Opposition parties meet in Srinagar

Srinagar: A meeting of the opposition parties of J&K was held today on Wednesday, the 17th of August in Srinagar on the invitation of former Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah to discuss the current situation in the State.

The meeting was attended by senior leaders of National Conference (NC) led by its Working President Omar Abdullah, Indian National Congress (INC) led by PCC Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) led by M. Y. Tarigami, Democratic Nationalist Party (DPN) led by Ghulam Hassan Mir, Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) led by Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and Awami Itehad Party (AIP) led by Engineer Rashid.

The meeting started with an introductory address by National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah, followed by an address by PCC Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Senior CPI-M Leader M. Y. Tarigami, DPN Chairman Ghulam Hassan Mir, PDF Chairman Hakeem Yaseen and Awami Itehad Party (AIP) Chairman Engineer Rashid.

Following this various Senior Leaders of the opposition parties also spoke in the meeting and a broad-based discussion was held on the current situation.

At the end of discussions over the current situation in the State, the following resolutions were adopted by the meeting:

Resolution 1: We express grave concern and grief over the prevailing situation in the State and express our heartfelt condolences with those who have lost their lives and also express our solidarity with thousands of those who have sustained serious injuries.

Resolution 2: We express our deep disappointment and displeasure at the response of both the Central and the State Government which stems from their insensitivity towards the suffering and sentiments of the people of the State.

Resolution 3: A detailed discussion on the current situation is required and imperative. It is unfortunate that rather than the initiation of a discussion coming from the Government, it is the opposition parties that have initiated a discussion in both houses of the Parliament on more than one occasion. We are grateful to those leaders and parties that have expressed their solidarity and sympathy with the people of the State in the prevailing situation and also voiced their concerns and suggestions.

Resolution 4: It would have been in the fitness of things had the State Government called a Special Session of the State Legislature to discuss the prevailing situation in the State. Now that the State Government has failed in fulfilling this responsibility at this crucial juncture, we demand the Government calls a Special Session of the State Legislature without any further delay to discuss the current situation, its reasons and implications.
The meeting also put forth the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Given that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature, we impress upon the Central Government to initiate a meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders.

Recommendation 2: On more than on occasion the Chief Minister of J&K has accepted that there has been an excessive use of forces against civilians, including on the instance of her speech on the 15th of August. We demand a Judicial Probe be a Retired Judge of the Honourable Supreme Court is immediately ordered to probe the excessive use of force on civilians and fix responsibility for the same.

Recommendation 3: It has been seen that hitherto peaceful areas in the State are being dragged into the situation by nocturnal raids, arrests (including under PSA) and wanton harassment of the youth – which has further aggravated the extremely volatile situation. We demand such measures are stopped immediately.

Recommendation 4: The unchecked use of pellet guns has maimed, blinded and handicapped hundreds of young boys and girls. We demand the use of pellet guns be immediately discontinued without waiting for the so-called Committee of the Central Government to take cognizance of the humanitarian crisis in the Valley in this respect.

Recommendation 5: Jammu and Kashmir has always been a beacon of communal harmony and religious tolerance even in the most difficult circumstances. We appeal to the people of the State and all stakeholders to continue safeguarding and upholding this legacy at all costs.

Those who participated in the meeting were – National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah, PCC Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Senior CPI-M Leader M. Y. Tarigami, DPN Chairman Ghulam Hassan Mir, PDF Chairman Hakeem Yaseen, Awami Itehad Party (AIP) Chairman Engineer Rashid, National Conference Leaders – General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Mubarak Gul, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Nasir Aslam Wani, Ms. Sakina Ittoo and Junaid Mattu. Senior Congress Leaders – PCC Chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Ghulam Nabi Monga, G. M. Saroori, Shyam Lal Sharma, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Usman Majid, Haji Abdul Rashid Dar, Shabir Ahmed Khan, Aijaz Khan and Ravinder Sharma. AIP Leaders Zeeshan Pandit and Inam Ahmed and DPN Leader Nazir Ahmed.

The opposition leaders led by Omar Abdullah interacted with the media in a joint press briefing after the conclusion of the meeting. It was also decided in the meeting that the Opposition Parties would explore the possibility of jointly calling on the Honourable President of India as well as Leaders of National Political Parties to discuss the current situation in the State. (KNS)

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