<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what can be qualified as a significant statement on the ongoing Kashmir crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed “deep concern and pain” at the prevailing situation in state and called for a “dialogue to find a permanent and lasting solution” within the framework of the Constitution.Though PM’s statement goes one step forward than his last utterance on Kashmir at a rally in Madhya Pradesh on August 9 in which he had broken his silence on the unrest by appealing to the youth to hold laptops instead of carrying stones, it indicates end of the road for separatists by sticking to the oft-repeated “within the framework of Constitution”.It backtracks a long way from the position former PM Vajpayee’s took by indicating that he would go beyond the Constitution to settle Kashmir dispute in his famous quote of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat.Trying to make an emotional connect with the people of the distraught region, the PM said, “those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation; whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us.”The PM’s remarks stand in contrast with those of finance minister Arun Jaitley, who, while addressing a rally in Jammu’s Samba region on Sunday, described stone-throwing protesters as “aggressors out to divide the country”.Interestingly, a day earlier, home minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow had sought to apply healing touch by saying that “I want to tell the people of Kashmir that we not only love the land of Kashmir but also its people. I would like to appeal to the Kashmiris that we do not want to see stones, bricks and firearms in their hands but pen, computers and jobs. We want to see you employed.”Modi’s statement came soon after he met a delegation of the opposition parties from J&K who called on him to apprise about the “dangerous” situation that is spreading beyond the Valley to Pir Panjaal, Chinab valley of Kargil regions and asked him to find a lasting political solution to the vexed issue through dialogue instead of applying piecemeal administrative measures.Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who was part of the 20-member delegation, said the PM accepted delegation’s memorandum and agreed that development alone is not an answer to the crisis. “The Prime Minister told us in categorical terms that development alone will not resolve this problem,” said Omar.Refusing to draw any conclusions, Omar added, “I am not going to put words into the Prime Minister’s mouth nor am I going to draw further meaning from what he said.”However, in his statement, the PM indicated that the Centre is keen for a political outreach and is looking for a window to begin the process of dialogue, as he emphasized that “there has to be dialogue and we need to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problem within the framework of the Constitution.”Conveying that his government and the nation stands with the State of Jammu & Kashmir, PM urged all political parties to reach out to the people and convey the same and appealed for restoration of normalcy.The delegation on Saturday had met President Pranab Mukherjee and sought his immediate intervention to impress upon the Central government to find a political solution to Kashmir crisis. It now plans to meet mainstream opposition parties to build more pressure on the government.The PMO said the meeting with the delegation comprising of Omar Abdullah of National Conference, Ghulam Ahmed Mir of Congress, Hakeem Mohammad of People’s Democratic Front, M Y Tarigami of CPM and Ghulam Hassan Mir of Democratic Party Nationalist was held in “an atmosphere of free and frank discussion”.Sources in the home ministry said the Centre would soon make an announcement on banning the use of pellet guns and suggest alternate measures of non-lethal nature to control the agitators.
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