Call all-party meeting on Valley: BJP to PM

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 7 2010, 03:30am hrs
The BJP on Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to call an all-party meeting to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, restore peace and harmony in the region, and ensure that no steps are taken which demoralise security forces deployed there.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani, along with a delegation of party MLAs from J&K and central leaders, met the PM to discuss the matter and submitted a memorandum. During the meeting, Advani told the PM that we were looking forward to the statement of home minister P Chidambaram but he only apprised us of the situation in Kashmir and said nothing about the steps being taken by the Centre, said leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Advani told Singh that the Centre is clueless about what to do in Kashmir and cannot think of a way to deal with the situation. Earlier, there used to be terrorist violence but now violent crowds throw stones at the security forces, Swaraj said. The party demanded that the PM call an all-party meeting to discuss the situation and the steps to be taken to deal with it. The PM gave us a positive response. He said he had no issues in calling an all-party meeting to discuss the matter, Swaraj said.

The BJP said Singh agreed with them that the first priority at this juncture was restoration of peace in the Valley. He also assured us that nothing would be done that would demoralise the security forces there, Swaraj said.

In the memorandum, the BJP said 1,262 security personnel have been injured in mob violence so far.

Any dilution in the presence of the security forces or their authority is wholly unacceptable to us. The all-party meeting wrongly decided (despite BJPs dissent) to have an inquiry against the security forces. We cannot allow any dilution of Indias security presence, particularly when Pakistan is fomenting trouble, the memorandum said.

Swaraj alleged the Army was functioning with its hands tied due to government pressure and there was also talk of dilution of Armed Forces Special Powers Act.