Kashmir issue needs political solution: Congress

Srinagar: Kashmir problem is political which needs to be addressed politically and not militarily, Congress said today as it pitched for a sustained dialogue with “all stakeholders” for restoration of peace in the restive Valley.

A Congress team led by its state chief G A Mir conveyed the party’s sentiment during its meeting with the all-party delegation headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh which arrived here today.

“Kashmir is a political issue and shall have to be addressed politically rather than militarily. The Centre must initiate a sustained meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders in the state keeping in view the aspirations of Jammu and Ladakh regions also,” said Mir.

“The recommendations of interlocutors and round-table conferences held under the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be the basis of dialogue process as that will be a viable roadmap to resolve the issue,” he added.

Deliberating on the overall situation in the state, the Congress leaders apprised the delegation about the turbulent situation in the Valley due to the loss of lives.

“The Congress delegation discussed the overall situation in the Valley and briefed the leaders about the current upsurge and losses caused in the backdrop of protests across the Valley,” a Congress spokesperson said after the meeting.

The Congress leaders stressed on the need for “serious and proactive measures” on the part of both state and Central governments to put an end to the current unrest.

“There is a need to adopt a well planned strategy to resolve the issues politically, besides serious efforts must be put in place to address the grievances of the people,” they said.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mir said both the state and the Central government had failed to restore peace “which is not only unfortunate, but also reflects the lack of any policy to deal with the situations on their part.”

“Even after 57 days there is no improvement on the ground, the regular incidents of casualties have vitiated the atmosphere to the largest extent and as a result, the situation is completely unpredictable and dangerous,” he said.

The all-party delegation is on a two-day visit to the Valley during which it is expected to interact with a cross section of people and find ways for restoration of peace in the valley where violent clashes have claimed 71 lives since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.