Omar Abdullah-Led Kashmir Opposition To Meet PM Modi Today


New Delhi: A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir opposition parties led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today and impress upon the Centre to start a dialogue “with all stakeholders” to solve the Kashmir crisis.

The delegation – which includes CPM lawmaker Yusuf Tarigami and Congress’ Ghulam Ahmed Mir – met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi yesterday to convey “the seriousness of the situation”.

“We are apprising the national leadership of the unprecedented situation that is prevailing in the Kashmir valley,” Mr Tarigami told NDTV after meeting the Congress leadership.

The leaders also submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday, strongly criticising the Centre and the state government for their handling of the spiralling violence.

He said the delegation would urge PM Modi to “rethink” the Centre’s strategy of not talking to separatists in the Valley. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury had also suggested that the Centre should talk to “all shades of opinion including the separatists”.

“You see a section of the people have a different opinion. What’s the harm in talking to all the stakeholders? When Vajpayee Sahib was the Prime Minister, he was willing to talk to everyone,” Mr Tarigami said.

Mr Abdullah on Saturday said it was unfortunate that the Army was saying what people wanted to hear from the political leadership after Northern Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda appealed for calm, saying “everyone needs to step back” and sit together to find a way out of the current situation

“Northern Commander today thinks that there should be talks with all people who have a different mindset. So the question is, why our political leaders could not do this,” Mr Abdullah said after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke about the Kashmir situation at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. “We want to see pens and computers in the hands of Kashmiri youth and not stones and guns,” he said.

More than 65 people have been killed and over 5,000 injured in clashes among protesters and security forces since the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist with a large following, in Jammu and Kashmir last month.