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Mehbooba, Omar meet Rajnath

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PDP, NC delegations also meet HM

Srinagar, Oct 23: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday appealed the Centre for resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan to end the "present phase of acrimony and confrontation" between the two neighbours.

The former chief minister made the appeal during a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here, her Peoples Democratic Party said in a statement.

The PDP chief was among the leaders of various parties who met the Home Minister here on Tuesday.

"Good relations with Pakistan have a positive impact on the ground situation in the state and it also encourages reconciliation among stakeholders within the state which automatically results in decline in alienation levels of people," the PDP leader said.

According to the party press release, Mehbooba told the Union Home Minister that in the past when bilateral relations improved, Jammu and Kashmir not only witnessed an era of minimal violence but also reconciliation and people's active participation in democratic and developmental processes.

Expressing concern over the prevailing situation in the state, the PDP president also urged the Home Minister to ensure that civilian deaths and collateral damage during security operations are avoided at all costs.

Mehbooba said she believed every civilian death not only adds to the alienation of people but also pushes back the democratic and developmental process in the state.

She asked the Home Minister to direct all the security agencies to exercise maximum restrain and follow strictly the standard operating procedures while dealing with the security situations in the state to ensure that civilian lives and property are not put to any risk in these operations, according to the PDP press release.

Seven civilians were killed Sunday in a blast at an encounter site in Laroo village in Kulgam district, after a gunfight between militants and government forces in which three militants were killed, had ended.

Meanwhile, a delegation of PDP led by its Vice President, A R Veeri also met the Home Minister and apprised him of the party’s stance vis-à-vis issues confronting the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

National Conference (NC) Acting President, Omar Abdullah also met Rajnath Singh and had a detailed discussion with him regarding prevailing situation.

In the meantime, a delegation of National Conference met Union Home Minister Rajnath Sigh here today and submitted a memorandum to him while expressing concern over the human rights violations happening here

The delegation registered deep anguish over the mounting human right violations, killings, maiming, destruction of property and growing disenchantment in youth that has become order of the day, NC said in a press release here.

It said the delegation led by NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar included additional general secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, senior leaders Muhammad Shafi Uri, Mubarak Gul, chief spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Tanveer Sadiq, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Sakina Itoo and Mir Saifullah.

“The delegation registered their anguish and concern over the unending cycle of killings particularly the recent killing of seven youth in Kulgam and other human right violations in the state,” the statement said, adding the delegation apprised the Home minister about the sense of insecurity and disenchantment that looms large in wake of the “aggressive approach adopted by the GoI”.

“The delegation apprised the Home mister about the duress that people are subjected due to the excessive use of force, CASO, mass arrests, intermittent media and internet curbs, and rampant curfews,” it said.

The Home minister was also told about the mounting alienation in the south Kashmir areas that has prompted highly educated youth to join militant ranks.

According to the party statement, NC delegation maintained that the solution to Kashmir problem can only be achieved through a process of dialogue and that the policy of looking at Kashmir issue through the prism of security will bring more misery to people.

Delegation implored upon the Union Home minister to initiate an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders in the state with all sincerity.

“The Home Minister gave the delegation a patient hearing and assured all possible cooperation on the demands raised,” the press release said.

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