Aiming to bring peace in Jammu and Kashmir, an all-party delegation led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh was on Sunday in Srinagar for a two-day visit to the state, during which it is expected to interact with a cross section of people.
Delhi: All party delegation on Kashmir emplanes for Srinagar pic.twitter.com/XLxCxTKDvB— ANI (@ANI_news) September 4, 2016
"We intend to talk to individuals and groups who want peace and normalcy in Kashmir Valley," Singh said before the departure of delegation comprising 30 members from 20 parties.
Cutting across party lines, leaders said that they were hopeful of finding a solution for restoration of peace in the Valley where violent clashes have claimed 71 lives since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on 8 July.
Senior Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the delegation was ready to hear "everyone".
The visit "will be beneficial for Kashmir and for the country," he said, adding everyone wants peace in the state.
Azad said it will be an opportunity for the parties and Kashmiri people to interact.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, another member of the team, said the all-party delegation should have gone two months ago "but let's hope that even now, we can make a difference".
LJP Chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the MPs are going with an open mind and want to interact with anyone who wants to talk within the framework of the Indian Constitution. "We are ready to talk," he said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said all parties were cooperating with the government and their sole aim was restoration of normalcy in the state.
""We will try our best to bring back normalcy. We are cooperating with the government. It is the responsibility of the government to deal with the situation very intelligently.
"All parties are cooperating for that. So we hope that it will be resolved," he said.
Reaching out to separatists, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday invited their top leaders for talks with the delegation.
Mehbooba wrote letters to the leaders in her capacity as PDP chief, seeking their cooperation by engaging with the delegation.
Apart from the Home Minister and Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, those who are part of the all-party team include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his Lok Sabha colleague Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja.
NCP's Tariq Anwar and Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and Anandrao Adsul, TDP's Thota Narasimham, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prem Singh Chandumajra, BJD's Dilip Tirkey, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, AIUDF's Badaruddin Ajmal and Muslim League's E Ahamed will be party of the delegation.
TRS' Jitendra Reddy, N K Premchandran (RSP), P Venugopal (AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Y B Subba (YSR-Cong), Jaiprakash Yadav (RJD), Dharamveer Gandhi (AAP) and Dushyant Chautala (RLD) are also in the team.
BSP and Samajwadi Party have also extended their support.
Feature Image Source: Reuters