Kashmir unrest: Congress backs Mehbooba, lays emphasis on dialogue

New Delhi [India], Sept. 5 : The Congress on Monday voiced its support for Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti even as the separatists refused to hold talks with the all-party delegation and emphasized that only dialogue is the solution to end the prevailing unrest in the valley.

Responding to a poser about the separatists denying the talks proposal, Congress leader P.L. Punia while pointing out that the situation is at the moment very delicate in several parts of Kashmir said the solution will emerge only after dialogue with all stakeholders.

"This is what the government wants. It is very often said that Mehbooba Mufti ji does not have experience but the ground reality is that she is in-charge of the present state of affairs there (in Jammu and Kashmir).

The situation will become normal through her. The Congress Party supports her and will do anything to ensure there is normalcy in the region," Punia told ANI.

Extremely upset with the separatists move to reject the offer of talks, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier said this clearly indicates that they don't believe in 'insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, jamuriyat' while reiterating the doors are always open for those keen on holding a dialogue to restore normalcy in the region.

Addressing the media in Srinagar, Singh said the Centre as well as the all-party delegation is extremely serious and concerned about ensuring that the prevailing situation improves in the valley and normalcy is restored at the earliest.

"There are no two ways about the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India, was a part of India and will be a part of India," Singh said while spelling out the Centre's stand.

"Some members of the delegation met Hurriyat leaders and that the government neither approved nor disapproved of the same.

'Baat-cheet kay liye hamara darwaaza hi nahin, hamara roshandaan bhi khulaa hai'," Singh said. Commenting on the use of pellet guns by the paramilitary forces, the Home Minister said the government has given an alternative to pellet guns--Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA)--which will be used within a period of two months.

The all-party delegation, headed by the Home Minister, yesterday held parleys with various sections of the society and listened to their concerns as part of efforts to find a common solution to the current unrest.

The delegation earlier met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during which a detailed presentation was given by the state government highlighting various issues related to the current scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.

While interacting with the delegation, Mehbooba said that Kashmir is a common issue of national interest and should not be viewed as a political issue.

Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8..

Source: ANI