Tuesday, 12 July 2016

PM Narendra Modi speaks on Kashmir Violence in a high profile meeting with Cabinet members and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing a high-level meeting to take stock of the on-going violence in Kashmir. The Prime Minister returned early this morning after concluding his four-nation Africa tour aimed at enhancing ties with the continent. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, has cancelled his visit to the United States in view of the on-going situation. He was to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue.

The meeting is expected to be attended by senior members of the cabinet including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar among others. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is also likely to attend the meeting.

On Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah and discussed solutions to the on-going unrest.

Singh also held a meeting earlier in the day with senior officials of the Home Ministry and security agencies and directed them to take measures to ensure swift return of normalcy. An additional 800 CRPF personnel were rushed to Kashmir as reinforcements for the 1,200 CRPF personnel sent earlier to assist the state administration.

Strict restrictions continue to remain inposed across Kashmir valley. Militant commander Burhan Wani was killed in South Kashmir last week. Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi
NSA Ajit Doval, who was with Prime Minister Modi on his Africa trip, cut short his visit and returned to the national capital on Monday, confident that solutions to the unrest will be arrived at.

“If there are problems, there are solutions. We are quite confident and competent of finding solutions,” Doval told PTI.

He attended a meeting chaired by Singh and attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and MoS in the PMO Jitendra Singh.

The Valley is seeing protests after security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last week. The death toll has risen to 30, including the death of one police official.

Meanwhile, the CPM has asked the government to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the unrest.

“The administration should desist from using excessive force against the protesters… Those responsible for killing innocent unarmed protesters must be identified and punished,” the party said in a statement.

UN expresses concern

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir amid rising tensions in the valley following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani last week.

Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the UN Chief has noted with concern the situation unfolding in Kashmir.

Dujarric rejected remarks by a Pakistani journalist, saying “no one is denying that we are concerned about the situation in Kashmir. The fact that the Secretary General did not raise it as he did not raise many other critical situations around the world does not mean that he is brushing anything aside.”

Source IndianExpress

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