Chidambaram appeals for peace in Valley, promises dialogue

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 6 2010, 04:48am hrs
Promising to re-start the political dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir, home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday urged the protesting mobs in the Valley to desist from violent attacks on security forces and help in creating an atmosphere in which constructive talks with all sections of people could be initiated.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the situation in J&K, Chidambaram reminded the protestors that mindless violence and destruction of public property would not lead to any solution.

We recognise that the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir are issues concerning our own people, and they have to be addressed through the political process and through a dialogue with all sections of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. Government has always favoured a dialogue, Chidambaram said.

Once peace and order are restored, I am confident that we can explore the possibility of reactivating the political process that holds the key to the solution. On its part, the Centre offers its full support to the state government in restoring law and order, holding a dialogue, redressing genuine grievances, accelerating development programmes, and ensuring equity, justice and honour for all sections of people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Chidambarams statement came amidst a deteriorating law and order situation in J&K, which has witnessed large-scale clashes between protesting mobs and security forces in which 39 civilians have died since June 11. Chidambaram said while the government regretted the death of civilians, the security forces had conducted themselves with utmost restraint.

There have been instances where the security forces have been fired upon by someone in the protesting crowds. There is reliable intelligence that some armed militants may have mingled with the crowds and fired at security forces. It is my duty to point out that the security forces have conducted themselves with commendable restraint in a highly volatile situation. They have shown courage and fortitude, he said.

Endorsing the appeal made by CM Omar Abdullah asking people to end the cycle of violence, the home minister said the state government was considering a number of political and administrative measures that could help in restoring normalcy.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir have elected a government and they must repose their faith in that government to find solutions to the problems of Jammu and Kashmir. Mindless violence and destruction of public property will not lead to any solution. On the contrary, they will result in loss of lives and injurie, an outcome that is entirely avoidable and that should be avoided at all costs, Chidambaram said.