Rajnath Singh initiates dialogue with ’eminent citizens’ to resolve Kashmir’s issue

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Updated: August 23, 2016 9:40:27 AM

According to sources, the first round was held on August 18 in a presence of 10 people in Singh's office while the second took place on Sunday where 14 people were present including the functionaries from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

rajnath singh LThe Home Minister indicated that the government is finalising a three-stage plan to end the protests in a peaceful manner, said sources.

In a move to resolve the deadlock prevailing in the Valley, the Centre has initiated talks at the level of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. According to The Indian Express, Singh has conducted two rounds of talks with “eminent citizens”, mostly non-Kashmiri Muslims in order to discuss a plan of action and to initiate a dialogue with Kashmiris.

According to sources, the first round was held on August 18 in a presence of 10 people in Singh’s office while the second took place on Sunday where 14 people were present including the functionaries from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Those who attending the meeting Sunday included former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, former Rajya Sabha member Shahid Siddiqui, Supreme Court advocate Ashok Bhan, security analyst Qamar Agha, Milli Gazette editor Zafarul Islam Khan, former J&K interlocutor M M Ansari and former AAP leader Mufti Shameem Kazmi.

“The Home Minister indicated that the government is finalising a three-stage plan to end the protests in a peaceful manner. To begin with, civil society groups will be encouraged to venture into Kashmir and interact with the protesting youths. He also indicated that an all-party delegation will be sent to the state soon. The role of clergy in spreading the message of peace and tranquility was also discussed,” sources said.

Many present at the talks held that strong statements condemning Pakistan or otherwise have also added fuel to the fire. Few media channels are also creating the impression that India was at war with the Kashmiris. People present at the talks also asserted that “the chain of broken promises, which has led to deep distrust, needs to be connected”.

Ever since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter, the Valley has been witnessing a constant turbulence. Protests between the armed forces and the citizens have led to a death toll of 65 while hundreds remain injured by the wounds inflicted by pellets guns.

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