CCS reviews J&K situation, reiterates Govt.'s intent to restart dialogue

New Delhi, September 13, 2010

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) reviewed the situation in Jammu & Kashmir and reiterated the Government's decision to restart the process of dialogue with different sections of the people of the State.

Towards this end, the CCS, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to convene a meeting of all political parties here on Wednesday and elicit their views on the way forward.

"Government hopes that, following the all party meeting, it would be able to engage the people of Jammu & Kashmir and also take certain initiatives and measures that will build confidence among the people of Jammu & Kashmir," an official statement issued here today after the CCS meeting said.

The CCS said it was deeply distressed by the turn of events in the Stte since Eid on Saturday and especially the events that took place today following rumours of an alleged act of desecration in the United States.

The meeting expressed its profound grief at the loss of lives and offered its sincere condolences to the bereaved families.

The statement said the UPA Government had always held the belief that dialogue and discussion is the only way forward to find an honourable and lasting solution.

"In the past too, the UPA government had taken several initiatives to hold a dialogue with different political parties and political groups, including the Hurriyat. Those efforts did yield some results. It was -- and it remains -- the intention of the UPA government to restart the process of dialogue. The dialogue can embrace all the issues that agitate the minds of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, especially the youth. The dialogue can address issues such as the trust deficit and the governance deficit," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the CCS appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth, to refrain from violent protests and to maintain peace and order.

"Every life that is lost and every person who is injured, besides causing immense grief, add to the complexity of the situation. The Government sincerely hopes that the people of Jammu & Kashmir will heed this appeal and cooperate with the Government in its efforts to ensure justice, dignity, honour and peace in Jammu & Kashmir," the statement added.

There was a lot of speculation that today's meeting of the CCS would take a decision on partial withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), but the statement made no mention of it.

The withdrawal of the AFSPA from the Kashmir Valley has been one of the main demands of Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, among others, here today.

At these meetings, he is learnt to have again called for the withdrawal of the AFSPA from urban areas. He also gave Mr Chidambaram and Ms Gandhi his assessment of the situation in the State.

NNN

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