In a bid to reach out to people of Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed his “deep concern and pain” over the situation there and asked all political parties to work together to find a “permanent and lasting” solution to problems in Jammu and Kashmir.

Making an appeal for restoration of normalcy in the Valley where the unrest entered the 45th day, Modi emphasised that there has to be a dialogue. An official statement issued after his 75-minute-long meeting with a joint opposition delegation led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Prime Minister appreciated the “constructive suggestions” made by them during the talks and reiterated his government’s commitment to the welfare of people.

b’An opposition delegation from Jammu and Kashmir along with National Conference chief Omar Abdullah after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi | Source: PTIxc2xa0′

The 20-member delegation comprising Omar and seven of his National Conference MLAs, Congress legislators led by PCC Chief G A Mir and CPI-M MLA M Y Tarigami had called on the Prime Minister this morning and made an appeal for a political approach for resolving the crisis in the Valley and to ensure that the “mistakes” of the past are not repeated. 

Immediately after the statement was released , Omar tweeted, 

The 46-year-old Working President of National Conference Omar told reporters after the meeting that they requested the Prime Minister for finding a political solution to the Kashmir issue so that a lasting peace is ensured in the state as well as in the country.

The Prime Minister emphasised on the need for dialogue to find a “permanent and lasting solution” within the framework of the Constitution and also asked all political parties to work together to find a solution to the problems in Jammu and Kashmir.

Expressing his “deep concern and pain” at the prevailing situation, the Prime Minister said, “Those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation; whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us.”

b’National Conference chief Omar Abdullah, CPI(M) MLA M.Y. Tarigami and other opposition delegation from Jammu and Kashmir, addresses media after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi | Source: PTI’

“Government and the nation stand with the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Prime Minister said, and suggested that all political parties should reach out to the people and convey the same. He expressed his commitment to the development of the state and its people, and appealed for restoration of normalcy in the state. Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and so far over 60 people have been killed.

Omar told reporters the Prime Minister agreed with the Omar told reporters the Prime Minister agreed with the delegation that development alone is not an answer to the crisis. “The Prime Minister told us in categorical terms that development alone will not resolve this problem,” he said and refused to draw any conclusion from that. 

b’Women shouting slogans during a protest over the death of Irfan Fayaz Wani who was hit by a tear gas shell during a clash with security forces, at Fateh Kadal in Srinagar | Source: PTI’

The leaders flagged the issue of youths falling victims to the continued protests, including a young teenager named Irfan who was killed on Sunday night when a teargas shell hit him on his chest.

“We also implore you to announce an immediate ban on pellet guns and advise relevant quarters against the policy of mass harassment, raids and arrests as this has worsened an already volatile situation in the State and also goes against the values and principles of democracy,” the memorandum submitted to Modi said. 

(Feature image source: AFP)