NEW DELHI: As former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah-led delegation of opposition parties from the state yesterday met and apprised President Pranab Mukherjee of the prevailing restive situation in the Kashmir Valley, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) general secretary Devi Prasad Tripathi on Sunday said the violence in Kashmir is not only instigated by Pakistan, but also has its support, and thus, there is a need to sensitise the people of the Valley and solve the problem politically.
“The violence in Kashmir is not only instigated by Pakistan, but also has its support. There is a need to sensitise the people of the Valley and solve the problem politically,” Tripathi told ANI.
“All political parties had held a meeting with the Prime Minister (during the all-party meeting), and all the parties expressed that we should find a political solution to the Kashmir issue. We have always said the use of pallet guns won’t solve the problem,” he added.
He further said Omar Abdullah and other opposition parties’ leaders had earlier announced that they would meet President Mukherjee, and it was nice that they put forward their opinions.
Speaking to the media here after submitting a memorandum to the President, Omar said this is the first time in memory that initiatives that should have been taken by the government are actually being taken by the opposition.
“This afternoon a delegation of opposition parties that had previously met in Srinagar, called on his Excellency the President to present him a memorandum and to apprise him of the situation currently prevailing, particularly in the Kashmir Valley, but also showing signs of spreading to Pir Punjal, Chenab Valley region of Jammu and Kargil part of Ladakh as well,” he said.
Omar added that their meeting with the President, which cuts across party lines, symbolised the deep concerns that they have for the prevailing situation and also their disappointment at the way the matter has sought to be handled, both by the Centre as well as the state government.
When asked that the situation in the Valley is yet to normalise and curfew has been clamped in several areas since long, Tripathi said, “India has seen bigger problem than this. In September 1969, there was a 65-day-long curfew in Ahmedabad and 560 people were killed in the communal violence, but peace returned.
“Thus, we hope that the solution will be found by holding talks with people and various political parties. We will have to alienate Pakistan politically at the world level and expose its support to terrorism to find a tangible solution to the Kashmir issue.”
Asked about Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that India wants to see pens and computers in the hands of the Kashmiri youth and not stones and firearms, Tripathi said, “He is right. We want the youth to grow and move forward. There should be pen and laptop in their hands instead of guns and bullets.”
In an attempt to reach out to the Kashmiri youth, the Home Minister on Saturday insisted that India wants to see pens and computers in their hands and not stones and firearms.
Addressing a gathering here as a part of the 70th Independence Day celebrations 'Yaad Karo Qurbani' to pay tribute to freedom fighters at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Singh said, “The people of this country want to see pens and computers in the hands of Kashmiri youth and not stones and firearms. We want to see employment in your hand. We want to see you working hard.”
“There can be no solution by protests. We first want that peace is established in the Valley and only after that we can mutually find a solution. The people of this country not only love the land of Kashmir but the Kashmiri people as well,” he added.
With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleging that the federal structure is being bulldozed by the unilateral and arbitrary action of the Centre, he said, “Mamata Banerjee is a very senior leader and her statement holds importance in today’s political context.”
The All India Trinamool Congress tweeted Banerjee as saying, “In the name of cooperative federalism, opinions of states are being bulldozed, and the federal structure is being bulldozed by the unilateral, arbitrary action of the Centre. I have never seen a more arrogant Central Government. This is a dangerous ‘red’ signal to stop democratic system. If the Centre does not correct its course, we will be forced to hit the streets.”
Stating that “Bhashan” (speech) on social media can get you votes, the Bengal Chief Minister asked: “But, what about nation-building?”
“Inflation is up. Development projects for weaker sections are stagnant. There is a controversy over GDP numbers, said Mamata, asking: “If states pay most of the funds, why should be the scheme be named after leaders of the ruling party at the Centre?”
Maintaining that the Centre will be strengthened if the states are empowered, Mamata called upon every party to come together to fight unitedly against the attempts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to thwart the federal structure.