NEW DELHI: Buckling under pressure from a united opposition, the Centre has agreed to an all-party meet on Friday in an attempt to bring about a solution to the prevailing unrest in Kashmir.
The government also expressed its willingness to hold talks with all moderate groups, while appealing to the people of the valley to restore peace and harmony through a resolution unanimously passed in Parliament on Wednesday.
In a strong message to Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “No power on earth can snatch Kashmir from us.” He was referring to a letter from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the United Nations, seeking ‘plebiscite’ in Kashmir.
Replying to discussion on the prevailing situation in the valley, which lasted for nearly seven hours in the Rajya Sabha, Singh declared that there was no question of handing over Kashmir to the army, quashing rumours that he said were being spread deliberately.
Asserting that he was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Home Minister said an all-party meeting would be held on Friday on the Kashmir situation, which would be attended by the PM.
While instructing the security forces to exercise “maximum restraint”, he pointed out that as many as 4,515 security personnel have suffered injuries in clashes with agitators, as against 3,356 civilians.