Congress hopeful of peace returning in Kashmir Valley after all-party meeting

Mumbai, Aug 13 : Following the all-party meeting yesterday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed for a permanent and peaceful solution to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress on Saturday expressed hope once he turns his words into actions, peace will return to the Valley, which has been hit by violence since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

"This was something we had been asking for because over the time there have been people who also have been stakeholders, governments who have been part of governing Jammu and Kashmir, so trying to understand that taking everybody's opinion in mind, it would be imperative that peace is restored.

That is the biggest fact and we would hope that Prime Minister's words convert into action and ensure that peace is restored at the fastest in Kashmir," Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi told ANI.

However, she also said that there is a 'trans deficit' between the government and the people of Kashmir.

"I think it was long overdue considering that we are almost in the 34th or 35th day of protests in Kashmir and yet we are not seeing peace being restored in Kashmir and still seeing the state of Kashmir in a curfew mode," she added.

Yesterday, during the meeting, Prime Minister Modi said Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir.

During the four-hour-long all-party meeting, which was called to find a political solution to the unrest in Kashmir, where over 50 people have been killed in clashes between the protesters and security forces and more than 5,000 have been injured since July 8, some of the opposition parties also asked the government to take a few immediate confidence-building measures like putting an end to the use of pellet guns and relaxing AFSPA in some parts of the valley.

"We are committed for a permanent and peaceful solution to the issue of Jammu (and) Kashmir in accordance with the basic principles of our Constitution.

We have an open mind and our doors are always open. We are committed to the welfare of every citizen of Jammu (and) Kashmir. We have been following the path shown by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji to find a solution," the Prime Minister said.

Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav were among those present in the meeting.

Kashmir has been on the boil for more than a month with thousands injured and more than 50 killed during protests against Wani's killing.

Source: ANI