India to address Kashmir issues, not compromise with nation’s integrity
Modi says Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is also part of Jammu and Kashmir
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday the doors of the government were open for addressing “grievances” of all sections in Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution but made it clear there cannot be any compromise with the nation’s integrity.
An All Party Meeting convened by the federal government to discuss the current unrest in Kashmir was told by Modi that the Center was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution as per the basic tenets of the Constitution.
“We all are committed to the national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country’s integrity.
“We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution,” Modi told the marathon four-hour meeting, adding his “heart was pained” over the 35-day unrest that has claimed the lives of 55 people.
Modi, who chaired the meeting attended by its ruling ally People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition parties, also targeted Pakistan and said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is also part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi minced no words in terming cross-border terrorism supported by Pakistan as the root cause of turbulence in the Valley and said the time had come to expose the atrocities committed “by our neighboring nation” in Baluchistan and the areas of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation.
The meeting was convened on a day when the Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament unanimously passed a resolution appealing for urgent steps to restore order and peace in the Valley while asserting that there can be no compromise with the country’s integrity and security.
The PDP said the concern shown for Jammu and Kashmir at the meeting was “noteworthy” but it should be followed by confidence building measures to set off the democratic political process.
Some opposition parties demanded that an All Party delegation be sent to Kashmir. But Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was flanked by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at a news conference, said before sending such a team, the state government has to undertake some ground work.
“Once state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti informs me that the ground work has been done, we will consider sending it,” Singh said.
Asked whether any decision had been taken on curbing the use of pellet guns which has triggered an outrage, Singh and Jaitley said an expert committee has already been formed by the Home Ministry and once a report is filed, a decision will be taken.
“We have to see the security implication as well as an alternative option. The pellet guns have been used in 2010 also. It’s getting highlighted only this time,” Jaitley said.
He said all political parties spoke in one voice and came out and put forth their views in right intent.