Political solution key, end violence: PM to Valley

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 12 2010, 04:40am hrs
Saying he can feel the pain and understand the anger and frustration that is bringing young people out on to the streets of Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called for an end to the cycle of violence since the key to the problem is a political solution that addresses the alienation and emotional needs of the Valley.

In his opening remarks at the meeting of an all-party delegation from J&K, Singh said: I share the grief, the sorrow and the sense of loss of every mother, every father, every family and every child in Kashmir.

Let us make a new beginning. I appeal to the youth to go back to their schools and colleges and allow classes to resume. I ask their parents: what future is there for Kashmir if your children are not educated I am convinced that the only way forward in Jammu and Kashmir is along the path of dialogue and reconciliation.

Admitting that the benefits of the large economic reconstruction package for J&K have not been fully felt on the ground, Singh promised to quicken the pace of its implementation in cooperation with the state government.

He proposed to set up an expert group headed by C Rangarajan with NR Narayana Murthy, Tarun Das, P Nanda Kumar, Shaqueel Qalander and an official representative of the J&K government as members to formulate a jobs plan for the state, involving both the public and the private sectors. To increase employability in the state, the group will interact with the National Skill Development Mission and submit its report within three months.

Our government, more than any other government in the past, has invested heavily in the peace process in Kashmir. The brave rejection of militancy by the people opened the door for us to pursue an unprecedented and intensive internal and external dialogue on the issues that have bedeviled Jammu and Kashmir for six decades.

With Pakistan we took a number of bold and indeed historic decisions. A bus service was started. We facilitated trade across the LOC. We facilitated arrangements for divided families to meet. We changed the policy on allowing people representing different shades of opinion to visit Pakistan because we wanted to involve all sections of the people in the peace process. he said.