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For peaceful Ramzan, Yatra: Mainstream parties to jointly approach GoI for unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir

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By Mudassir Kuloo

Srinagar, May 09: The all-party meeting held on Wednesday decided to send a delegation to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for considering a unilateral ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, convened the meeting at the SKICC here, for all the mainstream political leaders to discuss the worsening situation in the valley.
The four-and-a-half-hour meeting chaired by the Chief Minister called for a political outreach on Kashmir.
Talking to the media after the meeting, Mehbooba said they discussed the measures for restoring normalcy in the valley.
“Everyone expressed concern over the current situation in the valley. Youth are picking up guns and indulge in stone pelting in which a 22-year-old boy from Chennai was killed,” the Chief Minister said.
“It was agreed that there should be a unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra. The government must consider it as Vajpayee Ji did in 2000,” she said.
She said that encounters, crackdowns, and search operations were causing trouble to the common people.
“Efforts must be made to maintain an environment in which Eid and Amarnath Yatra can be performed peacefully. People’s confidence shall be restored with some immediate measures,” she said.
She was flanked by BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Kavindar Gupta.
Mehbooba said all the parties expressed concern over non-implementation of the Agenda of Alliance formulated by the coalition partners.
“AoA is a visionary document. All parties agreed that if the AoA between BJP and PDP is followed, situation in Kashmir can be changed. There is a roadmap for dialogue, CBMs opening of new routes, self-reliance, return of power projects, political resolution, and reconciliation in it,” she said.
“Everyone also agreed that we meet Prime Minister and express our concerns over the situation in J&K and discuss measures for reaching out to the people of the state,” she said.
General Secretary of the main opposition National Conference, Ali Mohammad Sagar, who led his party’s delegation in the meeting, said, “We told the Chief Minister that there should be dialogue with Hurriyat and anti-militancy operations shall be stopped. We asked for an end to mass arrests, raids, and human rights violations for diffusing the tensions.”
The NC leaders also said that New Delhi was “responsible” for the current situation.
“Alienation has increased and New Delhi has turned a blind eye. If the Chief Minister is asking the centre to stop this bloodshed, then who is running the state?” he asked.
He claimed that some vested interests had made it “Jammu verses Kashmir and Hindus verses Muslims” issue.
He asked the government to convene a three-day Assembly Session to discuss the situation in the valley.
Congress State President, G A Mir, claimed that the Chief Minister was “helpless” before the centre.
“All parties want unilateral ceasefire during the Ramzan month and Amarnath Yatra period,” he said, and asked the government to take everyone on board.
He was accompanied by party senior leaders Taj Mohiuddin, G N Monga, and Usman Majeed.
CPI (M) leader, M Y Tarigami said the participants wanted a political process to be started to bring the situation to the normal.
“We reiterated our view that the urge Prime Minister should be asked to start political outreach on Kashmir,” he said.
MLA Langate, Er Rashid said he recommended unilateral ceasefire for the next three months.
“If centre is not listening, then all the parties should take a decision not to contest elections. Ask New Delhi for right to self-determination,” he said, adding that mainstream was in “shambles”.