Monday, Jun 05, 2023 | Last Update : 08:03 PM IST

  India   All India  25 Apr 2017  PM ready for talks, but not now, says Mehbooba Mufti

PM ready for talks, but not now, says Mehbooba Mufti

Published : Apr 25, 2017, 3:21 am IST
Updated : Apr 25, 2017, 3:33 am IST

Centre wants ‘proactive’ role for J&K police; Unified Command review today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during a meeting in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during a meeting in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Centre wants the Jammu and Kashmir government to play a more “proactive role” in maintaining law and order across the Kashmir Valley, which has been seeing a spate of violent incidents, including stone-pelting by locals. The Centre’s concern was conveyed to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during her separate meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

As a follow-up of her meetings with the PM and the home minister, Ms Mufti will now discuss the security issues with the Unified Command in Srinagar on Tuesday. This comprises senior officials from the Army, paramilitary forces and the intelligence agencies.

Speaking to the media after her 20-minute meeting with the PM, Ms Mufti said though Mr Modi was amenable to holding talks with all stakeholders in the Valley, this was possible only after the situation was normal. The CM again floated the idea of following former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s strategy of holding talks with the separatists.

“We cannot have a constant confrontation and talks are the only way out. But for this a favourable atmosphere has to be created. If talks could be held with the Hurriyat during the Vajpayee government, when L.K. Advani was deputy prime minister, we can take that process forward,” Ms Mufti said. “Talks cannot happen amid stone-pelting and firing of bullets,” she said, adding that “the Prime Minister has every intention of holding talks after the situation becomes normal”.

Top government sources said, meanwhile, that the general assessment was that there was need for tougher action by the J&K police which was not able to handle the violent agitations as a “professional force” and relied too much on the Central forces deployed in the Valley. Though the Centre was categorical in its assurance that it would fully support the state government on all security matters, it specifically wants the state police to be more proactive in handling local law and order issues and to strengthen its local intelligence network, sources added.

The chief minister expressed the hope that the security scenario would show considerable improvement in the next few months, making the situation favourable for a dialogue, saying the decision on a dialogue would have to be taken at the highest level. Sources said the situation will have to improve considerably before talks could be initiated, adding the Centre would closely monitor developments over the next two to three months before taking a final call.

On the increasing incidents of stone-pelting, the CM said this was largely done by disillusioned youth who were instigated through social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. Even home minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament earlier that Pakistan-based groups were provoking local people in the Valley to resort to stone-pelting against the security forces. This issue will also figure at Tuesday’s Unified Command meeting, though the cyber cell of the state police had blocked a number of such suspicious accounts on the social media.

Earlier on Monday, the home minister reviewed the J&K situation with national security adviser Ajit Doval, home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Intelligence Bureau director Rajiv Jain and other top security officials. The security agencies have been directed to remain on high alert all through the summer in the Valley amid reports that subversive elements would not only increase attacks on the security forces but also use local residents to further step up violent protests. The coming summer months in the Valley, MHA officials said, were extremely critical from the security point of view.

Among other issues that figured at the meetings were the largescale violence during the recent Srinagar bypolls, in which eight persons were killed, and the security of Kashmiri youth studying outside the Valley. The home minister told Ms Mufti his ministry had already issued a detailed advisory to all states to ensure adequate security for Kashmiri youth studying in institutions in their states.

Tags: mehbooba mufti, narendra modi, rajnath singh, paramilitary forces, kashmir valley
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi