In a bipartisan discussion over the violent unrest in Kashmir, politicians from across the spectrum on Wednesday urged the government to work out a political solution and bring peace to the Valley. Utv Pakistan Report
Rajya Sabha MPs unanimously called for an all-party meet to discuss the matter, with home minister Rajnath Singh setting the date for August 12. It will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Singh also promised to consider sending an all-party delegation to Kashmir, responding to demands made in the Rajya Sabha which discussed the “prevailing situation” in the Valley for over six hours.
Read | All-party meeting to discuss Kashmir situation on August 12
But Singh’s strongest comments were on Pakistan, in which he lashed out at Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, for his comments on Kashmir.
“Kashmir is an inseparable part of India. No power on earth can separate it from India,” Singh said while replying to the debate.
“Talks would not be held with Pakistan regarding Kashmir but on the issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” he added, saying slogans like ‘Pakistan zindabad’ “won’t be tolerated”.
Sharif on Tuesday had said he would become the voice of the “oppressed” in Kashmir and called on the United Nation to intervene in the matter and investigate alleged “brutalities and atrocities” being inflicted by Indian security forces.
Read | Sharif says he will be voice of Kashmir’s ‘oppressed’, urges UN intervention
The opposition, as well as ruling lawmakers, was also united in condemning Pakistan over stoking trouble in the valley.
Nationalist Congress Party leader DP Tripathi said the house and the nation were “united against those causing problems in Kashmir from across the border”.
Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who initiated the debate in the upper house, urged the government to integrate hearts and minds of people with the “integral part of India” to solve problems there.
He expressed concern over the violence and continued lockdown of the Valley where close to 60 people have been killed and thousands injured in over a month-long unrest following the killing of of Burhan Wani, a celebrated top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
“We always say Kashmir is an integral part of India. But integral part should not be on paper only. There should be the integration of minds and hearts,” Azad said.
Nazir Ahmad Laway, a Kashmir lawmaker from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, questioned why the nation remembered Kashmir only “when it is burning”.
“The longer we take to resolve this issue, the harder it will be. Kashmiri people are not for guns, they are for this country,” Laway said. “They don’t trust us. They say delegations come and go, but nothing is ever done for us.”
Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said he was shocked over the deaths, including those of children. “Children have no religion. If a child is killed, it should awake the country’s collection conscience.”
While replying to the debate during which demands were made for stopping the use of pellet guns, Singh said instructions had been issued to security forces to exercise “maximum restraint”, but said there would be no compromise on national security.
At the end of the debate in which 29 members spoke, the Rajya Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution, saying: “This House expresses its serious concern over the prolonged turbulence, violence and curfew in the Kashmir valley.”
It added that the House “conveys its deep sense of anguish and concern over the loss of lives and critical injuries caused by the deteriorating situation.”