As the monsoon session of the Parliament commenced on Monday, the Modi government agreed to the Congress' demand of having a discussion on the Kashmir unrest in the Rajya Sabha and pitched for a political solution rather than using "barrel of the gun" while dealing with the unrest.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad asserted while his party stands with the Modi government and the coalition in the state in dealing firmly with militancy, the "excessive use" of force against the common citizens, including children and women, is not acceptable.

File photo of Ghulam Nabi Azad | PTI

Here are the highlights of his speech:

  • "The situation in Kashmir is worse than what it was in 2008 and 2010."
  • "I'm not saying that Kashmiri people had complete faith when Cong was in power, but there was a sense of trust in some corner."
  • "They have used bullets and pellet guns on the children, old men and women."
  • "Should locals be treated in the same way we treat militants? Should same bullets that are used on militants be used on innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir? We stand with the government in ending militancy, but we don't support this kind of treatment with the civilians."
  • "Pellet guns were not used during the Haryana riots despite large-scale violence across the state."
  • "We must ensure that the government’s attitude towards the civilians in Kashmir is that of a parent towards their children."
  • "I support freedom of press but not at the stake of unity of the nation. Prime time debates are fuelling divisive ideas."
  • "Taslima Nasreen was removed from Bangladesh for writing against Islam, against the Quran. We gave her refuge. But she appears on television and lambasts Muslims and Islam. Doesn’t that provoke the sentiments of people. Similarly, there is one Tarek Fatah, who has spoken against rules of Islam. He stays out of Pakistan, in Canada. But people like him are brought on television to launch their tirade against Indian Muslims."
  • "A Kashmir Pandit passed away in downtown three days back. People broke the curfew to give him a decent funeral. This is Kashmir."
  • "Pakistan is a big contributory factor to the violence. If the majority community is suspecting the minority it is because of Pakistan."

Watch the video of the full speech below:

Leader of House Arun Jaitley admitted that the situation in Kashmir was a "matter of concern" but rejected the contention that the violence in the valley was a result of the BJP getting into power at the state.

File photo of Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha | PTI

Here are the highlights of his speech:

  • "We must show some statesmanship. I agree with Mr Azad that Kashmir situation is very serious and grim."
  • "The political struggle in J&K is not between parties but between this country & separatists."
  • "PDP & BJP have ideological differences. This coalition is not the main reason for J&K situation."
  • "The reason for this situation is not coalition or TV debates. But because Pakistan has never reconciled to the idea of J&K being a part of India."
  • "Wrong to accuse us for unrest. Pakistan is fomenting trouble in Kashmir."
  • "Today this issue is not about internal politics.We should concentrate on people of Kashmir and peace in the valley."
  • "How does one deal with civilians when protests turn violent & each person throws dozens of stones at the security forces."

Watch the video of the full speech below:

(With inputs from PTI)