New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday stressed upon a dialogue to find a “lasting solution” to the problems in Jammu and Kashmir but “within the framework of the Constitution”.
At a meeting with a delegation of leaders of opposition parties from Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the loss of lives in more than five weeks of unrest in Kashmir had distressed him.
“Those who lost their lives during recent disturbances are part of us, our nation. Whether the lives lost are of our youth, security personnel or police, it distresses us,” Modi said, according to an official statement issued after the meeting.
The Prime Minister expressed “deep concern and pain at the prevailing situation in the state”.
“There has to be a dialogue and we need to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problem within the framework of the Constitution.”
The statement said that Modi conveyed to the delegation, led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, that “his government and the nation stand with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and suggested that all political parties should reach out to the people and convey the same” to them.
He expressed his commitment to the development of the state and its people, and appealed for restoration of normalcy.
The Prime Minister “appreciated the constructive suggestions” the leaders of opposition parties made in the meeting.
The meeting comes as the Kashmir Valley remains under strict curfew for the 45th day in a row. The valley has been on the boil amid violent clashes between stone-throwing pro-freedom protestors and security forces since the 8 July killing of a rebel commander, Burhan Wani.
At least 68 people have been killed in firing by security forces in the weeks of unrest. Thousands have been injured, mostly by pellet firing.