All-party J&K team urges talks despite separatists' snub

Members of an all-party delegation along with home minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the findings of a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir and the action to be taken against the separatists leaders, who refused to engage in a dialogue with the delegation.

The resolution by the all-party delegation which had visited Jammu and Kashmir has recommended that the government talk to all the stakeholders in the Valley. Whether or not the separatists will be considered to be a part of the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir was not mentioned.

"When he (Rajnath) says we are open to discussion to all stakeholders, I think it means what it means," Union minister Jitendra Singh said in a cryptic statement to reporters.

The resolution says that there is "no place for violence in civilised society" and there can be "no compromise as far as national security is concerned".

"The members of the all-party delegation appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to shun violence and resort to dialogue to solve problems," Jitendra Singh further said. "We also appeal to the state government to take proper steps for the government institutions in the state to start working.

"Proper care must also be provided to all those injured in the violence. This is the consensus we have come to after three hours of the meeting."

The resolution also promises talks with all stakeholders.

"We have given four suggestions, especially for an immediate solution," Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, told reporters. "All parties want schools, colleges and businesses to function the Valley. We want tourism to be revived and hospitals to function smoothly in the Valley,"

"The government must also take suggestions from all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir," he said. "Until the government talks to all the stakeholders in Kashmir, a solution will not be found."

Sitaram Yechury, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said that the government needed to implement a "dual-track solution" for Kashmir.

He said the government needed to take some confidence-building measures for peace in Kashmir. "We have given our suggestions. Five confidence-building measures need to be announced. The use of pellet guns needs to be stopped. The government needs to provide support to all the injured. There should be a probe into allegations of excesses by security forces. AFSPA should be withdrawn from the civil areas. The government should announce avenues for employment generation in Kashmir," he said.

"On the other hand, there should be unconditional political dialogue with all stakeholders so that normalcy is immediately achieved," said Yechury. He also said that the government should hold talks with Pakistan on what is happening in Kashmir.

Over 73 people have lost their lives and thousands injured in Kashmir in clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces and life remained disrupted in the Valley. Violence erupted in Kashmir Valley after the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July.

Singh led a delegation of 26 MPs from 20 parties in Srinagar. Yechury, Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal's Jay Prakash Narayan, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi and the CPI's D Raja had gone to meet Hurriyat leaders but the latter declined to meet them.

Singh described their visit as positive but he lashed out at the separatists for their refusal to meet MPs. After his return, he had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held a meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office PMO Jitendra Singh and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and had said that an announcement will be made on Wednesday following the all-party.

Miffed with the separatist leaders' refusal to hold talks, the Centre had indicated that it would toughen its stand against them.