Congress on Monday lashed out Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over their statements on the Kashmir unrest, saying that the central government does not have any coherent policy on the Kashmir issue and it is engaging mere rhetoric over the issue.
"We want to ask the Prime Minister: When he talks about insaniyat (humanity), what is the definition of insaniyat as understood by the Prime Minister of India?" Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a press conference in New Delhi.
"When the Prime Minister talks about Kashmiriyat, what does he mean? Is there any policy behind these words?" he further said. "The PM talks about engaging in dialogue. But with whom is he going to engage in dialogue? These words are mere rhetoric by the Prime Minister," Tewari further said.
"Even after 45 days, the situation in Kashmir has not improved at all," said the Congress spokesperson. "PM Modi has no coherent policy to deal with Kashmir," he said, adding that the government also needed to decide on whether it wants to send an all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir, something which the Congress has been demanding since the second half of the Budget Session in the Parliament.
The party also took a dig at the Modi government's stand on nationalism. "Those people who hide behind pseudo-nationalism are insecure about their past and clueless about the future," Tewari said.
He also criticised Jaitley for his remarks on Kashmir. "The essence of the Finance Minister's statement was that there is no political problem in Kashmir. According to him, it was only a problem regarding development," he said.
Tewari's remarks come after Jaitley on Sunday had blamed the Congress and National Conference for not bringing about any development to Jammu and Kashmir, which he said eventually led to this unrest.
"There will be no compromise on the security and integrity of the country and no compromise with the people who indulge in violence.
"Secondly, as Jammu and Kashmir has faced violence and wars, it needs development which was denied for past 60 years by National Conference and Congress governments. Thirdly, Jammu, being the support base of BJP, needs added attention," Jaitley had said in Jammu.
Acknowledging that situation in Kashmir was "serious", Jaitley had said that those indulging in stone-pelting in Kashmir are "not satyagrahis but aggressors" who target police and security forces but some people with limited vision cannot see this.
He had also lashed out at Pakistan for the current unrest, saying it was "attacking the integrity of India" in a "new way" after failing to snatch the state by waging wars and fuelling trouble ever since partition in 1947. "Now this time, a serious situation has emerged in which Pakistan, separatists and religious forces have joined hands and now with a new way, they are attacking the integrity of India," he had said.
Even as political parties are busy blaming each other for the crisis in Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday expressed his "deep concern and pain" over the situation there. The Prime Minister had emphasised on the need for dialogue to find a "permanent and lasting solution" within the framework of the Constitution and had also asked all political parties to work together to find a solution to the problems in Jammu and Kashmir.
Making an appeal for restoration of normalcy in the Valley where the unrest entered the 45th day, Modi had emphasised that there has to be a dialogue.
An official statement issued after his 75-minute-long meeting with a joint opposition delegation led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Prime Minister appreciated the "constructive suggestions" made by them during the talks and reiterated his government's commitment to the welfare of people.
The 20-member delegation comprising Omar and seven of his National Conference MLAs, Congress legislators led by PCC Chief GA Mir and CPI-M MLA MY Tarigami had called on the Prime Minister on Monday morning and had made an appeal for a political approach for resolving the crisis in the Valley and to ensure that the "mistakes" of the past are not repeated.
The Prime Minister had said, "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."
"Government and the nation stand with the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the Prime Minister had said and had suggested that all political parties should reach out to the people and convey the same. He expressed his commitment to the development of the state and its people, and appealed for restoration of normalcy in the state.
Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on 8 July and so far over 60 people have been killed.
With inputs from PTI