The Hindustan Times
The Kashmir uprising was taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, a day after the government came under increased pressure from the Opposition.
Opposition leaders had voiced concern over the Valley being curfew-bound for over a month and demanded a stop to the use of pellet guns.
They also demanded a parliamentary delegation to be sent to Kashmir to deliberate with all sections, and an all-party meet to find a resolution.
“We don’t want to accuse the government. Rather, we are ready to help control the situation. Innocent women and children are dying. Your security forces are dying. Why are you shying away from debate?” leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Tuesday, when curfew entered its 33rd day in the state.
Here’s how the debate played out:
1 pm: House adjourned for lunch
12:44pm: Sharad Yadav, JD (U), said the times have changed and there can be no war with Pakistan; “Now, Kashmir will have to be won with love”. Police and armed forces are sometimes are required, but there should be restraint in the use of force, he added.
12:32pm: “Please do not meddle in (India’s) matters,” said Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress.
“…Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was more dangerous on the internet than in real life, and more dangerous dead than alive.”
12:07pm: Prof Ram Gopal Yadav, Samajwadi Party, said, “Pakistan’s ISI and militant organisations are misleading Kashmiri youth to attack their own people. Until Pakistan is dealt with, the Kashmir issue will not be resolved.”
11:54am: Manhas said the high turnout during assembly polls in Kashmir “reflected their trust in democracy”.
But he alleged, “separatist leaders have put stones instead of books and laptops in the hands of children.” “This turn of events,” he says, “should be examined.”
11:48am: J-K BJP leader Shamsher Singh Manhas said, “Kashmir cannot be discussed without also talking about Jammu and Ladakh.”
He said, “55% of the state’s population resides in Jammu, and despite widespread unemployment, they have not picked up the gun. It is a matter of nationalism.”
11:43am: Azad recalled several confidence-building schemes, including Umeed, Udaan and Himayat, introduced by the United Progressive Alliance (I and II) governments in Kashmir under the leadership of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
11:34am: Azad said he does not blame any particular government for the situation in Kashmir because even previous regimes faced the same problem.
He said that the Mehbooba Mufti government doesn’t have the “resources or manpower” to deal with the problem.
11:27am: Union minister Arun Jaitley said all parties should set aside politics because of the sensitive nature of the Kashmir issue.
11:20am: Everyone, including Hindus and Muslims, has been victim of militancy in Kashmir; and while you (the government) just talked about it, Kashmiris have always fought militancy, Azad said.
11:10am: Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Kashmir issue has been debated four times in the two Houses of Parliament but the Prime Minister has not been present during even one. Instead, Modi spoke of the situation during his visit to Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh.
(The reportage detailing Kashmir debate in Parliament was published by The Hindustan Times and is being reproduced here with minor changes.)