Union Home Minister Raj Nath Singh, citing that central government has failed to stop killings and address the concerns of the people.
According to Congress Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, party has decided not to meet Home Minister Raj Nath Singh citing that both Central & State Govts are responsible for present turmoil, the wrong policies of central government besides vicious campaign against a particular community on the Part of BJP Leadership has fuelled the anger leading to the alienation of the people.
He said after debating the current unrest in the Parliament, it was expected that central government would send an all-party delegation to assess the situation, but that too not has happened, which is indicative of Centre Govt’s lack of interest in ending the current unrest.
Congress party from the day one is making serious efforts to restore calm, besides having extended all support to State Govt to restore normalcy. It is worth mentioning that the party had demanded an all-party meeting at the earliest to discuss the Kashmir situation when the Central leaders of the Party including Incharge General Secretary Ambika Soni and Senior Leader and Former Union Minister Salman Khursheed visited Kashmir and held detailed interactions with the Party Cadres to get feedback about the prevailing situation.
He said Congress has already put forth its view point in recently held All Party’s meeting, but it is ironical that nothing concrete is happening on the ground and the common people continue to suffer. Stating that no one from the Congress Party is meeting Home Minister, PCC Chief said that in the recently held all Party meeting the suggestions put forth by the party seems to have fallen on deaf ears, as a result, the situation continues to remain tense.
Reiterating Congress Party’s demand of initiating a political dialogue with all shades of opinion, Congress chief urged upon state government to address issues concerning people. He also called for immediate ban on use of pellets and excessive use of force. PCC Chief also appealed the people to maintain calm and help in restoring normalcy in the valley.