Manmohan Singh-led Congress delegation concludes Kashmir visit


A Congress delegation, led by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, concluded its two-day visit to Kashmir on Sunday, after holding discussions on the current situation in the valley with a large number of delegations representing a cross-section of society.

The party’s ‘policy planning group on J-K affairs’ returned to New Delhi on Sunday afternoon after two days of meetings and interactions with various groups.

Over 54 delegations and groups, involving about 1,200 people, met the panel. “It was a fruitful visit and the people in the valley responded because there was credibility as it was led by a former prime minister. The interactions are the first indicator that people want peace and discussions,” GA Mir, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said.

He said the delegations, groups and some individuals from different shades of the society of Kashmir met the group and apprised them of the ground situation and the reasons behind the prevailing unrest and alienation of the people arising out of the resentment of the mishandling of the situation by the present central and the state governments.

“They also gave them inputs of the feelings and aspirations of the people from different nook and corner of Kashmir Valley, especially the failures of the present dispensations and the betrayal of the mandate of the people by the ruling dispensation,” he said.

The delegations also referred to the various working groups and interlocutors’ recommendations, including the Justice Sagheer Committee report, and sought their implementation as a way forward to restore the confidence of the people, Mir said.

“They also mentioned about various confidence-building measures and initiatives taken during the UPA regime. They regretted that the present dispensation at the Centre and in the state has failed to carry forward that process,” he said.

The group met various delegations from Kashmir, including opposition parties, bar association, LoC trade delegation, minority delegation, fruit growers association, women’s delegation, hotel and houseboat associations, tour and travel delegation, and panchayat delegation.

However, meeting “resistance leaders” was not part of the group’s agenda.

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