Political parties discuss security situation in the Valley, stress on the need for a dialogue with all stakeholders.

New Delhi: The all-party meeting convened by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday decided to push for a “Ramzan ceasefire” proposal within the state and across the border with Pakistan, along the lines of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s initiative in 2003.

The meeting was called to discuss the security situation in the Valley. The holy month of Ramzan is likely to start in the third week of May, depending of the sighting of the moon.

Later in the day, Mufti said at a press conference: “A consensus was built to appeal to the government of India to consider a unilateral ceasefire on the lines of Vajpayee’s, so that the people of Kashmir have some relief from encounters and search operations.

“The basic idea is to make Ramzan as peaceful as possible and hopefully start a new dialogue,” a source in the Jammu and Kashmir government told ThePrint.

The meeting pushed for dialogue within and beyond the state — with Pakistan. Sources also said the political parties might send a joint memorandum to the Centre after the meeting.

The CM later added at her press conference: “There were also suggestions that an all party delegation, including the opposition National Conference, would meet the PM and express our concern, and request him to reach out people, especially the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The opposition National Conference sent a four-member delegation to the meeting.

“We are going to participate in the meeting. We have been told the meeting would discuss the present crisis across the Valley,” general secretary of NC Ali Mohammad Sagar had said before the meeting. “We will raise important issues and the need for a dialogue.”

Mufti has come under strong criticism after 16 people, including eight militants, seven residents and a tourist, were killed in separate incidents of violence in the past four days.

Wednesday’s meeting, which took place in a convention centre on the banks of the iconic Dal Lake, was attended by members of the BJP and the Congress, among others.

Political outreach

The general feeling conveyed by the participants that there is a need for a “political outreach”.

“Everyone in the meeting felt there was a need for a political outreach and the national leadership must adopt Vajpayee’s approach,” a source in the PDP said.

Mufti also expressed her concern about the deteriorating situation in the Valley. “The issues of Kashmir are old, but I am more concerned about the prevailing situation as we are losing young lives,” she said at the meeting.

She later added at her press conference that all parties questioned why the agenda of alliance, a “visionary document” between the PDP and BJP, had not been delivered upon.

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