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Amarnath impasse: Parties call for dialogue

August 06, 2008 21:40 IST
Last Updated: August 06, 2008 22:04 IST


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Faced with unrelenting month-long violence, an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday night appealed for a dialogue and creation of an atmosphere for suspension of agitation.

However, the government ruled out recall of Governor N N Vohra, a demand made by the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti spearheading the agitation in Jammu over the land row during the yatra that has seen escalation in violence.

Appeasement is never good for a nation

Various suggestions including that an all party delegation should visit Jammu to assess the situation were made at the meeting, a second round of which may be convened by the prime minister.

"The all party meeting was of the unanimous view that an environment must be created where the agitation could be suspended and the issue resolved through the process of dialogue," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told media persons after a four-hour long meeting at the residence of the prime minister.

Leaders of all major political parties attended the meeting, which suggested 'immediately initiating the process of dialogue that would facilitate the suspension of the agitation and its peaceful resolution'.

The meeting felt it was imperative that communalisation of the situation should be prevented at all costs as this would adversely impact on the secular fabric of the nation.

The meeting expressed deep concern over the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and the leaders agreed that the situation was 'serious' and that 'immediate remedial action was called for'.

"There was unanimity among all those present that the first step was the restoration of peace and normalcy and the all party meeting decided to make a joint appeal for the restoration of normalcy and early return of peace in the affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir," the statement read out by Mukherjee said.

Government agreed that all the required necessary facilities for the Amarnath pilgrims would be provided.

Asked whether and when an all party delegation would visit Jammu, he said various suggestions including that some delegation should visit.

To a question on Samiti's demand for removal of the Governor, Mukherjee shot back: "No question of recalling the Governor."

Asked whether the Samiti will be part of the dialogue, Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] said the dialogue process will include all parties including those in the agitation. The state government will decide who will be part of the dialogue.

"It will not be difficult for us to carry on the dialogue with anyone from here or there," he said. Asked when the dialogue would begin, he said 'immediately'.


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