Kashmir dialogue must, but solution ‘within Constitution’: PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told Jammu and Kashmir opposition parties that a dialogue was “a must” for bringing about an end to the weeks-long unrest in the valley but any solution to the problem has to be “within the Constitution” of India.

The Prime Minister’s statement indicates that the government may be considering some political initiative on Kashmir where the over-five weeks long agitation has left some 68 people dead in clashes between pro-freedom protesters and security forces.

At a meeting with a delegation of opposition parties from the state, Modi expressed “deep concern and pain” over the violence in Kashmir and said loss of lives in more than five weeks of unrest distressed him.

“Those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation. Whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us,” Modi said, according to an official statement.

“There has to be a dialogue and we need to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problem within the framework of the Constitution.”

Leaders of opposition parties led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah urged the Prime Minister for a political initiative to deal with the situation in the state.

Abdullah told media persons later that they told Modi that Kashmir was not an issue related to development or the lack of it.”

“It is a political issue and we told the Prime Minister that we need a political approach to deal with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Abdullah told after the meeting.

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