‘Keep dialogue process with separatists open’
Srinagar, Sept. 16: A Congress panel headed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to keep the dialogue route with separatists open.
The party delegation is on a two-day visit to Kashmir to attend a series of meetings on the current situation in the Valley.
The AICC’s “policy and planning” group was formed in April in the wake of widespread violence in the state during the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypolls. The other members of the group include Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union home minister P. Chidambaram and party general secretary Ambika Soni.
Immediately after their arrival, the group held an executive committee meeting of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee at Hari Niwas here, a party spokesman said.
He said the group was scheduled to meet various delegations from Kashmir, including opposition parties.
“Apart from the political parties, the group will interact with several other delegations like civil society organisations, Shia associations, delegation of 2014 flood victims, saffron growers, house boat associations, trade and tourism delegations as well as a delegation of journalists,” the spokesman said.
However, meeting separatist leaders is not part of the group’s agenda, he said.
Speaking to reporters on sidelines of the meeting, Mr Azad said the Central as well as the state government should keep the dialogue route with separatists open.
“The Central as well as the state government have to decide which stakeholders to talk to. Everyone knows who the stakeholders are, but they are afraid to take the names. And when they are afraid to even identify them as stakeholders, how will there be a resolution?
“They (central and state governments) should talk to them (separatists) and try to resolve the issue,” the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.