Modi Says Pakistan ‘Root Cause’ of Kashmir Unrest, Raises Balochistan Issue Too

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the all-party meeting where he addressed issues regarding Kashmir. Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the all-party meeting where he addressed issues regarding Kashmir. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the government was ready to address the “grievances” of Kashmiris as per the principles of the Constitution. However, he made it clear that there cannot be any compromise with the nation’s integrity.

Modi, who chaired an all-party meeting on Kashmir, attended by its ruling ally People’s Democratic Party and opposition parties, also termed cross-border terrorism supported by Pakistan the root cause of turbulence in the valley.

During the four-hour-long meeting, which comes in the wake of continued unrest in Kashmir after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, some opposition parties asked the government to take a few immediate confidence-building measures such as putting an end to the use of pellet guns and relaxing AFSPA in some parts of the valley.

It was also suggested that an all-party delegation should visit Kashmir to assess the situation but the government did not make commitments regarding any of these demands.

Asserting that the Centre was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution as per the basic principles of the Constitution, Modi said “we all are committed to this national sentiment that there cannot be any compromise with the country’s regional integrity.”

“We are ready to address the grievances of all sections under the Constitution,” the Prime Minister said.

This is the second time in less than a week Modi has reached out to the people of the state and shown willingness towards dialogue with all the stake-holders in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also used the platform to hit out at Pakistan for its human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Balochistan; adding that Pakistan will be answerable to the international community for the atrocities the country has committed in these regions.

Invite from Pakistan

Pakistan plans to invite India for a dialogue on Kashmir,Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s prime minister’s foreign affairs advisor said today;  just days after India insisted that it would discuss only Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with Pakistan.

“Our Foreign Secretary would formally be writing to his counterpart in this regard,” Aziz said as he briefed the media about the Pakistan Envoys Conference held from August 1-3 to deliberate on the major foreign policy challenges facing Pakistan and make recommendations.

He said the conference spent considerable time on the “grim situation” in Kashmir.

Discussions during the conference emphasised that Pakistan should continue to extend full diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmiris’ movement for self-determination.

Aziz added that the conference discussed taking a number of diplomatic initiatives and decided that Pakistan should invite India for a dialogue on Kashmir issue.

“As for India, the Envoys Conference noted that India s policy of not engaging in a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan was not conducive for peace in South Asia,” said Aziz.

His comments came two days after union home minister Rajnath Singh addressed the parliament on the Kashmir issue and said that India was willing to discuss only Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with Pakistan, and that the question of discussing Jammu and Kashmir with Islamabad did not come up.