Congress calls for dialogue with Kashmiri separatists

Congress asked both the central and the state governments to identify the relevant non-mainstream parties doe talks.

Published: 30th August 2016 08:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2016 01:03 AM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: Pitching for a dialogue with separatists to end the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, Opposition Congress today said it had asked both the central and the state governments to identify the relevant non-mainstream parties and stakeholders in the Valley for the talks.

"We have said both inside the House (Parliament) and in all-party meeting, which was presided over by Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and which we attended as an Opposition, that he should hold an all-party meeting," Congress general secretary and Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here.

"We had also said that the process of dialogue should be initiated as soon as possible if they want the things to improve on ground. And for that it is important we do not confine our dialogue only to mainstream political parties," he said.

Azad said the government must identify important and relevant non-mainstream parties in Kashmir to have a dialogue with them to improve the situation in the Valley. "It is the non-mainstream political parties, not only in our state but across the country, they do not have normally any representatives in the assemblies and Parliament. So we need to talk besides mainstream political parties, (to) other non-mainstream political parties and all other stakeholders," Azad said.

The Congress leader also said that the role of Pakistan in Kashmir had always been negative. "It is not the first time that the role of Pakistan has been negative. It is right since the Partition of India, it started from October 1947 even when I was not born and there has always been a role of Pakistan and that role has been negative," he said.

"I would like to say that whatever was done in the Parliament and whatever is being done after the session, these were only all the recommendations of the Opposition," Azad said.

He said that from discussions in the Parliament to an all-party meeting, everything was made possible by the initiatives of the Opposition.

"An all-party delegation visiting Kashmir, this was also accepted on the demand made by the opposition, all of us, in the Rajya Sabha. So far whatever has happened in the Parliament and outside the Parliament seems to be all demands made by the Opposition. I do not see a single initiative which is taken by the government," Azad said.

He said the situation would have improved in Kashmir much before had the Centre accepted the Opposition's demand to start some dialogue process.

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